US soldiers in Afghanistan told not to stop child abuse

This video from the USA says about itself:

US Tax $ Funds PedophiliaWikiLeaks

3 January 2011

Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) shares the latest revelation from WikiLeaks regarding US taxpayer money going to fund sex with underage boys in Afghanistan.

The now infamous Wikileaks recently released a cable from Afghanistan revealing U.S. government contractor DynCorp threw a party for Afghan security recruits featuring trafficked boys as the entertainment. Bacha bazi is the Afghan tradition of “boy play” where young boys are dressed up in women’s clothing, forced to dance for leering men, and then sold for sex to the highest bidder. Apparently this is the sort of “entertainment” funded by your tax dollars when DynCorp is in charge of security in Afghanistan.

DynCorp is a government contractor which has been providing training for Afghan security and police forces for several years. Though the company is about as transparent as a lead-coated rock, most reports claim over 95% of their budget comes from U.S. taxpayers. That’s the same budget that DynCorp used to pay for a party in Kunduz Province for some Afghan police trainees. The entertainment for the evening was bacha bazi boys, whose pimps were paid so the boys would sing and dance for the recruits and then be raped by them afterward. That’s your tax dollars at work — fighting terrorism and extremism in Afghnistan by trafficking little boys for sex with cops-in-training.

In fact, the evidence linking DynCorp to bacha bazi was so damning, Afghan Minister of the Interior Hanif Atmar tried to quash the story. Upon hearing a journalist was investigating DynCorp and the U.S. government’s funding of the sex trafficking of young boys in Afghanistan, Atmar warned any publication of the story would “endanger lives,” and requested the U.S. suppress the story. Atmar admitted he had arrested eleven Afghans nationals as “facilitators” of the bacha bazi party. But he was only charging them with “purchasing a service from a child,” which is illegal under Sharia law and the civil code. And in this case “services” is not used as a euphemism for sex; so far, no one is being held accountable for the young boys whose rapes were paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.

As if this story couldn’t get any more outrageous, Atmar went on to say that if news of the incident got out, he was “worried about the image of foreign mentors”. In other words, why should something as piddling as the humiliation, objectification, sale, and rape of some children tarnish the good name of DynCorp and all the work (read: money) they’re doing in Afghanistan? After all, bacha bazi is growing in popularity in Afghanistan, especially in areas like Kunduz. Why shouldn’t U.S. government contractors be able to win local favor by pimping young boys?

Of course, this isn’t the first time DynCorp has used U.S. tax dollars to support sex trafficking. In Bosnia in 1999, Kathryn Bolkovac was fired from the company after blowing the whistle on DynCorp’s staffers pimping out girls as young as 12 from Eastern European countries. DynCorp settled a lawsuit involving Bolkovac, and her story was recently featured in The Whistleblower, where she was portrayed by Rachel Weiss. It’s a happy ending for one DynCorp whistle blower, but will there be a Bolkovac in Afghanistan?

It’s time American taxpayers demanded a zero tolerance policy on our money being used to support child sex trafficking overseas. Tell the UN Mission to Afghanistan the time has come to crack down on those who buy and sell boys in bacha bazi, whether they’re Afghans or U.S. government contractors, security personnel or citizens. No one should be able to traffic children so sex and get away with it, and that includes repeat offender DynCorp. We have a right to demand our tax dollars go to fight trafficking, not support it. And we have a right to demand the U.S. government and their contractors be held accountable for exploiting the boys of Afghanistan.

From the New York Times in the USA:

U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Afghan Allies’ Abuse of Boys


SEPT. 20, 2015

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.”

Related Coverage:

U.S. Denies an Airstrike Killed 11 Afghan Narcotics Officers

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.

“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 an American-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 Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.

After the beating, the Army relieved Captain 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. First Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member who joined Captain 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),” Representative Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who hopes to save Sergeant Martland’s career, wrote last week to the Pentagon’s inspector general.

In Sergeant Martland’s case, the Army said it could not comment because of the Privacy Act.

When asked about American military policy, the spokesman for the American 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 American 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.”

Still, the former lance corporal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending fellow Marines, recalled feeling sickened the day he entered a room on a base and saw three or four men lying on the floor with children between them. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what was happening under the sheet, but I have a pretty good idea of what was going on,” he said.

But the American policy of treating child sexual abuse as a cultural issue has often alienated the villages whose children are being preyed upon. The pitfalls of the policy emerged clearly as American Special Forces soldiers began to form Afghan Local Police militias to hold villages that American forces had retaken from the Taliban in 2010 and 2011.

By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern 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 whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. 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,” Mr. Quinn said.

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

Soon another commander absconded with his men’s wages. Mr. 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,” Mr. Quinn recalled.

