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Why Afghanistan Tried To Get The U.S. To Cover Up An American Contractor Renting Little Boys For Sex

So furious was the Afghanistan Interior Ministry with a brewing U.S. media story about an American contractor hiring “dancing boys, its chief tried getting the American embassy (and thus the State Department) to crush the story. As if the U.S. government has the power to silence the media. Oh dear!

One of the leaked State Department cables shows then-Ministor of Interior Hanif Atmar (pictured, top) requested the help of the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan to quash a story about DynCorp, which was under a U.S. government contract to train Afghan police. Certainly a story that claimed DynCorp employeers were buying drugs and little boys wouldn’t be good for international relations. And, according to the June 2009 cable quoting Atmar’s conversation with American Ambassador Joseph Adamo Mussomeli, such a report would “endanger lives.”

Those “dancing boys,” of course, are the bacha bazi, which we told you about in April. Boys ages 8-16 (and younger; disgusting old men like ‘em wee) are hired away from their poor families for the entertainment of wealthier men. Officially they simply dress in up girls’ clothing and dance; unofficially they are bought and sold to be raped. (Video of the “official,” albeit still illegal version is below.) That an American contractor would be engaging in such activity is horrific.

And you know what happened to Blackwater Worldwide (now called Xe Services) after being accused by Middle East officials of killing innocent civilians: They get rewarded with new $120 million contracts. Uhhhh. Maybe a little bacha bazi scandal wouldn’t have been do bad for DynCorp?

Atmar told the ambassador he had arrested two police officers and nine civilians in connection with “purchasing a service from a child” — a crime that even members of President Hamid Karzai’s have been tied to (by unsubstantiated rumor, thus far).

So why was Atmar so bent on keeping DynCorp’s wrongdoings from being reported? The cable says,

Atmar said there was a larger issue to consider. He understood that within DynCorp there were many “wonderful” people working hard, and he was keen to see proper action taken to protect them; but, these contractor companies do not have many friends. He was aware that many questions about them go to SRAP Holbrooke and, in Afghanistan, there is increasing public skepticism about contractors. On the other hand, the conduct of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A) is disciplined. Looking at these facts, he said, he wanted CSTC-A in charge. He wanted the ANP to become a model security institution just like the Afghan National Army (ANA) and National Directorate for Security (NDS), and the contractors were not producing what was desired. He suggested that the U.S. establish and independent commission to review the mentor situation, an idea he said Ambassador Eikenberry had first raised. Atmar added that he also wanted tighter control over Afghan employees. He was convinced that the Kunduz incident, and other events where mentors had obtained drugs, could not have happened without Afghan participation.

Raw Story points us to a Washington Post July 2009 article that very briefly mentioned the scandal: “One effort to train Afghan civilian police has drawn attention from the State Department’s inspector general following incidents of questionable management oversight, including one instance in which expatriate DynCorp employees in Afghanistan hired a teenage boy to perform a tribal dance at a company farewell party and videotaped the event.”

Who needs Wikileaks when you’ve got State Department sources leaking info directly to reporters?

Missing from the story is whether the State Department did intervene — and speak to the WaPo reporter, which turned what could (and should) have been a much bigger story into a brief aside. No matter what you think about the Wikileaks scandal, and whether it’s good or bad for democracy and/or national security, stories like these should be made public. Our money should not be going to U.S. corporations that use tax dollars to rape children. I don’t think it gets simpler than that.

By:           Ryan Tedder
On:           Dec 3, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • 53 Comments
    • Joe
      Joe

      Thank you for posting this! It is an example of why the Obama Administration didn’t want those cables leaked. I saw a documentary on PBS’s Frontline that made me sick to my stomach about the Afgani practice of buying and selling of poor boys to become sex slaves for powerful men. They are raped at such young ages and they end up dying very young. And to know that our government knew about a US Corporation being part of this, and did nothing about it cements my view that Obama is not the man that so many people had our community believe.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      It’s all about logistics. Ok, we got the heroin, the musicians and the camera. We just need some gay dancing boys to get this party started.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McMike
      McMike

      Wow, who knew the Middle East had so much in common with the Vatican. It’s AOK to molest little boys but you’re damned if you actually have sex with consenting adult men.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No wonder the Taliban was able to drum up support in that country. It isn’t as if the other side would be so pleasent to live under either.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • demonyc
      demonyc

      i’m sure xe has huge money in lobbying and is a force that con’t be stopped easily.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      What really makes me angry, aside from the horribleness of the whole story, is that when news like this breaks out, this is what people think being gay is all about — molesting little boys.

