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Cablegate: Senator John Mccain's Request for Embassy Assistance For

VZCZCXYZ0006
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #2105/01 1631608
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111608Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3129
INFO RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 2471
RUCNSE/US SECRET SERVICE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BOGOTA 002105

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/AND AND L/ETHICS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP MCCAIN JOHN APER ASEC CO
SUBJECT: SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN'S REQUEST FOR EMBASSY ASSISTANCE FOR
JULY 1-2 TRIP TO COLOMBIA

REF: SECSTATE 50554

1. (SBU) Summary and Action Request: Senator John McCain's Senate
office informed Post on June 10, 2008 that the Senator intends to
visit Cartagena, Colombia at GOC invitation from July 1-2, 2008.
The office classifies the visit as a "campaign trip" not a CODEL.
The Senator's office, dealing directly with the GOC on scheduling,
suggested Post support in the areas of security, press, and an
Embassy briefing. Post seeks approval and guidance from Washington
to assist the Senator's office per reftel. End Summary and Action
Request.

2. (SBU) Senator McCain intends to visit Cartagena, Colombia from
July 1-2, 2008. The Senator's office classifies this trip as
campaign related, not a CODEL, and provided the following tentative
schedule:

Tuesday, July 1
---------------

1730 Wheels down Cartagena, Colombia

1900 Private dinner hosted by President Uribe with several --
members of his government

Wednesday, July 2
-----------------

a.m. Breakfast or meeting with the Foreign Minister

a.m. Tour the Port of Cartagena and ride in a Midnight
-- Express anti-drug fast boat operated by the Colombian -- Navy

a.m. Press conference

Noon Lunch with the US-Colombian business community

1400 Wheels up

REQUESTED EMBASSY SUPPORT
-------------------------

3. (SBU) The Senator's office says it will accept whatever
determinations are made by the Department of State's L/Ethics office
and White House Counsel, in accordance with reftel. The Senator's
office suggested Embassy support in three areas:

a. Security. The United States Secret Service (USSS) provides
security for the Senator. The USSS Attache in Bogota is already
working with the other relevant USSS offices and detail. Security
appears to fall under the exception found in paragraph 6 of reftel
and could also encompass airport assistance, hotel lodging support,
and transportation.

EMBASSY RECOMMENDATION: The Department of State and White House
authorize the Embassy to provide any support requested by the USSS
related to security, including airport services, lodging, and
transportation, subject to full reimbursement by the McCain
Campaign.

b. Press. The McCain Campaign's interest in press assistance
falls into three general categories related to a press conference:
identifying, inviting, and screening Colombian and international
media; arranging for a press conference site; and providing
equipment and operators for a press conference. Such support would
require moving both personnel and equipment to Cartagena from
Bogota.

EMBASSY RECOMMENDATION: The Department of State and White House
authorize the Embassy to provide support in screening media and
obtaining a press conference site, tied to the security exception in
reftel and subject to full reimbursement by McCain Campaign. The
Embassy can provide equipment and operators if so authorized by the
Department of State and White House, with full McCain Campaign
reimbursement.

c. Embassy briefing. The McCain Campaign suggests the Ambassador
brief the Senator on Colombia issues at the start of the visit.
President Uribe will likely invite the Ambassador to his dinner on
July 1 and will state that the dinner is private in nature and
limited to members of his government.

EMBASSY RECOMMENDATION: The Department of State and White House
authorize the Ambassador to meet the Senator on arrival in
Cartagena, provide the standard CODEL briefing prior to the dinner,
and accept President Uribe's invitation to the private dinner with
members of his government. The Ambassador does not plan to
participate in any public events beyond arrival at the airport,

plans to avoid all public commentary during the visit, and does not
plan to participate in any events on July 2, unless otherwise
instructed.

4. (SBU) The Embassy would offer the same recommendations and
services to the presidential campaign of any other major candidate.
As we are less than three weeks away from this visit, we request
Department guidance as soon as possible.

BROWNFIELD

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