The mercenaries formerly known as Blackwater are being sued by former employees who alleged that they were fired after blowing the whistle on an employee who was falsifying marksmanship test. Despite their ongoing rebranding campaign, the company now known as Academi now finds its in another scandal involving misconduct by mercenaries. First reported by Jeremy Scahill last week, Spencer Ackerman at Wired has more on the story:
Two former employees of the firm, now called Academi, say that they were fired from their jobs in Afghanistan after blowing the whistle on an attempt by a colleague to falsify dozens of marksmanship tests for security contractors. Robert Winston and Allen Wheeler thought that they were following Academi’s new ethics guidelines, which require employees to report suspected instances of waste, fraud and abuse. But not only were Winston and Wheeler fired, they allege Academi arranged with the State Department to blacklist the two security contractors from finding future work with private security firms.
According to the lawsuit, which Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill first tweeted about on Thursday, Winston and Wheeler witnessed a fellow firearms instructor twice fail to record the results of shotgun and machine-gun training amongst dozens of Colombian employees of Academi. The State Department, which hires Academi to protect its diplomats in conflict zones, requires weapons certification from the guards: If contractors can’t properly fire their weapons, they’re a danger to diplomats in need of protection and innocent civilians nearby.
But on two occasions in March 2012, Winston and Wheeler say that instructor Timothy Enlow informed the State Department inaccurately that Academi’s guards were proficient with shotguns and machine guns. On the second occasion, Enlow failed to bring an M249 belt-fed machine gun to the test range near Kabul, but reported a successful test anyway.
“I know there is a lawsuit about Academi not qualifying contractors properly with the belt fed machine guns,” Enlow told the would-be marksmen, according to the lawsuit, “but I am going to help you guys out.”
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