As the fallout from the Secret Service prostitution scandal that broke last week continues, more facts are surfacing about the 11 service agents who are accused of bringing as many as 20 prostitutes to a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, just days before President Obama arrived to take part in the annual Summit of the Americas. Three agents have already been ousted, while more resignations and firings are expected. Here, the 10 buzziest details to emerge about the scandal over the past week:
1. The club where the agents partied is essentially a brothel
Before allegedly bringing a "harem of hookers" back to the Hotel Caribe, the implicated Secret Service agents spent the night partying at Cartagena's Pley Club, which New York's Daily News describes as a venue where "scantily clad women do dirty dances and brazenly sell their bodies." It's a one-story windowless brick building with a "cheesy neon sign" outside and dancing poles and flashing laser lights inside. See pictures here.
2. There are showers on the dance floor
The Pley Club features raised platforms on which girls dance for patrons seated below. In one corner, there's a shower where dancers perform. The men reportedly bragged to the prostitutes that they were in the city to protect the President. They swilled beer and whiskey that cost up to $84 for bottle service. "The gringos got rowdy at the bar," one club worker told a local Cartagena newspaper. "They drank fine whiskey and slept with the prettiest ones, the ones that charge 300,000 pesos (about $180)."
3. One agent trashed his hotel room
Angered by a prostitute's fee demand, at least one agent threw a "room-thrashing tantrum," the Daily News reports, tossing chairs and tables around. When the hotel staff arrived to investigate the debauchery, his comrades began pulling out their badges and shouted, "Look, look who we are!"
4. Two of the ousted men have been identified
Thus far, three Secret Service personnel have lost their jobs due to the prostitution scandal. Two have been identified, though the Department of Homeland Security has yet to confirm their identities. David Randall Chaney, 48, was a supervisor in the Service's international programs division, says The Washington Post. The other ousted supervisor, Greg Stokes, was the assistant special agent in charge of the K-9 division. They both had been in the service for nearly two decades, and had served time in the past with the presidential protection detail.
5. One was on Sarah Palin's '08 security detail
Chaney spent time on Sarah Palin's security detail when she was Sen. John McCain's running mate during the 2008 presidential campaign. He posted photos of himself on the job on his Facebook page, including one that shows him standing behind Palin in '08, with the comment, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?" Palin responded to the comment Thursday night on Fox News, quipping, "Well, check this out, buddy — you're fired!" Chaney, who is married with an adult son, also posted Facebook photos of himself being kissed by two girls and eating dinner next to a belly dancer.
6. The escort at the center of the scandal has also been identified
Photos emerged Thursday of the Colombian call girl who arguably launched the entire scandal by provoking the room-trashing agent with her price demands. The pictures of Dania Londono Suarez, age 24, in barely-there bikinis and posing suggestively, were pulled from her Facebook page. She's from an upscale neighborhood in Cartagena, and her neighbors were shocked to learn about her nighttime profession. "She didn't look like someone who was into that kind of lifestyle, one tells The New York Post. Suarez insists she is a high-end escort, not a run-of-the-mill prostitute.
7. She never was paid the full amount
Suarez expected $800 in cash for her tryst with the unidentified agent. He offered her just $30, they argued and, after hotel staff intervened, she ultimately complained to the police, who in turn contacted government officials. In the end, says The New York Post, Suarez settled for $225.
8. The agents violated top-secret security clearance
Any married agent who hired a prostitute would have violated top-secret security clearances, says Ronald Kessler at Newsmax. A proven extra-marital affair is grounds for revoking that clearance, and "most" of the 11 agents involved are married.
9. The prostitutes are being investigated for terror ties
While they were in the agents' hotel rooms, the prostitutes could have accessed the men's BlackBerry phones, which contained the President's schedule, maps, and other top-secret information, reports the Daily News. As such, the Secret Service is conducting background checks on the women to ensure they have no ties to terrorists or drug traffickers.
10. It's not just the Secret Service
In addition to the 11 Secret Service agents under investigation for their involvement in the prostitution scandal, 10 U.S. military service members are implicated, according to Fox News. The Pentagon is investigating their cases separately. It's expected that each of the 21 men brought a prostitute back to his room. More than 23 women may have been involved.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Don't vote for Andrew Cuomo
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- How The Killing survived two cancellations and ended on its own terms
Subscribe to the Week