Did Embassy Fire Hazing Victims?

| Fri Sep. 4, 2009 11:53 AM EDT

UPDATE: The news POGO is getting from Afghanistan suggests that the "right people are being fired." See below.

Earlier, I noted the possibillity that the US embassy in Kabul may have fired Armor Group guards who were victims of sexually-tined hazing rituals, along with some of the perpetrators of them.  The Project on Government Oversight just released a statement from the group's executive director, Danielle Brian, and she is indeed concerned that some of "unwilling participants" may have been axed:

POGO is pleased that the State Department has finally taken decisive steps to bring the Kabul security guard scandal. under control.  We remain very concerned, however, with certain elements of this action.  POGO has no solid information of the identities of those reported to have been removed.  We have been told people are being fired for simply being in the photographs.  We do know a number of those were unwilling participants.

We also want to hear that the supervisors who were responsible for this debacle are being held fully accountable and not simply allowed to resign and go to another contractor.

I have a call into the State Department seeking comment. I'll update the post when I hear back.

UPDATE: More news is coming in from POGO.

A quick update from the ground in Kabul: we've heard that guards at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan are very pleased with the State Department's actions so far, with one source saying guards feel as if they've been "liberated from prison."  State Department investigators have been conducting thorough, respectful interviews and are not asking guards if they shared information with POGO.  The right people are being fired and it looks like we're on the way to restoring an atmosphere of professionalism at the U.S. Embassy.

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