The Administration's Culture of Intimidation and Opacity

Posted: Jun 18, 2013 3:28 PM

We've been covering two active and distinct State Department scandals -- both dating back to the Hillary Clinton era, and both featuring politically motivated cover-ups:  First, the Benghazi attack, and second, the more recent revelations about numerous instances of improper department interference into sensitive internal investigations. The known Benghazi whistleblowers are named Hicks, Thompson, and Nordstrom.  Then there's Inspector General investigator Aurelia Fedenisn, who's exposed quite a lot of nasty business that State Department higher-ups appear eager to bury.  As punishment for his truth-telling, Gregory Hicks was harassed, reprimanded and demoted.  Now Fedenisn is alleging that she, too, is facing the wrath of State Department brass.  As Katie noted earlier (it bears repeating) the message she's inferred isn't complicated -- shut up:

The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her. Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”

Fedenisn's life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.
..After the CBS News made inquiries to the State Department about the charges, Schulman says investigators from the State Department’s Inspector General promptly arrived at Fedenisn’s door. “They talked to both kids and never identified themselves,” he said. “First the older brother and then younger daughter, a minor, asking for their mom’s place of work and cell phone number … They camped out for four to five hours.” 

Last week, Fedenisn provided CBS News with eight examples of the State Department white-washing or derailing probes into alleged wrongdoing among American diplomats stationed abroad.  The accusations include reports of sexual assaults, prostitution, solicitation of minors, and drug use -- investigations into which were watered down or stymied altogether.  Meanwhile, on a separate scandal front, the IRS is foisting more preposterous stories upon the public.  Carol outlined the latest round of self-serving, "cringe-worthy" excuses from IRS official and Obama donor Holly Paz yesterday.  I discussed the subject with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, noting that yet another element of the agency's dishonest cover story has crashed and burned:

Ms. Paz -- who curiously sat in on most of the interviews conducted by the IRS Inspector General during his investigation into abusive targeting practices -- has been relieved of her duties.  Was she fired?  Shuffled into another position?  Placed on administrative leave?  Her fate remains rather hazy, and solid answers have been hard to come by.  What a surprise.

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