The chairman of a key House committee on Thursday demanded that the State Department's office of inspector general explain passages in internal documents that refer to pressure from department higher-ups to quash investigations into suspected criminal activity — including the solicitation of prostitutes, illegal drug activity and sexual assault — by U.S. diplomatic personnel overseas.
A longtime confidante of Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton who reportedly played a key role in the State Department's damage-control efforts on the Benghazi attack last year is also named in accusations that department higher-ups quashed investigations into diplomats' potential criminal activity.
Congress and the State Department's inspector general are examining allegations that senior officials working under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton may have suppressed investigations into suspected criminal activity among U.S. diplomats abroad — including the alleged solicitation of prostitutes by an ambassador in Europe.
The State Department is failing to adequately protect U.S. diplomats in Beirut, leaving them without necessary counterterrorism training and serving in a decrepit, aged embassy compound that fails to meet security protocols, according to an internal investigation that raises new questions about the Obama administration's commitment to protecting Americans overseas in the aftermath of the Benghazi tragedy.
The State Department is pushing a new initiative to ensure contractors and others serving in the department's diplomatic security corps in Afghanistan and Israel are not abusing opiates, amphetamines, steroids, cocaine and other hard drugs.
House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday called on President Obama to release a cache of emails that Republicans say clearly prove senior White House and State Department officials sought to mislead the American public about the Benghazi terrorist attack during last year's election campaign.
The State Department, already blamed for lax security leading up to the Benghazi terror attack, is getting some additional uncomfortable scrutiny for the way it spent an estimated $195 million last year training its diplomats in foreign languages.
Hanging over Wednesday's hearing on administration failings during the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, was former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's question: "What difference at this point does it make?"
The State Department-chartered investigation into the deadly terror attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, last year erred in not interviewing more senior officials at the department, a packed hearing of the House oversight committee heard Wednesday.