–Broken links reinserted–
Those beer dicks in the Secret Service could and should have avoided the international embarrassment of “forced diplomatic intervention” that at least one Columbian pimp resorted to when denied payment. Who cares that prostitution is legal in Columbia, you puffed-up jocks: you hire a hooker, you still have to pay the hooker.
Forget about integrity or honor, good behavior, credibility, or even operational security or diplomatic bearing. Just be a decent human being and pay the person who gave you the Wet Monkey Wrench of your life. Not many of ‘em are in this for fun, after all. Now, if you’re in Columbia and you default on your blowjob “balance due,” you’d best hope you can find that kindly official at the U.S. Embassy who will release State Department petty cash funds to keep your ass out of trouble. Oh, yeah, back in ’98 some Marines beat up a prostitute for objecting to non-payment for services rendered, and she went to the Embassy to ask for medical reimbursement for her injuries and loss of work. Why not, right? Under Columbian law in some places her job is seen as equal to that of a waitress or a mechanic. At any rate, according to The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, the Embassy official offered to pay the woman off to keep her quiet about the whole thing. (UPDATE: The preceding dead-link was a UPI item dated, 20 January, 1998 – what a surprise that the page would vanish in the wake of these events.)
In the current case, members of a Secret Service “Advance Team” providing presidential protection for the Summit of the Americas allegedly refused to pay an employee for prostitutes sent to their room at Cartagena’s Hotel Caribe, and that’s as far as it got. (At least down there…)
It’ll be interesting to learn what these Team America action heros’ might use as an excuse for thier obnoxious misconduct. Isn’t it enough that – due largely to our cocaine habit – we spent the last decades engaged in a paternalistic and dismissive relationship with Colombia, helping to underwrite their destructive narco-war? And now that we feel “safe” in Colombia again (unlike in much of Mexico), our South America neighbor can be exploited as a pleasure paradise instead? Why, it’s a regular pre-Castro Cuba! To hell with their culture and rules, this is our backyard.
P.S. It depresses me that ultimately a Colombian hotel pimp will have brought down a dozen Secret Service guys (or more) by the time this mess leaves its news cycle.