Eleven Secret Service employees were on administrative leave for misconduct and five service members assigned to work with the Secret Service were confined to quarters amid allegations involving prostitutes and heavy drinking. The Secret Service and the U.S. Southern Command said the misconduct occurred at their hotel in Cartagena before Obama arrived in the Caribbean city on Friday.
Waiters interviewed by The Associated Press described the agents as drinking heavily during their stay.
For Obama, this scandal is particularly piercing because it goes against type.
When his trip to Brazil and Chile in March 2011 was overwhelmed by U.S. bombing over Libya, it displayed strength even as he carried out a military act from abroad. A live microphone in Cannes captured him and French President Nicholas Sarkozy discussing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with Sarkozy confiding he couldn't stand working with the Israeli leader. But while briefly embarrassing it wasn't wholly revelatory.
Associated Press writers Frank Bajak and Jim Kuhnhenn in Colombia contributed to this report.
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