April 16th, 2012
07:15 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Secret Service may have had a few secrets of its own

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Eleven Secret Service members have had their security clearances yanked during an investigation into allegations that they brought prostitutes to a Colombian hotel before a presidential visit to the country, government officials with knowledge of the investigation said Monday. Readers can't stop talking about this story, in part because it involves two favorite topics: Politics and sex.

Secret Service clearances yanked in Colombia probe

There was a bit of outrage from several. This reader said the Secret Service must fight temptation.

Brad76: "When your job is protecting the president of the United States of America, you can't be doing that. I can understand the allure of beautiful women. However, they are supposed to be professionals."

U.S. Rep. Peter King, Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said one of the prostitutes told a hotel manager that "they owed her money." The agents and officers involved range in experience from relative newcomers to nearly 20-year veterans.

Some readers said if agents do indeed want to buy services, they should make sure they pay for them.

barlowdm: "How stupid do you have to be to not pay your prostitute what is owed her when you are a member of the Secret Service. He has some 'splaining' to do ... to the other agents who did what they needed to do to keep their sexual excursions secret. I wonder if he was one of the 'relative newcomers.' "

But others were concerned about security risks.

MidwestKris: "Their actions have cost them their security clearances, and security clearances are a requirement of the job. Such activities leave them potentially open to blackmail. Just imagine if one of them were told, 'Give us information on the movements of the president his security guards as they leave the building or we'll send pictures to your wife and kids ...' And while that might not happen this time, what if next time it is a deliberate plant? They have security clearance because they have highly classified information, and they have just shown they cannot be trusted. They jeopardize not only the president, or any person they have been assigned to protect, but also their fellow team members."

But then, why the big deal? After all, some noted, sex scandals are nothing new in the political world.

Grog: "So how is what the Secret Service did any different than what they have watched over with presidents from JFK to Clinton?"

LabCab1652: "Especially Bill Clinton ... cigar man!"

In making a similar comparison, this reader and others indicated they don't think prostitution should be against the law.

14droad: "Consensual sex without pay is not illegal, prostitution is, so do not compare the two. Having said that, prostitution should not be illegal and boys will be boys. So long as two adults are in agreement of the terms, it should not be anyone else's business. But, the right-wing nuts think it's a 'moral' issue."

Speaking of political leanings, some of the commenters speculated a bit.

AzWildcat: "Had to be right-wing Secret Service types. Hire a prostitute? Check. Not pay her? Check. Lie about it afterwards? Check."

50mike58: "Had to be a liberal agent wanting a pro, then wanting someone else to pay for it."

And of course, not unexpectedly, there were a few puns flying around.

pigmore: "Should be referred to as The Secret Servicing."

And now, what's your take? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

Post by:
Filed under: Barack Obama • Colombia • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Security
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. ♚Mmmmm♛

    i how much of these illicit services was purchased with govt issued daily allowances or govt credit cards...abolish all govt credit cards...!

    April 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. _ Secret Squirrel _

    "Secret Service gets clearences yanked" How Freudian is that?

    April 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Thhat's a slip and a half!

      April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honey

      its such an amount of bs, secret service agents – really? why now? obama is a communist our country is headed for a large fall, first remove this Unamerican from the oval office,

      April 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. hamsta

    is this a surprise?the obama administration is full of half truths, lies, scandals and criminal activity.im sure he will blame bush,the tea party or republicans if not all three.the blame card is just as played out as the race card.

    April 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Some needs a hug.
      Or a nap.
      Or both.

      April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honey

      serioously, what kind of diversion tactic is this? the secret service? really? I just got an RFP from one of the major government contractors at apg from offutt afb, for our new chemical and biological weapons. now why are we reducing nuclear arms but in fact we have or are now expanding our chemical and biological weapons, ft detrick is expanding? this is very scary stuff, not what the secret service is doing which is probably some made up exaggerated amount of bs, when in fact offutt afb is requesting the further development of this weaponry?? anyone that knows my posts may recall that along with weather modification i was told by an apg contractor with a clearance that the apocalypse is still not here – yet, we know they have the delivery systems from the planes that they are spraying our skies with now. Offutt AFB??? now this is some scary stuff, why it landed on my desk right in front of my eyes ??

      April 16, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. raven

    Whoops!! "services" performed ain't so "secret"... Bet those veteran agents are thinking " I KNEW we shoulda left that rookie at home!"

    April 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ♚Mmmmm♛

      lol...I don't know why they should have any rookie regrets they are the ones that trained the man or modeled that behavior before him...who would be so comfortable to bring pros t!ts toots on the job for services...

      April 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hamsta

    Maybe they went to one of those gsa training seminars to learn the best ways to waste the taxpayers money.dont forget this is all being done by the obama administration.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Sure, because those veterans were all hired by Obama, right?
      See all those dust storms?
      You guessed it.
      Obama's Weather Machine.
      Bwa ha ha ha ha!

      April 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    We are the USA, not some dark alley in Las Vegas. Fire every agent who stole our time to pimp ho's, and if he wasted more than two hundred tax dollars on the clock, charge them with not only defrauding the US TAXPAYER, make it a felony.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    ...or is this where we stop judging so as not to be judged.
    Imagine going through life thinking you shouldn't judge people for fear of you too being held to that same high standard. Easy peasey. Raise your standards or put a cork in it.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    @hamsta. In case you didn't notice, most of the same people who were in the federal government during the Bush administrations are still there. Congresspersons, federal judges, military commanders, etc etc etc. Put these 'glasses' on, and look at it from this angle.
    We are the USA, not a monarchy. The sitting president is not the King to blame.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    The work of the lovely ladies of the night should be completely legal. I consider their skills an honourable profession.
    It is immoral not to pay bills.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    No one can judge me any more harsh than I judge myself.I have no problem admitting my faults, shortcomings and failures. I'm guilt ridden by nature. I do "put a cork in it" when it comes to judging others,not because I'm noble or because I'm afraid to be judged.I just know there are plenty of people more than willing to pass judgment. In fact, they get off on passing judgment.Like I said, I'm imperfect, sometimes I AM judgmental...but I'd rather not be one who gets off on it.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. citizen

    Buying services behind your wife's back. By today's standards this is apparently ok.
    What did we learn.
    The week before the president travels to a foreign country a security team of twenty five will show up at the local five star hotel and stay up all night getting drunk.
    Twenty five because hypothetically five agents just would never engage in this behavior.
    How dumb is that? We shouldn't know any of this. Besides that, the most trusted law enforcement agency in our land has broken the faith with the President and the people.
    The scope and volume of the incident suggests our belief in the elite unit was another false narrative of American values.

    April 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mary

    I know who really cares for me by the way they go on "sharpening" me.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. citizen

    It is ok to pass judgment on these agents if the allegations are true. We spend a ton of money on training these people. They have a serious task and should rightly be held to a higher standard not an average standard.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    What *standard* ?
    Mans standard or Gods standard ?

    April 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    These agents, if convicted, are guilty of defrauding the taxpayer, Joey. Taxpayers paid for a secret service, not pimps. No matter your view of legal brothels, it's fraud and should be dealt with. We can print more money, we can't print more time. Those agents were on the taxpayers time clock. Punch 'em out and prosecute them for fraud.

    April 16, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
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