I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now…
11 Secret Service agents + 10 military men + 21 (20?) prostitutes = international incident.
In case you’ve been away from your radio/TV/computer/phone for the last week, here are the details:
An advance team of Secret Service and military personnel were sent to Cartagena, Colombia in preparation for President Obama’s attendance of the Summit of the Americas. Aside from the President’s security, they appeared to be quite concerned with having a good time. Reports a Christian Science Monitor article (among 11 million others on Google search if you need to catch up):
There are 11 agents involved. Twenty or 21 women foreign nationals were brought to the hotel, but allegedly Marines were involved with the rest,’ Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine–who was briefed by the director of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan–said in an email to Reuters.
The Washington Post adds that the twenty men made the rounds of nightclubs and strip clubs before indulging themselves with sex-workers — apparently legal in Cartagena. All of this likely would have gone off smoothly and all of us be none the wiser if it hadn’t been for at least one of the Secret Service agents haggling with one young woman over her price. Yep, pure class.
So far it appears that no sensitive security information was leaked–the agents involved were apparently not high-ranking enough to have access to the President’s schedule in advance — nor that the women had any affiliations with drug cartels or any other group that may have interest in infiltrating the Secret Service.
Nothing was compromised. Nothing was illegal. So what’s the problem?
Obviously, the Secret Service and the United States Military aren’t pleased about having their name dragged through the mud. My biggest hesitation with this whole mess, however, is that it seems to be written off as normal male behavior. Take this excerpt from a Talk of The Nation interview with former Secret Service agent Jeffrey Robinson:
“When you get 11 guys together with a lot of testosterone, things happen,” he told host Neal Conan. “It happens in the Secret Service, it happens with the New York Yankees, it happens in fraternities. I suspect it would happen in the House of Representatives…I think it was simply boys being boys, and I’m afraid boys will be boys. I know, because I was one. I still am, I guess.”
Just boys being boys? Should we be OK with that?
Photo Credit: Paul Evans
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