State Department Accused of Ambassador Hooker Scandal CoverupS

Is everyone at the State Department hiring hookers? A whistleblower has accused the State Department of covering up or ignoring several scandals—involving everyone from security details to the ambassador to Belgium.

Earlier this week, Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department Investigator General, provided CBS News with memo alleging coverups in a series of incidents. In the last few days, more details have come to light—including the identity of the allegedly hooker-hiring ambassador:

  • Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, a major Democratic donor, was accused of soliciting prostitutes, some underage, in a park in Brussels—behavior his security team was well aware of. But an investigation into Gutman's activities was called off by Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, and Gutman remains in Belgium.
  • Investigators found what they called "endemic" use of prostitutes by several members of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail, in countries as varied as Russia and Colombia, but received at worst light punishments. The investigation was later "shut down" by the Special Investigations Division. (These accusations are, apparently, separate from last year's Secret Service scandal.)
  • Attempts to interview Brett McGurk, whose nomination as ambassador to Iraq fell apart after it was revealed he'd had an extramarital affair with Wall Street Journal reporter Gina Chon, were blocked by Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills.
  • A security officer in Beirut was accused of sexual assault, but agents had only three days to investigate.

Gutman has denied the allegations, saying he just likes to walk through the "beautiful park" near which he lives. The State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security will undergo a "review by outside, experienced law enforcement officers," spokeswoman Jen Psaki says.

[image, of Gutman carrying a meyboom, via AP]