In 2006, a Blackwater employee charged the federal government for “morale welfare recreation” while he was working in Afghanistan on a salary paid by the American people. What type of “recreation” was this? It was the sexual services of a woman from the Philippines, brought to Afghanistan to service the foreign military and security workers there.
Blackwater added her, and possibly more women in prostitution and stripping, to the payroll, paying for her plane tickets and monthly salary. Correction: you paid for her plane tickets and monthly salary. Do you think sexual services for Blackwater employees was a good use of your tax dollars?
Personally, I would have preferred my tax dollars go toward something like finding and rooting out al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan or training government and security forces there to keep the peace without relying on U.S. assistance. Brad and Melan Davis seem to share my preferences, because they filed a lawsuit against Blackwater for what they claim was gross mismanagement and little oversight of funds. In addition to charging fees for prostitution and stripping services to the government, the Davis’ claim Blackwater employees filed false receipts and double billed the government for plane tickets. Blackwater seemed not to notice, or not to care.
As much as this story is about obvious misuse of taxpayer dollars, it’s also about male entitlement to sex. The Blackwater employee in question felt so entitled to sex with a woman, that he considered it a job-related expense and a part of “morale welfare” that could be charged to the government. He felt so entitled to sex, he thought you should pay for it. And you did.
Obviously, there need to be changes in how Blackwater, now Xe Services, does business and how the federal government monitors contractors. But there also needs to be a change in culture, so that sex is not a commodity men are entitled to. Was the woman on the Blackwater payroll in prostitution voluntarily? Was she getting all that money, or was a pimp taking a cut? I don’t know. But I would bet the size of her paycheck that the man or men who were having sex with her didn’t know either. And they didn’t care.
Blackwater employees aren’t entitled to sex as part of their job, and they certainly aren’t entitled to it on my dime. I can think of so many better uses for that money in security for Afghanistan and the U.S., which is what Blackwater was supposed to be doing. It’s time the federal government woke up to Blackwater/Xe Services’ consistent abuses of our money and did something about it.
Photo credit: Osbornb