U.S. policy: Ignore Rampant Afghan Child Abuse

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Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an Afghani militia commander for keeping a boy chained to a bed as a sex slave, in Mineola, N.Y., Sept. 18, 2015. American soldiers were instructed not to intervene in the sexual abuse of children — bachi bazi, literally “boy play” — long common among Afghan warlords and strongmen. Quinn, and others who did so, faced discipline and even career ruin. (Kirsten Luce/The New York Times)

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
The New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.

“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and U.S. soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records.

The policy has endured as U.S. forces have recruited and organized Afghan militias to help hold territory against the Taliban. But soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the U.S. military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.

“The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights,” said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up a U.S.-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. “But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did — that was something village elders voiced to me.”

The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

After the beating, the Army relieved Quinn of his command and pulled him from Afghanistan. He has since left the military.

Four years later, the Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Quinn in beating up the commander.

“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who hopes to save Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.

In Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment due to the Privacy Act.

Asked about U.S. military policy, the spokesman for the U.S. command in Afghanistan, Col. Brian Tribus, wrote in an email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law.” He added that “there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.” An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.

The U.S. policy of nonintervention is intended to maintain good relations with the Afghan police and militia units the United States has trained to fight the Taliban. It also reflects a reluctance to impose cultural values in a country where pederasty is rife, particularly among powerful men, for whom being surrounded by young teenagers can be a mark of social status.

Some soldiers believed that the policy made sense, even if they were personally distressed at the sexual predation they witnessed or heard about.

“The bigger picture was fighting the Taliban,” a former Marine lance corporal reflected. “It wasn’t to stop molestation.”

Abusive police leaders

The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as U.S. Special Forces began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that U.S. troops had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.

By the summer of 2011, Quinn and Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in north Kunduz province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.

First, they were told,  one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl he had spotted working in the fields.  Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Quinn said.

When he asked a superior officer what more he could do, he was told that he had done well to bring it up with local officials but that there was nothing else to be done. “We’re being praised for doing the right thing, and a guy just got away with raping a 14-year-old girl,” Quinn said.

Village elders grew more upset at the predatory behavior of U.S.-backed commanders. After each case, Quinn would gather the Afghan commanders and lecture them on human rights.

Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Quinn said he later heard that the commander had spent the money on dancing boys. Another commander murdered his 12-year-old daughter in a so-called honor killing for having kissed a boy. “There were no repercussions,” Quinn recalled.

In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at a U.S. base with her son, who was limping. One of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and forced him to become a sex slave, chained to his bed, the woman said. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten.  Eventually the boy was released, but she was afraid it would happen again, she told the Americans on the base.

She explained that because “her son was such a good-looking kid, he was a status symbol” local commanders coveted, recalled Quinn, who did not speak to the woman directly but was told about her visit when he returned to the base from a mission later that day.

So Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and confronted him about what he had done. The police commander acknowledged that it was true, but brushed it off. When the U.S. officer began to lecture about “how you are held to a higher standard if you are working with U.S. forces, and people expect more of you,” the commander began to laugh.

“I picked him up and threw him onto the ground,” Quinn said.  Martland joined in, he said. “I did this to make sure the message was understood that if he went back to the boy, that it was not going to be tolerated,” Quinn said.

There is disagreement over the extent of the commander’s injuries. Quinn said they were not serious, which was corroborated by an Afghan official who saw the commander afterward.

(The commander, Abdul Rahman, was killed two years ago in a Taliban ambush. His brother said in an interview that his brother had never raped the boy, but was the victim of a false accusation engineered by his enemies.)

Martland, who received a Bronze Star for valor for his actions during a Taliban ambush, wrote in a letter to the Army this year that he and Quinn “felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our A.L.P. to commit atrocities,” referring to the Afghan Local Police.

Slaying of Marines

The father of Buckley, the Marine killed at his base in 2012, believes the policy of looking away from sexual abuse was a factor in his son’s death, and he has filed a lawsuit to press the Marine Corps for more information about it.

Buckley and two other Marines were killed by one of a large entourage of boys living at their base with an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.

Jan had long had a bad reputation; in 2010, two Marine officers managed to persuade the Afghan authorities to arrest him following a litany of abuses, including corruption, support for the Taliban and child abduction. But just two years later, the police commander was back with a different unit, working at Buckley’s post, Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Helmand province.

Buckley had noticed that a large entourage of “tea boys” — domestic servants who are sometimes pressed into sexual slavery — had arrived with Jan and moved into the same barracks, one floor below the Marines. He told his father about it during his final call home.

Word of Jan’s new position also reached the Marine officers who had gotten him arrested in 2010. One of them, Maj. Jason Brezler, emailed Marine officers at Forward Operating Base Delhi, warning them about Jan and attaching a dossier about him.

