They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

State Dept: No One Touched 'Dancing Boy' At DynCorp Party


But according to both the State Department, which investigated the incident, and DynCorp, no such sexual abuse occurred.

"We did not find anything that there was any kind of misconduct of that kind at all," Susan Pittman, a spokeswoman for the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told TPM. "It was just inappropriate."

DynCorp says one manager present stopped the dancing halfway through after "recognizing that the situation was culturally insensitive." At the State Department's request, DynCorp fired several managers involved and flew "senior leadership" to Afghanistan to do face-to-face ethics training.

"They responded responsibly," the State spokeswoman said.

It was the appearance of impropriety everyone involved -- DynCorp, State, the Afghanistan government -- were worried about. News of a "dancing boy" at an American-hosted party could have deeply offended Afghanistan citizens.

Military analyst and expert on Afghanistan, Joshua Foust, tells TPM it's entirely possible that the DynCorp employees who hired the boy didn't know the cultural implications of such a performance.

The Afghan minister, Hanif Atmar, didn't entirely succeed in blocking news coverage of the party: the Washington Post ran a story in July 2009 that mentioned the party and the ensuing State Department and internal DynCorp investigations. But that was before "Frontline" publicized the plight of some of Afghanistan's dancing boys.