CBS News: State Department covered up misconduct, interfered with IG probes

With apologies to Sheriff John* and “The Birthday Party Polka,” it’s time to sing the Scandal Song: Put another candle on the scandal cake … another week starts today.  CBS News reports that the State Department has interfered in internal investigations into criminal conduct and wrongdoing by high-ranking officials, including one ambassador who prowled public parks for prostitutes.  A very familiar name appears in this exposé, too:


CBS News has uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks.

The Diplomatic Security Service, or the DSS, is the State Department’s security force, charged with protecting the secretary of state and U.S. ambassadors overseas and with investigating any cases of misconduct on the part of the 70,000 State Department employees worldwide.

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.”

And here’s a good way to exercise diplomacy in a critical theater — allow your personnel to get strung out on drugs:

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.

What did Foggy Botton do when the allegations came to light?  The case of the prostitute-patronizing ambassador ends up involving Patrick Kennedy, a familiar name from the Benghazi scandal and cover-up:

In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detai” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

Remember that State Department whistleblower Eric Nordstrom publicly rejected the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi, claiming that it purposefully pushed responsibility onto lower-level careerists, and specifically charged that the ARB was trying to protect Kennedy at a minimum.  It seems a little coincidental that Kennedy’s name pops up in another cover-up at State now. What did Kennedy do about the oversexed ambassador, especially considering the risk this created for security and for potential espionage penetration of the State Department?

Congress needs to find out who ordered the cover-ups on these investigations — and how much else might be going on at State now.

* – Sincere apologies, too; Sheriff John wouldn’t have put up with this nonsense. He’d have sat the State Department in the corner and sternly read them a safety bulletin for their own good.

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