April 16th, 2012
01:11 PM ET

Military widens investigation into Cartagena misconduct

Update:   In response to a question from CNN's Barbara Starr, Gen. Martin Dempsey said the military leadership was "embarrassed"  by what happened in Colombia.

"What we do know is that we distracted, several of our members distracted the issue from what was a very important regional engagement for our president," the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at a Pentagon press conference.  " So we let the boss down 'cause nobody's talking about what went on in Colombia other than this, this incident. So to that extent we let him down."

By Barbara Starr

The U.S. military investigation into alleged misbehavior by personnel in Colombia has now widened beyond the five service membersoriginally identified, according to George Little, Pentagon press secretary.

“We believe there may be more than five,” Little told reporters. He could not say how many more military personnel might be involved, but he indicated the personnel might come from more than one branch of the military.  Pentagon officials had originally thought only Army personnel were involved.

As many as five others military personnel may have been involved, according to two U.S. officials.

While Little would not specify the misconduct, other U.S. officials have told CNN that they are looking into allegations the personnel were involved in drinking heavily and engaging prostitutes.  The military is specifically looking into whether the personnel had prostitutes in their hotel rooms and violated their military curfew.

Little said the personnel were not directly involved in presidential security and did not have any contact with President Obama. He defined their role as being in “support” of the Secret Service.

Because presidential security was the overall mission however, it’s not yet clear if the Pentagon will ever publicly describe what the military personnel were doing as part of their work in Colombia, or what branch of the military they belonged to.

The personnel are expected to return to the United States on Monday. An officer who was already in Colombia gathered some initials facts, according to Little. A more senior officer is leaving for Colombia Monday to continue the investigation.

The original five personnel were not identified by name. On Saturday, U.S. Southern Command announced the investigation and said the personnel were restricted to their hotel rooms when not performing their duties.  The initial five were all in the Army, two U.S. officials told Security Clearance.

Eleven Secret Service agents and officers also are under investigation in the incident.

Filed under: Military
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Penelope

    And to think that some tight-ass brought down a shit storm upon himself and his pals 'cuz he was so damn cheap that he had to argue over money with a hooker............IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY.....

    Are they that badly paid?

    April 18, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  2. Michadj

    The one Maxin comcerning US military men when overseasconcerning women, Makes no differance in, no matter age,married, single, smelly, how many guys just got done with her, filthy wet and sloppy, and but as* ugly a woman is, GIs will still line up, money in hand.

    April 17, 2012 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • wycliffewy

      GIs are one thing. The Presidential security detail is another. They are just lucky they didn't cover an assassination attempt. Or might that have been their intent? I'm sure they aren't sitting in quiet confinement. They are getting to listen to some pretty pissed off senior officers.

      April 17, 2012 at 3:35 am | Reply
    • NewsFlashBlue

      Prostitution is not illegal in Columbia. Women have charged for carnal favors since the beginning of time. Sometimes it's a direct cash outlay, sometimes it's an expensive dinner, but men got the testosterone and women got the special place to put it, so men going to pay. There's no extraterritorial prostitution law for the secret service. Depending on one's subjective morality one may think it's wrong, but it wasn't illegal. They like to party. So what?

      Now the servicemembers are subject to the uniform code of military justice, and pandering the pootay for hire is an offense, so they're screwed in more ways than one.

      Revoking security clearance, what is that? Obama is the son of a black nationalist communist, grandson of a Mao Mao terrorist, he parties with weather underground terrorist Bill Ayres and snorts cocaine. Who are we to cast stones?

      April 17, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
      • PutaBuena

        That's a good point. Obama repeals don't ask don't tell so spermburpers can hang out in the barracks common showers enjoying the free show and flirting to try and get some because that's the new morality, but man paying a woman is not?

        April 17, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • tattler

      As chief executive of all agencies in the executive branch, Obama sets the tenor or command climate. He came in as a poor role model and has entrenched the culture of elitist spending since then.

      Obama came in as the consummate Chicago pay-to-play politician. Recall that Tony Rezko, now doing 10 years for a corruption conviction, sold the Obamas their Kenwood district home for about half its fair market value, and when Michelle wanted a little garden he sold that for nothing. And gee, in exchange Rezko got the Cottage View Terrace senior citizens apartment contract which he ran like a slumlord, and Michelle Obama got the $350,000/yr hospital administrator job she was completely unqualified for.

      As president, who doesn’t know about Michelle’s multi million dollar air force one shopping trips to Spain, dinner dates to NYC Broadway, and needing to take a separate multi million dollar flight to Nantucket three hours before Barack? Malia Obama and twelve friends just took Spring Break in Mexico on the taxpayer dime to the tune of an estimated $13 million.

