State Department to Drop ArmorGroup’s Kabul Contract
Posted on Dec 8, 2009
Tough break, ArmorGroup North America. The U.S. State Department has decided not to re-up its contract with the rent-a-guard company that made the worst kind of headlines earlier this year with lurid stories about, and compromising photographs of, AGNA’s alarmingly hard-partying Kabul embassy crew. —KA
This turn of events won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s viewed the lewd pictures of the company’s personnel engaged in all manner of bacchanalian behavior. But the real question is why it took an international incident for the State Department to remove AGNA from the embassy job in the first place. Serious complaints about AGNA’s performance emerged almost as soon as the company took over security at the embassy in the summer of 2007. That July, the State Department sent the first of at least nine warnings to the company, this one noting that “deficiencies” in AGNA’s work were of such magnitude that “the security of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is in jeopardy.” For nearly two years, the agency continued to warn ANGA repeatedly about its performance and even threatened to replace the company, yet twice renewed the contract. Worse still, according to a lawsuit filed by AGNA’s former director of operations, James Gordon, the State Department was alerted way back in June 2007 that AGNA recruits were engaging in the very same variety of “lewd, aberrant, and sexually deviant behavior” that ultimately ended up embarassing the Obama adminstration in September, after the Project on Government Oversight exposed a pattern of misconduct and performance lapses by the company in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Guards gone wild: This still from a CBS News report shows guards partying at Kabul’s Camp Sullivan, close to the American Embassy in the Afghan capital.