Pentagon tried to block an independent assessment of child sex abuse crimes by Afghan forces - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14865993
Washington Post wrote:The Pentagon tried to block an independent assessment of child sex abuse crimes committed by Afghan soldiers and police, instead insisting on the creation of its own report offering a far less authoritative review of human rights violations perpetrated by U.S. allies, according to an aide to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

Although the report released Nov. 16 by the Defense Department Inspector General’s office (DODIG) reached the grim conclusion that, for years, U.S. personnel have been inadequately trained to report such crimes, a parallel investigation by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is thought to contain a much more detailed accounting of the problem’s severity.

But the results of SIGAR’s unreleased inquiry, which was requested by 93 members of Congress in 2015, remains classified at the Pentagon’s direction, raising questions about the military’s transparency and the extent to which it is complying with laws meant to curb such abuse.

The Pentagon responded with “resistance” when Congress tapped SIGAR to conduct the probe, said Tim Rieser, an aide to Leahy, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee whose namesake legislation, known as the Leahy Law, requires the U.S. military to halt assistance to foreign military units found to have committed gross human rights violations.

Instead, senior Pentagon officials argued that SIGAR, which since 2009 has produced dozens of reports exposing corruption within the Afghan government and incompetence among Afghan security forces, lacked the jurisdiction for this particular task, Rieser said.

“It’s fair to say there was an effort to discourage the investigation” by SIGAR, he said, adding that eventually the two agencies agreed to coordinate and release complementary reports, but that the Pentagon’s investigators did not fulfill promises to fully cooperate.
Kathie Scarrah, a spokeswoman for the Defense Department Inspector General’s office, said that its investigators “heard no complaints throughout the evaluation about coordination” with SIGAR. The DODIG’s unclassified report “had significant findings,” she added, “which should be the focus of the attention.”

It’s unclear who within the Pentagon’s senior ranks resisted SIGAR’s involvement. A spokesman for the Office of the Secretary of Defense declined to address questions about the two reports, citing the Thanksgiving holiday and the  “extensive research” that would be required.

Afghan security personnel have been known to recruit young boys as servants, sometimes to use for sex. There is a broader practice in Afghan society to dress some boys as women and have them dance at gatherings. Known as bacha bazi, it was banned under the Taliban but revived after the U.S. invasion in 2001.

U.S. troops who have witnessed such abuse have complained about it for years. Still, it’s unclear precisely how deeply rooted the problem is among Afghan security forces. The Defense Department’s report said it reviewed 16 allegations from 2010 to 2016, but that the actual number is unknown because of inconsistent reporting procedures and “an overall lack of unified guidance on reporting and record keeping relating to child sexual abuse.”

Formal training to report abuse started in 2015, but investigators discovered problems with how U.S. troops report such crimes through channels meant to trigger violations of the Leahy Law. That potentially allowed offenders to avoid accountability.

SIGAR, which recently began facing new Pentagon restrictions on the distribution of other data it compiles about the Afghan security forces, cannot publish its report until cleared by Defense Department policy officials, who have the authority to vet and redact classified material for public release.

It’s unclear whether SIGAR documented more or fewer cases of child sex abuse. But in a statement, SIGAR’s head, John Sopko, said: “In reviewing the DODIG’s report, it’s clear that SIGAR’s report paints a much fuller picture of the issue. It’s information I believe the American people have a right to know.”

Through his aide, Leahy said that initially he and other members of Congress chose SIGAR to lead the child sex abuse inquiry because of the agency’s ability to investigate from Afghanistan, its status as an independent agency created by Congress, and because Pentagon reports are not always made public.
SIGAR’s purview is broader, too, including fact-finding across the State Department and the Afghan government in addition to the Defense Department. The Pentagon’s mandate is to focus on the military.

SIGAR’s reports and its data are useful tools for researchers and international aid workers, said Erica Gaston, a human rights lawyer with the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. The Pentagon’s decision to take over the child sex abuse investigation raises concerns, she said, because it is often less transparent than other agencies.
SIGAR’s report was completed and submitted to the Pentagon for review in February, five months before the Defense Department concluded its work. Yet the Defense Department’s report quickly passed through its review process and was published as SIGAR’s report has languished since July.

“It doesn’t seem [the Pentagon] is treating this with the urgency they should,” Leahy said. “It has already taken too long.”

