• Italians Pay Attention to Naples Story Americans Ignore

    December 1, 2014 // 1 Comment »




    A few days ago I ran an update on how the State Department is trying to block a lawsuit and investigation into allegations that its former Consul General, pictured, in Naples, Italy had a sexual relationship with a subordinate at work on taxpayer time, in his office, submitted false expense claims, served out-of-date food to official guests and saw long-time employees fired in what some claim are retaliatory acts.

    The Smaller Point
    While traffic to my blog from the U.S. was the usual, over 1/3 of all accesses last week came out of Italy. So while we may not care what “our” representatives might be doing abroad, foreigners sure do.

    Oh, and yeah, the point of having that Consulate in Naples has something to do with maintaining a positive relationship with the Italians. How’s that working out over this you suppose?

    The Bigger Point

    The pattern shown by this relatively minor alleged incident is repeated over bigger issues such as drone killings, torture and rendition, NSA global spying and the like.

    Americans have grown, at the risk of a pun, stunted over the near-endless thudding of alleged heinous acts by their own government in general, and against far-away countries in the specific. We assume our tiny, tiny attentions spans (Black Ferguson? No, Black Friday!) are shared throughout the world. We assume the legal hijinks used to stymie investigations that are now commonplace in the Homeland are equally seen as business as usual in other countries.

    We casually reach the ethnocentric conclusion that what matters little to us matters little to people in other nations, and then are repeatedly surprised when it doesn’t turn out that way. Explains a lot, really.



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    Next Steps in the Naples Saga?

    November 24, 2014 // 5 Comments »




    The American Consulate in Naples, Italy, has been the scene of much alleged nooky, naughtiness and nasty bureaucracy.

    Following allegations that then-Consul General Donald Moore (pictured) had a sexual relationship with a subordinate at the U.S. Consulate in Naples, Italy on taxpayer time, in his office, submitted false expense claims, served out-of-date food to official guests and saw long-time employees fired in what some claim are retaliatory acts when they tried to expose his shenanigans, the State Department followed its standard procedure of promising to investigate, not investigating, firing or transferring all involved and then hoping it would all go away.

    The New York Post dubbed the whole thing as the “Neapolitan Nookie Campaign.” Il Mattino (a Naples newspaper) has a headline “Bunga-Bunga Consulato Americano.” Bunga-Bunga is apparently an Italian term for the horizontal mambo. One Italian paper, Corriere Del Mezzogiorno, ran with the headline “Sexygate al Consolato USA.” The influential Times of London headlined “Prostitution ‘rampant’ at US Consulate in Naples.” The FBI even appears to have been involved.

    The campaign moves to its next step, but one that might see State Department bureaucracy triumph over all else.


    Quick Recap

    One of Donald Moore’s employees filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry (Case 2:14-cv-00194-ADS-AKT). The plaintiff, Kerry Howard, tried to get someone at the U.S. Consulate in Naples to care about what was going on around her, or at the State Department in Washington. She got fired. Her lawsuit alleges that her alleged civil rights were violated by Moore’s alleged sexual harassment, his alleged bullying of staff and overall alleged slime-coated daily antics. Allegedly.


    The End?

    Attorney Lawrence Kelly, who represents Ms. Howard in her lawsuit against the Department of State, sends this update:

    The Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC made a motion to dismiss “for failure timely to contact an EEO Counselor.” As opposed to New York (300 days) or civilian EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint] (180 days), the State Department claims a 45 day notice period in order to “investigate” effectively.

    I sent copies of emails to the AUSA indicating a six month effort by Kerry Howard to have an EEO counselor designated. These emails covered the period of time the AUSA and State were describing as the time lapse which barred her claim.

    I received an email response from the AUSA and a “cc” to his State Department point of contact indicating he did not know about this email stream, but “we” (State and the Department of Justice) feel we are still correct.

    I sent a supplemental note to the AUSA indicating he is the attorney on the file, it is his motion to dismiss, and his application arguing the lack of EEO contact is now, officially, frivolous, and should be withdrawn.

