Following Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s claim that Secret Service use of local prostitution in Columbia was an isolated incident, it has been reported Thursday that they are now investigating the hiring of strippers in prostitutes during their 2011 trip to El Salvador, when they were preparing for Obama’s visit.
Prostitution is legal in Columbia and El Salvador, legal for U.S. citizens and even government officials, but not for the secret service. Spokespersons such as Donavan say that any pattern of such behavior “would be a surprise to me,” yet an anonymous source who works in the Service said that this sort of behavior is part of Secret Service culture, and no anomaly.
“If this is the culture, then they want to immediately put it to rest,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas. “More importantly, we’re going to be saying that no foreign national will be allowed in your [secret service agent's] room, it will be absolutely illegal in terms of your job for you to in essence attend or be associate with any place of bad acts, and then finally a professional development officer or personnel officer is going to go along on every trip that the agents take out of the country.”
The rumors, confirmed by strip club owners and others, say that the Secret Agents went as a group to a local strip club, did some heavy drinking, and paid for sexual favors. Then, some took prostitutes back to their rooms, which lead one agent to have a fight with a prostitute over payment, which is what broke the news to the world.
“We have had employees that have engaged in misconduct,” said an U.S. Government, who asked to remain anonymous. “People make mistakes,”
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this Thursday that they are not investigating the alleged El Salvador incident, but the State Department’s spokesman Victoria Nuland said they are questioning its embassy staff over it.