A leaked cable from the U.S. embassy in Kabul to Washington about conversation between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli in Kabul revealed child prostitution in a setting unimagined in the Western World. The cable message #09KABUL1651 dating June 24, 2009, was released from WikiLeaks early this month.
“Serving today for a safe tomorrow”, DynCorp certainly has an unpleasant idea of the future. Mohammad Hanif Atmar, former Minister of Rural Rehabilitationand Development, as well as Minister of Education, had been appointed Interior Minister of Afghanistan for barely half a year ago at the time of the conversation with assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli.
The party in Kunduz DynCorp organized on the 11th of April was similar to a “bacha bazi” party. “Bacha bazi”, translated as “playing with children”, is a business more common in southern Afghanistan, but still a frowned-upon cultural thing in Afghanistan as a whole.
Prepubescent children, often boys, are dressed and forced to dance before a crowd of wealthy or otherwise influential men. The “batchas”, or dancing-boys, are then auctioned off to the highest bidder and are used for entertainment or sexual purposes.
During the conversation Atmar emphasizes the sensitivity of the incident. He urges that the U.S. “try to squash any news article” on the event, as well as on a video connected to it. The reason for keeping the scandal out of the press could be, as Atmar suggested, that “publication would endanger lives”.
Atmar was worried since Afghan president Karzai threatened Atmar’s “prestige” was at stake for his management of the DynCorp scandal and the killing of several Afghan citizens by Blackwater mercenaries.
The cable claims an investigation has been started and DynCorp leaders were taken disciplinary actions against. “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” the message to Washington predicts, and rightfully so.
DynCorp received more than 96 percent of its profits from the U.S. government. Moreover, DynCorp has been criticized for not accounting for $1.2 billion dollars of contract task orders.
- Wikileaks Reveals U.S. Tax Dollars Fund Child Sex Slavery in Afghanistan (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- David Isenberg: It’s DÃ©jÃ Vu for DynCorp All Over Again (huffingtonpost.com)
- Wikileaks Reveals U.S. Tax Dollars Fund Child Sex Slavery in Afghanistan (humantrafficking.change.org)
- State Department Denies Sexual Abuse of ‘Dancing Boy’ [Afghanistan] (gawker.com)
- Now You Tell Me, Who’s Worse? Julian Assange or DynCorp? (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
- Foreign contractors hired Afghan ‘dancing boys’, WikiLeaks cable reveals (guardian.co.uk)
- Headaches for U.S. as contractors behave badly (msnbc.msn.com)