Dissecting DynCorp’s statements about the “Dancing Boy”
The April 11, 2009 incident of DynCorp and their “dancing boys” was fist published by The Washington Post in July 2009. It wasn’t until Wikileaks published a State Department cable (PDF) between U.S. Assistant Ambassador Mussomeli and Afghanistan Minister of Interior (MoI) Hanif Atmar that things started getting ugly for DynCorp. After the State Department memo was made public, The Guardian in the UK was the first to publish anything on it. Based on that article MsSparky.com we published a post on Dec 3. David Isenberg published his article in the HuffingtonPost on Dec 6. After that point the main stream media and other bloggers jumped on board and started publicizing this highly offensive behavior.
I guess I’m not surprised that DynCorp has steadfastly denied any wrong doing and just chalked it up to “poor judgment” on the part of their employees regarding their “dancing boy” incident in Afghanistan. To top it all off, the State Department has jumped into the prevarication with them.
I totally understand that DynCorp Corporate can not have total control over every decision their managers make around the world. Managers are going to make poor decisions. It just happens. What aggravates me and what most people find disturbing are the attempts to “spin” the facts of the incident into something totally innocuous.
Below is an email communication from DynCorp Chief Compliance Officer Joe Kale to DynCorp employees. I’m going to point out the “spin” in Mr. Kale’s communication. My comments are in bold BLUE italics.
Message from Chief Compliance Officer Joe Kale (DynCorp)
December 16, 2010
By now you may have seen internet rumors (Rumors? It’s discussed in a State Department cable. I’d say it’s fact!) concerning an incident involving DynCorp International personnel in Afghanistan that occurred more than 20 months ago. (20 months ago? What difference does that make other than you almost got away with it!) These rumors (Proven to not be rumors!) – sensational and inaccurate – continue to appear despite the fact that they are baseless (Baseless? We have the Cable!). It is important for you to know the facts. This also serves as a reminder about the commitments that we have all made to behave ethically, exhibiting our shared values, and embracing our social contract. (Why make this statement if claims are baseless, sensational and inaccurate?)
Here are the facts: In April 2009 (April 11, 2009) a 17-year-old local Afghan dancer, who performed at local events such as weddings and other celebrations, was hired to perform a traditional Afghan dance at an employee’s going away party. (A 17 year old boy? This statement is trying lead the reader to believe that because he is almost of legal age by US standards it’s not big deal. I ask, at what age was this 17 year old sold into the bacha bazi industry? Probably around 5-7 years old. Mr. Kale would also lead you to believe these Afghan weddings and celebrations are similar to US celebrations. Not true. It is culturally unacceptable for men and women to mingle or assemble together in Afghanistan. This 17-year old performer only performs for men at these functions. According to the WP Article the boy wore jeans and a T-shirt, with a long scarf tied around his waist, as he moved around a DynCorp employee sitting on a single chair in a courtyard. That sounds awfully similar to a personal dance to me. He was a bacha bazi boy! This is a Trafficking In Persons (TIPs) violation and a violation of the FAR and DFARs which are federal laws!) A site manager stopped the performance after recognizing that the situation was culturally insensitive and inappropriate, and a thorough investigation was conducted. (KUDO’s to this site manager, but how did it get this far? Culturally insensitive, try illegal in Afghanistan. From the Cable Atmar states: “The crime he was pursuing was “purchasing a service from a child,” which in Afghanistan is illegal under both Sharia law and the civil code, and against the ANP Code of Conduct for police officers who might be involved.”)
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