Colombia’s Top Diplomat: Obama Must Apologize for Damaging Our Reputation

Friday, 27 Apr 2012 12:15 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Colombia’s top diplomat to the United States is calling on President Barack Obama to issue a public apology over the Secret Service prostitution scandal that has already cost a number of agents their jobs and earned them the moniker “knuckleheads” from the president.

Gabriel Silva tells Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that he believes the apology is warranted even though prostitution is legal in Cartagena. “It is necessary, and I want to hear it from the White House,” he insisted in the interview as reported by the New York Daily News.

The ambassador described as “unfair” and “superficial, sensationalist” the portrayal of Cartagena by U.S. media organizations in the United States.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan has been widely praised for his handling of the growing scandal involving agents during a recent presidential trip to Colombia.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” former White House adviser Karl Rove said that Sullivan had “moved aggressively and appropriately” in investigating the incident, and that he was an “enormously able individual.”

Rep. Peter King, chair of the House Homeland Security committee has also praised Sullivan, as has Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. President Obama has expressed full confidence in Sullivan.

Eleven Secret Service agents were originally linked to a night of partying in the coastal city of Cartagena on April 11-12. Six have left the agency over the scandal.

A 12th employee was reportedly implicated in the probe and another was cleared of "serious misconduct" in Cartagena but will face administrative action.

“A more clear expression of remorse is required to protect the reputation of Cartagena,” demanded Silva, according to the Daily News.


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