The turf battle highlights long-standing tension between the Pentagon and SIGAR. Sopko, championed in some circles as a relentless advocate for transparency, has been criticized by some defense officials for his methods and an institutional impulse to publicize his agency’s findings, such as the alleged failure of an expensive, questionable program to boost the Afghan economy by importing cashmere-producing goats.

The two agencies exhibit stark differences in their approach to fact-finding and their desire to reveal wrongdoings, said Nick Schwellenbach of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit organization.

SIGAR reports are written plainly with straightforward, easy-to-follow summaries, he said, adding that by contrast, the Defense Department’s reports can be excessively bureaucratic and a challenge to decipher.


I remember @Decky once saying, years ago, that rightwingers in power always have trouble with this kind of stuff.

Maybe he was right.

Imperialism is an act of domination, and capitalism (which imperialism is a stage of) encourages turning people into commodities to be used.

And here we see it again, and the rats hiding beneath the flag of conservative pro-military patriotism.
#14866027
I remember watching the VICE documentary about, in part, sex abuse committed by Afghan soldiers, police, etc., when it came out years ago. What was unsurprising was the fact it occurred in the first place: in any region that is wartorn, has a minimal amount of infrastructure left standing, and a general breakdown of civil order/services, there's going to be a lot of exploited women and children who are sexually abused (and this is on top of an already-existing Afghan tradition of men raping young boys). What was surprising was just how known those widespread abuses are by US forces. And of course, they do nothing about it because it would "anger our allies." The irony is the contradiction between the bullshit still sometimes put forth by rightwingers that all of that was about bringing freedom and democracy stuff to Afghanistan, while tolerating pederasty and widescale rape.
#14866052
Bulaba Jones wrote:What was surprising was just how known those widespread abuses are by US forces.


I don't find it surprising that US forces would ignore this type of thing, since they involve themselves in the same too, including amongst each other. :|
#14866091
We're talking about a society where 40% of girls are married at the age of 10-13, you think this will improve under the Taliban? :roll:

Leftist attitude towards American imperialism is best described with "out of sight, out of mind". As soon as the US occupies a place it comes under the media spotlight, revealing all kinds of social wrongs to the public.
Conservatives then say "we will bring freedom and democracy and all will be fine", left-wingers say "omg it's our fault because we occupied the place". Both is equally dumb.
#14866101
@Rugoz

Thank god we hold America to better standards than the goddamn Taliban.

I would rather have the Afghans sort out their own problems than have outside forces meddle with them. Who gives a fuck about what the Taliban or the Afghani population does? It's their issue and often the Afghanis want it to be their issue, they want to deal with it their way just like everyone else on Earth. Humans have a nature tendency to progress, to improve themselves and their society. Let a population sort out it's own problems, problems that such a population understands more and is more important to them than some rando bureaucrats twiddling their fingers in Washington, and you may not get results quick but you'll get good results.

So my professional advice would be to leave Afghanistan alone and let it's native population sort out it's problems. Let the Taliban do whatever the fuck the Taliban wants to do but don't let them win or make sure they lose. This is a battle for the Afghan peoples, not a battle for a peoples who couldn't point to you where Afghanistan is on a map let alone explain to you all it's political intrigue.
#14866138
skinster wrote:I don't find it surprising that US forces would ignore this type of thing, since they involve themselves in the same too, including amongst each other. :|


Unfortunately true.

Just like I am not surprised that the Pentagon never studies the amount of rape that US soldiers perpetrate during war.

———————————

Rugoz wrote:We're talking about a society where 40% of girls are married at the age of 10-13, you think this will improve under the Taliban? :roll:


There is a difference between knowing rape is happening and not supporting it, and knowing rape is happening and not only supporting it but also directly stopping others from learning about it.

Leftist attitude towards American imperialism is best described with "out of sight, out of mind". As soon as the US occupies a place it comes under the media spotlight, revealing all kinds of social wrongs to the public.


Actually, leftist attitude towards US imperialism is “stop right now”.
#14866184
Pants-of-dog wrote:There is a difference between knowing rape is happening and not supporting it, and knowing rape is happening and not only supporting it but also directly stopping others from learning about it.


So the fact that the Afghan army abuses children in a country where child abuse is basically the norm means the US is supporting it?

Pants-of-dog wrote:Actually, leftist attitude towards US imperialism is “stop right now”.


Which I generally agree with, but if NATO withdraws now the Taliban will almost certainly take over (there are still 16k NATO troops in Afghanistan). As I said: "out of sight, out of mind". Once NATO withdraws leftists can continue to ignore that the world is a shitty place with or without American imperialism.
#14866230
Rugoz wrote:So the fact that the Afghan army abuses children in a country where child abuse is basically the norm means the US is supporting it?


