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President Obama expects Secret Service agents' investigation to be thorough, rigorous

April 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
It wasn't on President Barack Obama's agenda Sunday, but the Secret Service scandal involving sex and prostitutes at a Colombia hotel forced its way onto the world's stage at the Summit of the Americas.

"If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I'll be angry," Obama said.

Members of Congress called the alleged behavior at a Cartagena hotel outrageous and vowed to investigate. Eleven Secret Service agents were sent home from Colombia, and five members of the U.S. military there to assist them were confined.

The security detail arrived in Colombia about a week before the president. Their job was to protect him in a country plagued by drugs, shootings, bombings and kidnappings. But by last Wednesday, officials at the Hotel Caribe were said to be irritated at heavy drinking and loud partying disturbing guests. Sources say local women were coming in with agents. The alleged scandal might have remained secret if it were not for an angry prostitute.

"There was a dispute the next morning when one of the women did not leave the room," said Rep. Peter King,the Committee on Homeland Security Chairman. "Police had to come to ask her to leave, she wouldn't leave until the Secret Service agents paid her money she said was owed to her."

The State Department was called. When that happened, the Secret Service agents were sent home packing.

"We're here on behalf of our people and that means we conduct ourselves with the utmost dignity and probity," President Obama said. "Obviously what's been reported doesn't match up with those standards."

Still, President Obama said he'll wait until the full investigation is completed before he passes final judgment.


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