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Secret Service scandal now involves US military, prompts investigations

Secret Service agents and US military members are being investigated for alleged involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, site of the 33-nation Summit of the Americas conference.

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President Barack Obama walks with Secret Service agents to greet well wishers upon his arrival in Tampa, Florida, on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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So far at least, the episode involving US Secret Service agents and prostitutes at a summit meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, seems to be no more than an embarrassment for an organization whose image is buttoned-down and highly professional, filled with stern-looking men willing to “take a bullet” for the president and other high-ranking officials.

While details remain sketchy, agency and White House officials insist that no security breaches occurred nor has the situation interfered with President Obama’s work at the 33-nation Summit of the Americas conference.

“Our focus here and the president’s focus continues to be on the meetings he’s having,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters covering the meeting. "The president does have full confidence in the United States Secret Service.”

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Still, more details have emerged, including the apparent involvement in inappropriate behavior of several US military members, five of whom have been confined to quarters in Colombia.

Gen. Douglas Fraser, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said he was "disappointed by the entire incident" and said the behavior was "not in keeping with the professional standards expected of members of the United States military."

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