By CINDY GALLI, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and BRIAN ROSS (@brianross)
Oct. 17, 2012
Cellphone video recorded earlier this year at an operations center of a U.S. security contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan appears to show key personnel staggeringly drunk or high on narcotics, in what former employees say was a pattern of outrageous behavior that put American lives at risk and went undetected by U.S. military officials who are supposed to oversee such contractors.
The video, provided to ABC News by two former employees, is scheduled to be broadcast in a report this evening on "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
WATCH a short clip from the video
Asked if a response to an attack by terrorists would have been possible during the events seen on the video, one of the former employees, Kenny Smith, told ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, "No, sir."
Questions posed by ABC News to the Pentagon have sparked a criminal investigation by the U.S. Army, a spokesman says.
The contractor, Virginia-based Jorge Scientific, has won almost $1 billion in U.S. government contracts.
The company says it has taken "decisive action to correct the unacceptable behavior of a limited number of employees" and that several of them seen on the video are no longer employed by Jorge Scientific.
READ the full statement from Jorge Scientific
Cell-phone video provided to ABC News by... View Full Size
Cell-phone video provided to ABC News by whistleblowers appears to show U.S. security contractors in Afghanistan getting drunk and using drugs.
The use of alcohol or illegal drugs by U.S. contractors in Afghanistan is prohibited by the military under what is known as General Order Number One.
Yet the former employees told ABC News they saw no evidence of oversight of the company by American military officials and that at least one U.S. Army major, a female, was a regular visitor to drunken parties at the facility, often using a room for sexual encounters.
The two former employees, John Melson and Kenny Smith, say the video documents allegations they have made in a lawsuit against Jorge Scientific.
"They endangered Jorge employees, the U.S. mission, and U.S. military personnel," claims the lawsuit.
READ the allegations in Melson and Smith's lawsuit
Melson and Smith worked as armed security officers for three and five months, respectively, in Kabul as part of a $47 million contract Jorge Scientific had under the U.S. Legacy Program to train the Afghan National Police in counter-insurgency efforts.
Both men say they quit the company in disgust and out of concern that their own safety was being compromised by the behavior they describe.
"It was going against everything that we were trying to do over there," said Melson.
The video shows the security manager for the company staggering about the operations center late one evening after taking large gulps of vodka and then engaging another employee in a half-naked wrestling match.
"It was like a frat house for adults," said Melson. "Some of them to the point where they were passing out, there's firearms laying around, some of them still carrying the firearms on them."
Another portion of the video shows the company's medical officer with glassy eyes and unable to respond to a request for help after shooting up with a prescription anesthetic, Ketamine.
Told of the existence of the video, the medical officer, Kevin Carlson, admitted to ABC News that he frequently injected himself with narcotics.
"It was getting to be such a nightmare, just living in that place, I needed to get away," said Carlson, who was among the employees dismissed by the company earlier this year.
Now living in Germany, Carlson said there was "massive drug and alcohol abuse" at that Jorge Scientific facility, involving executives, armed security personnel and himself.
Tags: Afghanistan, occupation, by, US, NATO, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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