McCain: Pentagon stonewalling on Colombia probe


(CBS News) -- The Pentagon is stonewalling Congress surrounding the investigation of military officials involved in the prostitution scandal surrounding President Obama's recent trip to Colombia, Arizona Sen. John McCain charged Thursday.

"This could be, and I emphasize the word could, be a situation where national security could have been compromised," McCain said in an interview with "CBS This Morning."

At least eight Secret Service officials have lost their jobs in the wake of revelations that some agents had been partying with prostitutes in Cartagena just ahead of Mr. Obama's arrival in Colombia. Another was stripped of his security clearance and three more were cleared of wrongdoing.

Another dozen military personnel are also being investigated but no decisions about their fate have been made public.

McCain said Congress needs to know what happened because if there are "security problems we need to address it and we need to address it quickly."

The Arizona lawmaker praised Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, and Secret Service director Mark Sullivan for their swift action regarding the individuals under their supervision. That is in sharp contrast to officials from the Pentagon, who have "completely stonewalled, using the excuse that a Uniform Code of Military Justice, as you know that is the military law, somehow is a barrier to us receiving information," he said.

McCain said a recent briefing for lawmakers on the matter did not shed any new light on the situation.

"This admiral and general that came up to brief us didn't even know when the president arrived in Cartagena and I am not making that up. They didn't know whether the head of the joint task force was in the United States or Cartagena. Charlie, I have been in thousands of briefings, I have never been in any one quite as stonewalling as this one was," McCain told host Charlie Rose, referring to a Wednesday briefing on Capitol Hill with Vice Admiral William Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, and Brigadier General Richard Gross, a legal adviser to the Joint Staff.

To see the McCain interview, done by "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Charlie Rose and Erica Hill, click on the video in the player above.