Department of State

Scandal Du Jour: State Department Accused of Interfering in Serious Misconduct Investigations

Accusations of sexual assault, consorting with prostitutes, and drug use

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"Why did the federal employee cross the road?"
Credit: Adam Crowe / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Are we risking scandal fatigue? The State Department isn't finished with the scandal over the way it handled the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but now a report claims the agency has other problems. CBS News has been leaked a memo accusing the State Department of blocking or manipulating investigations of misconduct by agency employees and contractors:

CBS News' John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General's memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut "engaged in sexual assaults" on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries" — a problem the report says was "endemic."

The memo also reveals details about an "underground drug ring" was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department's internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, "We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases."

In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General's investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is "very" upsetting.

It's doubtful this news can possibly overtake – or even match – the growing concern or outrage over the NSA's data-scooping activities. The story explains, though, that the final released report did not directly mention any of the specific cases detailed in this leaked early draft. If it weren't for Fedenisn providing the report to CBS News, the public still might not have known.

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  1. What difference at this point does it make?

  2. If it weren’t for Fedenisn providing the report to CBS News, the public still might not have known.

    I expect Elijah Cummings to prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law.

  3. The hits just keep on comin’!

  4. I just hope this doesn’t interfere with any of Michelle’s trips with the girls.

    1. You mean the trial separation extended vacation?

  5. …members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries”…

    …an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad…

    Maybe the Department of State is simply populated with libertarians.

    1. Nah. Libertarians would revoke the policies. These guys just think the law should only apply to the “little people”.

      1. Fedenisn. Almost a combination of federal and hedonism. Fedonism.

  6. DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off

    OK, this one sounds relatively easy.

    “Agent Jones, I remind you that you are still under oath. Now, what are the names of the senior State Department officials who told you to back off?”

    1. Agent Jones’ agent’s oath doesn’t require him to tell the truth.

      1. “And, Agent Jones, please show us that all your fingers are uncrossed.”

      2. Oath for sworn testimony, not oath of office. This oath is used for both testimony in court and testimony before congress.

        “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

        1. “The truth is what I say it is.”

          /Agent Smith

  7. John Miller of CBS, have we introduced you to James Rosen of Fox?

    1. They’ll share a cell.

    2. this is the John Miller who worked for the LAPD and FBI in their p.r. departments. I am glad he is reporting stories like this, but he was part of the problem.

  8. Wow. The media stops doing its job, but the IGs are just picking up the slack. Being an IG must be a completely thankless job. I’m sure that everyone who is aware of their existence hates them.

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