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State Department may have covered up sex and drug scandals, report says

The State Department is under fire after an internal memo has surfaced that claims investigations into employee misbehavior were called off or manipulated.

By David T. CookStaff writer / June 10, 2013


Washington

The US State Department may have covered up illegal and inappropriate behavior concerning sex and drugs, according to a report by CBS News citing a draft memo from the department’s inspector general’s office.

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Cook is senior editor and Washington bureau chief of The Christian Science Monitor and host of the Monitor's newsmaker breakfasts.

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An internal memo obtained by John Miller of CBS News said there were eight examples where an investigation of misconduct was influenced, manipulated, or called off, the network reported on the "CBS This Morning” broadcast.

Misconduct cited in the memo, the network said, included allegations that a State Department security official engaged in sexual assaults on foreign nationals hired in Beirut, that members of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s security detail engaged prostitutes while on official trips abroad, and that an underground drug ring operated in near the US embassy in Baghdad and provided State Department contractors with drugs.

In its report, CBS quoted the State Department as saying it would “not comment about specific allegations of misconduct, internal investigations, or personnel matters. Not all allegations are substantiated.” The statement continued: “It goes without saying that the Department does not condone interference with investigations by any of its employees.”   

The charges come as the department continues to be under fire from congressional Republicans concerning the drafting of talking points about a September 2012 attack on a US diplomatic post in Benhgazi, Libya, that claimed the life of four people, including the American ambassador. Critics believe the talking points, delivered on Sunday talk shows by UN Ambassador Susan Rice, were modified for political reasons.

The conservative website Human Events was quick to link the CBS report and the Benghazi controversy. "The spirit of Benghazi went far beyond the lies and obfuscations pumped out by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top people, according CBS News, which has 'uncovered documents that show the State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal and inappropriate behavior within their ranks,' " the site said.

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