Photo: ABC News
Two whistleblowers have released a video that allegedly shows key U.S. security contractors in Kabul, Afghanistan getting drunk and high on narcotics while on the job, Cindy Galli, Rhonda Schwartz and Brian Ross of ABC News report.The contractor in the video, Virginia-based Jorge Scientific, has won almost $1 billion in U.S. government contracts. The company’s operations manual contains a “zero-tolerance for alcohol and drug use” and says all personnel must be on alert 24/7 for a possible terror attack, ABC News reports.
The military prohibits the use of alcohol or illegal drugs by U.S. contractors in Afghanistan under what is known as General Order Number One.
There are currently more private contractors in Afghanistan than uniformed U.S. military personnel. The video will surely inflame critics of outsourcing work to contractors that was once done by the military. Government reports have found that the U.S. has wasted tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan as it squanders $1 for every $6 spent and sometimes indirectly funds the Taliban.
Two former employees, John Melson and Kenny Smith, will use the video as evidence in a lawsuit they’ve filed against Jorge Scientific,which claims that the actions “endangered Jorge employees, the U.S. mission, and U.S. military personnel.”
The footage shows the security manager for the company slamming vodka and wrestling with another employee. Another part allegedly shows the company’s medical officer glassy-eyed and unable to respond to a request for help after injecting himself with Ketamine, a prescription anesthetic.
That medical officer, Kevin Carlson, told ABC News there was “massive drug and alcohol abuse” at the Jorge Scientific facility, often led by Chris Sullivan, the company’s senior on-site executive, who would carry a loaded pistol tucked into his pants.
“It was like a frat house for adults,” Melson told ABC. “Some of them to the point where they were passing out, there’s firearms laying around, some of them still carrying the firearms on them.”
Melson and Smith worked as armed security officers in Kabul as part of a $47 million contract to train the Afghan National Police but quit in disgust and out of concern that their own safety was being compromised, according to ABC News.
“This arrogant image that Americans have worldwide, this was feeding right into it,” Melson, a National Guard sergeant who served in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan before working for Jorge Scientific, told ABC News.
Furthermore, the men told ABC News that there was no oversight of the contractors. In fact, they allege that at least one female Army major was a regular at the parties and often used a room in the facility for sexual encounters.
The Army, prompted by inquiries from ABC News, has opened a criminal investigation.
The video will be aired this evening on “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline.”
Here’s the initial report:
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