Skip to main content

Private Security Firm Raided by Blackwater in Kabul Now Under Investigation

It's really getting hard to know who the bad guys are anymore.

Two Afghani workers were "taken into custody" and American and Canadian citizens were held "at gunpoint," by contractor Blackwater USA during a raid of a competing private security firm in Kabul last month, an "American security official" with close ties to the company told the AP. "[T]he U.S. official (also) said Blackwater security teams took computers and office files."

A second source, Police Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal told AP that "Afghan police provided security" for the raid on the private firm U.S. Protection and Investigations (USPI).

The AP notes that Blackwater provides security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul and USPI does security work for USAID, an arm of the State Department.

Read that last part again:

Blackwater provides security for the U.S. embassy in Kabul and USPI does security work for USAID, an arm of the State Department.

What does this mean? It means, that if this report is true, the U.S. is using one of it's for hire security companiies to conduct a raid of another of it contractors!

The raid is apparently related to two reports that USPI is under investigation for billing irregularities.

In a separate story, AP says the firm is "accused of overbilling the U.S. government by charging for nonexistent employees and vehicles." A USPI company spokesman called that "factually incorrect," but acknowledges, "the (U.S.) government is conducting an inquiry into the firm."

ABC News' "The Blotter" is also reporting the investigation:

[T]he investigation involves allegations of fraudulent overbilling against U.S. Protections and Investigations (USPI) of Houston, Texas.
U.S. and Afghan officials have seized computers, files and a safe from the Kabul offices of USPI, according to police officials and people who were at the scene.

Like Iraq, Afghanistan has about had it up to here with private security contractors.

The government of Afghanistan is currently taking action to control the dozens of private security firms that operate within it borders.

Echoing a growing problem in Iraq, Afghan authorities are cracking down on lucrative but largely unregulated security firms, some of which are suspected of murder.
Dozens of security companies also operate in Afghanistan, some of them well-known U.S. firms such as Blackwater and Dyncorp, but also many others that may not be known even to Afghan government.

Al-Jazeera reports that the government has closed down two private security firms and says it will close down more in the coming weeks.

The Afghan government's main complaints against the companies are a lack of accountability, intimidation of Afghans, and disrespect for local security forces.

"Due to lack of good control...their personnel or staff that are deployed...are not vetted properly," Zemarai Bashary, a spokesman for Afghanistan's interior ministry, told al-Jazeera. "[I]nstead of giving us help, they are giving us problems."

I don't know what's up or down anymore.

Originally posted to Liberal Bent on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 11:29 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site