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White House staff involved in Colombia Secret Service scandal?

Rumors are flying in Washington. Were White House staff involved with prostitutes in Colombia? In advance of the long awaited Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s Inspector General (IG)’s report on the Columbia prostitution scandal, many in DC are wondering if the Inspector General’s report might answer this question.  

Fox News' Jana Winter reported that a high-ranking Secret Service agent told Fox “we knew very early on that White House staff were involved.” Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the same question in April. Apparently, the White House refused to answer Senator Grassley’s concerns.

Congressman Darrell Issa asked, at the time, were any of the prostitutes under 18 years rendering them trafficked children, by definition, and not prostitutes.  This question has never been fully answered.  The Pentagon’s report, AR 15-6 Investigation into Military Misconduct at the 2012 Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, is very telling. Paragraph B(3) reports that 12 US military members brought prostitutes to their hotel room but paragraph 8, page 2 notes only 11 of the women were verified to be over 18 years old. What happened to the other woman? Was she, in fact, a child and the Pentagon is covering this up as they have covered up the wide-spread use of child porn by senior Pentagon staff, some with top level security clearances, on Pentagon computers?

The sub-heading “White House Communications Agency Personal” in the Pentagon’s AR 15-6 report is entirely redacted.  Is it possible that the “prostitutes” involved were trafficked children used by White House staff and not Secret Service agents? Has the Secret Service been forced to take the blame and cover up possible child sex abuse by the White House? It is doubtful that DHS’s Inspector General will provide a full report of what really happened in Columbia since President Obama’s administration has gone after whistleblowers and disabled the Inspector General’s as never before seen.

The other report that was released in Washington this week was the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Inspector General report on Fast and Furious. This report largely absolved Eric Holder of responsibility for the botched DOJ program that cost Agent Brian Terry his life. Similar to when Mr. Holder’s own Assistant Attorney General was caught looking at child porn on a DOJ computer, government officials are the top were covered for. Expectations are Homeland Security’s pending Inspector General report on the Colombia scandal may be yet another Obama administration whitewash.

On his first day in office, President Obama issued a memo to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies. The subject line was “Transparency and Open Government.” The memo opened with the words, “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”  

America has come to realize that President Obama’s commitment to transparent, accountable government and working “together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency” is nothing more than another empty promise. 

If the Secret Service is being forced to cover for White House involvement in the prostitution scandal, particularly if this included trafficking children, the truth must come out. If not in the upcoming DHS Inspector General report then by some brave whistleblower who may come forward and tell America the truth about President Obama’s White House. 

America's children and their voting parents deserve to know what really happened in Colombia.

Lori Handrahan is a professor at American University’s School of International Service. She serves on UN's Inter-Agency Standing Committee (ISAC) working groups on humanitarian response and worked for UNHCR in the Balkans and Chad. She can be reached at handraha@american.edu.