By Vladimir Gladkov
It looks like President Obama and his cabinet still cannot get over from a scandal which broke out on the eve of Mr. Obama’s visit to Columbia, where he took part in a summit of American countries.
It has turned out that agents of US special services, who were responsible for Mr. Obama’s security during his visit, brought prostitutes to the hotel where they were staying. Moreover, they didn’t pay the prostitutes for their services.
At present, 12 officers of US special services are under trial in connection with this case. At least 2 of them have been working for the secret services for more than 20 years.
BBC reporter Steve Kingstone claims that both the US government and the secret services are trying to keep this scandal in secret. But their efforts are too late – the whole world already knows about it.
It is known that Mr. Obama’s political opponents, the Republicans, are using every pretext to criticize him – and, as soon as the presidential elections are now at hand in the US, they are now criticizing him with double force. With this scandal, they have got a good reason to accuse Mr. Obama’s guards of a negligent attitude towards their responsibilities and to express doubts whether such guards are really capable of protecting their boss – together with doubts about whether it is a good boss who hires such guards.
The fact that Mr. Obama’s guards entertained themselves with prostitutes is only half the trouble. The real trouble is that these women may have spied for someone.
“Who were these women?” Senator Susan Collins asks. “Could they have been members of groups hostile to the United States? Could they have planted bugs, disabled weapons, or … jeopardized security of the president or our country?”
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Some details of this incident are still to be revealed, but it is already known that a group of US secret services’ employees and military officers held a party in a strip club, which is considered to be the best one in the city, in the Columbian capital Bogota. Then, the officers decided to take several strip dancers to the hotel where they were staying, and paid to the club’s owner for this. It cannot still be said for sure how many girls they took with them, but it is known that there were at least two of them.
The officers didn’t hide from the prostitutes that they were responsible for the security of Mr. Obama himself. Moreover, they seemed to be very proud of that.
The incident might have remained unknown to the public if not for one of the girls, who demanded an extra pay for her services, but the officers refused.
As it has been mentioned above, this scandalous case is already being thoroughly investigated. Two of the officers have already been fired from their posts, other 8 are still under investigation.
When Barack Obama learned about the “adventures” of his guards, he immediately promised to punish them with all the strictness of the law. However, he is not going to sack the head of the secret service for his subordinates’ sins.
This is not the first time when US secret services provoke an international scandal. Last year, a CIS employee Raymond Davis killed 2 residents of the Pakistani city of Lahore. This incident seriously aggravated the relations between the US and Pakistan and nearly undermined the US’s plans to use Pakistan as an ally in the fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
However, some details of the Davis case are still unclear. For example, he claimed that he killed these people out of self-defense – allegedly, they were armed and tried to attack him. A sex scandal is a different thing. A killer may try to justify himself by claiming that he killed his victim out of self-defense. But there seem to be no extenuating circumstances in the case of President Obama’s guards.