Memo reveals new cover-ups at State Dept.

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State Dept Building
Photo Credit: Front Lines

An explosive new report from CBS News Monday said the U.S. State Department may have covered up or “simply called off” investigations into inappropriate behavior, even criminal wrongdoing, by its employees.

CBS obtained a State Dept. Inspector General’s memo that documented how “several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off.”

According to the report, Diplomatic Security Agents were told by senior State Dept. officials to back off or drop cases that could be potentially damaging or embarrassing to the department.

The memo, CBS reported, citied eight examples of wrongdoing:

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.”

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.

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.

“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” one of the Inspector General’s investigators, Aurelia Fedenisn, told CBS.

Watch to the end of the report to see what happened to Fedenisn after the State Dept. learned CBS News was investigating this story.

Via CBS News:

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