The Colombian Prostitution Scandal: About more than $47

Via the NYTEscort Recounts Quarrel With Secret Service Agent

There was a language gap between the 24-year-old woman, who declined to give her full name, and the American man who sat beside her all night and eventually invited her back to his room. She agreed, stopped on the way to buy condoms but told him he would have to give her a gift. He asked how much. Not knowing he worked for Mr. Obama but figuring he was a well-heeled foreigner, she said she told him $800.

[…]

By 6:30 the next morning, after being awoken by a telephone call from the hotel front desk reminding her that, under the hotel’s rules for prostitutes, she had to leave, whatever deal the two had agreed on had broken down. She recalled that the man told her he had been drunk when they discussed the price. He countered with an offer of 50,000 pesos, the equivalent of about $30.

Disgusted with such a low offer, she pressed the matter. He became angry, ordered her out of the room and called her an expletive, she said.

She said she was crying at that point and went across the hall, where another escort had spent the night with a second American man from the same group. Both women began trying to get the money.

[…]

A hotel security officer arrived. Eventually, she lowered her demand to $250, which she said was the amount she has to pay the man who helps find her customers. Eager to resolve the matter fast, the American men eventually gave her a combination of dollars and local currency worth about $225, and she left.

None of this makes the agents in question any less stupid, but at least this version of the story makes more sense than the previously reported version in which the dust-up was over a mere $47.

FILED UNDER: Latin America, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. To me the biggest issue here are the security breaches. First, there’s the potential blackmail possibilities. Second, there’s the entire “honeypot” issue, which is a long-standing and well known espionage technique. Finally, there’s the fact that they brought these women back to what was supposed to have been a secure building.

    This is why I don’t get people who try to dismiss this as no big deal. If nothing else, it seems to me that we’ve got a question about potential security flaws in an agency that everyone has considered impenetrable. That’s something to be concerned about, IMO

  2. Nightrider says:

    I wonder what the hotel’s rationale is for the “rules for prostitutes” that they have to leave by dawn or whatever. Do they think it makes it a higher class hotel than the place across the street where they can stay for breakfast? Actually having clear “rules for prostitutes” in the first place sort of says it all. I’m sure the morning crowd shocked, shocked that there is prostitution going on in this place.

    I’ll have to re-check the fine print for my next hotel.

  3. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I think that the people who are dismissing this as no big deal don’t actually disagree with you. It’s insane, and the people involved should be investigated, disciplined and probably fired.

    What’s meant, as far as I can tell, by “no big deal” is that this is not, despite whatever Issa is going to pull out of his ass and FOX is going to trumpet 24/7, proof that Obama is corrupt or incompetent or a communist, or that many of his cabinet members from SecDef on down must be fired, or that Romney should should be sworn in immediately.

  4. @WR:

    I think your attempt to demean the proper oversight role of Congress here is a bit premature.

  5. JKB says:

    See, this is why you don’t go whoring (I prefer the old fashioned wenching )with just anybody. Some people always regret what they did in the morning and feel they don’t have to pay.

    That right there is a clearance red flag, unwillingness to accept responsibility for actions, reneging on contracts.

  6. An Interested Party says:

    I think your attempt to demean the proper oversight role of Congress here is a bit premature.

    Members of Congress themselves have been demeaning that institution’s oversight role for years…

  7. John Burgess says:

    @JKB: That’s also way customary practice is to demand the cash up front.

  8. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: On point one, the theory of your readership (for better or worse) is that blackmailing someone for something that is not illegal where they did it seems like a non-starter. In the same way, these two dimbulbs are probably not high enough on the food chain for a “honeypot” type scam (or at least one worth implementing). Your third point, however, is on target. Taking a whore, even an $800 one, into what is supposed to be a secure building is bad form. THAT’S what will get these guys disciplined.

    @An Interested Party: Good point, but one that Doug is selectively oblivious to. For this case, Congress has a serious duty to perform in making the case for his presumptive “I’m not supporting either side” choice.

  9. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I’m not demeaning the proper oversight role of Congress. I’m demeaning Darryl Issa, former car thief, who has been desperately searching for a weapon he could use against Obama, and who in fact when he took over his committee said he’d be doing exactly that. And I’m demeaning the entire Republican congress whose leaders have announced that their sole priority is to make sure that Obama is a one-term president.