    Attorney Kelly goes on to say:

    Every employee at the Department of State should be aware that they should file their EEO complaint within 45 days of an incident separate and apart from any grievance they file. No if, ands or buts. The Department of Justice argues in their brief in the Howard case that the Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual demand that employees discuss the matter before filing a formal complaint is irrelevant to the 45 day filing requirement. State employees should know that at the end of day, no one at State is there for them. “Defendant’s grievance procedures are separate and distinct from the EEO process, as stated in Defendant’s Foreign Affairs Manual (“FAM”)… Compare 3 FAM 4400… with 3 FAM 1500″ states the AUSA brief in Howard v Kerry.

    I have uncovered Ms. Howard’s multiple attempts to have an EEO counselor appointed in a timely manner. All of these emails were suppressed by the Department of State throughout the process. Even now, when I have disclosed them to DOJ and to State, they have not discontinued the motion to dismiss based on the disinformation provided the federal court by DOJ and State.



    Comment

    The Department of Justice, supposedly representing the People and using taxpayer funds to do so, is seeking to use one of the State Department’s internal regulations, not a law or legal precedent, to block any further action on what appears to be serious allegations against an American diplomat and the Department of State itself. If DOJ is successful in getting the case dismissed, that will close off any further attempt to learn what really happened at the American Consulate in Naples.

    Also under question is the State Department’s core interest. Aware of both Ms. Howard’s and others allegations against Donald Moore in Naples, it is unclear that State proactively advised her of the 45 day deadline, itself arbitrary and at variance with other organizations’ deadlines. If State did not advise Ms. Howard, and instead quietly allowed the deadline to pass, that may suggest its interest was never with its own employee, or with investigating fully what happened. Its interest was in covering things up.


    Attorney Kelly opines: You understand the institutions are corrupt. But you start with hope for the individual.



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    Marines Deployed to U.S. Consulate in Naples

    January 23, 2014 // 8 Comments »

    Here is a guest post by attorney Lawrence Kelly. Kelly represents a client who recently filed a lawsuit against the Department of State in regards to the actions and behaviors of the Consul General of the United States, Donald Moore, at the U.S. consulate in Naples.

    The arrival of U.S. Marines to the Consulate in Naples was confirmed by an Italian newspaper. While Marines are routinely assigned to American embassies around the world, outside of conflict zones it is very, very unusual for them to be deployed to a consulate. In my own 24 years at the State Department, I know of only one other time Marines were sent to a consulate under these sorts of security-compromise circumstances: the U.S. consulate in Osaka, Japan’s door into a secure area was warped by the force of an earthquake, and Marines were deployed to guard the entrance until the door could be repaired.

    The use of Marines in Naples is a big step, a very public acknowledgement that security was compromised and State can not handle it alone.

    Now, we understand that a post-Benghazi agreement between State and the Marine Corps provides for more guards at consulates. However, it is useful to note this is Naples, not exactly a high threat environment, and a tiny consulate to boot. It is unclear that Marines have been deployed to other U.S. consulates in Italy (they have always been at the embassy in Rome.)

    If you are not familiar with the bigger issues at the Naples consulate, catch up here and here.


    From Lawrence Kelly:

    The Italian newspapers have been feeding on “SEXY GATE AL CONSOLATO USA DI NAPOLI”. Although this scandal is old news in the United States, the Italian media caught up with it after the filing of the federal complaint in Howard v. Kerry in federal court.

    On the day the complaint was filed this week, the State Department announced that after an FBI investigation, U.S. Marines would now be placed at the U.S. Consulate in Naples to provide a prophylactic security to the compromised Naples Consulate.

    What is clear from the eyewitness accounts in the Italian media is that security at the Naples Consulate was compromised by the Consul General’s control of Regional Security. Entry was provided to women who were not searched, and were allowed access to secure areas of the consulate. What I personally experienced was the further compromise of the security apparatus by the Management at Embassy Rome when Rome looked to quash earlier reports of the scandal at the Naples Consulate. One was a chain of command problem, whereas the other was the security apparatus looking to cover for their colleagues in Naples.