      Whether it’s Catholic priests or Afghani officials, the Fox News/FRC parade wants to keep the public confused. And they do it all too well.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      BRING BACK MORNING GOODS!!

      Dec 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Love wikileaks!!

      Dec 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      The Washington Post article claimed that a State Department investigation showed that nothing criminal was going on
      (was leery of even looking at the video until I read that,
      even though it is on youtube and youtube would presumably have
      deleted any video that was in fact illegal). I’d imagine that
      what got some official attention was the misuse of funds: all
      the video showed was a fully clothed dancer (age not apparent
      from the video) and they didn’t even stuff the Afghan equivalent of dollar bills down his pants – if anything inappropriate (i.e., something other than just dancing) was going on, I missed it, but then the video quality was really pretty poor.

      Possibly they have male teenagers wear dresses while dancing because they would not let a woman dance before a group of men due to their Muslim taboos. I’d note that the original productions of Shakespeare’s plays had young men playing the female parts because at the time it was considered immoral for a woman to appear on a stage.

      The allegations about sexual exploitation of course are a different matter, but apparently are not related to this particular video.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      B, you missed the whole point. It’s not necessarily about whats going on during the dance…it’s AFTER.
      Afterward, the boys are forced to have sex and it’s a sickening way of life these kids are sexual slaves.

      You missed the point entirely.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 10 · Joe wrote, “B, you missed the whole point. It’s not necessarily about whats going on during the dance…it’s AFTER.”

      No, you missed the point, which was that according the Washington Post (as opposed to QUEERTY’s typically sensationalized headline), the U.S. State Department investigated and found no evidence of criminal activity. Such an investigation would include what went on after the dancing (and the Washington Post article was published in July 2009, so there’s surely been enough time to complete the investigation). If this kid was forced to have sex after the dancing (which is “criminal activity”), why didn’t the State Department’s investigation find evidence of that?

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602358.html :

      “A related review into the dancing incident is ‘substantially completed’ and ‘at this point, no criminal activity has been discovered,’ said Douglas Welty, State Department inspector general spokesman.

      “Ebner said the company also had investigated the incident involving the youth, who he said was 17 when he performed a tribal dance at the party. ‘We took appropriate disciplinary actions as a result of what we felt was managerial poor judgment,’ he said.”

      It’s not a question of whether or not there is a serious sexual-exploitation problem in Afghanistan, but whether there was in this specific incident, and that simply doesn’t seem to be the case.

      So let me ask *you* the obvious question. Why on earth would you trust QUEERTY’s headline writers over the U.S. State Department’s inspector general?

      Dec 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ouaisOut
      ouaisOut

      The Taliban has been implicated in engaging in the same practices: hiring (or even kidnapping and holding) young boys who are trained to dance then used a sex slaves. It’s not new behavior and the US government has been aware of it for some time.

      Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling book “The Kite Runner” (published c. 2004) includes a scene in which the 8 or 9 year old son of one of the characters is being held captive and being used as a sex slave.

      As usual, governments and the well-informed are fully aware of what is actually going on, but they’re unwilling to go to any uncomfortable lengths to prevent practices which have little bearing on their own wealth or power.

      Which is why WikiLeaks, despite all of its ill-advised moves/posturing, is an important force. Shame is powerful. The problem remains though, that mainstream media is to a large extent controlled by the corporations and governments, so stories like these rarely make it to the front page of, say, the New York Times.

