Contractors Gone Wild

Tuesday, September 01, 2009 at 6:17 pm

These documents about the behavior of ArmorGroup, a security company hired by the State Department to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, have to be seen to be believed. The Project on Government Oversight released them in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Here’s a sample:

Numerous emails, photographs, and videos portray a Lord of the Flies environment. One email from a current guard describes scenes in which guards and supervisors are “peeing on people, eating potato chips out of [buttock] cracks, vodka shots out of [buttock] cracks (there is video of that one), broken doors after drnken [sic] brawls, threats and intimidation from those leaders participating in this activity….” Photograph after photograph shows guards—including supervisors—at parties in various stages of nudity, sometimes fondling each other. These parties take place just a few yards from the housing of other supervisors.

Asked about ArmorGroup at a press briefing today, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that Clinton would have “zero tolerance for the type of conduct that is alleged.” But when a reporter challenged Kelly over the fact that State has put ArmorGroup on notice about inappropriate behavior in Kabul since June 2007, this was his response:

We’ve been investigating this organization for some time now. We understand that we have made some – we have pointed out to them some of the deficiencies. And I can’t answer right now from this podium exactly what they have done in response to this letter.

It’s into this sort of oversight environment that Blackwater Xe is looking to re-up its contracts with State to protect diplomats.

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Comment posted September 1, 2009 @ 10:34 pm

Is it a requirement for State Dept. contracts that contractors be required to hire people with scatological issues? Some previously unknown “quota” system we are just now learning about?

Lord of the Flies? Hell, it almost sounds like Caligula…

Comment posted September 2, 2009 @ 12:46 am

Where the hell do we get these people from? Is there a special class in our prisons that people can take for a future career in anti terror security, because these idiots can't posibly be the product of any civilized upbringing or education!!! I mean seriously…just…WTF?

Kabul Contractor Outrage Will Bring No Change [Freelancers] |
Pingback posted September 2, 2009 @ 6:00 am

[...] and lack of oversight can result in poor performance.” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed that yesterday at a press conference: We’ve been investigating this organization for some [...]

Comment posted September 2, 2009 @ 5:05 am

I think it was in Steve Fainaru's book “Big Boy Rules” that a female State Department employee clained to have been approached by 2 Blackwater guards at a Green Zone bar run by and patronised by private security contractors. One of the Blackwater guards suggested that they all go back to his quarters where he could have sex with her while at the same time his buddy would masturbated against his back. I think she thought they were crude assholes making a sick joke so she left and never went back. After reading this article I have to think they were crude sickos making a serious proposition.

At The End Of The Day, Gawker Holds The Conch Shell « Around The Sphere
Pingback posted September 2, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

[...] Spencer Ackerman: Asked about ArmorGroup at a press briefing today, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that Clinton would have “zero tolerance for the type of conduct that is alleged.” But when a reporter challenged Kelly over the fact that State has put ArmorGroup on notice about inappropriate behavior in Kabul since June 2007, this was his response: [...]

Comment posted September 2, 2009 @ 8:56 pm

Get a grip people! You must all live in a sheltered little world with teacups and fairies all around you! Do you really think things like this don't occur often, in every part of the world, by, not only civilians, but by military personnel as well. OUR US personnel! Please, this DOES happen! I'm not condoning it, but no one was hurt, no one was sexually molested and these guys were off duty. Yeah, shots are being heard outside there site…It's the freakin middle east for God's sake! I don't beleive they work in that type of environment to be “civilized.” That type of talk, language, demeanor is typical “type A” personnalities. But, you folks making the “OMG, I'm so appaulled comments” don't have a clue. Wake up America, the SH#$ is only going to get worse and we will have to deal with it anyway we can! It's just R&R for those guys. They aren't waisting anyones money with their behavoir. You just don't like their behavoir, noted!

Comment posted September 3, 2009 @ 2:25 am

It might behoove us tea cup holders to consider that this “camp”, no pun intended is serviced by a small army of Afghan nationals. They cook and serve the food, clean the rooms and latrines, wash the clothes and the vehicles. In other words they do all the shit work that needs to be done while the “Big Boys” blow off steam by drinking vodka out of each others butt cracks. Like all servents the Afghans are mostly ignored by the hard partying security contractors but they have eyes and ears and believe me everything that happens in that camp is know all over Kabul and probable Afghanistan. It hardly is a good representation of our superior western ways. The wstern ways that Gen McChrystal is willing to exchange a large number of American troops lives to sell to the Afghan people..

Comment posted September 3, 2009 @ 3:28 pm

You're forgetting about the female Ameican soldier who was raped, killed and mutilated with caustic chemicals (to burn off evidence/DNA) and dumped in tent…with the primary suspicion falling upon the contractors she worked with daily.

It was judged to be a suicide. Although how she managed to burn her guts out with acid before killing herself I would just love to know.

I live in a rowdy world…but there are limits decent people observe even while trashed (and I have been trashed on occasion.) Some things show a deficit of character so great that the people who commit them shouldn't be trusted with certain tasks…like testing pilots for booze or drugs, or doing background checks on people working for the State Dept. A certain standard of conduct is expected.

If it's, as you say, 'going to get worse', it will because there are no consequences for their actions. No investigations, deaths become accidents and suicides, newspapers stay silent and outrage is transformed into acceptance. We don't like their behavior…noted. So we look to build consensus that the rules they operate under be tightened, that the worst offenders be fired and/or jailed (for the ones who commit real crimes…not just the pathetic drunks). Because why should we live in a world of laws and rules and expectations…and then tolerate a pack of lushes being given a free ride on uncle Sams back? And no waste? Would you feel safe knowing the guy guarding you in a hostile country was doing shots out of his buddys ass crack last night? I can shoot with the best of them, but hangovers and reflexes don't mix. Our money has been wasted on guards who aren't fit to guard a shithouse against flies.

Comment posted September 5, 2009 @ 8:52 am

It's really sad that the few that act like thus give everine in a whole a bad name. I know the qualifications you have to have to be where these guys ara at. Doing the things they are doing. Not everyone can do it. There are good people there as well, working hard to protect our country and to support their families. My husband is there and he has told me some of the things that he has seen and he can't stand working with those idiots. It's not everyone! I

Comment posted September 24, 2009 @ 9:17 pm

Draw a straight (no pun intended) line from these photos to those other famous homoerotic photos from Abu Ghraib. Contractors were involved there as well, but the media dropped the ball on that story (that was before the unbelievable corruption and savagery of Blackwater was common knowledge)

Comment posted September 25, 2009 @ 5:54 am

Amazing, ain't it? Triple Canopy, Dyncorp, pretty much the whole lot of them seem like criminal organizations. This is what our tax dollars pay for.
And they bitch about ACORN…

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Comment posted June 3, 2010 @ 12:59 am

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