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Sex, drugs and more alleged in State Department allegations

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sordid details are emerging concerning the activities of U.S. officials associated with the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. According to a memo, an active U.S. ambassador "routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children." There are also indications that Senior State Department and Diplomatic Security officials may have covered up or stopped investigations of inappropriate or even criminal misconduct by staff.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The timeline surrounding the allegations places the incidents during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tenure.

Ambassador Larry Dinger, the author of the purported memo describes some of the information as coming from office gossip. "Sometimes the sources are one or more agents who became aware of the case from colleagues in what, given cubicles, can be a collegial environment," the memo says.

Regarding the latest allegations, CNN was provided the documents by a lawyer for a whistle-blower who is a former senior inspector general investigator.

The memo says that the ambassador's sexual solicitations "were well aware of the behavior." When a diplomatic security officer tried to investigate, undersecretary of state for management Patrick Kennedy allegedly ordered the investigator "not to open a formal investigation."

A statement from the ambassador in question to CNN denied the allegations, calling them "baseless."

A source close to the investigation of the ambassador told CNN the ambassador would leave his house at night without notifying the detail. The detail then followed the ambassador and saw the ambassador once go to a park that's known for illegal activity. However, the detail never witnessed the ambassador engage in any sexual activity.

The ambassador later explained that sometimes he argues with his wife, needs air and he goes for a walk in the park because he likes it.

Other allegations include:

-- A State Department security official was accused of engaging in sexual assaults against foreign nationals working as embassy guards in Beirut and elsewhere. The office's memo says that an inspector general's investigator who went to Beirut to try to conduct an investigation was not given enough time to complete the job.

-- A member of Clinton's security detail allegedly "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries."

 -- In Iraq, an "underground drug ring" may have been operating near the U.S. Embassy and "supplying" drugs to State Department security contractors, but an agent sent to investigate the allegations was prevented from completing the job.

"We hold all employees to the highest standards," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says. "We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly. All cases mentioned in the CBS report were thoroughly investigated and under investigation, and the department continues to take action."

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