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Senators say Secret Service scandal could reflect agency’s culture

As soon as a Senate hearing into the Secret Service prostitution scandal began, it was clear there would be no rehabilitation of the agency’s reputation.

In fact, by the time the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee session concluded, skeptical senators on both sides of the aisle had painted Director Mark Sullivan as a good administrator but one hopelessly naive about what his agents do away from home.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan testified Wednesday before a Senate committee, publicly apologizing for the first time for the Colombia prostitution scandal.

Of course, there is no proof that the scandal involving a dozen agents who allegedly patronized prostitutes, while advancing President Obama’s trip to Colombia, represents standard operating procedure.

But the senators also don’t believe it was a one-time fling.

“It is hard for many people, including me, I will admit, to believe that on one night in April 2012 in Cartagena, Colombia, 12 Secret Service agents there to protect the president suddenly and spontaneously did something they or other agents had never done before, which is gone out in groups of two, three or four to four different nightclubs or strip clubs, drink to excess, and then bring foreign national women back to their hotel rooms,” said Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Questions reflected a persistent concern: Instead of an aberration, does Cartagena indicate a culture of loose living by agents on the road?  Read More

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Posted on May 23, 2012, in #breaking news and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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