      The culture of elitist entitlement is not isolated to this episode. The GSA $850,000 Vegas “conference” is the same thing. Title 5 federal bureaucrats who cannot be fired and are overwhelmingly unionized democrats that think the government can solve all societal woes, they get paid far more than their private sector counterparts, they want unlimited perks for themselves, unlimited programs for the minions that vote for them, and want hard-working Americans, Republicans, to pay for it all. “Make the rich pay their share.”

      April 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  3. Michadl

    Same Same as ring fingers Ft. Bragg N.C. almost all our SF in Nam and same 82 nd both in Dom Rep and then 82nd filling out 101 in Nam and same for Marines, Fayeteville one month 1 B girl per 250 GIs next month couldnt find a place to sit so many lonely and horny GI Wives. My best buddy who came from some burg in Midwest, when he was sending his ol lady back home, that way if she screwed around it would be with a better class of men than with these low class Legs and Jar Heads.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  4. portland tony

    From hence forward ......All Secret Service members must be certified eunuchs. All removed personal items will be returned upon leaving Federal employment.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      These little prissies never pulled liberty in Olongapo. I can only sigh in relief that I did my military service before the advent of cell phones and digital cameras. Back then, when went on deployment really did stay on deployment.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Reply
      • Phil

        Not exactly true Cheese. I brought something home from deployment.

        April 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        We had a well regarded senior chief come down with the shmoz in PI on his way back to the states. Our CO cut him TAD orders for two weeks in the PI so he could get well before coming home to momma. I don't know what service you were in but in Naval Aviation we took care of our own. That was part of being a team. Now everyone seems to eat their young. It's self destructive.

        April 17, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  5. Michadl

    That they may of broken Curfew now that is a major Breach of Military Code of Honor and they should be reprimanded for that!. As long as the age of the ladies involed, 15 in Columbia and our militarys dont ask policy was not violated our Heroic men deserved a little R and R. It has always been an unwritten but well understood policy that, the spouse left at home no matter if for years had better not engage in any Hanky Panky while the one in uniform is away, and that the one inuniform should not be asked nor ever nef to tell what they did. The very first Dont Ask, Dont Tell.

    April 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      You have never heard of a "Westpac Widow" apparently. When going out on weekends in San Diego bars one learns to look for telltale tan lines on a woman's ring finger. As we used to say, always call home before going home.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • Strongly Agree

      It has to do with illegal human trafficking. You don't know why that person is doing what they are doing. It's not always the 'single mom' trying to make a living for her children. That's just the image that people put to mask the bad side of it. Alsio, they were in Columbia for a short period of time. If you can't restrain yourself (for the married folk, or get game for the single folk) then you need to reevaluate your life and serving your country is probably not for you. We are all brieffed the same thing. Whether you agree with it or not, you have to follow it. Period.

      April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  6. Michadl

    In over 60yrs of living upon, active duty, and in close proximatey to millitary and its peoples has there been a shortage of prostitutes and military men, of alk ranks married or not, wanting their services. Our military men and not just military but many advisors buisness men and Embassy personel use their services so why the *OH MY GOD* BS?

    April 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      During the occupation of Italy at the end of WWII, my father's division routinely checked the Army issued medical cards of the local prostitutes. If the card was expired, the prostitute was put on an Army train and shipped off to the big Army hospital in Naples. There she was given an examination for STD's and general health (no small pox or TB for instance) and if found clean, given a new Army medical card, put back on the Army train and sent home. If they were sick, they were treated by the Army at taxpayer expense (a tiny sum lost in the occupation budget) before being sent home.
      Imagine the uproar if this was happening today. We are a prudish society becoming every more intolerant of any human behavior that is short of saint like. We will always be disappointed when we are this uptight. Relax people.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Reply

    proper investigation into this matter can fish out the culprit

    April 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  8. 2012marandalaw

    "Code Of Honor"...Has Anyone at the White House..Heard of "The Code Of Honor"?

    April 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Have you heard of a "steam and cream" at the Officers Club swimming pool at Cubi Point Naval Air Station in the Philippines, back in the day? Just asking ............ Times have changed. Bunch of little sissies today. Grow up all of you prudes.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • portland tony

        Look, many of us fought the battle of s**t river at Cubi pt. And partying is OK...But one compromised agent (maybe blackmailed, maybe anything... photos etc) could change America's future forever. They don't just guard the CIC...but the Supreme court, visiting politicians etc...So they really have to be squeaky clean.

        April 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Tony, you can't be blackmailed if you aren't ashamed. It's that simple. I can safely say that, had some foreign intelligence service tried to blackmail any of us with photos or other evidence of any of us having had sex on liberty with prostitutes, we'de have laughed in their face and said, "yeah, so what?" I still have photos of bar girls and darned if I can remember which one I ended up with that night. Big whoop. We had pilots living in town with all kinds of wild females. We called these "Snake Ranches". It couldn't be held against you or used to blackmail you because, quite simply, nobody cared.

        April 17, 2012 at 12:00 am |

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