We Should All Do What We Do Best

We Should All Do What We Do Best
June 13, 2013

David L. Applegate

David Applegate is a Chicago-based trial lawyer and partner at the law firm of Williams Montgomery... (read full bio)

The more things change the more they stay the same, we suppose, and the tiger does not change its stripes. So it’s hardly surprising that CBS News has uncovered government documents showing that, on Hillary Clinton’s watch, the State Department was actively engaged in covering up scandals involving sexual abuse, prostitutes, and sex in a public park.

Sounds a lot like the first and second Clinton administrations to us, when the White House was heavily engaged in covering up scandals involving alleged sexual abuse, affairs with a lounge singer and an intern, and death in a public park.

According to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo that John Miller of CBS News has reportedly obtained, a State Department security official in Beirut, Lebanon, “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and members of our former Secretary of State’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” a situation the memo reportedly says was “endemic.”

Among the incidents detailed is a 2011 investigation of a U. S. ambassador who reportedly “routinely ditched . . . his protective security detail” in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes” in a public park. The memo also claims in part that an “underground drug ring” operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, was responsible for supplying State Department security contractors with illegal drugs.

To make matters worse, the inspector general’s report reportedly claims that investigations of these unsavory and/or illegal activities were, in the words of CBS reporter John Miller, “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off.” Now-retired Diplomatic Security Service Senior Agent Mike Pohelitz, for example, reportedly told Miller that “he was told to stop investigating one of the cases and that the order likely came from the upper ranks of the DSS.”

The DSS, by the way, is, charged in part with protecting the secretary of state and U.S. ambassadors overseas. At least now we know why DSS was too preoccupied to save our ambassador in Benghazi from Islamic extremist attacks on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Not to worry, though, these sex and drug scandals have apparently all been handled well.

The as yet-unnamed ambassador reportedly returned to Washington, most likely at taxpayer expense, for counseling by Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy before heading back to his overseas post. (Kennedy was Assistant Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration, from 1993 to 2001, so may have some experience with sex-related scandals.)

And according to the inspector general’s memo as reported by CBS News, four members of Secretary of State Clinton’s security detail received one-day suspensions. That’s what we call effective discipline! (Never mind that former CIA Director David Petraeus was forced to resign his post over a consensual sexual affair.)

Cynics that we are, we suspect that this is all being leaked now so that when our Former First Lady, Junior Senator from New York, and Secretary of State runs for President in 2016 she can dismiss this all as “old news.” And sadly, by then, she will be right: it will be.

Or perhaps she will simply mimic the words that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nev.) said to reporters when questioned on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, about these — ahem! – affairs:

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. … What are you talking about? … I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

It’s frequently said that, in a democracy, the people get the politicians they deserve. How very sad that is, if true, for the American people.

David L. Applegate

David Applegate is a Chicago-based trial lawyer and partner at the law firm of Williams Montgomery... (read full bio)