Despite grotestque bacchanals that would make a True Blood maenad
blush, some crazy, sadistic sickos guarding the US embassy in Kabul got their 5-year, 189 million dollar contract renewed for another year. The company involved: ArmorGroup North America (a subsidiary of Wackenhut, which is in turn owned by the security behemoth G4S). Your tax dollars at work, folks. Snip from Mother Jones
article by Daniel Schulman
Guards have come to POGO with allegations and photographic evidence that some supervisors and guards are engaging in near-weekly deviant hazing and humiliation of subordinates. Witnesses report that the highest levels of AGNA management in Kabul are aware of and have personally observed--or even engaged in--these activities, but have done nothing to stop them. Indeed, management has condoned this misconduct, declining to take disciplinary action against those responsible and allowing two of the worst offending supervisors to resign and allegedly move on to work on other U.S. contracts. The lewd and deviant behavior of approximately 30 supervisors and guards has resulted in complete distrust of leadership and a breakdown of the chain of command, compromising security.
Animal House in Afghanistan (Mother Jones)
Numerous emails, photographs, and videos portray a Lord of the Flies environment. One email from a current guard describes scenes in which guards and supervisors are "peeing on people, eating potato chips out of [buttock] cracks, vodka shots out of [buttock] cracks (there is video of that one), broken doors after drnken [sic] brawls, threats and intimidation from those leaders participating in this activity...." Photograph after photograph shows guards--including supervisors--at parties in various stages of nudity, sometimes fondling each other. These parties take place just a few yards from the housing of other supervisors.
See also: Contractors Gone Wild, an article from 2008 about similar behavior from KBR employees in 2008. (Mother Jones)
Related: POGO Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding U.S. Embassy in Kabul (Project on Government Oversight)
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
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