Moving a president or vice president around, especially in foreign countries, is a major logistical and communications operation. Both men must be in instant, highly-secure touch back home and with each other. And that requires significant advance preparations.
But traveling south of the border seems to be dangerous territory for American men on such details with the mobile White House protective details. You may remember a couple of Secret Service agents got in trouble in 2012 during President Obama’s trip to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas.
It seems they were checking out a local strip club and invited a woman back to the hotel for mutual consultations. A dispute erupted in their room over a $40 or $60 difference in fees. The woman, who was providing a legal service in Colombia, went to police. Things escalated. Embassy officials were summoned. They discovered 11 agents were consulting local females in their rooms. The agents were sent home. Eight were fired.
Now, it turns out, four members of the U.S. military in Panama recently to set up communications for Vice President Mike Pence’s visit were sent home. They were caught on hotel surveillance tapes taking women up to their rooms inside what is supposed to be a secure zone.
They were dispatched home immediately. The men, not the women.
The men were removed from the White House detail and an investigation is reportedly underway. “We can confirm that the individuals in question have been reassigned back to the Army and Air Force,” said Col. Patrick S. Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman.
Perhaps the men were taking mobile Spanish lessons. Learning about the Panama Canal expansion. Debating Kaepernick’s unemployment.
But not to worry. Some proper people may detect the appearance of impropriety — four men away from home in a foreign country traveling on a business trip, steering new female friends up to their hotel rooms without registering them at the front desk. But a military official assured NBC News there was no evidence that the women were prostitutes.