British government child abuse cover-up?


This video about Britain is called Swept Under Rug: Cameron cover-up scandal over aide’s child porn probe.

From weekly The Observer in Britain:

Child abuse files lost at Home Office spark fears of cover-up

Calls for ‘overarching, Hillsborough-style’ inquiry as it emerges that a total of 114 documents are missing from official records

Daniel Boffey, policy editor

Saturday 5 July 2014 20.30 BST

A dossier compiled by an MP detailing allegations of a 1980s Westminster paedophile ring is one of more than 100 potentially relevant Home Office files destroyed, lost or missing, it has emerged.

The government faced fresh calls for an overarching inquiry into historical cases of paedophilia as it was revealed that a total of 114 Home Office files relevant to allegations of a child abuse network have disappeared from government records.

David Cameron has already ordered the Home Office permanent secretary to look into what happened to a lost dossier given earlier in the 1980s to Leon Brittan, then home secretary, by the campaigning Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens.

The revelation that further relevant documents have disappeared will raise fresh fears of an establishment cover-up.

Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale, who is calling for an overarching national inquiry into historical child abuse, said: “I had absolutely no idea these other files were also missing. The public view will be that there is something fishy going on. The public will understandably think these documents have gone missing because it helps protect the names of those identified in them. That is the conclusion that many will come to, and who could blame them”

Tom Watson, the Labour MP central to the uncovering of the phone-hacking scandal, said it was increasingly clear than only a Hillsborough-style inquiry would reassure the public. He said: “Only an overarching inquiry will get to the facts, everything else the government says or does on this is a diversion.”

Dickens, who died in 1995, had told his family that the information he handed to the home secretary in 1983 and 1984 would “blow the lid off” the lives of powerful and famous child abusers, including eight well-known figures.

In a letter to Dickens at the time, Brittan suggested his information would be passed to the police, but Scotland Yard says it has no record of any investigation into the allegations. On Saturday the Home Office made public a letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, in which the department confirmed that correspondence from Dickens had not been retained and it had found “no record of specific allegations by Mr Dickens of child sex abuse by prominent public figures”.

The Home Office’s permanent secretary, Mark Sedwill, admitted, however, that a further 114 documents relevant to allegations of child abuse were missing from the department’s records. That discovery was made last year by an independent review into information received about organised child sex abuse but was not published in its report. Sedwill told Vaz the missing documents were some of the 36,000 records which officials presumed were lost, destroyed or missing. They were not part of the 278,000 documents the Home Office destroyed as part of its “retention and destruction” policy. However, Sedwill told Vaz in a letter published on Saturday that the department had found “no evidence of the inappropriate removal or destruction of material”.

He also wrote to the prime minister to tell him he would engage a senior independent legal figure to assess whether last year’s conclusions “remain sound”.

Sedwill told Vaz: “Like any other citizen, I am horrified by what we have learnt in the past couple of years about the systematic abuse of children and vulnerable adults by prominent public figures, and the state’s failure to protect them. Some have been brought to justice, and I hope that the police investigations now under way across the country are equally successful. The Home Office has and will co-operate fully with any police inquiry.”

David Mellor, a Home Office minister under Brittan, spoke out, claiming his former boss was being unfairly “pilloried” over his handling of the dossier. Mellor said the file was spoken of at the time as “not very substantive”. Speaking on his LBC radio show, Mellor said he remembered “sort of chat around the department” that it “wasn’t a very substantive thing at all”. He added: “People are talking about this document as if it’s a carefully worked-through exposé of people. There’s no reason to think it was. It is so unfair that, on the basis of what is becoming a witchhunt, he’s being pilloried for handling a document … that he did pass on.”

Lord Tebbit hints at political cover-up in 1980s over child abuse. Ex-Thatcher minister says people’s instinct was to protect ‘the system’ as it emerged a further 114 documents have been lost: here.

FORMER Conservative Cabinet minister Lord Tebbit admitted yesterday that there “may well” have been a political cover-up over child abuse in the 1980s± here.

Australian armed forces bishop charged with child abuse


This video is called Australia: bishop charged with abuse.

