Monday, January 10, 2011

What Does a Wiki Leaks Cable Look Like? Here's One About DynCorp Providing Boys for Sex

I've had plenty of other things to do besides look up wikileaks cables, but someone sent me an article about a wikileaks cable that said that an American firm DynCorp, which has contracts in Afghanistan, funded a party in which young boys danced and were auctioned off to the highest bidder for sex.  This is sort of activity, apparently called bacha bazi is allegedly practiced by a small minority of Pashtuns.  There were articles about this practice last spring, but the Wikileaks cable is supposed to suggest (I say this because I can't - without help - totally get this from the cable) that American tax dollars, through contract funding to DynCorp, has supported this custom which goes counter to not only Western values, but also, Muslim values as well.  As you'll see, if you slog through all this, DynCorp has had a spotty record with sex slaves before. 

I can't find any mainstream media that have published information on this.  I did find a blog post at the Houston Press.
The Afghanistan cable (dated June 24, 2009) discusses a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli. Prime among Atmar's concerns was a party partially thrown by DynCorp for Afghan police recruits in Kunduz Province.
Many of DynCorp's employees are ex-Green Berets and veterans of other elite units, and the company was commissioned by the US government to provide training for the Afghani police. According to most reports, over 95 percent of its $2 billion annual revenue comes from US taxpayers.
And in Kunduz province, according to the leaked cable, that money was flowing to drug dealers and pimps. Pimps of children, to be more precise. (The exact type of drug was never specified. 

Since this is Afghanistan, you probably already knew this wasn't a kegger. Instead, this DynCorp soiree was a bacha bazi ("boy-play") party, much like the ones uncovered earlier this year by Frontline. .  . [they have the video on the blog]

So, I looked up the Wikileaks post with the cable.  See if you can get all that from the cable.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 001651



EO 12958 DECL: 06/23/2019


1. (C) SUMMARY: Assistant Ambassador Mussomeli discussed a range of issues with Minister of Interior (MoI) Hanif Atmar on June 23. On the Kunduz Regional Training Center (RTC) DynCorp event of April 11 (reftel), Atmar reiterated his insistence that the U.S. try to quash any news article on the incident or circulation of a video connected with it. He continued to predict that publicity would “endanger lives.” He disclosed that he has arrested two Afghan police and nine other Afghans as part of an MoI investigation into Afghans who facilitated this crime of “purchasing a service from a child.” He pressed for CSTC-A to be given full control over the police training program, including contractors. Mussomeli counseled that an overreaction by the Afghan goverment (GIRoA) would only increase chances for the greater publicity the MoI is trying to forestall.

2. (C) On armored vehicles and air transport for presidential candidates, Atmar
pitched strongly to have the GIRoA decide which candidates were under threat and to retain control of allocation of these assets. He agreed with the principle of a level playing field for candidates but argued that “direct support by foreigners” 
demonstrated a lack of confidence in GIRoA. If GIRoA failed to be fair, international assets and plans in reserve could be used. On another elections-related issue, Atmar claimed that two Helmand would-be provincial candidates (and key Karzai supporters) disqualified under DIAG rules had actually possessed weapons as part of a GIRoA contract to provide security for contractors.

3. (C) Atmar also was enthusiastic about working out arrangements with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) in RC-South to partner with the Afghan Border Police (ABP) on training and joint operations to extend GIRoA governance south. He is considering giving BG Melham, a highly regarded Afghan officer, responsibility for ABP in Nimruz and Helmand provinces. END SUMMARY. KUNDUZ RTC DYNCORP UPDATE

4. (C) On June 23, Assistant Ambassador Mussomeli met with MOI Minister Hanif Atmar on a number of issues, beginning with the April 11 Kunduz RTC DynCorp investigation. Amb Mussomeli opened that the incident deeply upset us and we took strong steps in response. An investigation is on-going, disciplinary actions were taken against DynCorp leaders in Afghanistan, we are also aware of proposals for new procedures, such as stationing a military officer at RTCs, that have been introduced for consideration. (Note: Placing military officers to oversee contractor operations at RTCs is not legally possible under the currentDynCorp contract.) Beyond remedial actions taken, we still hope the matter will not be blown out of proportion, an outcome which would not be good for either the U.S. or Afghanistan. A widely-anticipated newspaper article on the Kunduz scandal has not appeared but, if there is too much noise that may prompt the journalist to publish.

