Critics of the department’s handling of the matter say the actions of U.S. officials contradicted the spirit of the Courage awards, which since 2007 have honored women who “have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice,” according to the State Department’s website.
“Secretary Pompeo should have honored a courageous journalist willing to stand up to Kremlin propaganda. Instead, his department sought to stifle dissent to avoid upsetting a president who, day after day, tries to take pages out of Putin’s playbook,” Menendez said. “The State Department owes Ms. Aro an apology.” —Washington Post
From the OIG report: