In the Houston Press, an extensive blog post
untangling an alarming story from the state department cables: "another horrific taxpayer-funded sex scandal for DynCorp
, the private security contractor tasked with training the Afghan police," and apparent proof that the company procured male children for bacha bazi ("boy-play") parties.
The story boils down to this: this company, headquartered in DC with Texas offices, helped pimp out little boys as sex slaves to stoned cops in Afghanistan:
Read the whole post.
For Pashtuns in the South of Afghanistan, there is no shame in having a little boy lover; on the contrary, it is a matter of pride. Those who can afford the most attractive boy are the players in their world, the OG's of places like Kandahar and Khost. On the Frontline video, ridiculously macho warrior guys brag about their young boyfriends utterly without shame.
So perhaps in the evil world of Realpolitik, in which there is apparently no moral compass US private contractors won't smash to smithereens, it made sense for DynCorp to drug up some Pashtun police recruits and turn them loose on a bunch of little boys. But according to the leaked document, Atmar, the Afghani interior minister, was terrified this story would catch a reporter's ear.
He urged the US State Department to shut down a reporter he heard was snooping around, and was horrified that a rumored videotape of the party might surface. He predicted that any story about the party would "endanger lives." He said that his government had arrested two Afghan police and nine Afghan civilians on charges of "purchasing a service from a child" in connection with the party, but that he was worried about the image of their "foreign mentors," by which he apparently meant DynCorp. American diplomats told him to chill. They apparently had a better handle on our media than Atmar, because when a report of the party finally did emerge, it was neutered to the point of near-falsehood.
Frontline covered the phenomenon earlier this year—I watched the documentary when it first aired in the US. It was hard to watch. The notion that an American company enabled the sexual and physical abuse of kids like this is nauseating. Video embedded below, may be geo-blocked for folks outside the USA.
(via Dave Winer)
Since the Tony Blair years, the Labour Party has really been two parties: the dominant one was neoliberal, surveillance-happy, banker-worshipping, and it held the other party — working people, unions, progressives, students — ransom, with a pitch that went, “Well, you’re hardly going to vote for the Tories, are you?”
The Leave campaign’s old homepage, which once linked to screen after screen of promises about the UK’s bright future out of the EU, is now just a static banner, with no way to navigate to those pages.
Photographer unknown, spotted on Sunset Boulevard.
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