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Catholic Bishop Max Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969

Updated Mon 30 Jun 2014, 2:24pm AEST

The Bishop of the Australian Defence Force has been charged with a sex offence dating back to 1969.

Bishop Max Davis is believed to be the most senior clergyman in the Catholic Church, and the first bishop, to be charged with a child sex offence.

The 68-year-old is due to appear in Perth Magistrate’s Court on July 25, charged with three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14.

The alleged incident took place when Bishop Davis was teaching at St Benedict’s College in New Norcia, north-east of Perth. …

According to The Catholic Weekly, Bishop Davis grew up in Perth and was ordained in 1971.

He is one of a long line of military bishops to have served the Defence Forces.

He was in the Navy in the early 60s, according to the weekly. He has been Australia’s military bishop since 2003.

Japanese government whitewashes World War II ‘comfort women’ forced prostitution


This video says about itself:

Wianbu – Comfort Woman

A short film about a Korean seventeen-year-old girl, brought to a Japanese military camp during War World II, where a catastrophic future awaits her. Can she escape her fate?

By Ben McGrath:

Official Japanese report whitewashes wartime sexual slavery

28 June 2014

The Japanese government of Shinzo Abe released a report on June 20 throwing into doubt a 1993 apology for the army’s World War II exploitation of women as sex slaves. In the process, Japan has angered its neighbors South Korea and China, from where many of the victims were taken.

The 1993 Kono Statement, released by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, was a formal but limited apology for the use of “comfort women” during the war. Approximately 200,000 women and girls, mainly from Korea, but also China and other countries, were forced into military brothels.

Written by a government-appointed panel of five “experts,” the review called into question whether the victims were forced into prostitution. Referring to investigations at the time of the Kono Statement, the report asserts: “The recognition obtained through these series of studies was that it was not possible to confirm that women were ‘forcefully recruited.’”

The report also claimed that the South Korean government was involved in writing the Kono Statement, with Seoul demanding that Japan’s apology should refer to the coercion of the comfort women.

The report even declared that among the 16 victims interviewed before the release of the Kono Statement, “there were some who spoke indifferently and others whose memories had become confused.”

Interviews with former comfort women paint a different picture. Kim Bok-dong recounted the Japanese military’s coercive measures in a 2012 interview published on Amnesty International’s blog, Livewire:

“I was 14 years old when I was forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese government. They said they would hire me as a factory worker, but instead they dragged many of us to Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia and Indonesia. I was with the army headquarters so I went almost everywhere with them. There are no words to describe what the soldiers did to me.”

The South Korean government predictably reacted with anger to last week’s report, summoning Japanese ambassador Koro Bessho on Monday to lodge a complaint over the revision. Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Cho Tae-yong chastised Bessho saying: “The coercion of comfort women is an historical fact that the international community recognizes. The more the Abe government attempts to undermine the Kono statement, the more its credibility and international reputation will be damaged.”

China reacted similarly. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying demanded that Japan “face up to history and uphold the spirit of the Kono Statement,” saying: “The forced recruitment of comfort women by the Japanese military is a serious crime against humanity.”

In an attempt at damage control, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated on Friday: “Nothing has changed about the Japanese government’s position that it will not revise the Kono Statement.” In reality, the official report is an attempt by the Japanese government to whitewash the past crimes of Japanese imperialism.

By undermining the Kono Statement, the Abe administration is taking another step in its wider agenda of remilitarizing Japan. Abe is preparing a new generation to be dragooned into fighting wars of imperialist aggression, by justifying the Japanese Imperial Army’s role during World War II.

Since coming to power in December 2012, the Abe government has raised military spending for the first time in over a decade while seeking to end the constitutional constraints on Japan’s ability to wage war. Last December, signaling the start of an ideological offensive, Abe visited the infamous Yasukuni Shrine where 14 class-A war criminals are interred and which stands as a symbol of Japanese militarism.

Right-wing officials, appointed by Abe, have also sought to cover up the crimes of the past. Katsuto Momii, placed on public broadcaster NHK’s board of governors, tried to excuse the use of comfort women by saying the practice “was everywhere in Europe … In the current moral climate, the use of comfort women would be wrong. But it was a reality of those times.”