    There were widespread employee reports of the closed circuit television materials being scrubbed of the images of the female visitors entering the consulate through the employee’s entrance without being searched or identified. This notwithstanding the separate images and observations being taken and recorded by other more confidential elements of the world wide security which were preserved. Following the designation of a new Ambassador in Rome, I requested the new Ambassador to Italy look into the matter, and he requested an outside investigation. FBI agents reinterviewed Italian witnesses I had provided to the State’s Diplomatic Security from Rome. The FBI apparently put the puzzle together. If this is correct, security personnel who had been employed during the scrubbing should have been terminated. Instead, the Marines were put into the Naples security apparatus as a panacea.

    Since the Ambassador to Italy at the time of these incidents leading to the present scandal was a very close confidante of the present Secretary of State, and has joined the Secretary on the seventh floor of Main State, I will not hold my breath that there will be an actual coming to terms with the scandal of poor management and misconduct in the chain of command which allowed State security to allow the problems at the consulate to fester and now become a new public scandal for America. My surmise is that is why no one in the security area has been relieved of their duties.

    Nevertheless, when you have to call in the Marines to provide security for State, in Naples, Italy of all places, there are some hard questions that someone in government should be asking. Even if it means starting with the top officials in State asking those hard questions of themselves.



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    U.S. Consul General in Naples: “Neapolitan Nookie Campaign”

    January 21, 2014 // 17 Comments »

    I can’t take credit for the title. That came from the New York Post article about everyone’s favorite representative of our exceptional nation, Donald Moore. Moore is pictured to the left.

    For those who have enjoyed our coverage of the allegations of sex, false expense claims and forced resignations at the U.S. Consulate in Naples (and if you have not read the story, catch up here and here), this remains the story that keeps on giving, or getting, or that kind of thing. Yeah baby, get naughty!

    Recap of the Events in Naples

    Quick recap: Following allegations that then-Consul General Donald Moore had a sexual relationship with a subordinate at the U.S. Consulate in Naples, Italy on taxpayer time, in his office, submitted false expense claims, served out-of-date food to official guests and saw long-time employees fired in what some claim are retaliatory acts when they tried to expose his shenanigans, the State Department followed its standard procedure of promising to investigate, not investigating, firing or transferring all involved and then hoping it will all go away. Benghazi scholars will please note the pattern.

    In most cases, State’s strategy works and everything is pushed deep into the abundant closets kept for such purposes at Foggy Bottom. That was certainly the case in the good old days before social media. But now, many people harmed hire lawyers, and all of a sudden State’s sleaziness tumbles out of Foggy Bottom and on to first the front pages, the internet and then into the courts. Such is the case with the allegedly randy Consul General.

    One of Moore’s colleagues, perhaps the only he did not actually have sex with at the office, filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State John Kerry in the Eastern District of New York (Case 2:14-cv-00194-ADS-AKT). The plaintiff, Kerry Howard, tried to get someone at the U.S. Consulate in Naples to care about what was going on around her, or in the U.S. Embassy in Rome to care, or at the State Department in Washington. The result was that she got fired and nothing was done in Naples. Her lawsuit alleges that her civil rights were violated by Moore’s sexual harassment, his bullying of staff and overall slime-coated daily antics. But that much we already knew.

    New Details from the Lawsuit

    The lawsuit offers some new goodies:

    — Howard claims that Moore retaliated against one staff member by refusing to authorize routine maintenance on his apartment.

    — Howard asserts that Moore “would become verbally abusive, with spittle from Donald Moore’s mouth projected onto Kerry Howard’s face after Donald Moore double locked the door to his private office, his language indicating that Kerry Howard, as a woman, was unable to do anything, and Donald Moore, as an attorney, knew how to get away with whatever he wants.”

