Attorney: Military Contractor Whistleblowers Videotaped ‘Animal House On Steroids’ In Afghanistan
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some former military contractors have blown the whistle on ex-colleagues for drinking and partying while in Afghanistan.
Employees of Jorge Scientific, a company that provides security for U.S. personnel operating in a war zone, videotaped some private defense contractors drunk and high on drugs at a residential villa in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
The video shows co-workers wrestling and one private contractor passed out. He had to be tended to in order to keep from choking on his own vomit. A medic summoned to help appears to be nodding off as well and an empty syringe is seen at his feet, the video shows.
In another scene, their supervisor is shown staggering around a roaring bonfire in an open courtyard loudly bringing attention to what is supposed to be a secret location, CBS 2′s Lou Young reported.
The video is part of a whistleblower lawsuit brought by two ex-employees.
“It was an intelligence mission we were on. We were the security portion of the mission and there were some days some of those guys couldn’t get up out of bed. They were still so messed up from night prior, from the partying,” whistleblower John Melson told Young in a recent interview. “Many times, Kenny and myself were the only two sober personnel in the house.”
Melson and Kenny Smith said they were fired from their jobs at Jorge Scientific for objecting to the behavior they partially documented in the video.
The two said the video shows precisely the type of unsupervised activity that is making U.S. soldiers a target in Afghanistan, Young reported.
“The Americans definitely didn’t set a good image in that location. We had Afghan generals next door to us, special police all around us. Everyone was complaining about the behavior,” Smith told Young.
The video was reportedly taken earlier this year by a former police officer turned private defense contractor who was disgusted by the behavior of armed Americans in a war zone.
The images captured on the video have already sparked an Army criminal probe and a Congressional inquiry.
The actions caught on camera violate military rules and local law.
Young reported that possessing alcohol is illegal in the predominantly Muslim nation of Afghanistan, but the contractors allegedly threw parties where Afghan citizens and U.S. military personnel were invited and compromised, according to the attorney that prepared the complaint.
“There was a female major who was transported to the villa. Kenny and John transported them to the villa and she engaged in sexual activities and alcohol use. There was a sergeant also involved in that…it was ‘Animal House’ on steroids,” said the whistleblowers’ attorney, David Scher of the Employment Law Group.
Jorge Scientific, headquartered in Arlington, Va., said it fired the people in the video, including co-founder Chris Sullivan, who was taped shouting the unit’s secret location at the bonfire, well before the suit was brought.
The whistleblowers are seeking monetary damages from the company claiming they were forced out jobs that paid more than $250,000 a year.
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