Private Security Contractors Gone Wild in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a letter on Tuesday from Project on Government Oversight (POGO), and I’m sure she didn’t like what she saw. It was reported that private security contractors ArmorGroup North America guarding the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, have been behaving not like professionals responsible for keeping American government workers safe, but like crazed frat boys on a particularly debaucherous Spring break.

What have they been up to? According to the letter, "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 drunken brawls, threats and intimidation from those leaders participating in this activity."

Apparently, this has been going on under the not-so-watchful eye of supervisors, creating a kind of hazing environment that has caused many incoming guards to leave within a year of arriving. Some guards claimed that they actually had to barricade themselves in their rooms because they were afraid that if they didn’t participate in this depraved bacchanal, they would be physically harmed.

This would be unacceptable behavior coming from adults at a frat house, but not only is ArmorGroup North America funded by taxpayers (to the tune of $189 million a year!), but they're also in charge of safeguarding the lives of hundreds of diplomats and other officials who work in the embassy. A representative for the security contractors testified before Congress and said ArmorGroup has been fully staffed since January 2009, but a POGO rep says that they’re chronically understaffed, overworked, and now that these allegations are out — subject to hazing abuse.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly had this to say about the shocking news and graphic pictures (NSFW): "These are very serious allegations and we are treating them that way," adding that the State Department has "zero tolerance for the type of conduct that is alleged in these documents."

POGO

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