Tags: state | department | prostitution | probe

State Department Denies Hindering Prostitution Probe

By    |   Monday, 10 Jun 2013 06:40 PM

The State Department denied Monday that it hindered any internal investigations involving prostitution, drug use, and other activities.

"The notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in any case is preposterous," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

CBS News reported earlier in the day that a memo from an internal inspector general's report detailed at least eight investigations were "influenced, manipulated, or simply called off" by senior members of the department.

According to the memo, one State Department security official in Beirut was accused of sexual assaults on foreign nationals hired as guards at the embassy and that some members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries." The report called the hiring of prostitutes "endemic."

The memo describes an "underground drug ring" near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that allegedly supplied drugs to security contractors for the State Department.

"We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases," Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator for the Inspector General, told CBS.

In one case, agents say they were told to stop investigating a U.S. ambassador suspected of hiring prostitutes in a public park. The OIG memo says the ambassador "routinely ditched ... his protective security detail" in what investigators believed to be attempts to "solicit sexual favors from prostitutes."

The State Department's Psaki would not comment on specifics of any case.

"Depending on the facts, an investigation may result in administrative action or criminal charges, or it may be concluded without further action. Not all allegations are substantiated,” she wrote in an email to The Hill.




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The State Department denied Monday that it hindered any internal investigations involving prostitution, drug use, and other activities.
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Monday, 10 Jun 2013 06:40 PM
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