Sex scandals, covered-up crimes hit at State Department: memo

The State Department has been tainted by an internal memo that revealed security personnel and even diplomats may have committed inappropriate, illegal behavior during overseas trips.

Some of the behaviors: One State Department security staffer in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on embassy guards, and members of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s security team may have “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” CBS reported the memo as stating. The prostitution allegation was especially egregious — described as occurring so frequently to rise to the level of “endemic,” CBS said. And one more alleged activity, in the memo: An “underground drug ring” operated near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, supplying contractors with the State Department with drugs, CBS reported.

The memo comes from the State Department’s inspector general, CBS reported.

“We … uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases,” said Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s inspector general’s office, in the CBS report.

Several of the IG cases were dropped on order of superior officers, Ms. Fedenisn said in the CBS report. For instance, investigators were told to drop their case against a U.S. ambassador who was suspected of soliciting prostitutes in a park, she said.

‘We were very upset,” she said in the CBS article. “We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went was very disturbing.”

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