A general view of the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia. U.S. secret service… (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty…)
Reporting from Washington — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) continued his hard line on the Secret Service on Monday, following the scandal that emerged from Colombia during the weekend, contending that the alleged actions of the agents is a betrayal of their country.
Issa, the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has already pledged to monitor the allegations that members of the Secret Service and U.S. military were caught with prostitutes during preparations for President Barack Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas.
“This story is larger than 11 individuals, it’s part of what has been told to us as a pattern of behavior that’s built up, so-called wheels-up parties and the like,” Issa said during an appearance on “CBS This Morning.”
“Our role is primarily not to be the direct investigators, but to verify that the investigation, what the president is calling ‘rigorous’ is done, and that there are corrective actions done there,” Issa said of his continued involvement.
"What we're concerned about is that failure today can lead to blackmail five, 10, 20 years from now. People who have basically betrayed their country in the past have normally started off thinking rather benignly. If you think of how you get somebody to do something wrong, you do it incrementally,” Issa said.
“In 10 years from now, will that behavior change because they've moved up in rank? I don't think it will,” he concluded.
President Obama responded to the allegations Sunday, asserting that he wouldn’t pass judgment until the investigation was complete.
"My attitude with respect to the Secret Service personnel is no different than I expect out of my delegation sitting here. We're representing the people of the United States," he said. "And that means that we conduct ourselves with the utmost dignity and probity."
The Secret Service members involved were not part of the Presidential Protective Division. They were instead special agents and Uniformed Division officers who were on the ground in advance of the president’s arrival.
Original source: Rep. issa: Secret Service scandal could ‘lead to blackmail’ [video]