Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement through a spokesman Tuesday that claimed total ignorance of rampant sex crimes and cover-ups occurring on her watch that were alleged in an Inspector General’s memo reported by CBS News and the New York Post.
The IG memo, dated October 23, 2012, contains shocking allegations of overseas criminal conduct by State Department officials including sexual assault , ‘endemic’ procurement of prostitutes (including children), and drugs–all of which were alleged to have been covered-up by various officials at the highest levels of the State Department including Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills.
CNN reported Clinton spokesman Nicholas Merrill issued a written statement saying, “We learned of it from the media and don’t know anything beyond what’s been reported.”
Clinton would have the American people believe that she was completely out of touch about the lawlessness at her department during her four year tenure as Secretary of State.
For her statement to be true, Clinton would have to not know that members of her protective detail were disciplined and reassigned away from her for having sex with prostitutes in hotels she stayed at in foreign countries including Russia and Colombia; that a 2008 bundler to the Obama campaign appointed ambassador to Belgium was brought home for questioning about allegations by his security detail that he repeatedly ditched them to have sex with underage prostitutes in a Brussels park known for boy prostitutes; that a security official was accused of sexually assaulting foreigners hired as guards in as many as four nations; that her chief of staff squelched an investigation of a nominee to be ambassador to Iraq; that a drug ring supplied State Department security contractors in Baghdad and that the State Department involved shooting deaths of four Hondurans, including two pregnant women, was blocked by a high ranking State Department official. (This new scandal from the IG memo was reported Wednesday by the New York Post.)
Howard Gutman, the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium named by the Post as the ambassador accused in the IG memo of picking up underage prostitutes, issued a statement Tuesday vehemently denying the allegations:
“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating. I live on a beautiful park in Brussels that you walk through to get to many locations and at no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.”
CNN reported Gutman claimed to his bosses at Foggy Bottom he frequented the park to get away from his wife.
The ambassador went to Washington and was asked what he was doing and he denied any wrongdoing, the source told CNN. The ambassador explained that sometimes he fights with his wife, needs air and he goes for a walk in the park because he likes it.
Gutman probably could have stopped after the first sentence of his statement. His neighborhood park is Brussels’s Parc Royal Warandepark, where some of the alleged solicitations and ditching of security took place, as the New York Daily News reported. He isn’t exactly wrong about it being nice, either — the royal park is bordered by the BOZAR museum and Parliament.
Picturesque as the digs may be, according to a local report from 2010, the park is rumored to be a site of frequent homosexual and underage prostitution. And in 2009, RTL reported on prostitution arrests involving young boys and a policeman.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki repeatedly refused to clear Gutman of the allegations in the IG memo when badgered by reporters, who suggested Gutman retaining his post indicated his exoneration. Psaki even refused to state that Clinton’s successor John F. Kerry has confidence in Gutman.
QUESTION: First, has Secretary Kerry spoken to the Ambassador?
MS. PSAKI: Not that I’m aware of.
QUESTION: Does the Secretary have full faith and confidence in this Ambassador?
MS. PSAKI: Well, the Secretary is proud to lead, of course, a Department of 70,000 dedicated men and women serving. He takes every accusation seriously, as we all do. And I can assure you, as I just said, that in any case, if there were documented evidence and action was needed to be taken, he would be taking that action.
QUESTION: So you’re declining this opportunity to say, on behalf of the Secretary, that he has full confidence in this Ambassador?
MS. PSAKI: I’m just seeing through the process, James.