An internal memo from the State Department’s inspector general has surfaced that calls into question the State Department’s ability to investigate wrongdoing by its staff. The memo outlines eight examples of wrongdoing by agency staff and contractors, including hiring prostitutes and committing sexual assault, and seems to imply that the agency attempted to halt investigation into these matters.
A number of the allegations outlined in the memo are against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail, some of whom have been accused of hiring prostitutes. Likewise, a U.S. ambassador is accused of perusing public parks in search of paid sex, and a security official allegedly committed sexual assaults on foreign nationals in Beirut hired as embassy guards.
The memo notes that members of Hillary Clinton’s security detailed “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” and stated that the problem was “endemic.”
The memo indicates that four members of Clinton’s security detail received one-day suspensions.
According to the memo, which was first obtained by CBS News, the State Department has attempted to stop investigations into these cases. For example, the investigation into the Ambassador’s pursuit of paid sex was allegedly interrupted by the agency. Fox News reports:
The memo also seems to indicate that the government agency tried to use its authority to stop the investigation and instead, opting to have the official, whose name has not been released, meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy in Washington. The official was then allowed to return to his job overseas.
Responding to media reports on Tuesday, Kennedy defended himself, asserting, “I have always acted to honor the brave men and women I serve, while also holding accountable anyone guilty of wrongdoing. In my current position, it is my responsibility to make sure the Department and all of our employees — no matter their rank — are held to the highest standard, and I have never once interfered, nor would I condone interfering, in any investigation.”
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