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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sexual misconduct reported in at least 17 countries

Whistle blowers have come forward to say that domestic secret agents, or spies have engaged in sexual misconduct in as many as 17 countries. The Senate committee that oversees the department is now investigating these allegations.

The latest allegations have arrived in the wake of a prostitution scandal last year in Cartagena, Colombia.

The latest allegations have arrived in the wake of a prostitution scandal last year in Cartagena, Colombia.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/15/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Secret agents, sexual misconduct, prostitution, Cartagena, Colombia


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The latest allegations have arrived in the wake of a prostitution scandal last year in Cartagena, Colombia. The incident roiled the Secret Service. In addition, two supervisors were cut from President Obama's security detail after allegedly sending sexually explicit e-mails to a female agent, the Washington Post has reported.

Ranking Republican on Homeland Security subcommittee, Senator Ronald H. Johnson says that these accounts directly contradict repeated assertions by Secret Service leaders that the elite agency does not foster or tolerate sexually improper behavior.

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One of those disciplined supervisors, Johnson says, Ignacio Zamora Jr., had helped lead the internal investigation into the April 2012 incident in Cartagena. It was also noted that more than a dozen agents engaged in a night of heavy drinking and carousing with prostitutes ahead of a presidential visit.

One person involved in security in Cartagena said Zamora was chosen for the review because he served as the "second supervisor" on the trip, and was among the managers responsible for the security effort in advance of Obama's arrival for an international summit.

Zamora's e-mails to a female subordinate were discovered after he accidentally left a bullet behind in a woman's room at the upscale Hay-Adams hotel in Northwest Washington.

Johnson said in a statement that letting Zamora investigate Cartagena amounted to "the fox guarding the hen house." An attorney representing Zamora declined to comment, as did White House officials.

The agency has since adopted new policies banning the consumption of alcohol 10 hours before employees report to work and limiting consumption to "moderate amounts" during off-duty hours. Agents and officers cannot drink alcohol when stationed at the hotel of the public official they are assigned to protect.

Two people briefed on the accounts said they include agents and managers hiring prostitutes, visiting bordellos on official trips, having extramarital affairs on the road and having both one-night stands and long-term sexual relationships with foreign nationals that were not properly reported.

Needless to say, hiring prostitutes and having sexual relations with foreign nationals are both forbidden by Secret Service policy governing the top-secret security clearances needed for a service job.

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