Another Abe-appointee NHK governor, Naoki Hyatuka, denied in February that the 1937 Rape of Nanjing took place. The week-long atrocity carried out by Japanese soldiers left up to 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers dead.

Japan is being remilitarized with the Obama administration’s encouragement, as part of its “pivot to Asia,” aimed at undermining Chinese influence and encircling it militarily. Japan has taken an increasingly confrontational stance toward China, particularly over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Last month, Japan sent two military reconnaissance planes to spy on Chinese and Russian joint naval drills, leading to confrontations with Chinese fighter jets and highlighting the danger of war.

However, Washington’s support for Tokyo has come at the price of upsetting Washington’s other ally in North East Asia, South Korea. The United States has attempted to draw the two neighbors closer together, but to little avail. The ruling elites in both countries are whipping up nationalism to divert rising domestic social tensions. Seoul regularly incites anti-Japanese sentiment in order to distract the population from worsening unemployment and social inequality.

In its response to the Kono Statement review, Washington lightly chided Tokyo. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki stated: “We’ve consistently encouraged Japan to approach this and other issues arising from the past in a manner that is conducive to building stronger relations with its neighbors.” Psaki continued: “Because South Korea and Japan have so many common interests, it’s important that they find a way to resolve the past in the most productive manner and look to the future.”

Abe’s government is facing mounting opposition at home to its remilitarization campaign. A recent Kyodo News poll found that 55.4 percent of people oppose Abe’s plans to reinterpret or revise the constitution to end limitations on the Japanese military, up from 48.1 percent the previous month. An even greater number of people—74.1 percent—said Abe should not set a deadline for ending discussion on the issue.

Reaction from the Netherlands about this: here.

Archbishop dismissed for sexual abuse


This video is called Vatican tribunal convicts former envoy of sex abuse.

From Associated Press:

Jozef Wesolowski, Vatican Ex-Ambassador, Convicted Of Sex Abuse

By Nicole Winfield

Posted: 06/27/2014 9:26 am EDT Updated: 2 hours ago

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican‘s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and has been defrocked, the first such sentence handed down against a top papal representative.

The Vatican said Friday that Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski was found guilty by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in recent days, and sentenced to the harshest penalty possible against a cleric: laicization, meaning he can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.

Wesolowski has two months to appeal. He also faces other charges by the criminal tribunal of Vatican City, since as a papal diplomat he is a citizen of the tiny city state.

The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski on Aug. 21, 2013, and relieved him of his job after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican authorities subsequently opened an investigation, but haven’t charged him. Poland, too, opened an investigation into Wesolowski and a friend and fellow Polish priest.

Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse, and his case raised questions about whether the Vatican, by removing him from Dominican jurisdiction, was protecting him and placing its own investigations ahead of that of authorities in the Caribbean nation.

The Vatican has never said how Wesolowski responded to the charges and hasn’t provided any contact information for his lawyer.

The case is particularly problematic for the Vatican since Wesolowski was a representative of the pope, accused of grave crimes that the Holy See has previously sought to distance itself from by blaming the worldwide sex abuse scandal on wayward priests and their bishops who failed to discipline them, not Vatican officials.

The case has also been delicate because Wesolowski was both ordained a priest and bishop by his Polish countryman and former pope, St. John Paul II.

‘British Establishment crony Sir Jimmy Savile abused children, patients, dead bodies’


This video from Britain is called Jimmy Savile & Margaret Thatcher.

Jimmy Savile, while he was alive, probably abused thousands of children and other people. At least some people in the British establishment knew that, but kept silent. The British government of Margaret Thatcher made Savile a nobleman, Sir James Wilson Vincent Savile. Thatcher succeeded in this in 1990, after her fellow Conservative ministers had vetoed four earlier attempts at it. Also in 1990, Pope John Paul II made Savile a Knight of the Vatican.

In 1978, John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) of punk band the Sex Pistols, spoke in a BBC interview about Savile’s sexual abuse. The BBC censored that interview. Three years later, in 1981, Margaret Thatcher said Savile was ´marvelous´.

