Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hillary Cracksdown on US Embassy frat boys in Afghanistan

Hillary Clinton is not pleased. I'm talking about the newest reports that private contracted guards at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan held drunken frat-like parties, hired prostitutes and threatened and hazed subordinates.

She has ordered an investigation into these allegations against the private contractors empolyed by the ArmorGroup, part of the Florida-based Wackenhut group, one of the biggest private security organizations in the US.

The decision to launch this investigation came after a 10-page dossier appeared yesterday on her desk claiming that the security guards at the embassy had been engaged in drunken parties involving prostitutes and the kind of ritual humiliation associated with gang initiation. The dossier contained pictures, emails and video footage as evidence of the misconduct.

The letter came from the independent investigative group Project on Government Oversight, or POGO. Here is an excerpt:

After extensive interviews with eyewitnesses, and examination of documents, photographs, videos, and emails, POGO believes that the management of the contract to protect the U.S. Embassy Kabul is grossly deficient, posing a significant threat to the security of the Embassy and its personnel—and thereby to the diplomatic mission in Afghanistan.
Busted! The dossier goes on to state that the guards were "engaging in near-weekly deviant hazing and humiliation of subordinates" claiming that some guards had barricaded themselves in their rooms out of fear that the alleged hazing might harm them physically.

There are also claims of prostitution. Saying that guard force supervisors "made no secret that, to celebrate a birthday, they brought prostitutes into Camp Sullivan, which maintains a sign-in log." The dossier does go into detail of why this is harmful to the US, not only because the pictures could be picked up by the Taliban and used as propaganda but because the general breakdown in discipline poses a threat to the security of the embassy.

I've been waiting for an official statement from Hillary to be release but until then, Ian Kelly has been filling us in. Saying that the reports of wild, anarchic partying are "very serious allegations, and we are treating them that way"... Secretary Clinton has "zero tolerance" for the behavior described and has directed a review of the whole system for farming out security to private contractors that may have threatened the safety of embassy personnel.

Watch Kelly's full response below:

The embassy gave this statement: "Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of all embassy personnel - Americans and Afghan - and respect for the cultural and religious values of all Afghans... We have taken immediate steps to review all local guard force policies and procedures and have taken all possible measures to ensure our security is sound."

I couldn't decide whether or not to post the lewd photo evidence here, so I will just link to it. Check out all the photos over at Gawker!

If you want to read the letter written to Secretary Clinton by POGO, click here!


AJHalliwell said...

That is really quite disturbing. And so disappointing. I understand the right likes to keep things like that secret because it keeps the US from looking bad, but a better way to keep the US from looking bad would be if THESE PEOPLE STOPPED BEING STUPID.

Hillary. Do your thing girl.

Stray Yellar Dawg? said...

Holy canoli. Who knew? Was Favreau there? Any S.o.S. cutouts? Oh surprise, surprise...

I hope Hillary nails the perpetrators of this conduct. Fires their asses and sends them home.

Alas, we'll have to wait for Sarah in 2012 to disband the White House fratties....

Stacy said...

Apparently this has been going on for some time. The whole private contractor thing is a mess- think of all the stories we've heard since the start of both wars- can you imagine what may be going on that we *haven't* yet heard about.

It's good Hillary's in charge of the State Dept. and hopefully as a result of an investigation, the appropriate heads are gonna role but in the end, the whole system of oversight of these private contracts needs to be reviewed.

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