      Things were a bit different when the Pentagon Papers were leaked. Our nation’s populace has lost much of its capacity to give a fuck. But then again, maybe that’s because there’s no longer a draft and family members aren’t being conscripted in the tens of thousands to get killed in Iraq or Afghanistan for a rich man’s net worth.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wake Up
      Wake Up

      @B: Isn’t it a sad state of affairs that everyone reading your question is probably asking themself: “Why on earth would this person trust the US State Department over Queerty????

      You cannot be for real.

      Dec 3, 2010 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @B: Because the State Dept. is honest and trustworthy and would never cover up for their private corporate partners. Did you notice that the names of the DynCorp employees was never released? And that they are not legally punishable or dismissable due to their contract?

      The point is that young boys are illegally purchased and used for the purpose of sexual stimulation. Hairless boys who look like girls, dressed as girls, dancing and exposing their faces for richer, older men who are horny and stoned on drugs!

      Dec 4, 2010 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      Certainly don’t want to sound completely anti-Arab or anti-Muslim here (because I’m not), but it’s not as if sexual-slavery hasn’t been a fairly common practice, in various forms, in that part of the world since……..way back. From the days of Arabian Nights, and long before. And the U.S., and other western nations, have always been able to ignore the “immoral” practices of other nations if being allied with them was otherwise useful. Not saying that’s good or bad, that’s just nothing new.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 1:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      B, So let me ask *you* the obvious question. Why on earth would you trust QUEERTY’s headline writers over the U.S. State Department’s inspector general?

      Simply because it’s in the best interest of our State Department to either rush the investigation or to complete an investigation which showed no improper conduct. If misconduct was found it would have opened up another Pandora’s box. Basically the State Department weighs whats “best” for our (America’s) interests. They think “gosh if we diligently research this and find that these boys are molested then all of our contractors would be unsafe in Afganistan..and these kids are going to be raped no matter what..nothing can be done about it”.

      The headline is not sensational at all. I urge you to go to the PBS website and watch a full documentary on this subject.

      I thank Queerty for broaching this subject. I appreciate that this website is more concerned with helping the boys who are molested than the millions if not billions earned by American contractors. I would have hoped that presumably, since you are a gay man, like me that you would have some compassion for these boys who live terrible, sad lives.

      Your knee jerk reaction in defending the State Department instead of the the boys is appalling.

      Don’t blame the messenger!

      Dec 4, 2010 at 7:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @No. 14 UhHuh

      UhHuh, lest you forget, good Catholic-Christian monks have been raping their young boy charges a few centuries before Mohammad was born and Islam/Muslims existed. (Of course Arabs were around well before the birth of Jesus.)

      As repulsive and repugnant as rabid extremist Islam is today, Muslims are following the centuries’ lead of Christians with violence and terrorism against non-believers, raping and murdering anyone who does not follow particular tenets. Christians called these non-believers heretics; the Muslims call them infidels.

      Is a death or rape at the hands of Muslim leaders receiving the backing of the US State Department any less evil and anti-a-loving-God than the millions of deaths and rapes, over the centuries, at the hands of Catholic Inquisitors, Christian crusaders, and the civil wars between Catholics and Reformers?

      *****************

      All these religions — Catholic, Christian, Islam, Judaism — are such an afront to God.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 9:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in nyc
      robert in nyc

      Oh great, just what the right wing gay haters in the U.S. want to hear!

      Dec 4, 2010 at 11:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      I love how this dope in Asheville (N.C. ?) thinks he can give ME a history lesson because of his seething anti-Christian anti-western agenda. And he forgot Hinduism.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Joe wrote, “B, So let me ask *you* the obvious question. Why on earth would you trust QUEERTY’s headline writers over the U.S. State Department’s inspector general?

      Simply because it’s in the best interest of our State Department to either rush the investigation or to complete an investigation which showed no improper conduct.”