Only after Savile´s death the horrible truth became known to the general public.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Jimmy Savile told hospital staff his jewellery was made using dead patients’ glass eyes

June 26, 2014 11:31

By Richard Hartley-Parkinson

An investigation heard multiple sickening claims from different staff at Leeds General Infirmary where he was a regular visitor

Jimmy Savile told hospital staff that jewellery he wore was ‘made from the glass eyes of dead bodies at the mortuary’, an investigation has heard.

The disgraced presenter was also reported to have acted ‘unacceptably’ with bodies in the mortuary of Leeds General Infirmary.

An investigation into his abuse at the hospital heard the now-dead entertainer claimed to have “interfered with the bodies of deceased patients”, including performing sex acts on them.

Investigators said while there was no way of proving Savile interfered with the bodies in this way, they concluded that “it is evident his interest in the mortuary was not within accepted boundaries”.

Dr Sue Proctor, who led the investigation into Savile’s abuse at the LGI, told a press conference a student nurse reported having had a conversation with Savile in which he claimed he performed sex acts on the dead.

While she said the allegations cannot be verified now, Dr Proctor said they had to be considered in the context that the controls around access to the mortuary in the 1980s were “lax”.

Dr Proctor referred to Savile’s claims that large rings he wore were “made from the glass eyes of dead bodies at the mortuary”.

Savile’s professed interest in the dead was described by Dr Proctor as “pretty unwholesome”.

Savile visited the mortuary in his role as voluntary porter and that he visited socially with his friend, who was the chief mortician.

Investigators said he publicly acknowledged his fascination with the dead and there were a lack of stringent procedures surrounding the mortuary.

A series of chilling reports have revealed Savile subjected patients in hospitals across the country to “truly awful” sexual abuse for more than four decades.

Savile’s victims at the LGI ranged from five-years-old to pensioners and included men, women, boys and girls.

At high-security hospital Broadmoor, Savile sexually abused at least five individuals, including two patients who were subjected to repeated assaults.

Investigators discovered members of staff at the LGI failed to pass on complaints of abuse to senior managers, who could have acted to stop it happening.

And they also found “clear failings” in the way access to wards in Broadmoor was controlled, as Savile had keys allowing him unrestricted access to ward areas within the security perimeter.

A joint statement from NHS chiefs described the findings of the investigations as “truly awful”, while both current chief executives of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which covers Broadmoor, apologised to victims.

The inquiry into his activities at LGI after he started his association in 1960 included the testimonies of 60 people who gave accounts of their experiences with Savile to investigators – 33 of these were patients.

Three of these incidents were rapes, the investigators said.

The Leeds team said 19 of those who came forward were under 16 years old and the age range was five to 75.

They said the majority were teenagers but 19 victims were hospital staff – all women.

At Broadmoor, investigators found sexual relationships between staff and patients were tolerated in what was a “clear, repeated failure of safeguarding standards”.

There was an atmosphere within the hospital that tolerated inappropriate behaviour and discouraged reporting, the probe said.

Savile’s “often flamboyantly inappropriate” attitude towards women was seen as part of his public act, “just Jimmy”, the report found.

In a disturbing finding, it was noted that Savile sometimes watched as female patients undressed for baths in the wards, and at other times looked through doorways while making inappropriate comments.

While fewer assaults were reported to have taken place at Broadmoor than other hospitals, the inquiry concluded that Savile was “an opportunistic sexual predator” throughout the time he was associated with the institution and attributed the smaller number of complaints to an atmosphere of fear among staff as to what might happen if they did report incidents.

Investigator Dr Bill Kirkup said the report’s findings are “likely to represent an underestimate of the true picture”.

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, died aged 84 in October 2011 – a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile.

The documentary ultimately led to a joint review by the Metropolitan Police and NSPCC into allegations that the television presenter abused women, girls and boys.

The findings of the review, published in January last year, saw 214 criminal offences, including 34 rapes, recorded against Savile’s name across the UK between 1955 and 2009.

Claims that some of the abuse happened in hospital settings triggered separate NHS investigations published today.

A key report into his activities at Stoke Mandeville Hospital has been delayed after new information recently came to light.

Jimmy Savile’s reign of abuse across NHS exposed in detailed investigation. Edwina Currie voices regret as report reveals sexual predator’s activities at 28 hospital trusts: here.

