Internal documents from the Inspector General’s office obtained by the New York Post claim to reveal that thousands of employees working for the U.S. State Department have sketchy backgrounds that limit them in their ability to perform their job within the department.
The Post reported that a whistleblower leaked a December 2012 memo to State Deputy Inspector General Harold Geisel from a leader in the Inspector General’s Office, stating that about 2,000 employees within the State Department brought on during a “hiring surge a decade ago” have “troubling histories including criminal matters,” which prevent them from being able to assist prosecutors during trials. The whistleblower also told the Post that this information was intentionally removed from the Inspector General’s report.
“Too many people entering the [Diplomatic Security and Information Management] communities end up as subjects of [Special Investigation Division] investigations and HR adjudications, become Giglio-impaired and can play only limited roles thereafter,” the Post reported of the memo, deemed “sensitive but unclassified.”
Being “Giglio-impaired,” according to the Police Law Blog, means an officer who might have “credibility issues” if brought to testify in court. The term was first coined during a 1972 Supreme Court case, Giglio v. United States, where the court decided prosecutors would need to establish the credibility of a government witness if a request to do so was made by the defense.
The memo also is reported to state that Diplomatic Security field offices “have major problems just waiting to be discovered.” The Post notes eight cases of agents who made “false, misleading or incomplete statements in reports,” committed “privacy-act violations” or had “lack of objectivity” in investigations.
The Post also had access to a 2012 letter for a union negotiator of some department employees that detailed a case of “unprofessional conduct” by a Diplomatic Security agent:
In one case, aggressive interrogation techniques by Diplomatic Service agents drove an employee to attempt suicide when accused of raping his maid in Bangkok, Thailand, the memo suggests. The employee maintained the sex was consensual.
But after “being told he would end up in a Thai prison, his wife would lose her job and his children would be pulled out of school, [the man] attempted suicide by jumping out of the 16th-story window at a hotel in Bangkok,” said the memo.
“Fortunately, he landed on a tarp on the 10th floor and sustained minor injuries.”“It depends on what team you’re on, whether they like you or not,” he said.
The man was flown back to Washington for in-patient psychiatric care, where the agents continued to harass him, the union charged. The rape charges were ultimately dropped.
This reported case comes just after a U.S. Ambassador was named in an Inspector General memo as allegedly soliciting prostitutes. The accused U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, issued a statement saying the the allegations were “baseless.”
The Post contacted the Inspector General’s office, which declined to comment on the documents and called it draft reports “unsubstantiated information.”