      Nonsense – the State Department has no such interest regarding protecting some private business every since Cheney/Haliburton left town. However, it’s in the best interest of QUEERTY headline writers to produce highly misleading statements to attract attention, and they do that on a regular basis.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 13 · Kev C “@B: Because the State Dept. is honest and trustworthy and would never cover up for their private corporate partners. Did you notice that the names of the DynCorp employees was never released? And that they are not legally punishable or dismissable due to their contract? The point is that young boys are illegally purchased and used for the purpose of sexual stimulation.”

      The names were probably not released because no crime was committed as far as could be determined by the State Department’s investigation, and there is simply no reason for that department to cover up in this case. What the employees did do, however, apparently led to some internal disciplinary proceedings, the details of which were not made public.

      What you and Joe are confusing is a general problem in this part of the world with the question of whether that problem occurred in this specific case. Based on the State Department’s investigation, it seems nothing happened.

      In particular, Joe’s statement, “Your knee jerk reaction in defending the State Department instead of the the boys is appalling,” shows that he is an idiot – nothing apparently happened regarding the one boy in question, and it seems he was interviewed to determine that. If there were a cover up of some sort, that boy would never have been found.

      Furthermore, according the the Washington Post article, the investigated was started to see if DynaCorp was ignoring signs of drug abuse. The dancing incident came up in the course of that investigation. The U.S. government has a thing about drugs (the whole “zero tolerance” thing) and wouldn’t have started the investigation if the plan was to cover things up.

      Finally, if someone is going to hire a young boy for sexcapades, most likely it would be a private arrangement, not one through a corporation where things couldn’t be handled on a cash basis with no records of a transaction.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @B: Regardless of what the State Dept says, I’m pretty sure hiring children to perform erotic dances is wrong. Pretty darn sure.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Kev C – don’t be so sure of yourself. It is actually hard to say what the truth is sometimes. Was it Margaret Mead, the great Anthropologist fooled by some of the natives? Some large historical figure was. And I don’t recall where I read this and saw in a TV documentary that it was not uncommon to trade one’s daughters for just about anything; a few pigs, sacks of grain whatever. Given the status of women around the world even now, this is not hard to believe. Much less the past status of women.

      #16 Mike in Asheville – you’ve made a lot of good posts, but it is ridiculous to claim the Muslims were following the Catholic lead in raping boys. I believe mankind in general to be full of flaws and generally we get nowhere blaming. The Native Americans are always thought to be so “down to nature.” Yes, it is lovely they thanked the “Great Spirit” for food but they all weren’t gentle. And some of their cultural practices are abhorrent to us and vice versa. If someone was old/sick or weak on the trail they were left to die. There just isn’t a lot to be gained by pointing fingers.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 11:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      sorry Mike, I also meant to say there is so much history that was never written down. Again, knowing mankind as we do, I’m absolutely certain that neighboring cultures preyed on each other, the stronger violated the weaker etc.

      Dec 4, 2010 at 11:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Jaroslaw: It’s different when american companies partake in foreign customs that they wouldn’t do in the US. According to the report, the employees were american expatriates. That looks better on paper but at same time, what legitimate company is employing ex-pats? Most likely ex-pats in aghanistan are either pro-Taliban or involved in opium trade, or both. DynCorp looks like another low-life mercenary group.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 1:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      The Af-Pak situation is unique in that the tribal culture sees women as unclean, sewage kind of dirty. The US army came out with a study on this topic with medical staff reporting that many of these guys were ‘sickened’ when educated as to ow procreation works. This is a combo of religious taboo and tribal myth when it comes to this fear of women and, since these guys need sexual release, children make for easy outlets.
      Many other regions have indulged in similiar pedo conduct and it seems to be a hallmark of ‘primative’ societies–Japan, post- Perry, cracked down on such practices.

      In cultures such as these, both girls and boys are sold whether it be for the marriage ritual or sex. This is old news, older than the Greeks, but not something I want to see American tax dollars going to fund. I can only imagine what ard up army brats are doing to get off…?