In September 2011, an Afghan woman, visibly bruised, showed up at an American 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 explained. When she sought her son’s return, she herself was beaten. Her son had eventually been 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” coveted by local commanders, recalled Mr. 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 Captain 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 American 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,” Mr. Quinn said. Sergeant 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,” Mr. Quinn recalled.

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

Sergeant 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 Mr. 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.

The father of Lance Corporal Buckley 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.

Lance Corporal Buckley and two other Marines were killed in 2012 by one of a large entourage of boys living at their base with an Afghan police commander named Sarwar Jan.

Mr. 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 Lance Corporal Buckley’s post, Forward Operating Base Delhi, in Helmand Province.

Lance Corporal Buckley had noticed that a large entourage of “tea boys” — domestic servants who are sometimes pressed into sexual slavery — had arrived with Mr. 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 Mr. Jan’s new position also reached the Marine officers who had gotten him arrested in 2010. One of them, Maj. Jason Brezler, dashed out an email to Marine officers at F.O.B. Delhi, warning them about Mr. Jan and attaching a dossier about him.

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

Lance Corporal Buckley’s father still agonizes about whether the killing occurred because of the sexual abuse by an American ally. “As far as the young boys are concerned, the Marines are allowing it to happen and so they’re guilty by association,” Mr. Buckley said. “They don’t know our Marines are sick to their stomachs.”

The one American service member who was punished in the investigation that followed was Major Brezler, who had sent the email warning about Mr. Jan, his lawyers said. In one of Major 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 Major Brezler.

Mr. 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,” Mr. Jan said. But people who know him say he still suffers from “a toothache problem,” a euphemism here for child sexual abuse.

US JETS blitzed the northern Afghan city of Kunduz yesterday in preparation for a government counteroffensive against the Taliban: here.

United States Ferguson activists join London G4S protest

This video from London, England says about itself:

#FergusonSolidarityTour demo

3 February 2015

Activists from the NUS Black Students’ Campaign shut down Victoria Street in London in protest against human rights abuses perpetrated by G4S.

Footage taken by Cassie Quarless.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

US Ferguson activists join protest against death of Jimmy Mubenga

Americans from Ferguson Solidarity Tour join British activists to protest outside G4S offices in central London

Areeb Ullah

Tuesday 3 February 2015 17.14 GMT

Americans involved in the US Ferguson demonstrations joined British activists on Tuesday to block a major street in central London in protest at security company G4S’s role in the death of Jimmy Mubenga.

G4S security guards Terrence Hughes, Stuart Tribelnig and Colin Kaler were acquitted of the manslaughter of the 46-year-old Angolan deportee in December. A coroner had previously found that Mubenga died of cardiorespiratory collapse as a result of restraint on a British Airways deportation flight in October 2010.

Activists from the UK NUS’s Black Students’ Campaign and the Ferguson Solidarity Tour were also campaigning against the private prisons G4S operates and its involvement in the occupied West Bank.

More than a dozen activists occupied the balcony of Sutton Park House, Victoria Street, where G4S has offices for a moment before walking out and unfurling a banner that read “Ferguson, Palestine, UK, Stop Racist Killings, Stop G4S” onto Victoria Street. …

The tactic of blocking traffic – known as “shutting shit down” – has been quite prominent in the protests to show solidarity with Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other black people killed by police in the US.

Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and headline speaker for the Ferguson Solidarity Tour, explained how effective the tactic has been in the States.

“We’ve been shutting shit down since August 9th [2014] both in Ferguson … and throughout the entire country, including where I live in Los Angeles, where we’ve been able to occupy the headquarters of the LAPD for seven days, and this is a common practice, of shutting shit down,” she said.

“It’s our form of boycott. What we have been able to do is a few things: disrupt people’s lives because our lives are often disrupted by people’s racism and other people’s racism, so we disrupt people’s lives for 20-30 minutes or a couple of hours.” …

Cullors said the tactic had helped draw the attention of elected officials and led to invitations to meet them. “We’ve also been able to drop economies, like on Black Friday we shut shit down and it brought down the revenue by 11%.”

She explained why the Ferguson Solidarity Tour had come to Britain: “The similarities between the UK and the USA is that both of our countries are invested in racism. Some of the differences are the technical differences around the apparatus of law enforcement accountability, but the same thing is dealt to victims of police and state violence – which is no accountability.”

She added: “We have to spread our ideology too of shutting shit down and ideology of making sure we take risks so we can achieve gains for our present and our future.”

NUS black students officer Malia Bouattia, a key organiser of this action and the Ferguson Solidarity Tour, said: “For far too long we have seen successive governments violently deport innocent black men … ”

She also attacked the justice system in relation to deaths in custody. “Not a single police officer has been held accountable for the deaths under police custody and we will not rest till we achieve justice,” she said.