Levin: Military brass kept in the dark on prostitution scandal
May 8th, 2012
08:42 PM ET

Levin: Military brass kept in the dark on prostitution scandal

By Alan Silverleib

Senior military leaders were not immediately notified that troops in their command were involved in what is alleged to be a much larger alleged prostitution scandal involving military and Secret Service agents in Colombia, according to the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, also said Tuesday that a decision to keep the suspected military personnel in Colombia after news of the scandal first broke was made without any input from Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of the U.S. Southern Command.

Levin told reporters that the higher levels of the chain of command were not notified of the assignment of certain personnel to Colombia in advance of President Barack Obama's visit to Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas in April.

These are "significant gaps" in military operations that "need to be corrected," Levin said.

Even if Fraser was out of the loop on the decision to keep the suspects in Colombia until the end of the mission, the U.S. Southern Command did not reverse that decision, issuing a statement days later saying the 12 troops would remain on the job while the matter was being investigated.

Levin stressed that there is no evidence Obama's security was put at risk due to the incident. He noted that the president's schedule was not kept in the hotel rooms of any service members believed to be involved in the scandal.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee, said no classified information or weapons were present at the Hotel Caribe, where the alleged incident occurred.

Levin and McCain addressed reporters after being briefed on Capitol Hill Tuesday by five top Pentagon officials on the state of the military's investigation into the matter. The Defense Department inquiry is now "basically complete" and a report should be issued "any day," Levin said.

The investigator's recommendation regarding charges against the military suspects is expected soon, he added.

The senators declined to offer details about what exactly occurred at the Hotel Caribe. Asked if all 12 service members had prostitutes in their rooms, Levin said, "I know the answer but I can't (tell you) because I'm not allowed to comment on the substance of the evidence relative to the 12 (members)."

"But if I were you, I would not assume that is the case," he added.

The incident, which involved roughly 20 alleged prostitutes, has so far resulted in the dismissal of nine members of the Secret Service.

McCain told reporters he plans to sit down with Levin after the full investigation is completed in order to determine what - if any - legislative steps need to be taken to help ensure something like this "never happens again."

Levin and McCain were also briefed by military officials on the alleged incident and investigation on April 25. They were both highly critical of the first briefing, characterizing it as highly inadequate.

Tuesday's briefing, in contrast, was a "dramatic improvement," McCain said.

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Dalvana

    It is a greek fiscal stamp. It is meetoinnd in The Revenue Stamps of Greece by William T. McDonald. It was issued for a insurance fund for the employees of the general consulate in Alexandria, Egypt. As it is issued in Egypt the value of the stamp is meetoinnd in piastre (Γ.Δ.: Γροσια Διατιμησεως). There are various values and colours.

    July 1, 2012 at 3:31 am | Reply
  2. Sodomite

    All this.......'scandal'......over a bunch of whores?

    Wind yourselves up, sheep. Wind yourselves up.

    May 9, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  3. acajunthatsagun

    These congressional mouth pieces are simply parroting what they have been told. Without doing an independent investigation how would they know whether they have been hoodwinked? The general in command didn't know what was going on – too funny. The ultimate oxymoron – Military Intelligence.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  4. 2012marandalaw

    At any Point in Their "Political" Career,Did they think about People like myself,That Have a "War Conflict" Name Change,That Live in the USA,That Depend on The Security of the White House,The Security Of The Pentagon,Our Troops,Law Enforcements(All Levels)?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  5. 2012marandalaw

    I'm gonna ask the same question,I ask Yesterday,to Senator Edwards,Jimmy Dimora(OH),Sheriff Gerald Mcfaul(OH),Secret Service and Their Prostitutes,And all other Corrupt Politicians,At Any Point in their "Political",Career,"Did They Have The "American Spirit"?Or was it always about,You,You,You..Greed,and Ignorance?

    May 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  6. Cheese Wonton

    If whoring around in a foreign country is endangering national security then this country should have lost every war since the Civil War. My old man's division used to have the local prostitutes checked out at the Army hospital in Naples and issued medical cards attesting to their fitness to serve the occupation forces of the US Army. Imagine that in today's prissy environment. Those men, by the time the Nazi's surrendered, were hard drinking and hard swearing. They were killers, not nice guys. Now we expect soldiers to be choirboys. Ridiculous.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Teresa Fink Walker

      Just because others did or do wrong it doesn't make it right! Wasn't right then and it's not right now!

      May 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Truth

      These feminists want our young men to die for their country, but they'd be damned if these young men have sex with strange women!

      May 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  7. scott

    So you are telling me that in a foreign country, agents don't have weapons in their rooms? Thats about as dumb as bringing a prostitute back to your room? Regardless of how it affects this story, I simply dont believe that.....

