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Asking the Wrong Question about Secret Service and Prostitution

We’ve just had a best-selling three-volume novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/Who Played with Fire/Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, now a major motion picture, about sex trafficking – a brutal crime in which women are enslaved, brutalized, and sometimes killed. Yet no one seems to be asking about the women in the Cartagena sex scandal.

The New York Times story focuses almost exclusively on whether the prostitutes are a threat to the President’s security. The women themselves are treated as cheerful entrepeneurs, hoping that the publicity will bring in more business. Maybe so – but shouldn’t they at least be asking whether the women are being subjugated and exploited?

The Washington Post’s story¬†does at least ask whether any of the women were minors (no, they say). And the Post does mention trafficking, but only as a reason for the State Department regulation that “employees should not in any way abet sex trafficking or solicit people in prostitution.”

No one seems to be asking whether these 20 or 21 women were the victims of trafficking, and whether that trafficking was “abetted” by the Secret Service and military personnel involved in this scandal. They should be.

1 Comment »

One Response to “Asking the Wrong Question about Secret Service and Prostitution”

  1. John Berg on 29 Apr 2012 at 6:07 am #

    The other day I spoke to an expert on sex trafficking who was familiar with this case. She said that sex trafficking was not involved in this incident; prostitution is legal in Colombia, and all the women involved were registered, and regarded their participation as voluntary. I think the media should have reported this finding, but I’m glad to hear that the investigating authorities did consider the trafficking issue.

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