US
(Source: Wikimedia.org) (Source: Wikimedia.org)  

State Department memo reveals manipulated investigations

In order to avoid scandal, the State Department allegedly altered or dismissed investigations into illegal behavior of multiple government officials worldwide, including the sexual exploits of an American ambassador, CBS reported Monday.

A memo obtained by CBS from the State Department inspector general identified eight separate cases of illegal behavior where investigations were manipulated or called off.

In one case, a cover-up saved the career of a US ambassador in a sensitive diplomatic post believed to be propositioning prostitutes. According to a memo from the inspector general’s 2011 investigation, the ambassador “routinely ditched his protective security detail” in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes” in a park.

According to CBS sources, he flew to Washington to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but afterwards returned to his post.

In Baghdad, an “underground drug ring” allegedly supplied drugs to State Department security contractors. In Beirut, members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s former security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries.”

Cases like these are generally investigated by the Diplomatic Security Service, the State Department’s internal security force. Instead, according to DSS agents investigated by the inspector general, higher-ups told them to back off.

Retired DSS agent Mike Pohelitz told CBS that he was told to stop investigating one of the cases mentioned in the memo through his DSS channel. He believes that these orders likely came from someone higher than the DSS.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former inspector general agent, was part of a team that prepared a report on the on-going interferences. When shown a draft of the report, Fedenisn said one State Department official told her “this is going to kill us.” In the final version of the report, citations of specific examples were removed.

Fedenisn told CBS “my heart really went out to the agents in that office, because they really want to do the right thing, they want to investigate the cases fully, correctly, accurately … and they can’t.”