    May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Razorback Law

      Weapons are not kept in the room based on various details I personally worked on under the Bush (41) and Clinton days as a Jarhead.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  8. Esta muy bueno

    CENTCOM = misery. Most forces have been suffering under the draconian provisions of General Order 1 for ten plus years: No beer, no women, no porn, no fun.

    SOUTHCOM = party. Delivering carnal comfort to weary troops for a negotiable price is not illegal in Columbia. These men did not take a vow of chastity like some Knight Templar.

    Cease the persecution.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Teresa Fink Walker

      Prostituted women is not and should not be a benefit of working for the US government! Thinking that way is why sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity! Prostition fuels it!

      May 9, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Truth

        There has never been a prostitution scandal in America involving "trafficked" women. Stop believing in lies and get over yourself.

        May 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
      • Trader

        @Teresa, you have my greatest sympathies.

        The feminist movement hates ladies-of-the-night because they take away the monopoly of poontang. Instead of taking you out to dinner, making toiling small talk, pretending I like you, all in an effort to get some, boom, I just negotiate a price, get some, and it's done. Victimless crime. Business transaction. Two consenting adults.

        So sorry you've been left out of the loop.

        May 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • Truth

        @Trader

        I agree with you half-way. This current wave of feminism, which resulted from the sexual revolution, have further lowered the value of poon-tang. Girls nowadays are getting used up and passed around like hotel wash clothes while men continue to benefit from no-string sex and delayed marriage. There has never been such a huge number of unhappy, unmarried women in America like there is today. A huge wave of careerist feminists are turning into lonely, childless spinsters after years of climbing the corporate ladder like a man and having sex like a man. In a way, feminism has dealt much more damage to women than "the patriarchy" ever did. Women have stopped being women and lost their sense of value and focus in life until it's too late. Prostitution is bad, but it is nowhere near as bad as feminism when it comes to harming women's values.

        May 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • Trader

        @Truth, wow, I halfway agree with you. Great analysis. As a child, I was raised in rural America and held women in high esteem, with great reverance. That was the 70s/80s. When I got to college, it was life-altering to learn, as you aptly described, that feminism had largely taken away that trait and that American womanhood was so debauched that they were generally unworthy of reverance. Some were, and you learn over time on a person-by-person assessment, but generally most were worthy of scorn. Unhonorable. A disgrace to themselves.

        I don't employ prostitutes mostly because of health and security concerns. When young ladies are coerced into it to sustain a drug addiction or because a pimp controls them, that's bothersome. But, as I stated before, when prostitutes are vending a commodity of their own free will and there's a willing consumer, it's not objectionable to me. It's an open admission of the bottom line, as opposed to Teresa's narrow perspective or a feminist perspective that womanhood deserves respect automatically when most don't.

        Thanks for your insights. So far it's the most provocative thoughtful thing I've seen today.

        May 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
      • Truth

        @Trader

        Thanks. And here's a fun article for you to read should you have the time to. I feel very sorry for this woman.

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/?single_page=true

        May 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  9. rich

    John McCain expressing shock and dismay at the antics or military men away from home and wih money in their pocket is the height of hypocrisy.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
  10. michaelfury

    Always the last to know.

    http://michaelfury.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/lies-on-the-horizon/

    May 9, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
  11. Cooze

    Big fucking deal.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Teresa Fink Walker

      It is a big deal! Do some research on sex trafficking! Prostitution fuels sex teafficking! It'll be other Countries military doing it to our women and children...then how will you feel about it? If those working for our government want to do those things then get another job! Grow up and our military and government workers needs to grow up too! They represet us!

      May 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
      • Truth

        lol prostitution is NOT sex trafficking. Look up some statistics for yourself and stop drinking the Kool-aid.

        May 9, 2012 at 6:51 am |
      • ana

        "Truth," you should change your handle to "Ignorance." Exactly what industry do YOU think sex trafficking feeds?

        May 9, 2012 at 8:37 am |
      • Truth

        Ana, you've been brainwashed by the media too much. There is a sex trafficking business, but they make up a very very tiny percentage of worldwide prostitutes. This is not even counting the fact that a lot of girls WANTED to be trafficked in the first place in order to make money, and a lot of them become personal sex servants after being trafficked instead of prostitutes. This is the same media-spun myth that prostitutes are underaged girls being exploited by evil men. These are very, very small percentage of events getting blown out of proportion by the media to get your panties in a bunch. Think about all the prostitution scandals that you're seeing. How many of those prostitutes were trafficked victims? Learn to think for yourself, please.

        May 9, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Teresa Fink Walker

        Use your real name Truth...ha and I'll send you the stats that prove your made up theory bs! If someone like you works for our government you need to quit!

        May 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Truth

        My real name is Truth. Something you have yet to refute.

        May 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
      • Cooze

        As I said earlier. Big fucking deal.

        May 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

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