WASHINGTON (CN) – A former director for a private security firm responsible for guarding the U.S. Embassy in Kabul says he was fired for repeatedly warning his superiors that company managers and guards frequented brothels staffed by Chinese sex slaves, and that U.S. recruits bragged about buying women for $20,000 each in order to turn a quick profit.
James Gordon, a resident of New Zealand who lives in Virginia, sued ArmorGroup North America, a handful of subcontractors, parent company Wackenhut Services and interim CEO Jerry Hoffman in Federal Court. He says the defense contractor fired him after he reported a pattern of criminal and hazardous behavior by guards and supervisors working in Kabul.
Gordon claims that his warnings fell on deaf ears, and that ArmorGroup officials were interested only in promoting “a mentality of corporate profit over safety and security at the U.S. Embassy.”
He says they refused to pony up the money needed to protect the embassy, “opting instead to hire unqualified, poorly vetted personnel on the cheap, install a rogue management team, cut corners” and lie to the government to cover up their misconduct.
Gordon claims ArmorGroup’s project manager and employees regularly visited brothels where they had sex with Chinese sex slaves, and that the company lied about the allegations in a report to Congress.
The president of ArmorGroup’s training company allegedly responded to the charges by saying “boys will be boys.” And when employees were banned from visiting the brothels, they arranged for prostitutes to come to their camp, the lawsuit says.
Gordon describes a corporate culture where new recruits were deployed to Kabul without proper training, and often complained that they had been subjected to sexual humiliation and “deviant” hazing. Each time Gordon tried to report this behavior to the higher-ups, he says he was pawned off, ignored or lied to.
Gordon says he also warned ArmorGroup officials several times that the company was not meeting the standards of its federal contract. He claims the company hired ill-trained local guards who spoke no English, and jeopardized the safety of the guard force by using subpar, refurbished armored vehicles from Iraq, dubbed “white coffins” by other private security forces. The ArmorGroup force was considered “a laughing matter within the Kabul private security industry,” Gordon says.
He adds that ArmorGroup routinely understaffed the guard force needed to protect the embassy. He says he felt compelled to warn the government that “if one person gets sick or slips on a banana peel the whole thing falls apart like a cheap suit.”
Gordon claims his bosses conspired to oust him from the company, in keeping with their longstanding pattern of “retaliating against conscientious employees.”
He demands back wages and a jury trial. He is represented by Janet Goldstein of Vogel Slade.