If they know about it, are not trying to stop it, and are actively stopping people from investigating it, yes.

Which I generally agree with, but if NATO withdraws now the Taliban will almost certainly take over (there are still 16k NATO troops in Afghanistan). As I said: "out of sight, out of mind". Once NATO withdraws leftists can continue to ignore that the world is a shitty place with or without American imperialism.


If the US had not supported the mujaheddin and others who would later become the Taliban during the Cold war, this would not be a problem.

Also, maybe Afghanistan is better with the Taliban than with US supported rapists.
#14866326
@Pants-of-dog @Rugoz

Does it honestly matter? Does the politics of Afghanistan really effect your lives so much that you are required to debate about something you know very little about?

Let's say that it's the 9th century and the Umayyad Dynasty has just begun war with Spain and news has spread that they just have conquered a part of Spain known as Andalusia. In order to advance it's conquest, the Caliph has the decision to support the Teutonic tribe of Vandals in order to wipe out the opposing Visigoths or wipe them out along with the Visigoths. Two scholars somewhere in Damascus are discussing what the Caliph should do.

One is a Mutazila and one is, although not a Ashari, sympathetic to their cause and identifies with many of their political views. The Mutazila thinks that the Caliph should support the Vandals and thinks that the Berber and Persian officials would be exploitative of the Spanish population. He thinks that the Caliph is obligated to protect the poor Spanish population. The Ashari sympathizer dislikes the Vandals and considers them and the Spanish population unfit for governance. He thinks of the Vandals and Europeans in general as barbaric and savage, sometimes lower than Africans in civility (whom he thinks have be already effectively civilized). Both believe that Arabization or the spread of Arab values is necessary to civilize them.

Now what I want both of you to do is take the core of their ideas, remove all the background from them, and ask yourself, do you agree with them?
#14866856
Pants-of-dog wrote:If they know about it, are not trying to stop it, and are actively stopping people from investigating it, yes.


Not that I approve of the cover-up, but last time I checked NATO wants to get out of there and not take over jurisdiction over the Afghan military.

Pants-of-dog wrote:Also, maybe Afghanistan is better with the Taliban than with US supported rapists.


I'm sure the Taliban won't write any reports that could bother you.
#14866871
Image

Remember My Lai, when the US goes the war the rape and murder of women and children is not just a side effect, it is one of the rewards the Democrats and Republicans give to the soldiers to get them to fight. The United States is a nation the world could well do without.
#14866879
Pants-of-dog wrote:If they know about it, are not trying to stop it, and are actively stopping people from investigating it, yes.



If the US had not supported the mujaheddin and others who would later become the Taliban during the Cold war, this would not be a problem.

:lol: Again we see the left's pathetic little fantasy world. The three Muslim countries that did not experience European colonisation were Turkey, Afghanistan and Saudi. The Mujahadine's development was quite independent of America. The ISI retained almost total control over the groups. The Muslim insurgency was quite capable of surviving with backing from Pakistan, Saudi and China. It didn't need America. Cuckservatives also engage in pathetic fantasy, seeking to steal the glory of the Mujhadine to cover up America's humiliating defeat in Vietnam.

Also, maybe Afghanistan is better with the Taliban than with US supported rapists.

The Taliban are rapists to. This is why Islam must be annihilated. Any religion that doesn't allow women priests / religious leaders must be annihilated, That includes Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism. I have never argued that destroying Islam would be a cake walk and never, ever supported the western occupation of Afghanistan. A campaign against Islam must start at the edges and work in. Free speech is the primary weapon against Islam. The military should be used to guarantee the free speech of Infidels.
#14866916
Rugoz wrote:Not that I approve of the cover-up, but last time I checked NATO wants to get out of there and not take over jurisdiction over the Afghan military.


Yes, NATO does not want to run Afghanistan’s military, just its economy.

I'm sure the Taliban won't write any reports that could bother you.


I am not arguing that the Taliban are good people, but the US and its allies do not have the best track record when it comes to these things. It is a real possibility that a Taliban run Afghanistan would be better for Afghanis.
#14867997
I don't mind that the USA used 911 as an excuse to destroy a desparately poor third-world nation. All the bombings and shooting, the broken families and induced fear. Whatever.

But sex? The troops are having sex with the locals? That's going too far.

Make war, not love.

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