The warning was never heeded. About two weeks later, one of the older boys with Jan — around 17 years old — grabbed a rifle and killed Buckley and the other Marines.

The one U.S. service member punished in the investigation that followed was Brezler, who sent the email warning about Jan, his lawyers said. In one of Brezler’s hearings, Marine Corps lawyers warned that information about the police commander’s penchant for abusing boys might be classified. The Marine Corps has initiated proceedings to discharge Brezler.

Jan appears to have moved on, to a higher-ranking police command in the same province. In an interview, he denied keeping boys as sex slaves or having any relationship with the boy who killed the three Marines. “No, it’s all untrue,” Jan said. But people who know him say he still suffers from “a toothache problem,” a euphemism here for child sexual abuse.

LET OUR PEOPLE KNOW!!!!

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Child Abuse Deaths are intentionally Tainted

Since opening this site in 2014, we have been supplied with mountains of resources, in the form of terabytes of data, from many Governmental agency’s, Non-Profit Organizations, and privately owned businesses.

Among the first resources received, UNICEF’s caught my eye, and what I read kept me awake most of the night.  I am reposting 3 parts of this data for a reason:

IF YOU ARE GOING TO POST STATISTICS, AT LEAST POST THE TRUTH.

The last part is finally proven, and this proof will be Our next post.

Domestic Servitude Next Door

There are an estimated 50,000 slaves in the United States and an additional 17,500 are being trafficked into the country every year. That is more people being enslaved annually than during legal slavery in America’s dark history.

**** At least 1 in 6 Child runaways fall into the hands of Sex Traffickers.

Harvesting Child Organs

Taking advantage of the high demand for organ transplants, organized gangs have taken to trafficking children to sell their organs on the black market. One such young girl was abducted from Somalia and smuggled into the United Kingdom in 2013.

Haiti became a hotbed of exploitation in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake, which left tens of thousands of children orphaned. Child trafficking was stated to be one of the biggest issues faced by aid workers as they struggled to reunite children with distant relatives and bring others into safe homes.

Even where strict regulations are placed on organ transplants, black markets thrive because people are desperate for transplants they fear may never come through legitimate means. An estimated 70,000 kidneys come annually from the black market worldwide.

Reports on the prevalence of children being trafficked for organ harvesting are varied, but experts fear it is much more common than anyone knows. After all, gangs exploit the most vulnerable and invisible among us and supply a desperate demand. Sometimes, the children are never found after they vanish.

Dancing Boys Of Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Bacha Bazi has been revived in which young boys are taught to dance and sold to wealthy men. The translation means to be interested in children. Poor boys are exploited and become sexually abused slaves.

In a place where women are not allowed to dance in public, boys are made to wear women’s clothing and dance for groups of men. After the shows, the boys are often taken to hotels and subjected to sexual abuse.

An internal investigation for UNICEF found evidence of it in the south and even in Kabul. Men in positions of power manipulate the system to prevent persecution.

Child Fatalities: Information Denied, Children Endangered

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Child Abuse Deaths are intentionally Tainted

By Jenifer McKim

It is a federal mandate for states to publicly disclose information about child fatalities caused by abuse or neglect so that such tragedies can be prevented in the future.

But obtaining that grim data can be difficult because of the time it takes and money it costs.

A new report tabulating and describing publicly, for the first time, the deaths of children linked to abuse and neglect between 2009 and 2013 in Massachusetts grew out of a public records request filed under the federal Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act, which requires states to provide certain information about the children’s histories when asked.

INFOGRAPHIC: An interactive look at 110 Massachusetts child abuse and neglect deaths

~ Out of the shadows ~
Untold stories of 110 child abuse and neglect deaths
“Shining light for the first time on the brief lives and deaths of 110 Massachusetts children between 2009 and 2013 — a third of them under the watch of the Department of Children and Families.”

The request, filed by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting to the Department of Children and Families, took months of negotiations and nearly $4,500 to produce what ultimately totaled 110 cases.

That’s a price too high and a process too complex to allow the kind of public scrutiny of data that might save children’s lives, say many child advocates.

“When it is so difficult, many groups will simply give up, especially when they don’t have the resources,” said Christina Riehl, a senior staff attorney with the nonprofit Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Indeed, nationwide, many states fail to provide adequate public information about child abuse and neglect deaths that is required under CAPTA, according to the advocacy institute’s recent report titled “Shame on Us,” which faults the federal government’s lack of oversight of the estimated 1,500 maltreatment deaths a year.

