Thursday, April 26, 2012
Report: Rampant Secret Service drinking, sex in 2011 trip
Report: Rampant Secret Service drinking, sex in 2011 trip By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY A Seattle TV station is reporting that a Secret Service team in El Salvador last year to prepare for President Obama's visit allegedly engaged in heavy drinking and sexual activity similar to escapades in Colombia last month. In an exclusive report for KIRO-TV, investigative reporter Chris Halsne quotes a U.S. government subcontractor in San Salvador as saying he worked extensively with a dozen members of the Secret Service advance team and found that the majority regularly visited a popular strip club and were "wasted" and "heavily intoxicated." The unidentified subcontractor says agents paid extra for access to a VIP section of the club where they were provided "a number of sexual favors in return for their cash," KIRO-TV reports. The subcontractor, according to KIRO-TV, says he told the agents that taking prostitutes back to their hotel rooms was a "really bad idea" but that several agents bragged that they "did this all the time" and "not to worry about it." The KIRO-TV reporter says the owner of the club confirmed that a large number of U.S. Secret Service agents, and some military escorts, had "descended on his club" a week before the Obama visit. KIRO-TV says it has the name of some of the agents allegedly involved and has viewed records which, the reporters says, add credibility to the subcontractor's eyewitness account. KIRO-TV promises a longer series of reports later today. The Secret Service announced this week that all 12 implicated officers or supervisors in the Colombia scandal had been dealt with: eight forced out, one stripped of his security clearance and three cleared of wrongdoing, all within two weeks of the night in question, the Associated Press reports. A dozen military personnel have also been implicated, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said they have had their security clearances suspended.