The State Department is under fire for shutting down investigations into its diplomatic security agents’ use of illegal drugs and prostitutes. This comes after a report revealed that the State Department made a grievous mistake in failing to shut down the embassy in Benghazi.
Turns out that Bureau of Diplomatic Security agents like to buy their drugs and sex just like regular old Americans. Imagine living in a country where the only sex available without a wedding is for pay.
The problem here isn’t in the sex or the drugs. Sex for free isn’t investigated by the State Department either, and surely agents can drink in their off hours. The problem is that the agents are operating in a legal and professional gray area. It makes no sense for agents’ bosses to investigate or prosecute them for victimless crimes that are part of everyday life abroad.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki just cannot be taken seriously when she says:
“We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly. All cases mentioned in the CBS report were thoroughly investigated or are under investigation. I can say broadly that the notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconducts in any case is preposterous.
“We’ve put individuals behind bars for criminal behavior. There is record of that. Ambassadors would be no exception.”
Of course you do.
It’s clear that the State Department policy was one of willful ignorance. Despite intelligence that the agents were buying drugs and having sex with prostitutes in public parks, the US State Department shut down at least eight investigations of its agents’ criminal activity.
Yet agents have to fear punishment anyway, because when the agency heads screw up, like in Benghazi, the low-level employees get investigated.
The excuse for not allowing agents to use drugs and prostitutes is that they have security clearances. But again, they’re allowed to have sex for free and drink. The issue isn’t really with the activity; it’s with the legality of the activity. Dealers and prostitutes have power over agents only as long as the activity they can reveal is a danger to their employment and freedom. As soon as the unofficial policy of look-the-other-way is made official, agents are no longer under any pressure to reveal State secrets to keep their secrets secure.
Photo by Bart Heird