Exclusive: Cellphone video Shows Drunk, Stoned US Defense Contractors
CINDY GALLI, RHONDA SCHWARTZ and BRIAN ROSS
Cellphone video recorded earlier this year at an operations center of a U.S. defense 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."
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.
Shocking video: The security manager for the company can be seen half-naked and chugging a glass of vodka at the covert location in Afghanistan
Drunk: Melson said there is no way any of the employees involved would have been able to respond to any terror attack because they were so 'out of it'
Outlandish behavior: As two of the men wrestle, bottle of alcohol - which is supposed to be forbidden - can be seen lined up in the background
Lawsuit: The footage is believed to have been recorded earlier this year at a Jorge Scientific operations center in Kabul and appears to show key personnel drunk or high on drugs, chugging drinks, semi-naked wrestling and injecting drugs
Two former employees, John Melson and Kenny Smith, gave the video to ABC and say it documents a number of allegations they have made in a lawsuit against Jorge Scientific.
'It was going against everything that we were trying to do over there. It was like a frat house for adults. 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'
The U.S. Army has now launched a criminal investigation into the Virginia-based company, who has won almost $1 billion in U.S. government contracts.
They said they were unaware of both the video and the allegations until last month.
Whistle blowers 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.
They said they quit out of sheer disgust for the behavior, because of the way they were treated by their colleagues, who would bully them for not joining in the party, and out of concern their own safety was being compromised by the behavior.
Melson, a National Guard sergeant who served in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan before working for Jorge Scientific, told ABC: 'It was going against everything that we were trying to do over there. It was like a frat house for adults.
'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.'
Admission: Medical officer Kevin Carlson admitted that he frequently injected himself with narcotics just to 'get away' because the place was such a 'nightmare'
High: The medical officer appeared totally out of it after injecting himself with Ketamine, the used syringe is shown lying on the floor beside him
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.
In a short clip of the video provided to ABC, the security manager for the company can be seen chugging a glass of vodka and staggering around before starting a wrestling match with another employee.
Several bottles of alcohol can be seen sitting on a table in the background.
The use of alcohol or illegal drugs by U.S. contractors in Afghanistan is prohibited by the military, with the manual describing a 'zero-tolerance' as personnel must be on alert 24/7 for possible terrorist attacks.
The video then switches to the company's medical officer after he allegedly injected himself with Ketamine. The man stares at the camera wide and glassy eyed, not being able to respond when asked a question.
When asked about the video, medical officer Kevin Carlson admitted to ABC that he frequently injected himself with narcotics just to 'get away' because the place was such a 'nightmare'.
Though he is no longer employed with them, he revealed there was 'massive drug and alcohol abuse' at that Jorge Scientific facility, involving executives, armed security personnel and himself.
Whistle blower: John Melson, a National Guard sergeant who served in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan before working for Jorge Scientific, quit after only three months
Accuser: Melson said he quit because of the way he was treated by their colleagues, who would bully them for not joining in the party, out of sheer disgust, and out of concern that their own safety was being compromised by the behavior