“In all our training, we were told to be ready and accept Afghan corruption as a way of doing business,” my buddy told me.
My friend is an Army officer who spent some time in Afghanistan advising local police, and to this day, he is haunted by the thought that what he saw one night at an Afghan police chief’s home was not the police chief’s nephew, as he had claimed, but a sex slave. “He looked traumatized,” my buddy said. “Looking back, he probably saw a whole bunch of us gathering at the chief’s house and thought he was going to be gang raped. He was terrified.”
My friend didn’t put it all together – the training, the instructions to ignore what was described as differences in culture, the young boy cowering in a corner of the police chief’s house – until later. And when he saw a PBS Frontline report about the “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan,” he knew. His interpreters told him about the crying they heard at night in their rooms, and he knew. He realized what was going on, and to this day, he feels guilt and remorse for not telling his chain of command what he saw.
But along with this guilt, my friend wonders if his chain of command would have done anything at all to protect this boy and others like him, because apparently, the United States military has turned its back on horrific child abuse in the name of collaboration with other cultures and maintaining good relations with the Afghan police.
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.”
This is disgusting! What’s even more disgusting is that two Soldiers who took it upon themselves to protect an innocent boy apparently got punished for it.
SFC Charles Martland and CPT Dan Quinn, according to press reports, beat up a militia commander who had a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. Reports vary about just how badly this pederast scumbag was beaten, since he walked away from the incident – something that would never have happened had I been in that room (at the very least, he would not have walked away with his genitals intact) – and went to another military base to complain about his treatment. However, because the two acted in defense of an innocent and apparently ignored orders to turn a blind eye to such abuses, the two faced disciplinary action and had their military careers ruined.
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.
As a matter of fact, a recent report says the Army has rejected Martland’s appeal of his discharge order!
The Pentagon now denies that any such orders to ignore Afghan abuses of young boys exists. The military denies this is official policy. And yet, my friend says his pre-deployment training included instructions to ignore blatant “corruption” and that it was simply a part of the Afghan culture.
Listen, I’m the last person to go off half-cocked about the military. I love the military. I’m an Army veteran. I joined the armed forces out of a sense of obligation – because I love my adopted country, and because I considered military service an honor. I felt my duty was not just to defend the Constitution of the United States, but to uphold the values, honor, and tradition of military service – to protect innocent lives. I still abide by this duty. I still believe my oath holds.
And that’s why I cannot fathom how any policy would defend this… this destruction of innocence… this abandonment of human decency… this outright annihilation of the human soul!
My friend thought about reporting what he saw, but did not think it would do any good. “We were told to accept Afghan corruption,” he said. And worse, after that night, the boy was taken elsewhere, and they never saw him again. Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. confirmed my friend’s report in a conversation with his father before he was shot to death in 2012. He told his father that he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base from his rack. “At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father said. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
FUCK THEIR CULTURE! There. I said it. It’s as clear as I can make it. This isn’t culture. This is child abuse. This is sub-human and unconscionable, and we – as American service members – should never walk away without doing something!
What kind of savages enslave little boys and use them as sex toys? What kind of sadists hear a child scream in pain as they forcibly penetrate them and take away every shred of dignity, innocence, and spirit, and then not only continue the act until sated, but chain the child like an animal – like property – and continue the abuse?
This is what we’re supposed to “unofficially” turn a blind eye to?
Sure, the Pentagon denies there’s an “official” policy in place to ignore child rape. But when numerous troops confirm that they were instructed to “ignore all corruption” and were hesitant to bring blatant incidents of abuse to the attention of their chain of command…
…and when two heroes who dared to confront the monster in front of them were penalized, their careers ruined, how can any rational, thinking human being NOT perceive this as anything BUT official policy?
“I was never told to report it or not to. You knew who had a chai boy and who didn’t,” another friend and veteran told me.
“The reason we weren’t able to step in with these local rape cases was we didn’t want to undermine the authority of the local government,” Dan Quinn told CNN. “We were trying to build up the local government. Us acting after the local government fails to can certainly undermine their credibility.”
“I was there in ’10-11 and saw proof of the debauchery constantly. I asked an O-6 about it and was told point blank ‘there’s nothing we can do about it,’” says yet another Soldier.
Another friend of mine, who spent a lot of time in Afghanistan as a civilian, told me she fired one of her Afghan employees after discovering footage of him getting obliterated in a heroin den with an boy on her iPad. “When the dancing ended, things went from bad to worse,” she recounted. “I wanted to be sick.” She turned the video over to the Afghan police, quoted the Koran and Afghan law to him on the subject, and then told him his family would be notified of the shame he brought upon them. He broke down, but it is an ugly facet of one part of their society, she said, and it happens a lot.
No, this is not a big secret. Our troops know it’s happening, and they’re disgusted by it. Civilians know what is going on. Media outlets have run the stories about these poor kids and the slime who abuse them. It’s common knowledge. But now that SFC Martland’s case is hitting the news, the DoD feels it necessary to deny the policy that directs our troops to ignore it?
This is what we’ve come down to? We’re so anxious to prove how non-interventionist, benevolent, non-occupationist and victorious against the Taliban we are, that we have not only joined forces with a bunch of savage pedophiles, but ignore the rape and enslavement of children on our own military bases?
Count me as one of those Soldiers who would not only ignore any direct order given to ignore the abuse, but who would stomp the pernicious bag of diarrhea committing said abuse into a moist, smelly spot on the pavement!
It’s one thing to respect another culture – yes, I’ll drink that jet fuel you call booze. No, I won’t care if you scratch your nuts at the dinner table. Of course I will respect your traditions at Ramadan and will not eat in public. I’ll even avoid making eye contact with the men in Afghanistan, as their culture dictates.
But where do we draw the line between respecting someone’s culture and allowing twisted troglodytes to destroy the lives of children for the sake of their status and their insatiable, depraved sexual proclivities?
Shouldn’t we, as Americans, military service members, and human beings intervene and stop these acts of malicious debauchery?
Sure, our mission is to fight the Taliban. Sure we’re supposed to train the Afghans to defend their own country. But it’s part of our mission to ensure that the innocent are protected. It’s our moral duty to ensure that murderous pederast scum do not destroy young lives. Not in a million years would I ever turn my back on an innocent child! Nor would I ever stand idly by and allow obvious, vicious, barbaric acts of rape – violations of human rights – go on under my nose!
I understand that if we start intervening in local jurisdictions, we will be viewed as an occupying force. I understand we need to allow Afghan law enforcement to do its job. I know we would scream bloody murder if another nation or an international organization attempted to intervene in our society, our law enforcement, and jurisprudence. I also understand that there’s a fine line between non-interference and allowing atrocities to go on unchecked under our noses – especially on our own bases. It is the very law enforcement officers whose job is supposed to be to protect innocent people from predators, who are violating children and beating women for protesting said abuse of their sons!
Enough is enough! We cannot stand by and do nothing; the fact that our Soldiers feel they cannot put a stop to this travesty is a national shame.
By the way, Congressman Duncan Hunter has written a letter on SFC Martland’s behalf to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. In it, Duncan reiterates that Martland could no longer stand by and do nothing while atrocities were committed by the local police commander, and that his decision to intervene and protect the child was a moral one – as an American and a human being.