Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

Secret Service Interviews 28 in San Salvador, Strippers Bombshell a Dud?

On April 26, we blogged about the escándalo prostitutas in Colombia which appeared to spread to Brasilia and El Salvador (see Secret Service Scandal Slides Over Embassy Gate, Creeps into US Embassy Brasilia, US Embassy San Salvador and the Where Else Bar).

Then there was that claim from Seattle’s Kirotv.com, an “exclusive” about strippers and the Secret Service advance team (snipers, K-9 and explosives sweeps) in San Salvador prior to President Obama’s trip there in March of 2011.  It was an annoying, rather empty drip, drip, drip news focused on alleged visits to the Lips Strip Club in San Salvador.

Well, now the owner of the business purportedly patronized by Secret Service agents in San Salvador had given a sworn written statement to USSS investigators that “he had no knowledge or any other information that any Secret Service personnel had been to his business” and that “at no time had he told anyone that Secret Service personnel had ever been to his place of business.”

Below is an excerpt from Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan’s statement for the record at the May 23, 2012 hearing before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate:

In the midst of our internal investigation, allegations were made that similar misconduct may have occurred in other foreign countries on previous protective assignments. Specifically, allegations were made that Secret Service personnel had been involved in misconduct in San Salvador, El Salvador in March 2011. Although, no case of similar misconduct had been reported to our RES, I directed Secret Service Inspectors to travel to San Salvador, El Salvador to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations made. After several days in San Salvador ‘and conducting 28 interviews with hotel managers and employees, individuals from the U.S. Department of State, other government agencies and contract employees assigned to assist the Secret Service with the visit, no evidence was found to substantiate the allegations.

During our investigation in San Salvador several hotel managers and employees were interviewed, along with individuals from the U.S. Department of State and other government agencies. During those interviews, none of the 28 people interviewed had any personal knowledge, records or any other information to indicate that Secret Service personnel had been involved in misconduct while in San Salvador, El Salvador in March of 201 1.

Additionally, while Secret Service Inspectors were in San Salvador they interviewed the owner of a business where purportedly Secret Service personnel had been involved in misconduct. The owner of the business provided a sworn written statement that he had no knowledge or any other information that any Secret Service personnel had been to his business or information about misconduct by Secret Service personnel. This individual informed Secret Service Inspectors that at no time had he told anyone that Secret Service personnel had ever been to his place of business.

Not sure if USSS investigators also interviewed the individual called by kirotv a whistleblower. But unless kirotv has more than pictures of half naked dancing girls, or complaints for non-payment of services rendered, that bombshell from El Salvador is probably not going to stick much.

Domani Spero

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Filed under Americans Abroad, Countries 'n Regions, Foreign Service, Leaks|Controversies, State Department, U.S. Missions

Photo of the Day: Persons of interest, friends, frenemies, lend me your ears, and irises, too

A paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team uses a Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment, or HIIDE, system to scan the iris of a local national May 4, 2012, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Ubiquitous among American troops, the equipment is used to identify persons of interest. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)

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Filed under Afghanistan, Defense Department, Photo of the Day