      Dec 5, 2010 at 5:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      Queerty has a record of lying and misleading in its stories. Are we sure these kids are raped, as Queerty says here? All we see here is a teenager dancing fully clothed. I don’t expect to see footage of a rape, but I do expect to see footage of an expert SAYING that these kids are raped or molested before I get worried about Afghanistan. All we see here is Afghans watching a fully-clothed teenager dance.

      Before I write a letter to the State Department about this, I want to KNOW WHAT THE FACTS ARE. I have found Queerty to be sensationalist and misleading in the past.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #24 – Kev C – that isn’t what your earlier comment said. The impression I got was hiring children to do erotic dances is always wrong. You’ve clarified your stance, and while I’m not condoning the use of children for whatever, you’ve again made a blanket statement. I don’t pretend to know all the ins & outs of inter-country commerce, but I imagine “when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do” is pretty prevalent. I would just draw the line at children, and any involuntary participation by adults.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #26 – I’m glad I”m not the only one who didn’t get the relevance of the video. Thanks

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iluzionist54
      iluzionist54

      Have you ever tried to read Kur’an, sura (chapter) 56, ER-RAHMAN, verses 12-19. You might find it interesting read …

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @No.18 UhHuh

      And you think you are hiding your blatant racism? Sexual-slavery has been rampant worldwide centuries-wide. Yet you demonize all Arabs and Muslims and pretend with omission that Catholic/Christians and the Western world has not/is not equally culpable of “immoral practices.”

      Just because we have might does not mean that we are always right.

      ************

      I am hardly anti-Christian. You don’t me or my beliefs. I am very much anti Christian religion; I am VERY pro Jesus and His teachings. But, apparently, unlike you, I abhor the hypocrisy of organized Christians, who think that it is the Church that must stand while ignoring, and worse upending, the Teachings.

      For millenium, the Church has institutionalized the sexual exploitation and victimization of children. But for the sake of maintaining control over their flocks, children continue to be sacrificed. The Church’s conduct is as disgusting and as repugnant as the “immoral practices” pointed at Arabs and Muslims.

      *************

      @No. 22/23 Jaroslaw

      My bad is using the term “following the centuries lead.” I did not mean to imply that there was some type of raping/molesting lesson to be followed.

      My point is that it is racism, in spite of UhHuh’s denial of being a racist, ignoring the vast centuries’ of history and even the continuing to today and on to tomorrow, the legacy of sexual exploitation of children, rape as a means of military warfare, and the very blatant disregard of the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill” to fight political and religious opponents.

      **************

      Alas, there are equally good reasons to be pro-Western and anti-Western civilization. The advances in arts and sciences have been spectacular. Capitalism has brought these advances for all mankind to enjoy and use to improve life. And then there have been Crusades, Holocausts, Inquisitions, colonialism. We can create so much and yet there are so many without.

      Winston Churchill remarked “Democracy is the worst form of government; except for all other forms.” I think it is an apt point-of-view about Western Civilization: there are some pretty terrible consequences from the advances within Western civilization, but it is better than consequences suffered outside of Western civilization (obviously there have been and are some micro-civilization exceptions).

      Dec 5, 2010 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rick Gold
      Rick Gold

      This is why most Muslim nations,who hate us and everything we stand for, should just be carpet bombed and/or turned into vast sheets of slightly radioactive glass.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Barry
      Barry

      I find it interesting that anyone considers this news or a leak. The article which you claim briefly talks about the incident – does so in depth and about how 4 people were fired over the incident.

      It describes the boy and gives comments by him. There is nothing here to leak. If this is what we are concerned about Wikileaks – then there is much ado about nothing.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      I never said nor even suggested any such thing, Mike in Asheville. You’re as goofy as your John Edwards.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      Jaroslaw : It’s a bit off-topic, but what you say about Native Americans is bringing up a topic that best illustrates how beliefs come in waves (or maybe even “fashions”). American pop culture started with the squeaky-clean heroic pioneers and cowboys having to fight against bloodthirsty heathen Injun savages who painted their faces and screamed woo-woo-woo and scalp-um you. Then around the ’60’s and ’70’s a new position developed where Indians were the peace-loving land-loving noble race against warlike greedy lying massacre-ing white Europeans and merciless cavalrymen. Today we seem to know that the truth is somewhere in between. The Native American has a long history of bloody warfare and torture against other tribes over land, long before white men arrived. But then the white men were awful too. Nobody’s hands are clean in history.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      @Jaroslaw: People should speak up when they see wrong doing. If they want to argue for cultural autonomy, fine. I won’t tell their culture what to do, but don’t come into my country bringing your backwards customs.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 21 · Kev C wrote, “@B: Regardless of what the State Dept says, I’m pretty sure hiring children to perform erotic dances is wrong. Pretty darn sure.”