    — That career Senior Foreign Service Officer and attorney Moore wrote in Howard’s evaluation “…One of the primary responsibilities of a CLO is to foster good morale and to report issues that will have a negative impact on moral (sic) to me. You did not notified (sic) me in our weekly meeting about the alleged facts but rather were discussed them (sic) with others within the Consulate.”

    — That Moore was known to have been “forcing the language instructor to have an abortion of Moore’s child.”

    — That “in his first address to the staff at Naples Consulate, Donald Moore indicated ‘If you try to bring me down, I will bring you down first.’”

    — That “throughout his tenure as Consul General in the Naples Consulate, Donald Moore was running the U.S. Consulate as the largest house of prostitution in southern Italy, one which had only one customer, the Consul General.”

    — That “Donald Moore, Consul General for the United States Consulate in Naples Italy, orally advised staff that he used women for ‘sexercise,’ and that ‘women are like candy, they are meant to be eaten and then thrown away.’”


    The suit goes on and on like that. Howard, who tried to resolve these issues since 2012 “through channels,” now is sueing for her job back, and $300,000. If successful, the $300k will of course be paid on the Department’s behalf out of taxpayer money, meaning you will have funded the Neapolitan nookie.

    There’s Moore, er, More

    Il Mattino (a Naples newspaper) has a headline “Bunga-Bunga Consulato Americano.” Bunga-Bunga is apparently an Italian term for the horizontal mambo. A source close to the case reports a number of reporters have gone to Naples to follow up with the Italian employees discharged and their labor attorney. We are told that seven Italian employees who worked under Moore have retained a local attorney to file an Italian court complaint for violation of Italian labor law.

    An unconfirmed source has suggested Moore may also have run into trouble in Haiti (where he was awarded “Consular Officer of the Year”) and Milan.


    More Moore

    There will be no doubt much more to come with this one. While plaintiff Howard’s allegations are clearly part of a suit that would benefit her, that same suit lists in great detail a large number of people in Naples and Rome who played roles in what happened. This is clearly not going to be a “he said-she said” kind of trial. It should be relatively easy for the court to establish the truth or falsity of the allegations. And we all look forward to that. It is also very important to note that prior to filing the suit and asking for damages, Howard desperately tried to resolve these issues within State Department channels.

    We understand the story of consulate Naples has been picked up by Indian media, following the recent controversial arrest of one of their own diplomats in New York. Several stories have of course appeared in the Italian press.

    One Italian paper, Corriere Del Mezzogiorno, ran with the headline “Sexygate al Consolato USA.”

    The influential Times of London headlined “Prostitution ‘rampant’ at US consulate in Naples.”

    It is thus possible to say that these stories are not adding to America’s image abroad, one of the core tasks for the U.S Department of State.

    BONUS: We’ll have more on Moore later this week, explaining why U.S. Marines have been dispatched to the Naples Consulate!


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    FBI Takes Over Consulate Naples Case

    December 10, 2013 // 4 Comments »

    For those who have enjoyed our coverage of the allegations of sex, false expense claims and forced resignations at the U.S. Consulate in Naples (and if you have not read the story, catch up here and here), there is good news: according to sources close to the case, the FBI has now stepped in.

    Following allegations that then-Consul General Donald Moore had a sexual relationship with an employee, submitted false expense claims, served out-of-date food to official guests and saw long-time employees fired in what some claim are retaliatory acts when they tried to expose his shenanigans, the State Department followed its standard procedures:

    –express “concern” and promise a full investigation;
    –transfer the alleged perp to another cushy assignment (a “pivot”);
    –pressure the whistleblower into quitting;
    –sweep the rest under the rug. Movin’ on for more 21st century diplomacy.

    The problem with this one is that it did not go away. The whistleblower, instead of fading as State counted on, found proper legal representation and filed charges. State actually loves when people try to work through its system– it gives them a chance to express more “concern” and promise more full investigation, all the while hoping the whistleblower either gives up with time or that the length of the it-ain’t-gonna-conclude “investigation” bleeds her dry in fees and despair.

