by: Blair Miller Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In cell phone video recorded in Kabul, Afghanistan, you see what appears to be workers for a U.S. security contractor drunk or high on narcotics.
The contractor, Jorge Scientific, is paid millions of taxpayer dollars to protect Americans in places like Kabul.
Former employees said the video was part of a pattern of behavior that put American lives at risk.
One of those former employees, Kenny Smith, lives in the Charlotte area.
On Thursday, he told Eyewitness News why he recorded the video and then came forward to blow the whistle.
“It's bad enough to be in the war zone, but when you have your own people bringing enough attention to yourself that's causing you to possibly lose your life or go to jail, it's not worth it. You have to stand up,” Smith said.
The video first appeared on ABC News Wednesday night.
Smith said this kind of behavior went undetected by U.S. military officials who are supposed to oversee contractors. And he said he recalls some nights where the danger was too real.
“The boss put a loaded weapon into the mouth of another employee during one drunken night,” Smith said. “Guys would get so intoxicated -- they would threaten to commit suicide.”
The U.S. Army is now formally investigating.
Jorge Scientific, based in Virginia, said it has taken action to correct the behavior and that several of the people on the video no longer work there.
Smith said he and another man are now suing the company and say they quit out of concern for their own safety.
“When you start putting American lives in harm's way, you have got to let it be known and put a stop to it,” he said.