Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory T. Buckley, 21, of Oceanside, N.Y., died Aug. 10 in Garmsir, Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. There is an incredibly disturbing story in the New York Times this week where soldiers have reported being told by American officials to ignore the rape and abuse of Afghan boys at a base by Afghan officers so not to interfere with a cultural practice. The boys were brought to the base to be raped as part of what Afghans call bacha bazi, literally “boy play.” Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father that he would lay on his bunk at night and listen to the screaming of the boys as they were sexually abused by Afghan officers. Buckley went to his superiors and was allegedly told not to interfere. Buckley was later shot to death by an Afghan policeman at the base in 2012.
Buckley’s father believes that his son’s effort to stop the raping of the boys was a factor in his killing.
It is a disgusting report, but should be read by every American. We should then resolve to confirm every American official who maintained this policy and guarantee that they are removed immediately from government and military service, including any Defense, Intelligence, or State officials who had knowledge of the policy and did nothing to stop it. The question is whether there will be a true and independent investigation to confirm if these accounts are true and, if so, who was responsible for this policy.
Sexual abuse of children is a rampant and open problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders. Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain, was disciplined after he beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. Quinn was relieved of his command after he roughed up the Afghan officer. The Army is also trying to forcibly retire Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain Quinn in confronting the commander and is himself a Bronze Star recipient for valor for his actions during a Taliban ambush. The incident occurred when, in September 2011, an Afghan woman appeared with physical bruises on the base with her son who was also limping. She explained that he son was prized as a sex slave by Afghan officers because of his looks and that one of the Afghan police commanders in the area, Abdul Rahman, had abducted the boy and chained to his bed to be used as a sex slave. When she tried to save her son, she was beaten. Captain Quinn summoned Abdul Rahman and Rahman reportedly admitted it but laughed when told that it was unacceptable. Quinn then threw him to the ground and Rahman complained to American authorities who relieved Quinn and Martland — no doubt signaling to other Afghan officers that raping of children would be allowed.
Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for the military insisted: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law . . . there would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.”
By the way, the man involved in the killing of Buckley was an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan who was himself a notorious figure accused of rampant abuse and corruption. Buckley had complained that Jan has moved a large number of “tea boys” into the same barracks as the Marines to be used as sex slaves. Two weeks after Buckley sent a report on Jan’s sex slaves, one one of the older boys with Mr. Jan — around 17 years old — grabbed a rifle and killed Lance Corporal Buckley and the other Marines.
During later proceedings related to the shooting, the Marine Corps indicated that it might not allow evidence of Jan’s penchant raping boys as a “classified matter.”
Jan of course was promoted to a higher-ranking police command in the same province.
For years, many of us have criticized the continuing loss of American lives and treasure to prop up the corrupt Afghan government despite widespread abuses of children, women, and religious minorities. However, to have U.S. officials looking the other way as Afghan officials chain and abuse child sex slaves would represent a point of moral relativism that few would have thought possible for our nation. This warrants congressional investigation and, if found to be found, the termination of every official who helped maintain this policy.
Source: NY Times