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A group of Secret Service members, have found themselves in the news for an unflattering decision: soliciting prostitutes. 11 agents were suspended over the weekend, for allegedly hiring the prostitutes during a trip with President Obama to Cartagena, Columbia, for the Summit of the Americas conference.

While the gross misstep has shined a negative light on the men who are often seen but never heard, commander in chief spoke on the incident, revealing that any necessary disciplinary action will be handled pending the conclusion of an investigation into the matter. “What happened here in Colombia is being investigated by the director of the Secret Service,” he told reporters during a press conference wrapping up the event, which brings together 34 members of the Organization of the Americas, and is held every five years. “I expect that investigation to be thorough and to be rigorous. If it turns out that some of the allegations made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry. We’re representing the people of the United States when we travel out of the country.

“These men and women perform extraordinary service on a day-to-day basis, protecting me, my family and other U.S. officials,” he added. “They do very hard work under very stressful circumstances and almost invariably do an outstanding job.”

Aside from the Secret Service men, five U.S. Military service members, who were staying at the same hotel,  have also been placed under investigation for misconduct, and violating curfew. According to reports, the Secret Service members brought the prostitutes to the hotel where Obama was booked to stay the following day, but former agency director, Ralph Basham, noted that these kinds of incidents are not the norm. “I do not believe that there is a systemic problem in the Secret Service because if there were, this wouldn’t be such a huge story,” Basham who ran the agency from 2003 to 2006, now heads the security firm, Command Consulting Group. “This is really an abnormality,” he said.

This embarrassing mishap comes as President Obama’s re-election campaign, has  commissioned the help of workers in Arizona to hit local college campuses, in hopes of snagging a strong Latino vote in the state.



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Photo: AP