Group accuses U.S. Kabul embassy guards of misconduct

September 2, 2009

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.


5 comments

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Video footage of: “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.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tC-2z-_O Vw

It’s so shocking and at the beginning of the video it actually looks like the one man’s face is right up against the other man’s backside before the alcohol is poured.

What is going on over there? And if this is what these men are doing to each other, what are they doing to women employees? Why was their contract renewed. I’m stunned.

Posted by DiMi | Report as abusive

I know these people are not the US forces ,but is this a start of what could happen if the perception is that the government at home is wavering ,like what happened in V/nam? An old fiend of mine who was in the Australian army stationed with the US troops, always said as the US moral deteriorated so did the discipline. Obama has to send a strong message of his intentions,if not and he starts to procrastinate to look for a suitable political way that will distance him away from his campaign statements,it will not be acceptable.this is a very important decision relating to our safety ,to play party politics.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

The report by the general in charge in afghanistan has not yet been released but we have been told that he will not need any more troops. That sounds strange to me after several reports to the contrary.Could it be that the general was told before hand that troop increase could not be an option? and the general making this statement himself would take the onus of Obama that this decision came from his office?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Alternative Headline “Guards rock out with cock out” I don’t see the heaped pile of prisoners being threatened by german shepherds. I don’t see the electrotorture of a hooded iraqi boy. I don’t see the rape, murder and live burning of a little iraqi girl and her family… These guys look like they’re partying, and the only thing hurt here seems to be some america’s moral sensibilities. Call me when there’s a real story…

Posted by Alex Kim | Report as abusive

It’s always hard to get good help when you do things you shouldn’t, in places you shouldn’t be. Like we can get proper, upright, God-fearing, tax-paying, non-drinking/non-smoking church folk to staff private security concerns in the hell-hole.

One moment a 500 lb. bomb lights up a hijacked tanker truck and the ‘insurgents’ scavenging fuel from it. Then party-harders in US employ are dropping trou and boozing it up around a bonfire.

Luckily the Afghan locals discount what they see and experience first-hand — even third-degree burns — and log in to google what’s really happening to them and their villages, and find out how much we are really helping them.

The parallel — and real story — is beyond obvious: Domestically, first we have to rack up trillions in new federal debt before we can have an improving economy. In Afghanistan (and continuing in Iraq) we have to first create thousands of new terrorists and insurgents before we can be ‘safe’ from future terrorist strikes.

The longer we are in Afghanistan, the more Afghanistan, the tribal warfare, is going to manifest here in the states. Obama has tracked Afghanistan in onto our kitchen floor, like a kid with muddy shoes.

Posted by dom youngross | Report as abusive