April 24th, 2012
04:52 PM ET

Military to brief Congress this week about Cartagena scandal

By Mike Mount

The military will brief the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday about the investigation into alleged misconduct in Colombia by U.S. military assigned to the president's security detail last week in Colombia.

The Director of the Joint Staff, Vice Adm. William Gortney; Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, legal counsel for the chairman of the Joint Staff; and representatives from the secretary of defense will brief senators, said Rick Osail, a Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman.

The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee complained he was "disturbed" that the Senate Armed Services Committee had yet to be given a briefing by the military, while the Secret Service had briefed Congress.


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Filed under: Colombia • Military
Scandal could overshadow Panetta's trip to Colombia
April 23rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Scandal could overshadow Panetta's trip to Colombia

By Chris Lawrence

As the investigation into the prostitution scandal continues to embroil the military and Secret Service, another high-ranking American official is set to visit Colombia this week.

But in his first trip to South America as defense secretary, Leon Panetta will be traveling to the capital of Bogota and trying to avoid having his trip overshadowed by the investigation in Cartagena, the site of President Barack Obama's recent visit where the scandal of misconduct erupted.

Eleven Secret Service members who were in Cartagena to assist with security around the presidential visit are being investigated for allegations that include the hiring of prostitutes.


April 19th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Curfew violations set off military’s Cartegana investigation

By Barbara Starr

The failure of five Army Green Berets to meet their curfew on the same night that Secret Service agents were allegedly involved with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, is what largely led the military to start its own investigation, CNN has learned.

The military involvement was acknowledged in an initial news release by Southern Command on Saturday saying that five military members were restricted to quarters in Colombia. But a U.S. official confirmed to CNN that it was the actions of five Army Special Forces soldiers that set off the investigation, which rapidly broadened to include five other members of the U.S. military, including two from the Navy, two from the Marines and one from the Air Force.

All are being investigated for possible heavy drinking and use of prostitutes while in Colombia as part of a support team for President Obama's visit there last week.

The investigation is being conducted separately from the one inquiring about the Secret Service agents. The U.S. official, however, said the military investigating officers have been in touch with the Secret Service and are sharing information “where appropriate.”