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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. Read the remainder of this entry »
WikiLeaks: DynCorp Responds To Dancing Boys Scandal
John Nova Lomax – December 9, 2010 – In the wake of our story about DynCorp’s ill-fated Afghan dance party, DynCorp’s vice president of communications Ashley Vanarsdall Burke has sent in an official response.
The company says that there was no truth to the allegation made in the headline ““Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops” or several other allegations made in official cables from the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan that were publicized by WikiLeaks.
We were taken to task for not contacting them first and then Burke laid out the “facts” as the company sees them.
Burke stated that “a handful of individuals were found to have exercised extremely poor judgment and acted inappropriately. It is important to note, however, that the inaccurate and bizarre allegations contained in your story are false and recklessly irresponsible.”
What really happened, according to Burke, was this:
As part of an employee’s going away party, 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. Recognizing that the situation was culturally insensitive, a site manager stopped the performance. Despite the fact that the performance was stopped, the situation was investigated. What was determined was that the leadership of the team exhibited poor judgment and were subsequently terminated. That is the whole story; no alcohol or drugs were involved, or other illegal behaviors occurred.”
I have been following and researching this deplorable bacha bazi “dancing boys” custom in Afghanistan since I learned of it. I published an article a couple of days ago after a article in the UK came out. Where’s the main stream media on Dyncorp’s Dancing Boys and repeated trafficking in persons offenses? Where’s the outrage from our politicians? Where is the outrage from Secretary Clinton, President Obama? Where is the outrage from US citizens? I say “Thank God for Wikileaks!” We would have never known about this contractor perversion otherwise! Thank God for The Huffington Post and reporters like David Isenberg!~ Ms Sparky
David Isenberg Author, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq
Posted: December 6, 2010 08:47 AM
For an example of how just one transgression can lead to endless bad publicity consider the movie titled The Whistleblower that was released earlier this year. To summarize the plot, in Bosnia in 1999, Kathryn Bolkovac, a U.S. policewoman served as a U.N. peacekeeper. Her post was with the International Police Task Force which was arranged by DynCorp Aerospace. She was assigned to run the IPTF office that investigates sex trafficking, domestic abuse and sexual assault. She ultimately alleges that peacekeepers, U.N. workers and international police are visiting brothels and facilitating sex trafficking by forging documents and aiding the illegal transport of woman into Bosnia. DynCorp responds by firing Bolkovac, who returns to the U.S. and files a wrongful termination case. She wins the suit but says she’s still blacklisted.
Put bluntly, DynCorp was involved in a sex slavery scandal in Bosnia in 1999, with its employees accused of rape and the buying and selling of girls as young as 12. Dyncorp, hired to perform police duties for the UN and aircraft maintenance for the US Army, were implicated in prostituting the children, whereas the company’s Bosnia site supervisor filmed himself raping two women. A number of employees were transferred out of the country, but with no legal consequences for them. Read the remainder of this entry »
I can’t even put into words how sickened I am that one of our own US Government contractors would participate in the heinous child abuse, the ancient Afghan tradition of “bacha bazi” also known as “Afghan Dancing Boys”.
According to Wikipedia:
Bacha Bazi (translated from Persian: literally “playing with children”), also known as bacchá ‘ (from the Persian bacheh “child, young man, calf”) is a practice recognized as sexual slavery and child prostitution in which prepubescent children and adolescents are sold to wealthy or powerful men for entertainment and sexual activities. This business thrives in southern Afghanistan, where many men keep them as status symbols. Some of the individuals involved report being forced into sex. The authorities are barely attempting to crack down on the practice as “un-Islamic and immoral acts” but many doubt it would be effective since many of the men are powerful and well-armed former commanders.
An April 2010 documentary by Najibullah Quraishi about the practice was aired on PBS Frontline in the United States and True Stories in the UK on 20 April 2010. This film premiered at the Royal Society of Arts on 29 March 2010.
It would appear the State Department just has no business overseeing their contractors. First it was Armour Group and the naked drinking male orgies and now Dyncorp and their “dancing boys”. Come on Secretary Clinton, this is unacceptable! And don’t blame WikiLeaks!
This is not the first time Dyncorp has been accused of atrocities. I have blogged about DynCorp’s human trafficking violations in the Balkins. The movie The Whistleblower highlighting these types of crimes was released in May of this year. The Pentagon knew what they they were dealing with, why the hell did they give them a piece of LOGCAP IV, or any other US Government contract? Robert Gates and Hilary Clinton should be ashamed of the disgrace they let these companies proliferate. Eric Holder needs to spend more time prosecuting and less time pontificating about DoJ’s ten years of success on combating these crimes!
Foreign contractors hired Afghan ‘dancing boys’, WikiLeaks cable reveals
Episode fuelled Afghan demands that private security firms be brought much more under government control
- WikiLeaks cables show Afghan interior minister Hanif Atmar was in a panic over the scandal involving foreign contractors. Atmar resigned in June this year.
A scandal involving foreign contractors employed to train Afghan policemen who took drugs and paid for young “dancing boys” to entertain them in northern Afghanistan caused such panic that the interior minister begged the US embassy to try and “quash” the story, according to one of the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.