5. (C) Atmar said he insisted the journalist be told that publication would endanger lives. His request was that the U.S. quash the article and release of the video. Amb Mussomeli responded that going to the journalist would give her the sense that there is a more terrible story to report. Atmar then disclosed the arrest of two Afghan National Police (ANP) and nine other Afghans (including RTC language assistants) as part of an MoI investigation into Afghan “facilitators” of the event. 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. He said he would use the civil code and that, in this case, the institution of the ANP will be protected, but he worried about the image of foreign mentors. Atmar said that President Karzai had told him that his (Atmar’s) “prestige” was in play in management of the Kunduz DynCorp matter and another recent event in which Blackwater contractors mistakenly killed several Afghan citizens. The President had asked him “Where is the justice?”

6. (C) Atmar said there was a larger issue to consider. He
KABUL 00001651 002 OF 003
understood that within DynCorp there were many “wonderful” people working hard, and he was keen to see proper action taken to protect them; but, these contractor companies do not have many friends. He was aware that many questions about them go to SRAP Holbrooke and, in Afghanistan, there is increasing public skepticism about contractors. On the other hand, the conduct of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) is disciplined. Looking at these facts, he said, he wanted CSTC-A in charge. He wanted the ANP to become a model security institution just like the Afghan National Army (ANA) and National Directorate for Security (NDS), and 
the contractors were not producing what was desired. He suggested that the U.S. 
establish and independent commission to review the mentor situation, an idea he said Ambassador Eikenberry had first raised. Atmar added that he also wanted tighter control over Afghan employees. He was convinced that the Kunduz incident, and other events where mentors had obtained drugs, could not have happened without Afghan participation.

*Here is a list of reasons for classification which I've found, though whenever one deals with laws and regulations, one must always be careful not to jump to conclusions. The reasons cited above are 1.4 B and D.
(3) Reason for classification. The original classification
authority shall identify the reason(s) for the decision to classify.
The original classification authority shall include, at a minimum, a
brief reference to the pertinent classification category(ies), or the
number 1.4 plus the letter(s) that corresponds to that classification
category in section 1.4 of the Order.

;(i) These categories, as they appear in the Order, are as follows:
(A) Military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
(B) Foreign government information;
(C) Intelligence activities (including special activities), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;
(D) Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;
(E) Scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism;
(F) United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(G) Vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism; or
(H) Weapons of mass destruction.

According to DynCorp's website:

DynCorp International is a global government services provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, delivering support solutions for defense, diplomacy, and international development.

We provide expertly conceived and professionally executed services to meet the complex demands of today’s world. We have broad international expertise and over 60 years of experience working in remote, dangerous and austere environments. We integrate our many competencies to provide solutions that fit each customer and situation, and bring a culture of compliance, accountability, and relentless performance to each program and task.

 DynCorp's website also says they have a very good ethics program:

DynCorp International is committed to providing our employees with a safe and productive workplace. As our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct provides, the following principles guide our daily behavior:
  • We adhere scrupulously to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and fairness when engaged in any activity concerning the Company and its relationships with customers, suppliers, and the general public.
  • We comply with the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations.
  • We deliver the highest quality service to our customers.
  • We compete vigorously in the marketplace and avoid business dealings that violate antitrust laws, conflict of interest principles, or procurement integrity guidelines.
  • We offer equal employment opportunities.
To help us comply with these principles, we have selected EthicsPoint to provide a confidential method to hear your suggestions and concerns. The Senior Leadership Team and the Company’s Directors value and encourage your input. Moreover, if you are aware of a violation of the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct or of any of DI’s policies, you must report your concerns.
EthicsPoint will report all information it receives to the Company on confidential basis. You can submit claims anonymously if you wish. We will review every submission received, investigate all complaints, and, where appropriate, implement corrective action. You have our guarantee that your comments will be heard and addressed.

