by Eric Martin
Employees of the CIA-connected private security corporation Blackwater diverted hundreds of weapons, including more than 500 AK-47 assault rifles, from a U.S. weapons bunker in Afghanistan intended to equip Afghan policemen, according to an investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee. On at least one occasion, an individual claiming to work for the company evidently signed for a weapons shipment using the name of a “South Park” cartoon character. And Blackwater has yet to return hundreds of the guns to the military.
Here's the kicker, though, from Serwer:
Meanwhile, as Ackerman notes, Blackwater is still being paid by the State Department to protect American diplomats and Afghanistan, and is also in the running for a new contract to train the same Afghan police force they stole weapons from.
But wait, it gets worse (it always does with Blackwater):
A lawsuit filed by two former employees of Blackwater charges that the controversial security contractor defrauded the U.S. government, including charging it for strippers and prostitutes, the New York Times reports.
Perhaps the most explosive charge in the lawsuit -- filed by a married couple, Brad and Melan Davis, is that the company put a Filipino prostitute in Afghanistan on its payroll under the "Morale Welfare Recreation" category, then billed the government for her salary and plane tickets.
The Davis's allege that Blackwater exercised little oversight of the billions in government contracts it has won over the last decade.
The lawsuit also claims that Melan Davis, who handled accounts for Blackwater's contracts with FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security, approached her supervisors with concerns about the company's book-keeping. But she was told to "back off," and that she "would never win a medal for saving the government money."
Davis was ultimately fired by Blackwater, now known as Xe. She claims the firing was illegal.
Considering recent legislation to withold government funds from ACORN, I think I understand the standard applied here, and it makes perfect sense: if some low level employees are caught giving advice (using a doctored videotape that greatly distorts the actual conversation) to a would-be pimp (not actually in costume), then the entire organization should be cut off from government funds entirely and in perpetuity. Can't have that.
However, if an organization on the government payroll actually pimps out a prostitute for employee "use," well then, no harm, no foul, boys will be boys, etc. Get it? Or, as Serwer puts it:
The Senate is holding a hearing today where several current and former Blackwater employees will be testifying, but honestly the only way Congress would stop giving Blackwater money is if it started registering black people to vote.
Pretty much. See, also, deficit peacockery!