The security firm that guards the Kabul embassy and got caught up in a scandal that “introduced the world to vodka butt-shots” is still on the job and doesn’t appear to have plans to leave Afghanistan anytime soon, Mother Jones reports.ArmorGroup North America (AGNA) created a scandal back in 2009 when a government oversight group send a letter that painted a picture of a “Lord of the Flies environment” that included “hazing and wild partying depicted in a series of graphic photographs showing members of the Kabul embassy security force drunk, half-naked, and engaged in an array of NSFW behavior,” the magazine reports.
The State Department said back in December 2009 that it would no longer employ ArmorGroup Afghanistan.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the five-year, $189 million contract with ArmorGroup would not be renewed when it expired in the summer of 2010.
But that’s not quite how it worked out, Daniel Schulman of Mother Jones writes:
In late September, the agency selected the Tennessee-based firm EOD Technology to take over the contract. But December 30 came and went with no changing of the guards. And AGNA apparently believed it was staying put, at least for a while. In mid-January, the company posted a job ad on Careerbuilder noting that it was “recruiting Protective Security Specialists to provide security to the U.S. Embassy in, Kabul, Afghanistan.”
A spokeswoman for AGNA, Susan Pitcher, confirmed that the firm is still protecting the embassy, but declined to comment further, citing a State Department policy about contractors speaking to reporters. EODT also declined to comment. But a Diplomatic Security spokesman told Mother Jones that the transition has been delayed. Now, he said, the handover won’t happen until May. “In order to provide EODT with adequate time to make an orderly transition, it has been given 120 days from the end of AGNA’s contract,” the spokesman said.