Embassy Scandal: Eight Guards Fired

Provided by the Project on Government Oversight.

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The US embassy in Kabul has fired eight ArmorGroup guards, all of whom appeared in a series of pictures showing the firm’s employees partying half-naked and engaging in lewd acts. The AP reports:

The embassy said Friday the management team of the private contractor that provides the guards is also “being replaced immediately.”

An embassy statement said the guards who were dismissed left the country Friday. Two other guards resigned and also left.

Over at the Washigton Independent, Spencer Ackerman says this move seems a bit too little, too late. “This smells more like crisis management than accountability.” Further, on her Twitter feed, the Project on Government Oversight’s Danielle Brian questions whether the embassy may have sacked some of the wrong guys: “mass firings of Kabul Embassy guards overnight bad guys out, but maybe a few good guys too?”

The men who were fired all appeared in the infamous pics. Is it possible that the embassy axed some of the victims of what POGO described as a culture of “near-weekly deviant hazing and humiliation of subordinates”? Some of the guys shown whooping it up in the pics may look like they’re having a good time, but the guy captured mid-butt shot is being held down by another man. And, perhaps I’m a prude, but I can’t imagine participating in this willingly. I have a message in to Brian seeking clarification on her Tweet. I’m told that POGO is following up and may be releasing additional information. I’ll update when I know more.

UPDATE: Brian is indeed concerned that “unwilling participants” were fired. See here for here full statement.

UPDATE 2: The news POGO is getting from Afghanistan suggests that the “right people are being fired.”

Follow Daniel Schulman on Twitter.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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