    However, as in so many things, State’s 19th century model is outdated. The Naples story was picked up by the media, including a major New York newspaper and, with exclusive access to witness reports, this blog. The old model of keeping reporters compliant by hand-feeding them bon mots from the Secretary does not matter outside of the usual sleepers at the networks. Public pressure does not always work, but sometimes it does. The FBI stepped in and, we are told, is on the ground in Naples conducting the investigation State planned on avoiding.

    See ya’ next time, Department of State!



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    OK, Sure, More on the U.S. Consulate in Naples…

    November 15, 2013 // 14 Comments »




    Following our story on the alleged sexual shenanigans at the U.S. Consulate in Naples (photo, left, is the consulate Halloween party), attorney Lawrence Kelly has forwarded another translated affidavit from an ex-Italian local employee of the State Department, along with the response to the broader allegations from the U.S. Embassy in Rome.


    Let’s start with that:

    State Department Response

    Dear Mr. Kelly:

    I am writing to you in response to your message to Ambassador Phillips dated September 12, 2013. The Department of State takes any complaint of this nature very seriously. The Department of State does not comment on personnel issues.

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen Doherty
    Deputy Chief of Mission
    U.S. Embassy Rome


    So, that’s settled.

    Or maybe not, as Kelly’s client filed a formal complaint with the Department after Embassy Rome failed to do anything. That pending complaint includes material from the affidavit, below. While of course we cannot verify the authenticity of any of the statements below, the Department of State sure can if they wish to, all of which should make for an interesting time (all redactions are by this blog):

    My name is _____, I was born on _____ in _____, and I live in _____. I worked for nine long years at your embassy of Naples-based in Piazza della Repubblica. And only today as we honor Martin Luther King (my personal hero) 50 years after his death, I find the courage to write some thoughts about the person of Mr. Donald Moore [Note: Moore was the head of the Naples Consulate, i.e., Consul General]

    I cannot understand why Mr. Moore suspended me from work, just because I, [two names redacted by this blog; one was the State Department security officer] were aware of his private affairs, such as the relationship that Mr. Moore had with the language instructor _____, from which he was to have a child, but who he convinced to have an abortion in exchange to not fire her. These facts are certain. I can testify. I agree in every way with what Ms. Kerry [the American employee who filed the formal complaint against Moore] has said because first of all she is a good person; very respectful to the Italians, who is loved by me and my family. Mr. Moore took advantage of me work-wise… and thanks to Donald Moore my career is now over, blocked, because of my knowledge of private matters that [the language teacher] came and told me about and now she is still at the consulate and while I have no job.

    Returning to the relationship between Moore and [the language teacher], I can testify that I have seen and heard everything because I was often present during the telephone conversations that happened between the two lovers, especially when I was acting as her driver in my personal car. In fact [the language teacher] told Mr. Moore that I was very helpful to her, bringing her to the consulate in the afternoons, (because she worked at a hospital in the morning) then in the afternoon she came to give Italian language lessons to Moore and other Americans.

    [The language teacher] always told me that when she was teaching Mr. Moore they always ended up having sex in his office. Then, Mr. Moore would invite her for lunch in the residence, and then suddenly tell his household staff to leave the residence (his butler _____ and two housekeepers _____ and _____) saying that he had important work to do. In your opinion, Mr. Councilor, what was this important work? It was to go to bed with [the language teacher]; and I am certain in this because [the language teacher], before going to the residence passed by the fourth floor where I worked and showed me the intimate underwear she was going to wear, because we had such a close and confidential rapport. She would use the emergency stairway from the fourth floor that is connected to the residence so that no one could see her go, except me. She often told me, “Listen _____, don’t say anything to anyone because Mr. Moore doesn’t trust these Americans.” I would respond, “Not to worry! I have not seen you!” This is how she climbed the stairs unseen by indiscreet eyes and saw her lover.

