Memo shows internal State Department investigations halted

June 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- Internal U.S. State Department documents have surfaced suggesting higher-ups in the diplomatic corps called off investigations into internal wrong-doing.

CBS News reported Monday several investigations by the Diplomatic Security Service were halted or prevented from being undertaken after word came down from State Department officials to back off.

CBS, citing an internal State Department inspector general memo, said at least eight times a security service investigation was interfered with or stopped completely. Investigators speaking to the inspector general said they were never told who ordered the investigations to stop but that it was clear the directive had to have come from a high-ranking official.

"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," said Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department inspector general's office.

In one instance, security service investigators uncovered a drug ring being operated near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and was supplying State Department security contractors with illegal drugs. In another of the stymied investigations, an unidentified U.S. ambassador was known to be soliciting prostitutes in a public park. In that instance, CBS said the ambassador was recalled and given a tongue lashing by Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was allowed to keep his job.

Officials refused to address any of the investigations in specific. The department did issue a statement saying it will "not comment about specific allegations of misconduct, internal investigations or personnel matters. Not all allegations are substantiated. It goes without saying that the department does not condone interference with investigations by any of its employees."

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