State Department Apologizes to Ambassador Howard Gutman

As many of you know, towards the end of the wonderful Ambassadorship, there was a wrongful leak of a long-discredited allegation of misconduct (that Diplomatic Security had always labeled as “relatively minor,” but which bloggers and the uninformed then press blew up into a sensationalist story.) I served my full term, never had any problem at State (who knew the truth), and the facts had long shown the allegation to be wrong. So I was delighted that the Department of State has now issued an apology to me. As reported in The Nelson Report:

When good people get smeared by leaks, it is a rare sunny day when they are publicly exonerated. But with the release of the Office of the Inspector General report covering the wrongful leak 15 months ago of previously-discredited allegations of wrongdoing, the Department of State put out the following statement apologizing to former U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman and others:

“The Inspector General’s report makes clear there was no wrongdoing and that the allegations wrongfully leaked from internal OIG documents were in fact unsubstantiated. It can’t erase the pain these leaks caused those public servants who were falsely accused, but it does vindicate them and puts an end to a painful chapter for many. Most importantly, the report concludes there is ‘no systemic problem’ in the Department’s investigations. The irresponsible leaks did not occur on the watch of this Inspector General, but we appreciate that he has brought this difficult story to a conclusion.”

Glad to put it even further to bed. For my Belgian friends, I would appreciate spreading the word about the State Department’s apology and statement above. And I will never forget the friendship and support during the tougher times.


For press coverage and more information regarding the State Department’s Apology, please visit the following links:

·         The Nelson Report

·         Flanders News



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