READ MORE: Out of the shadows: Shining light on state failures to learn from rising child abuse and neglect deaths

Advocates and officials nationwide are pushing for more government transparency related to maltreatment deaths. Change can’t happen and fixes can’t be made if the public is denied information, said Michael Petit, an advisor for the Washington, D.C.-based child advocacy group Every Child Matters and a member of the new federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.

Petit said the public is denied information by government officials “who use confidentiality laws as a shield to protect agencies.”

Massachusetts receives about $500,000 annually through CAPTA for improving child protective systems. Yet the commonwealth is one of only two states in the U.S. that did not provide timely child fatality data for the federal government’s report, “Child Maltreatment 2013.” State officials attributed the delays largely to waiting for death information from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which has notoriously long delays in its system.

The New England Center’s effort to obtain fatality data illustrates the protracted challenges in extracting such information.

The nonprofit news center first requested the data in December, 2013, filing a public records request for three years worth of child fatality information — including the age and gender of child who died, previous abuse and neglect reports involving the child, and any state services provided to that child.

A month later, the Center revised its request, asking for just one year of data in hope of speeding up the process. But DCF said it would need to charge $2,023 to search for records and redact confidential information.

The Center appealed the fee in April 2014 to the Massachusetts Secretary of State, arguing that the high price tag posed a “significant barrier” to obtaining information and was tantamount to a denial — an appeal soon rejected.

After several more months of negotiations, NECIR joined forces with the Boston Globe and expanded the request to five years’ worth of CAPTA data. By the summer of 2014, the state issued a new price of $4,468 — estimating the data collection and redactions would take 123 hours to complete. The payment was made in August.

But by January, 2015, when Gov. Deval Patrick was handing the reins of the state to newly elected Gov. Charles Baker, DCF had still not released any information.

When the Center contacted the new Baker administration in January to call attention to the long-delayed public records request, the state apologized. But, internal DCF emails obtained by NECIR, show officials discussed the timing of a release through a political lens.

In one email, DCF chief of staff Ryan FitzGerald said to several DCF communications staff that top officials likely wouldn’t be too concerned about the release of data from the prior administration because, “anything that comes out of it won’t reflect on them,’’ he wrote. “And on the flip side, I’m concerned it only looks significantly worse for us and the previous administration, the longer this drags on.”

In the end, the state released the first three years of data on Jan. 21 and the next two years of data in phases through the end of March. However, DCF declined to provide any record of allegations of abuse and neglect that were dismissed by the state before a child died, citing legal restraints.

In April, NECIR appealed this decision to the Secretary of State, claiming such information is key to learning about what went wrong in cases where the state knew about a troubled family but dismissed concerns. Shawn Williams, supervisor of records, ruled on Sept. 14 that the state either has to provide the information or provide “with specificity” why records are being withheld. DCF quickly responded – again denying the request. NECIR plans to appeal again.

It does appear state officials plan to be more open with at least limited information in the future. In July, Baker announced “administration-wide measures to improve transparency and public access to government records and information, including a reduced and streamlined fee structure and more efficient communications and responses to requesters.”

Earlier this month, NECIR requested 2014 and 2015 fatalities data. State officials said results should be provided in eight weeks and – considering the time it took to provide earlier data — the information will be free.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR CHILDREN

.jpg photo Indifference toward Child Abuse
Give me anything but Indifference to child abuse

Good Morning, nothing like a little pre-work preparation to get the creative juices flowing, and also to supply you with some things that hopefully will go right with a good, wholesome lunch.

On September 19, 2015, in the following post, you might recall that I wasn’t real happy at being forced to endure out-and-out lies and ignorance when reading statistics for Child Maltreatment. The obvious coverup by CPS and DHHS is in fact a crime, and the roughly 12,000,000 instances of Child Maltreatment in Our Country per year is a whole lot more than 5 skeletons in America’s closet per day.

When I get finished in several hours, there will be little room for doubt that the 8 to 11 Child Deaths daily that I stated in this post below me could be considered on the low side of the actual number PER DAY!!!!

CPS – THE UNTOUCHABLES
https://notinmyworld.org/2015/09/19/good-parenting-29/

OH, IMAGINE THAT, I WILL SEE YOUR 12,000,000 INSTANCES OF CHILD MALTREATMENT, AND RAISE IT WITH AT LEAST PART OF THESE 10,000,000 STIs or STD’s per year.

SEX EDUCATION, STIs, AND STDs IN OUR SCHOOLS

Adolescents, age 13 and up, are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

These young people represent 25 percent of the sexually active population, but acquire half of all new STIs and STDs, which amounts to 10,000,000 per year. BUT HOW CAN THIS CONFLICTING NUMBER EVEN SLIP BY THE MOST HARDENED, INDIFFERENT LEMMING: Young people in this age group represent approximately 24 percent of new HIV diagnoses.