hotel caribe, columbia, secret service

<rant>

It makes my stomach turn.

By now, I hope you’ve heard something about the Secret Service’ s little sex scandal in Columbia. In case you haven’t, let me give you the quick version…

A team of Secret Service agents and other military personnel arrive in Cartagena, Columbia in preparation for a President Obama‘s visit to meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to talk about trade and other pressing matters. Before the POTUS arrives, a dispute breaks out in the hotel where the agents and servicemen are staying. The result… 11 Secret Service agents and 10 military members (5 from the Army Special Forces, 2 Marines, 2 Navy bomb removal specialists, and 1 Air Force member) caught in the middle of a sex scandal with 20 or 21 women (many of whom are prostitutes).

Yeah, bad move.

Everyone is talking about the potential security issues, and a few are even talking about the morality of it all (thinking about how many of these men are likely married).

Even fewer are talking about the possibility of some of these (prostitute) women being victims of human trafficking, forced into this lifestyle by someone else.

But to me the biggest problem is how widespread this problem really is. The investigation and news cameras will focus on what happened at the Hotel Caribe as if it were an isolated incident.

But I’m not buying it.

I have a hard time believing that a handful of otherwise saintly government employees decided to do something that’s never been done before, and somehow found themselves in the middle of this unexpected mess.

I know this because before I was a Christian, I served overseas in the military. I know what that life is like. I’ve walked down Whisper Alley in Okinawa. I know how a big part of the prostitution market in other countries where we have military bases caters to the American servicemen deployed there.

Human trafficking isn’t a problem unless there are customers there to pay for the services these women are forced provide.

And what’s happening in Columbia is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

I have a crazy feeling that the meeting between President Obama and President Santos had a strange cloud hanging over it. I’m sure there was an elephant in the room that may have hindered the conversations. Why is that?

Respect.

Or lack thereof.

That’s our biggest problem with this whole thing. This one is the one that blew up and created an international scandal. But right now, all around the world, there are other agents and servicemen who are disrespecting their host nations by supporting the human trafficking sex industry.

I’m sure that the men involved with this incident in Columbia will be appropriately punished. But the silence about prostitution activity everywhere else is deafening.

THAT is what makes me sick.

“I can speak for myself and … my fellow chiefs, we’re embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia,” Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference. “Several of our members distracted the issue from what was a very important regional engagement for our president.”

“We let the boss down,” Dempsey said. (Source: FoxNews.com)

You got that right Gen. Dempsey. Now what are you going to do to make sure that it doesn’t ever happen again… anywhere?

</rant>

Sign the petition at Change.org to ask the State Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff to stop military use of prostitutes in foreign countries.

“Modern slavery – be it bonded labor, involuntary servitude, or sexual slavery – is a crime and cannot be tolerated in any culture, community, or country … [It] is an affront to our values and our commitment to human rights.”

– Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

from Dan King: Christ-follower. husband. father. corporate training development guru. school of ministry and missions instructor. social media editor for thehighcalling.org. blogger at bibledude.net. co-founder and media director for the activistfaith.org movement. social media director for help end local poverty. Originally posted here.

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