      It was not an erotic dance – it was supposedly a traditional tribal dance and the kid was fully clothed. The only body parts
      not covered were his hands and head, although the video never did show a clear picture of his face. It was no more erotic than
      Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers dancing alone. It could have been shown in a G-rated movie. If you think the dancing in the video is inappropriate, then you should be demanding that the people who produced the film “Little Miss Sunshine” be sent to jail.

      Of course, you’d have to read the Washington Post article to know that, instead of jumping to conclusions based on the musings of random people posting comments on a web site.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #35 Kevin – It is hard to argue with your premise “that people should stand up when they see wrong doing.” In the most basic terms, I would agree with you and I certainly didn’t advocate the contrary! This case however, doesn’t seem so clear. Just for one point (and there are several others) – a few of us have already noted, the dance in the video didn’t seem erotic and it may well be a traditional tribal custom. Why is that “backward?”

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Poor boys who are forced, by tradition, by social status, by money and power, to dress as girls and dance for older men. It may not appear erotic to westerners, but that is what is happening. They boys are fetishized, and we do know that pedophilia occurs. Maybe it didn’t happen at this occassion, but do you really want to continue a tradition that subjugates or exploits children? Show some common sense.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe
      Joe

      B: you are looking at the the video from a western perspective, and only then deciding it is not sexual. If you would take the time to educate yourself on the phenomenon known as bacha bazi, then you would have a different frame of reference.
      These boys dress as women, and from an Afgani perspective dance quite provacatively.
      You will notice that a large group of men are watching, and are titillated from the performance.
      The boys who are trafficked into this underworld are forced to sleep with men. The life of a sex slave is a deadly spiral downward.
      The problem here, as reported by Queerty, is that American contractors were part of the audience and have clearly made some unsavory contacts with sex traffickers. When people go to these events they are giving their tacit approval to sexual slavery. i.e: In the USA a dog loving person would not attend a dogfight and in the same breath say just because they enjoyed the show doesn’t mean they are part of the problem.
      I am proud of this website for tackling this subject. As far as I can tell this is the ONLY American website brave enough to broach these specific Wikileak Cables. I have read this site for maybe 2 years now and this is the first subjected that had me compelled enough to post.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 8:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 39 · Joe wrote, “B: you are looking at the the video from a western perspective, and only then deciding it is not sexual. If you would take the time to educate yourself on the phenomenon known as bacha bazi, then you would have a different frame of reference. These boys dress as women, and from an Afgani perspective dance quite provacatively. You will notice that a large group of men are watching, and are titillated from the performance.”

      There is simply no evidence to back up your statement:
      You can’t tell if they are titillated or not because the video quality is very poor – you are simply imagining more than the video actually shows. Furthermore, it was not I who “decided” it was non-sexual but the reported outcome of a U.S. State Department investigation, which found no criminal activity. The Washington Post article stated that Afghans are sensitive to having their tribal dances used to entertain non-Afghans, and that what went on was for that reason culturally insensitive. The State Department investigated not because of the dancing – that was uncovered after the investigation started – but because of allegations that the company was ignoring indications of drug abuse. Some people have claimed that the state department was whitewashing something, ignoring the fact that the obvious way to whitewash it would have been to report nothing at all (as the investigation was about drugs).