    If you wonder why people keep assuming you’re a Republican, maybe it’s because you keep adopting their talking points.

  10. Delmar says:

    This and other events of the past few years are further proof of the total moral breakdown in this country. Scandals in college athletics, politicians’ unfaithfulness, fraud, graf, payoffs, unlimited greed, crimes in high places. This is the result of the situational ethics, “I’m ok, you’re okay” trash that came out in the ’60’s and 70’s as our elected leaders and judges threw Biblical morality out. What we have today is the political correctness in which our leaders and even leaders of churches are afraid to speak out because they might offend someone. And of course, the result has been the decline of the family structure.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    @Delmar: Oh please…with all due respect, this kind of thing has been going on since the beginning of time…just because we get instant 24/7 news doesn’t mean that all the things we hear about haven’t happened before…oh, and one doesn’t have to be religious to be moral, spread the word…

  12. @Delmar:

    This and other events of the past few years are further proof of the total moral breakdown in this country.

    You’re right! At the rate we are going the Vice President might murder the Secretary of the Treasury or something.

    Indeed, before you know it, human beings will be owning human beings and women will be considered the property their husbands!

  13. JKB says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    If they were married or if such interaction is prohibited by the Secret Service, they are very susceptible to blackmail. They have intimate, operational, highly classified knowledge of Secret Service procedures for presidential security in general and specific to that location, that makes them prime targets for recruitment or compromise.

  14. @WR:

    It would help if you spelled Congressman Issa’s first name right.

    In any event. If you are refusing to admit that there aren’t serious security questions raised by this incident that Congress, as the elected representatives of the people, has a right to investigate, then it strikes me that you’re being unduly partisan

  15. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: There are security questions — I acknowledged that. But they have to do with the internal operations of the secret service, and have no bearing on whether or not Obama should be impeached, either for being a Democrat or being black. You know this, and you know the Republicans are trying to turn it into some kind of scandal that can and should hurt the administration, rather than an embarassing blemish on the secret service itself. And the fact that you are typo-picking like a troll tells me you know you have no actual argument to make.

    But I’m sorry if I spelled Issa’s first name wrong. It’s not “car thief,” it’s “probable car thief and major league slimy hypocrite.” If you want to go to war for a man who attacks the Obama administration for issuing commemorative coins while conveniently forgetting the two dozen times he back legislation issuing them for things he liked, well, have fun. But it seems to me the pleasure of pretending not to be a Republican is that you don’t have to stand up for their sleazeballs.

    And yet you choose to. I guess you’re just a bear for spelling.

  16. Tano says:

    Taking a whore, even an $800 one, into what is supposed to be a secure building is bad form. THAT’S what will get these guys disciplined.

    Why is this a problem so long as you do a thorough cavity search??

  17. Dazedandconfused says:

    What’s to fear from the R’s in congress? They going to accuse Obama of corrupting his own personal security detail? Unless Issa wants a CSPAN tape of all those guys citing the 5th and “we can’t discuss POTUS security procedures in public” over and over, and I’m not seeing any political advantage in that.

  18. michael reynolds says:

    It’s important, it’s just not political.

  19. G.A. says:

    You’re right! At the rate we are going the Vice President might murder the Secretary of the Treasury or something.

    Indeed, before you know it, human beings will be owning human beings and women will be considered the property their husbands!

    Sharia law here we come…

    This and other events of the past few years are further proof of the total moral breakdown in this country.

    lol, well I would say not total:)
    it is not like we have belligerent lawless mobs roaming the city streets who rape, murder, steal , and child molest while using drugs and crapping and peeing themselves….

  20. Davebo says:

    I think your attempt to demean the proper oversight role of Congress here is a bit premature.

    \

    Yes Doug. Because now that Reagan is dead it’s once again safe for you guys to claim that a president is responsible for all that occurs under his/her watch.

  21. There is a presidential election on France Sunday, there is a presidential campaign in Mexico, there were all kinds of discussion in Cartagena. I find embarassing that the American media is obsessed with prostitutes.