And who is EthicsPoint?  EthicsPoint's website says:

Hotline Service

Confidential Employee Whistleblower Hotline Services

Fostering a business culture of integrity and compliance and protecting your reputation requires offering your employees, partners, customers, suppliers, shareholders and other stakeholders a way to report conduct that may be in violation with your stated code of conduct. As the first company to offer integrated telephony and web-based anonymous hotline reporting services, EthicsPoint provides individuals at all levels with the tools and information necessary to receive, investigate and report and analyze all identified issues.
The EthicsPoint Hotline solution has been designed to enable your employees and other stakeholders to easily and confidentially report any issue or instance of misconduct. While some organizations perceive whistleblower hotlines to simply address incidents of major financial malfeasance, the flexibility of the EthicsPoint system enables you to capture any risk to your business, including:
  • Accounting irregularities
  • Theft
  • Conflict of interest
  • Foreign corrupt practices
  • And more…
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Wage/Hour violations
  • Insider trading
  • Data breaches
  • Financial fraud
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Substance abuse
So, what does supplying underage boys for sex violate?  Harassment?  Unsafe working conditions?  Foreign corrupt practices?  Did someone call their hotline about this? 

Wikipedia says this isn't the first time DynCorp employees provided sex slaves:
According to whistleblower Ben Johnston, a former aircraft mechanic who worked for the company in Bosnia, DynCorp employees and supervisors engaged in sex with 12 to 15 year old children, and sold them to each other as slaves.[18] Ben Johnston ended up fired, forcing him into protective custody. According to Johnston, none of the girls were from Bosnia itself, but were kidnapped by DynCorp employees from Russia, Romania and other places.
On June 2, 2000, members of the 48th Military Police Detachment conducted a sting on the DynCorp hangar at Comanche Base Camp, one of two U.S. bases in Bosnia, and all DynCorp personnel were detained for questioning. CID spent several weeks working the investigation and the results appear to support Johnston's allegations. For example, according to DynCorp employee Kevin Werner's sworn statement to CID, "during my last six months I have come to know a man we call 'Debeli,' which is Bosnian for fat boy. He is the operator of a nightclub by the name of Harley's that offers prostitution. Women are sold hourly, nightly or permanently."[19]
Johnston is not the only DynCorp employee to blow the whistle and sue the billion-dollar government contractor. Kathryn Bolkovac, a U.N. International Police Force monitor hired by the U.S. company on another U.N.-related contract, has filed a lawsuit in Great Britain against DynCorp for wrongful termination. DynCorp had a $15 million contract to hire and train police officers for duty in Bosnia at the time she reported such officers were paying for prostitutes and participating in sex-trafficking. Many of these were forced to resign under suspicion of illegal activity, but none have been prosecuted, as they also enjoy immunity from prosecution in Bosnia. Bolkovac is portrayed by Rachel Weisz in the 2010 film The Whistleblower.
DynCorp has admitted it fired five employees for similar illegal activities prior to Johnston's charges.[20] In the summer of 2005, the United States Defense department drafted a proposal to prohibit defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor. Several defense contractors, among others DynCorp, stalled the establishment of a final proposal that would formally prohibit defense contractor involvement in these activities.[21]

You can see how one thing leads to another.  We have a corporation that is getting, apparently, significant funding from the US government to train Afghans and they use some of this money to facilitate pedophiles in Afghanistan.  So, who are their Board of Directors?
Wikipedia goes on to report DynCorp problems in Iraq as well.

