He’s the most important man in the world this week.A Colombian cab driver • Joking about the current situation with fellow cab driver Jose Pena, a 42-year-old man who lives with his mother who has become a central point of the Secret Service prostitution scandal – simply by driving the alleged prostitute who sparked the scandal home. Pena has become an intense focus of local media outlets, with some alleging that the cab driver is charging huge prices for interviews in the process of breaking an unspoken code between cab drivers and sex workers. The result? Pena has helped make the case an even bigger media frenzy, if that’s somehow possible.
I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?Just-retired Secret Service agent David Randall Chaney • Joking on his Facebook page about … wait for it … Sarah Palin, who he was protecting during the 2008 campaign. He left that comment on a photo that shows him keeping watch over the vice presidential candidate. Not exactly a good look for a guy who was forced to retire as a result of a scandal allegedly involving prostitutes in Colombia.
Cartagena women are respectable and you cannot generalize as if the city were filled with prostitutes.Mayor Campo Elias Terán of Cartagena, Colombia • Expressing his dismay at the Western media’s fixation on the involvement of prostitution in the recent Secret Service scandal. Many residents have grown tired of American depictions of their city, a colonially-inspired city of luxury surrounded by slums, as a town where prostitutes wander every street. Regional travel company Spirit Airlines has also come under fire for a new marketing campaign featuring men in Secret Service-esque costumes, scantily clad women, and the slogan “Upfront payment is required.” Colombians are also confused by the lack of discussion regarding President Obama’s safety due to the presence of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), one of the longest-running Marxist insurgencies in history. source (via • follow)
» All three are former supervisors, and each left the Service under different terms. One retired, another was removed “for cause”, and a third resigned from his position. The Secret Service is continuing to investigate the remaining 8 members allegedly involved in the scandal, and a separate review board has been created to investigate whether or not this was an isolated incident or just the only time that Service members have been caught.
» A key house figure also wants an investigation: California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, the head of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, thinks that more agents than the 11 implicated were involved. “We think the number might be higher, and we’re asking for the exact amount of all the people who, quote, were involved,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Issa says he want to ensure that systems are in place to prevent situations like this in the future, which he suggested he could lead to blackmail.
These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president’s trip.Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan • Discussing the allegations of misconduct — specifically, prostitution — involving Secret Service agents in Colombia for a summit that the president was attending. Of note: The allegations of misconduct occurred before the president got to Colombia, according to Donovan.
» The AP has a salacious tip: “The Associated Press received an anonymous tip that the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, the site of the meeting. A Secret Service spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the accuracy of the tip.” Obama is visiting the country for the Summit of the Americas. The Washington Post reports that prostitution is legal in Colombia in specific areas, though (obviously) frowned upon in the case of Secret Service agents. In case you needed your story of the week, guys, there you go. (Edit: The Secret Service responds.)