Friday, September 4, 2009

US Embassy Kabul: POGO Story Day 4

MSNBC is reporting that the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said Friday it had fired eight guards following allegations of lewd conduct and sexual misconduct in their living quarters. Two other guards had resigned, the embassy said in a statement. See the coverage here. I have not seen the official statement; will post it when I find it. POGO has also issued a statement on the ArmorGroup guard firings here. Updated: Statement from US Embassy Kabul dated September 4 added below:

September 4, 2009 U.S. Embassy Statement on Local Guard Force The U.S. Embassy has taken further steps to investigate the unacceptable behavior of the employees working for Armor Group North America under contract to the Department of State: -- Ten guards seen in the offensive photos are leaving the country today; eight were terminated and two resigned. -- The entire Senior Management Team of Armor Group North America in Kabul is being replaced immediately. -- The Embassy Security Office continues its interviews of every one of the Armor Group guards. -- The team from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has arrived in Kabul and has begun a full investigation. In addition, the Embassy takes this opportunity to urge all employees of all contractors working for the U.S. Government in Afghanistan to report any employment issues to the hotline of the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction: (website:\fraud, e-mail:, phone: +93(0)700107300). We will continue to take every possible step to ensure the safety and security of U.S. Embassy personnel, while respecting the values of all Afghans, Americans and contract employees and visitors from other countries.
The POGO story also continues to make it into the Daily Press Brief, so the interest on this story has yet to dissipate. As of September 4, three investigations has been reportedly started: 1) by SIGAR, 2) by Management/DS, and 3) by the US Embassy Kabul. A regular OIG inspection is reportedly going to be conducted at the US Embassy Kabul within the next couple of months, too. I don't know why they're not conducting a unified investigation here. Are those supervisors and guards going to be interviewed three times by three different teams conducting three investigations resulting in three reports?

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