FLORIDA, June 12, 2013 — There is a new scandal brewing, and this one might have more teeth than any Obama Administration-related one before it.
According to a New York Post report yesterday, the State Department has engaged in a wide-ranging coverup regarding U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman. New allegations say he routinely solicited sex from not only prostitutes, but also children.
A Bureau of Diplomatic Security agent assigned to monitor him reportedly made the grisly discovery.
A leaked government memo says “(t)he agent began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children.”
It also notes that Gutman’s “protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team” knew a great deal about his actions.
Eric Boswell, the Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security, was allegedly very surprised at not only news of the Ambassador’s misconduct, but also about cases of impropriety involving others. Nonetheless, he is accused of trying to prevent all of this from coming to light.
Notes from a State Department meeting in December of last year reveal that Boswell was a strong advocate for keeping the alleged misdeeds out of an official report. When the final report was eventually filed during mid-March, it made no mention of those deeds.
Aurelia Fedenisn, a former veteran investigator for the State Department, brought this story to media attention. Her lawyer said that she has been threatened with criminal penalties.
Gutman has denounced what he calls the “baseless allegations” that he solicited sexual favors in a Brussels park.
“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,” he told the Daily Mail. “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.”
The Mail indicates that the Ambassador is “a top donor to President Obama, having raised a total of $775,000 for his 2008 campaign and inauguration committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. A native New Yorker and son of a Holocaust survivor, he has been married to his wife, Michelle Loewinger, since 1981.”
The British newspaper also notes that “(a) damning internal memo” from the State Department implicates “Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy order(ing) the investigation closed shortly after it was opened”.
While American diplomatic personnel enjoy immunity on foreign soil, they can be prosecuted in U.S. courts for having intercourse with minors.
The Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today — PROTECT — Act of 2003 deems it a federal offense for Americans to engage in such an activity abroad. If convicted of this, one can face serious fines and up to thirty years in prison.
Prior to his ambassadorship, Gutman was a clerk for powerful federal judges as well as a lobbyist and a sought-after attorney. He is not known to have done any work in the diplomatic sector.
In 2011, Jonathan S. Tobin of Commentary called the man “(a) Washington “superlawyer” who bought his title of ambassador with massive contributions to President Obama’s campaign.”
Only time will tell if Gutman is actually guilty. What does seem apparent, though, is that he did not become an ambassador due to merit in the field of foreign affairs.
Quite frankly, his rise to diplomatic power seems more Boss Tweed than George H.W. Bush.
Perhaps this is just a sign of the times.
Far-left? Far-right? Get real: Read more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto
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