Prepared to be horrified.
The New York Times has a bombshell report out tonight alleging that U.S. soldiers and Marines serving in Afghanistan have been told to cover up rampant child abuse and sexual assault of young boys by Afghan police officers.
Here’s the opener:
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 American 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 American 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 American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages — and doing little when they began abusing children.
Needless to say, folks are outraged at the report:
Even worse than being told to cover up the abuse, the Times goes on to report that the military has taken disciplinary action against those who did attempt to put it to a stop:
Exactly. Give the whistle blowers a medal and it’s time for Congress to investigate.