By Mark Memmott

The basic headlines go something like this:

-- "Group: U.S. Embassy Guards In Kabul Are Mistreated."

But the phrase that has created a frenzy around this story is "Lord of the Flies." A simple Web search today shows that the Project on Government Oversight chose wisely when it wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that "numerous e-mails, photographs, and videos portray a Lord of the Flies environment" among the contract guards working at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

As the Associated Press writes, POGO tells Clinton that those guards are subjected to hazing and other inappropriate behavior by supervisors. And the sometimes graphic details, which you can read in the letter below, include reports of some very lewd behavior.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said yesterday that the department believes "these are very serious allegations, and we are treating them that way."

"The secretary and the department have made it clear that we will have zero tolerance for the type of conduct that is alleged in these documents," Kelly added.

The guards are employees of ArmorGroup North America, a division of Wackenhut Services. A company spokeswoman, Susan Pitcher, told Reuters that Wackenhut had no comment.

Here's the letter to Clinton:

POGO Letter

categories: Foreign News

12:40 - September 2, 2009