In February 2007 federal auditors cited DynCorp for wasting millions on projects, including building an unapproved, Olympic-sized swimming pool at the behest of Iraqi police officials.[24]
On October 11, 2007, a DynCorp security guard in a US State Department convoy killed a taxi driver in Baghdad. According to several witnesses, the taxi did not pose a threat to the security of the convoy.[25]
A US government audit report of October 2007 revealed that $1.3 billion was spent on a contract with DynCorp for training Iraqi police. The auditors stated that the program was mismanaged to such an extent that they were unable to determine how the money was spent.[26]
President Eisenhower warned the nation about the industrial-military complex.  How did this company continue to get contracts?  Before we start dismantling social security and other programs that assist Americans maintain a reasonable life, we should be looking at all the corporations who are getting billions of US taxpayer dollars in what appear to be pretty unaccountable programs. 

There are so many different directions one could go.  Here are the DynCorp board of directors.  How much are these people making and to whom are they accountable?  And how does this newly revealed scandal impact any of them?  Not much I'd bet.


Steven F. Gaffney (Chairman). Mr. Gaffney joined DynCorp International as chairman of the board of directors in July 2010, and was named chief executive officer and president in August 2010. Mr. Gaffney joined DI from IAP Worldwide Services, Inc., where he served as CEO. Mr. Gaffney has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the defense industry. Previously he served as senior vice president of ITT Corporation and president of ITT Defense Electronics and Services. Early in his career, Mr. Gaffney led business segments at Litton Industries, AlliedSignal and Smith Industries.  He earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Champion and Green Belt.

William L. Ballhaus (Vice Chairman).
Mr. Ballhaus joined Cerberus in August 2010. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer and a director of DynCorp International since May 2008.  From 2003 to 2008, he was president of BAE Systems Inc.’s Network Systems, National Security Solutions and Mission Solutions businesses. Prior to that, he served in senior executive roles at Hughes and The Boeing Company.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis and master’s and doctorate degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He currently serves on the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Board of Directors and the UCLA Anderson School Board of Visitors, and is the vice chairman and a director of DynCorp International. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the British American Project.

General Michael Hagee (USMC Ret.).
General Hagee is president and chief executive officer of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation in Fredericksburg, Texas, is a member of several corporate boards of directors and is an independent consultant to corporate executives and business leaders. General Hagee serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Defense Science Board and the National Security Advisory Council for the Center for U.S. Global Engagement and U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. General Hagee served more than 38 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, finishing his active duty career as the 33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he holds masters’ degrees in electrical engineering and national security studies.

Brett Ingersoll.
Mr. Ingersoll has served as senior managing director and co-head of private equity at Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. since 2003. In addition to serving as a member of DI’s board of directors, Mr. Ingersoll is also a member of the boards of directors of ACE Aviation Holdings, AerCap Holdings N.V. and Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp. Mr. Ingersoll received his BA in Economics from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

General John Tilelli (USA Ret.).
General Tilelli is currently chairman and chief executive officer of Cypress International, Inc. General Tilelli served two combat tours in Vietnam, commanded the 1st Cavalry Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and served four times in Germany. He served as the vice chief of staff of the Army, and concluded his active duty career as Commander in Chief of the United Nations Command, Republic of Korea / U.S. Combined Forces / U.S. Forces Korea. He was then appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer of the USO Worldwide Operations. General Tilelli graduated from Pennsylvania Military College, now Widener University, with a degree in economics and was commissioned as an Armor Officer. He earned a master’s degree in administration from Lehigh University and graduated from the Army War College. He was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Widener University and the University of Maryland.

You can see that bloggers and reporters in main stream media  have a lot of work to do.  But I think a lot of this will require subpoena powers to get to the bottom of it. 

There's a lot here.  I don't even pretend to know what it all means, whether this is the tip of the iceberg or just a few bad apples.  But we should have competent people following up on things like this so we know for sure.  To me, it suggests there's a lot of people with too much money and too much unaccountable power.  And the US government is giving it to them.  That means - for Americans reading this - you and me, since the Government Is Us. 

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow, Steve! Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I will be forwarding your post around & see if we can get some action. Deeply disturbing, but sadly, not surprising.

    On another note, I have enjoyed your notes on CA. I have been to all the places you have (mostly) and it is good to live vicariously through you :)


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