    [The language teacher] is very friendly with a certain _____, responsible for the security of the American Consulate. She confided in _____ who was fully aware of the relationship between Mr. Moore and [the language teacher]. He often said to her, “If you love him, what is the problem?” It was on a beautiful day that [the language teacher] come to the Consulate (in 2011), in tears and sobbing. She told me and _____ that Mr. Moore advised (forced is a more accurate term) to have an abortion, because he was already separated and had a son in France. And being career diplomat, he could not have these strong personal ties. [the language teacher], mortified and alone, was forced to turn to a gynecologist with an office on via Gramsci for an appointment that Mr. Moore had made to have an abortion. (The fetus was two months old.) But, Consul Moore had promised her that she would be able to remain working at the consulate without a problem. Meanwhile, _____, _____, _____ and I were unjustly fired from our jobs. When [the language teacher] told everything to [the security officer] she was told to stay away from Consul Moore because the Rome embassy security was investigating their private relationship and quietly ordered Mr. Moore to break off the relationship. But [the language teacher] told me that often still met Mr. Moore at her house when her daughter was not at home.

    Now I ask myself, why was I the “sacrificial goat” when others, (the security officer), Mrs. _____ and _____ were fully aware of the intimate and private details of their relationship. There are CCTV tapes that can confirm everything that I say. There are also the guards that saw me often accompanying [the language teacher] in my personal car. I could write a book about the relationship between this Italian-American couple, but how would the testimony of a man my age help, even though he knows so many bad details. Today I am without work, with a wife and two children to feed and a house in the hands of the bank. Still today I cannot believe that [the language teacher] and [the security officer] are living the good life.


    Some Questions

    And so while this could all be just made-up, we’ll conclude with a couple of questions.

    — The statements above are easily verifiable facts, and with plenty of suggested collaborating witnesses, that it would not require much effort at all for State to verify or dismiss the accusations quickly. Have they? If not, why not? You’d think that at a minimum they would want to be able to tell the Italian press that the accusations are baseless to preserve the image of the United States.

    — The most recent inspection of the embassy in Rome’s cafeteria noted “Valid complaints have been leveled at the cool temperatures of prepared foods,” so we do know that State is on top of the important things.

    — Why does the Consulate Naples still list Donald Moore as the Consul General on this page, while welcoming the new Consul General on this page (Moore was transferred to an obscure U.S. domestic position by the State Department)? The new Consul General has been there since September, following Moore’s coincidental departure around the time of the allegations.

    — Why does the State Department praise (p. 42) Naples for coordinating on behalf of Iranians “very smoothly with the Italian Embassy in Tehran to assist applicants who need Italian visas to attend their visa appointments in Naples.” Doing this work on behalf of Iranian visa applicants is a U.S. national interest because… ?

    — Why does a relatively minor U.S. government official like Moore in a tiny consulate have a butler, a driver and two maids paid for by the U.S. taxpayer? There are only ten Americans assigned to Naples anyway.

    — For that matter, why does the U.S. have a tiny consulate in a relatively unimportant city like Naples anyway? The U.S. already has a huge embassy in Rome, three consulates in other parts of Italy, plus three consular agencies (like small branch offices), plus a whole separate embassy with its own ambassador just for the Vatican. The U.S. State Department maintains in Italy a full-time staff of well-over 500 people, at an annual cost of over $97 million, because… ?

    Italy is about 116k square miles, roughly the size of California.




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    Sex, Lies and Rotten Meat at the American Consulate in Naples

    November 13, 2013 // 17 Comments »

    The New York Post reports that Ms. Kerry Howard, the community-liaison officer at the U.S. Consulate in Naples, claims she was run out of her job with the State Department after complaining about the consul general’s alleged office trysts with subordinates and hookers.

    Ms. Howard stated she had been bullied, harassed and forced to resign after she exposed US Consul General Donald Moore’s (pictured, left) alleged security-threatening shenanigans in the Naples, Italy, office. She explained that when she revealed allegations about her boss, State Department officials swept it under the rug, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint she filed with the Department’s Office of Civil Rights. This blog has covered this story briefly before, but we now have new information, exclusive to this blog.

