If you ask me all victimless crimes, including prostitution should be legalized.
My problem is when government hypocrites enforce these laws against us serfs, but think that they are above the laws and break them as these Secret Service agents are accused of doing.
Misconduct alleged against Secret Service agents
Apr. 13, 2012 09:55 PM
CARTAGENA, Colombia -- A dozen Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to provide security for President Barack Obama at an international summit have been relieved of duty because of allegations of misconduct.
A caller who said he had knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that.
A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents at 12. The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.
The Washington Post reported that Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations related to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena. The association represents federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service. Adler later told the AP that he had heard that there were allegations of prostitution, but he had no specific knowledge of any wrongdoing.
Ronald Kessler, a former Post reporter and the author of a book about the Secret Service, told the Post that he had learned that 12 agents were involved, several of them married.
The incident threatened to overshadow Obama's economic and trade agenda at the summit and embarrass the U.S. The White House had no comment.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan would not confirm that prostitution was involved, saying only that there had been "allegations of misconduct" made against Secret Service personnel in the Colombian port city hosting Obama and more than 30 world leaders.
Donovan said the allegations of misconduct were related to activity before the president's arrival Friday night.
Obama was attending a leaders' dinner Friday night at Cartagena's historic Spanish fortress. He was due to attend summit meetings with regional leaders Saturday and Sunday.
Those involved had been sent back to their permanent place of duty and were being replaced by other agency personnel, Donovan said. The matter was turned over to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, which handles the agency's internal affairs.
"These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president's trip," Donovan said.
U.S. Secret Service agents leave Colombia over prostitution inquirySource
U.S. Secret Service agents leave Colombia over prostitution inquiry
By David Nakamura and Joe Davidson, Published: April 13
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating allegations of misconduct by agents who had been sent to Cartagena, Colombia, to provide security for President Obama’s trip to a summit that began there Friday.
Edwin Donovan, an agency spokesman, said that an unspecified number of agents have been recalled and replaced with others, stressing that Obama’s security has not been compromised because of the change. Obama arrived in Cartagena on Friday afternoon for this weekend’s Summit of the Americas, a gathering of 33 of the hemisphere’s 35 leaders to discuss economic policy and trade.
Donovan declined to disclose details about the nature of the alleged misconduct. But Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations relate to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena.
In a statement, Donovan said the matter has been turned over to the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which serves as the agency’s internal affairs unit.
“The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously,” Donovan said. “These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President’s trip.”
Adler said the entire unit was recalled for purposes of the investigation. The Secret Service “responded appropriately” and is “looking at a very serious allegation,” he said, adding that the agency “needs to properly investigate and fairly ascertain the merits of the allegations.”
The Washington Post was alerted to the investigation by Ronald Kessler, a former Post reporter and author of several nonfiction books, including the book “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect.”
Kessler said he was told that a dozen agents had been removed from the trip. He added that soliciting prostitution is considered inappropriate by the Secret Service, even though it is legal in Colombia when conducted in designated “tolerance zones.” However, Kessler added, several of the agents involved are married.
There have been other incidents involving Obama’s security detail over the past year.
In November, Christopher W. Deedy, a federal agent with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man during a dispute outside a McDonald’s in Honolulu. Though Deedy was off-duty at the time, he was on the island to provide advance security arrangements for Obama’s trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
In August, Daniel L. Valencia, a Secret Service agent, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Decorah, Iowa, where he was helping arrange security for Obama’s bus trip through three Midwestern states. Valencia, who was off-duty at the time of the arrest, was recently sentenced to two days in jail with credit for time served, and a fine of $1,250.
America is out of touch with the rest of the world???America is out of touch with the rest of the world??? I think so!!!
The US is alone on it's stance to continue the insane unconstitutional drug war, which is a dismal failure.
The US is also alone on it's stance to isolated Cuba from the rest of the world.
I suspect this quote by H. L. Mencken is one of the reasons for America's political positions:
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."Of course two of those hobgoblins are the "drug war" and Communistic Cuba, along with the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S, Canada alone on Cuba at summit
by Vivian Sequera - Apr. 14, 2012 10:32 AM
CARTAGENA, Colombia -- A summit of 33 Western Hemisphere leaders opens Saturday with the United States and Canada standing firm, but alone, against everyone else's insistence that Cuba join future summits.
The Sixth Summit of the Americas has also taken on a tabloid tinge with 12 U.S. Secret Service agents sent home for alleged misconduct that apparently included prostitutes and days of heavy pre-summit poolside drinking.
U.S. President Barack Obama has been clinging stubbornly to a rejection of Cuban participation in the summits, which everyone but Canada deems unjust.
"This is the last Summit of the Americas," Bolivia's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, told The Associated Press, "unless Cuba is allowed to take part."
The fate of the summit's final declaration was thrown into uncertainty Friday as the foreign ministers of Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay said their presidents wouldn't sign it unless the U.S. and Canada removed their veto of future Cuban participation.
Vigorous discussion is also expected on drug legalization, which the Obama administration opposes. And Obama will be in the minority in his opposition to Argentina's claim to the British-controlled Falkland Islands.
The charismatic Obama may be able to charm the region's leaders as he did in 2009 with a pledge of being an "equal partner," but he will also have to prove the U.S. truly values their friendship and a stake in their growth.
"The United States should realize that its long-term strategic interests are not in Afghanistan or in Pakistan but in Latin America," the host, Colombian President Juan Santos, said in a speech to business leaders at a parallel CEO summit on Friday.
In large part, declining U.S. influence comes down to waning economic clout, as China gains on the U.S. as a top trading partner. It has surpassed the U.S. in trade with Brazil, Chile, and Peru and is a close second in Argentina and Colombia.
"Most countries of the region view the United States as less and less relevant to their needs -- and with declining capacity to propose and carry out strategies to deal with the issues that most concern them," the Washington-based think tank the Inter-American Dialogue noted in a pre-summit report.
Stereotypes of ugly Americans were, unfortunately, reinforced on summit eve with misconduct allegations
A caller who alerted The Associated Press to the case said the misconduct involved prostitutes.
A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that. Nor did the U.S. official who, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity, put the number of agents sent home at 12. The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.
One employee of the hotel where the agents stayed, the beachfront Caribe, said the agents drank large quantities of alcohol at the poolside daily for about a week before being dressed down by a supervisor and sent home Thursday. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared for his job.
Obama faced challenges enough at the summit without that distraction.
Cuba was proving the biggest.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa was boycotting the summit over Cuba's exclusion, while moderates such as Santos and President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil said there should be no more America's summits without the communist island.
Obama's administration has greatly eased family travel and remittances to Cuba, but has not dropped the half-century U.S. embargo against the island, nor moved to let it back into the Organization of American States, under whose auspices the summit is organized.
Another big issue will be drug legalization, which the Obama administration firmly opposes. Santos left it off the official agenda but has said all possible scenarios should be explored and the United Nations should consider them.
Meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez at his request, Obama can expect to discuss that country's claim to the Falkland Islands, known as the Malvinas by the Argentines, after Argentina lost a war with Britain 30 years ago while trying to seize them.
Among the hemisphere's leaders, there is nearly unanimous support for Argentina's position.
One potentially prickly confrontation for Obama was averted Saturday when Venezuela's foreign minister announced that President Hugo Chavez would skip the summit. The minister, Nicolas Maduro, said Chavez took the decision because of a medical recommendation.
Chavez was heading instead to Cuba to continue treatments for cancer.
He has grabbed the spotlight at past summits. But, suffering from an unspecified type of cancer, he has lately been shuttling back and forth to Cuba for radiation treatment.