Report reveals Edwina Currie approved Jimmy Savile’s role at hospitals: here.

Those who shielded Jimmy Savile are still silent. Given the evidence from dozens of witnesses, how did Savile, a child molester and sex pest, escape attention? Here.

With a steady stream of revelations of paedophilia within Parliament and the media, STEVEN WALKER asks just how far the Establishment cover-up extends: here.

ONCE beloved entertainer Rolf Harris saw his reputation end in disgrace yesterday after he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault: here.

POLICE considered fresh allegations against Rolf Harris yesterday as the ink dried on his conviction for indecent assault: here.

‘Pope’s meeting with clerical abuse survivors a PR stunt’


This 2012 video says about itself:

David Clohessy, a member of SNAP – the survivors network for those abused by priests speaks to Al Jazeera from St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Pope’s meeting with abuse victims is meaningless, says US advocacy group

Main US clerical sex abuse victims’ group dismisses Pope Francis‘s planned meeting as a public relations coup

Lizzy Davies in Rome and agencies

Tuesday 27 May 2014 16.32 BST

The head of a US-based group advocating for victims of clerical sex abuse has dismissed news that Pope Francis is to meet with a group of abuse victims for the first time, reportedly labelling the planned encounter “utterly meaningless”.

On his way back from a high-profile, three-day trip to the Middle East, the Argentinian pontiff told journalists on board the papal plane that sex abuse was “an ugly crime”.

“It is like a satanic mass,” he is reported to have said. “We must go ahead with zero tolerance.”

Echoing a similar move made by his predecessor Benedict XVI in 2010, Francis said he would meet with eight victims of sex abuse at the Vatican early next month. They would also attend mass at the Vatican guesthouse where he lives, he said.

Though applauded for his reform agenda in other areas, Francis has been accused by abuse victims of failing to grasp the deep changes they say are needed to prevent further cases and properly punish perpetrators not only of the abuse itself but of its cover-up.

Francis has made the personal touch a trademark of his papacy – communicating a warmth and understanding to ordinary people that his predecessor rarely managed – but victims of abuse by officials in the Roman Catholic church have repeatedly chided him for failing to express more empathy.

They reacted with particular annoyance to an interview that Francis gave to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in March, in which he defended the church’s handling of the crisis and said no other institution in the world had “done more” to stamp out child abuse.

On Tuesday, news of the pope’s planned meeting with victims appeared to have done little to change the mind of David Clohessy, executive director of the main US victims’ group, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (Snap).

“The simple truth is this is another gesture, another public relations coup, another nice bit of symbolism that will leave no child better off and bring no real reform to a continuing, scandal-ridden church hierarchy,” he told the Associated Press.

Clohessy said the meeting was “just utterly, utterly meaningless.” He has been equally damning of Francis’s other major contribution to the church’s efforts to improve its record: the establishment in December of a commission of experts, including an Irish victim of abuse, Marie Collins, to look at ways of better protecting minors.

Not everyone was as dismissive of the meeting, which is being organised by Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, the US city shaken by abuse revelations in 2002.

Mitchell Garabedian, a local attorney who represents victims, told the AP that a face-to-face encounter with victims was “the most powerful tool that the pope can use in understanding the ugliness and horror of clergy sexual abuse and why it must be stopped or prevented”.

He hoped, however, that there would be more than just one meeting, and that it would prove “substantive and meaningful”.

During his 40-minute exchange with journalists on the flight back to Rome from Tel Aviv, Francis also revealed that three bishops were currently under investigation by the Vatican for abuse-related reasons. It was not clear whether they were accused of committing abuse or having covered it up.

During Francis’s papacy, a new dynamic has formed in the debate around the church’s handling of the sex abuse scandal, with two United Nations human-rights panels criticising the Vatican’s actions and urging it to do more.

The latest of these came last week, when the United Nations Committee Against Torture (Cat) produced its concluding observations on the Holy See, calling on it, among other recommendations, to place “meaningful sanctions” on clerics who fail to deal properly with credible allegations against priests.

The Vatican disputed much of the report’s legitimacy, but said it would “give serious consideration” to the recommendations.

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