Congress told that drunk private guards shot civilians


Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more. The guards included a former US marine with a criminal record of assault and a former soldier discharged from the US army after testing positive for cocaine, congress heard yesterday. Justin Cannon, Christopher Drotleff and a guard using the name “Eric Cartman” from the cartoon South Park were employees of a subsidiary of the Blackwater Worldwide group, implicated in a litany of extrajudicial shootings since 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq. Cannon and Drotleff have been charged with killing two Afghans and injuring a third last May when they opened fire on a car carrying four civilians in Kabul, while under the influence of alcohol. The men, hired to train Afghan soldiers, had no permission to carry guns.