    Needless to say State declined to comment to the Post. Ms. Howard resigned. Consul General Moore took another assignment elsewhere for State. In the insular world of Foggy Bottom, problem solved.

    EXCLUSIVE: Here’s More about Moore

    Lawrence Kelly is an attorney in New York representing Kerry Howard, the woman in the New York Post articles who raised the concerns about Naples.

    Kelly’s bio has him previous serving as Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the State Department on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in southern Iraq. He also does pro bono works for 9/11 victims (Trial Lawyers Care) and with TSGLI, a lump sum disability benefit for seriously wounded service members. While we have no way to verify the following statements, the State Department sure as heck can, and we invite their comment.

    Here’s attorney Lawrence Kelly, today’s guest blogger, with more on Naples:

    When the United States is interested in a foreign country, it likes to have a big footprint. What happens to the locals who interact or work with Americans when the Americans lose interest? There is a precedent. In the seventy years since the end of World War II, generations of European families have worked in American embassies and consulates as locally employed staff. If the recent treatment of locally employed staff in the consulate in Naples Italy is any indication, the locals might want to keep a consigliere on retainer.

    The New York Post has done two stories on the consequences to the careers of American whistleblowers in the Foreign Service confronting the abysmal activities of senior management in these European posts. Even worse, and not yet disclosed in the media, are the stark consequences for the locally employed staff of being in the wrong place and observing the misbehavior of senior State Department staff. The United States has shown itself to be ungrateful, arrogant and malicious in destroying the lives of locally employed staff to cover up for American misdeeds.

    The State Department standard of care has devolved into the Clinton query “what difference does it make?” I have obtained statements from the locally employed staff separated from their Naples Consulate employment. Their observations include the following [Note: Kelly supplied these translations, along with Italian language originals]

    “XXX receives in his apartments women of dubious morality, sleeping with them during working hours. …More seriously, I have seen the falsifying of the accounts for food for guests and dignitaries. XXX making them much higher. In addition, he was seeing a psychiatrist attending many sessions and her diagnosis was is mentally unstable, how can it be that a man so mentally unstable be in such a position? During one attack of anger he destroyed the courtyard of the Consulate two metal umbrella containers, taking them kicking and throwing them from the apartments above.”

    “I have witnessed in my working things like; XXX received in his residence women who dressed as prostitutes…he had often the habit to cook rotten foods, for example when he was the host of the British Consul General he served meat that had expired in 2010. He also falsified receipts for the costs of his events.”

    “XXX (definitely a very despicable person in my opinion”)… advised (a locally employed staff member he had impregnated) forced is a more accurate term to have an abortion…XXX had promised her that she would be able to remain working at the consulate. There are close circuit television tapes that can confirm everything that I say….a man who forces a woman to have an abortion is what kind of man?”

    So, as Secretary Clinton would ask, what difference does it make? Families who served the United States for seventy years are thrown away by a feckless United States, discharged from their employment, because the State Department was unable to control or contain senior managers. During the entirety of the Clinton era at the State Department, there was no congressional designation of an Inspector General. Internal investigations were instead run by Foreign Service veterans with close personal ties to existing senior management. Locally employed staff were disposable during an era when suppression of embarrassing details were the governing rules of the road. Regional Security Officers were used to suppress dissent, and morally outraged foreign service officers who raised red flags were admonished, curtailed or forced to seek transfer out of the assignment.

    As for the future, it is little consolation that individuals at the top of the pyramid in Italy during this period have now been moved to the State Department nerve center, the Seventh Floor of Main State. David Thorne, John Kerry’s former brother in law and Yale roommate, was Ambassador to Italy during this time, and the consequences to the locally employed staff of his tenure are fairly represented by the termination of six long term employees whose crime was simply knowing the truth about the Americans in charge of the Consulate.

    The stark consequence to the local employees is that a message has been sent. Americans are not to be trusted. Even by their fellow Americans.

    We’ll have more on this situation in the near future Friday, November 15, so please check back!




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