      Also, not one shred of objective evidence has shown that this particular dance would have been viewed by Afghanis as sexually provocative, and it seems unlikely in this case given that the Washington Post called it a “traditional tribal dance.” You need some proof and the articles QUEERTY cited did not provide any.

      As to Kev’s remark, “hey boys are fetishized, and we do know that pedophilia occurs. Maybe it didn’t happen at this occassion, but do you really want to continue a tradition that subjugates or exploits children? Show some common sense,” showing some “common sense” would require noting that State Department investigation concluded that there was no criminal activity of any kind. It isn’t a question of wanting or not wanting to “continue a tradition,” but to simply admit that QUEERTY’s headline writer sensationalized an incident by strongly hinting at criminal activity that simply never happened.

      If someone wants to do an article on how boys in Afghanistan are being used for sexual purposes, then write an article that is based on documented facts, and any such facts are missing in this particular case.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 8:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      #34 Uh-huh – interesting observation. Again, humans and cultures are so more more alike than they are different. Look at ours. I just heard a long report on NPR that boys are falling further and further behind, economically, educationally and more and more are incarcerated, particularly Black males. Ok, we overlooked girls for a long time and that was wrong; the educational system is now almost completely skewed for girls. Yet when no one dares suggest any special programs to address their needs at the risk of discimination claims. That makes not sense to me when we know how to solve the problem but is it not politically correct.

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Since this discussion won’t seem to end; here is a scenario and questions: In some cultures older men introduce young girls/young women to sex, vice versa and in some, boys/young men have sex with older men for a time and then are expected to enter into a heterosexual marriage.

      In our culture that would be considered pedophilia, child abuse and possibly incest. Yet, these practices seem to cause no problems in the tribal unit. It may be inappropriate/unusual or even unacceptable to the tribe for an outsider to participate but does that make a difference to the child? The sexual experience is the same, sex with an older/much older adult of the same or different gender.

      (Kev, I noticed you didn’t address why this or other things are considered backward to you)

      Dec 5, 2010 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      Jaroslaw : That might be an argument that certain programs which are necessary and good for a time can always be taken too far, and knowing when to stop them is an important thing.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 6:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @No. 33 UhHuh

      Are you John McShame? Cause you certainly sound like him; say one thing, then deny it and say something else.

      You wrote (@No. 14): “Certainly don’t want to sound completely anti-Arab or anti-Muslim here (because I’m not), but it’s not as if sexual-slavery hasn’t been a fairly common practice, in various forms, in that part of the world since……..way back.” And, you wrote (@No. 18): “…because of his [me, Mike in Asheville] seething anti-Christian anti-western agenda.”

      So, yeah, you did say such things, Buddy of John McCain. And like John McCain, you tantrum like babies even when your own words are pointed back to you.

      Interesting that in your post @No. 34), you comment “The Native American has a long history of bloody warfare and torture against other tribes over land, long before white men arrived. But then the white men were awful too. Nobody’s hands are clean in history.” That is the very same gist of my original post: Catholics/Christians have been committing sexual exploitation of children, sanctioned rape and murder, long before Muslims existed. “Nobody’s hands are clean in history.”

      Except, of course, you are willing to point at Arabs and Muslims what you are not willing to point at Catholics and Christians. So, yeah, you are a hypocrite and xenophobic bigot against Arabs and Muslims.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 9:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      Hey North Carolina, are you Mike Nifong? Yup, slavery has been known historically in every part of the world since the dawn of time (and still goes on in the Arab world and Africa. Literally. Massive slave trades). Never said the western world never had slavery. But if you read a lot of world history you’ll see that the “harem”-style exotic slavery has, numbers-wise, always had a more prominent place in Middle Eastern culture than anywhere else. My point was that maybe it’s not our place (in the western world) to be “colonialist” and butt in thinking we can criticize that. That’s their business. Full Democracy doesn’t work in every other country and culture. And my greater point is that the U.S. often knows about various tyrannies and human rights abuses (abusive from the western point of view) and deals with them anyway. You’re the one who jumped up sputtering like a North Carolina amateur “…westerners had slavery too!!…Christians had slavery too!!….You’re a racist!!….aghhh..!” (Beside that, I wonder how many Arabs you even know. I know lots).

