Group accuses U.S. Kabul embassy guards of misconduct
Nearly naked, drunken guys dancing around a bonfire and engaging in lewd conduct. And there are pictures and videos. No it’s not a frat party gone wild. It’s downtime for some private security contractors hired to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, according to the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight.
The watchdog group says the alleged misbehavior by the guards working for ArmorGroup North America — along with serious under-staffing — has jeopardized security at the embassy amid rising violence in the Afghan capital.
The Project sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a lengthy letter documenting complaints about the guards. The group also sent pictures and videos backing its allegations.
And it cited a “‘Lord of the Flies’ environment” among some English-speakers at the camp where the men are stationed, marked by hazing of recruits, drunkenness and lewd conduct.
About 150 guards are Americans or from other English-speaking countries. The remaining 300 were identified by the Project on Government Oversight as Gurkhas from northern India and Nepal who speak little or no English.
Pictures obtained by the group show male guards, scantily dressed in G-string style garments, dancing around a bonfire and urinating while others snap photographs.
Video show them pouring alcohol down the bare backside of a new recruit and trying to drink it as it spills from the man’s buttocks.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly called the allegations “serious” and said they had been referred to the department’s inspector general.
ArmorGroup North America had no immediate comment on the allegations.
About 1,000 U.S. diplomats, staff and Afghan nationals work at the embassy in Kabul.
Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, urged the State Department to put Kabul embassy security under military supervision and consider initiating suspension proceedings against ArmorGroup and its parent company, Wackenhut Services Inc.