A “Mutiny” in Kabul: Guards Allege Security Problems Have Put Embassy at Risk
Roughly a week later, on July 18, the State Department addressed a “MEMORANDUM for Record” to Aegis calling for the “release” — apparently meaning dismissal — of another guard who has been described to POGO as a leader of the petition drive and a veteran of the U.S. Army and federal law enforcement.
That memo, a copy of which was obtained by POGO, said the guard held “a critical leadership position.” It added that he “was instrumental in leading a baseless mutiny against the senior operational leadership of the guard force, which undermined the chain of command and ultimately put the security of the Embassy at risk.”
“I was definitely retaliated against,” the guard named in the memo said. “I was bringing up issues to the [State Department’s] Regional Security Officers that they did not want to hear about. They asked me, ‘Did I sign the petition.’ I said, ‘Yes.’ Then I got fired.” The guard did not want to be named in this report to avoid professional repercussions.
Two guards who said they did not sign the petition but were nevertheless critical of embassy security at staff meetings say they were told that if they did not leave the Kabul guard force voluntarily, they would be fired. They have since returned to the United States. “I was terminated for telling the truth,” one of them said.
Partly as a result of the scandal involving Aegis’s predecessor, the congressionally mandated bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan held a hearing and warned in 2009 that the system was broken, in part because it called for approving the lowest acceptable bid. This in turn encouraged companies to “under-bid” to win awards and then “use every means possible to limit costs.”