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      P.S. : Mike in Asheville, at number 41 Jaroslaw said “more and more are being incacerated, particularly Black males..” Make sure to be consistent and start yelling at him “…hey some white males are incacerated too! you’re not pointing the finger at white males! you’re a racist..!!!”

      Dec 6, 2010 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      @No. 44 UhHuh

      You really are quite the dolt.

      You @ No. 14 “…it’s not as if sexual-slavery hasn’t been a fairly common practice, in various forms, in that part of the world since……..way back. From the days of Arabian Nights, and long before.”

      v.

      You @ No. 44 “My point was that maybe it’s not our place (in the western world) to be “colonialist” and butt in thinking we can criticize that.

      So, UhHuh, what’s what?

      You point a finger of accusation against Arab/Muslim culture vs. you ignore the accusation “in various form” when pointed at Catholics/Christians (and yes many if not all religions). You butt in with judgments against Arabs/Muslims vs. we shouldn’t butt in.

      Your racism is showing and now you’re crying that it is pointed out.

      As for knowing Arabs/Muslims, my college roommate is married to an Irani Muslim immigrant, and my then Jewish boyfriend and I were both members of the wedding party. After that releationship ended, my then Jewish ex-boyfriend became boyfriends with my former college roommate’s wife’s brother — indeed 2 gay boys together, 1 Jewish and 1 Muslim. Still together at 20+ years.

      And, I have always been an equal opportunity slut enjoying the company of men interested in men from as many cultures and races as I have come across while a student at Berkeley and living many years in SF, LA and NYC. .

      Lastly, Jaroslaw commented about a fact in American law enforcement, Blacks are more often targeted and prosecuted than whites. That’s not racism, that is a fact, raised in the last presidential campaign by Candidate Obama about which he said he would get the Justice Department to intervene where it is race that is determining prosecution. Of course they have actually done just about as much on that front as they have repealing DADT and DOMA, or, not much.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      And, North Carolina guy, sexual slavery being a part of the Arab world in greater numbers, however statistically you want to cut it, than in the western world is a fact. Just like incarceration of black males is a statistical fact. You putzing around naively at college and funnsy wedding stuff doesn’t change that nor educate you to the real world. Go back to my original statement on institutionalized Arab slavery and then look at your response and see if you made any sense. Am I also a racist if I discuss the practice of chopping off hands for stealing in Saudi Arabia ?Will you scramble about trying to find examples of modern day westerners doing that? And why do you geeks think calling somebody a racist will make them shudder, anyway? Like calling somebody a “Red” in the ’50’s? Who cares? It’s like calling somebody a “Jew” as an insult (Jonas Salk? Einstein? Is that an insult?) “Racist” (Charles Lindbergh, Charles Darwin, Albert Schweitzer? So what?)

      Dec 6, 2010 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UhHuh
      UhHuh

      Asheville : I was going to excuse you for being too young, but if you lived many years in various cities….you should be mature enough in the head by now to be logical. Maybe Berkeley killed your logic. Or North Carolina wiped it out. But the better quote from Churchill is : “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.”

      Dec 6, 2010 at 1:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pat
      Pat

      It’s amazing how quickly stories can spin out of control. There is no truth to this, other than that a few DynCorp employees displayed questionable judgement in hiring a 17 yr old Afghan who belonged to a local dance group to entertain for them. There were no drugs, children, rape, etc involved and speculation to the contrary is totally false.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike in Asheville
      Mike in Asheville

      Sorry UhHuh, but I quoted your inconsistent posts, you talk out of both sides of your mouth (and your ass too).

      You are just an idiot incapable of salvation from stupidity. The IQ bell curve applies to all socio-economic levels and you, UhHuh balance out mine and my UC Berkeley education.

      Bye bitch; enough fun with you.

      Dec 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B Reynolds
      B Reynolds

      The Corner Pocket … this isn’t.

      Dec 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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