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Cablegate: Clarification On News Story Regarding Secret

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS MADRID 002259

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR DS/DSS/IP, DS/IP/EUR, EUR/EX, PARIS FOR USSS MANNY
FERNANDEZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC
SUBJECT: CLARIFICATION ON NEWS STORY REGARDING SECRET
SERVICE INCIDENT WHILE ON JENNA BUSH PROTECTIVE DETAIL IN
SOUTHERN SPAIN

1. News articles have just been released relating to an
incident that occurred in the southern town of Tarifa, Spain,
on June 10, at 1630 hours, between several organized crime
street criminals and two Secret Service Agents who were
working a protective detail on President Bush's daughter
Jenna. The facts have been misrepresented in the local press
and the following are the correct salient details regarding
the incident.

2. While USSS Agents were attempting to keep their
appropriately remote but responsive distance from the
vacationing Ms. Bush, a couple of them took up a vantage
point at a sidewalk cafe. One Agent's cell phone was on the
table when three thugs in their early twenties sauntered by
and picked up his phone and began to walk away assuming that
they were impressively intimidating enough to prevent the
Agent from coming after his phone. It was later learned that
these youth were part of an organized gang that demanded
protection money from local vendors and ruled the small area
with fear. The Secret Service Agent immediately went after
his necessary means of communication. The three youth faced
him down and challenged his demand for his cell phone. A
scuffle ensued which led to the two USSS Agents demonstrating
their superior resolve and capability, the recovery of the
cell phone, and a bloody nose and lip for the leader of the
pack. In addition, one of the gang members was thrown into
the side of a car and crumpled the metal. At one point, one
Agent's weapon holster came unsnapped and the handgun fell
onto the street. The Agent quickly recovered it and
re-snapped it in his holster. The handgun was never pointed
at anyone nor used to intimidate. The police were called.
The gang returned shortly thereafter with a fourth member and
hand-made batons. The two USSS Agents were still present and
before the next scuffle could evolve, the police arrived and
arrested the youth gang.

3. As is customary, the police wanted to take the USSS
Agents in for questioning as well, but Ms. Bush, who was
completely unaware that anything had occurred, was beginning
to change locations and the Agents needed to continue their
work. The RSO office had provided an FSNI, Juan Diaz, to act
as liaison on this detail and moments like this are when a
great FSNI really pays off. Juan used his previous police
experience and contacts to convince the police to deal with
the gang members only and to allow the Agents to go about
their job. Those police will be properly thanked by the RSO
office. As the USSS Agents began to leave, vendors from the
area and some general public came up to them to offer their
appreciation and thanks for standing up against this group
who had been terrorizing them.

4. It was impractical for the Agents to stay and press
charges against the gang since they would not be in Spain two
months later for the court hearing. However, the man who
owned the car with the crushed side did file a police
complaint against the thugs. In summary, first, Jenna Bush
was completely uninvolved and unaware that it even occurred
until later. Second, all Agents acted professionally and
with restraint and deserve congratulations. Third, the gun
was never drawn against anyone including the criminals
because the situation did not call for it. It was
unfortunate that the gang chose the wrong person to steal
from but it was in no way instigated or amplified by the USSS
Agents. There are several versions to this incident in
different papers all looking to make their dramatic mark but
these are the facts.
ARGYROS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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