Afghan sex abuse led boy to kill, suit claims

Marines told to ig­nore big ‘cul­tural dif­fer­ence’

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

A law­suit charges that the U.S. mil­i­tary’s in­dif­fer­ence to the crime of Afghanistan of­fi­cials sex­u­ally abus­ing boys led to the killings of three Marines in 2012 by the youth­ful com­pan­ion of a cor­rupt Afghan po­lice chief.

De­spite warn­ings that the chief, Sarwan Jan, and his boy en­tourage should be ex­pelled from For­ward Op­er­at­ing Base Delhi, Marine Corps com­man­ders let him stay. On Aug. 10, one of his “tea boys” walked into the base gym and gunned down the three Marines, in­clud­ing Lance Cpl. Gre­gory Buck­ley Jr. of Long Is­land, whose par­ents are fight­ing out a law­suit in U.S. Dis­trict Court.

“There was no in­ves­ti­ga­tion or scru­tiny into, or mon­i­tor­ing of, Jan or the un­known boys and young men he brought onto FOB Delhi,” states the law­suit, filed by New York lawyer Michael J. Bowe, who took the case pro bono.

Mr. Bowe told The Washington Times, “Jan never should have been there. We be­lieve these abuses con­trib­uted to Greg’s death be­cause align­ing our troops with those com­mit­ting these hor­rific acts made our troops tar­gets and be­cause in look­ing the other way com­man­ders failed to main­tain a level of con­trol over the base nec­es­sary for safety.”

A cul­ture of high-rank­ing Afghan po­lice, politi­cians and war­lords rou­tinely rap­ing boys has been the fo­cus of war sto­ries since the 2001 U.S.-led in­va­sion.

An ar­ti­cle in The New York Times, posted online Sun­day, has placed new em­pha­sis on the de­bauch­ery by point­ing out that U.S. com­man­ders gen­er­ally ig­nore the prac­tice, even if the crimes hap­pen on Amer­i­can bases.

In fact, two Green Berets were pun­ished by their Army su­pe­ri­ors be­cause they phys­i­cally ac­costed an Afghan lo­cal po­lice leader for rap­ing a boy and beat­ing his mother. The Green Beret A-team leader chose to leave the Army. The Army has se­lected his sergeant, Charles Mart­land, for in­vol­un­tary sep­a­ra­tion be­cause of the rep­ri­mand.

Army Gen. John F. Camp­bell, the top U.S. com­man­der in Afghanistan, is­sued a state­ment Tues­day say­ing there is no of­fi­cial pol­icy to look the other way.

He said he per­son­ally spoke with Afghan Pres­i­dent Ashraf Ghani. “He made it clear to me that the Afghan gov­ern­ment will not tol­er­ate the abuse of its chil­dren, or any of its peo­ple, and will thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gate all al­le­ga­tions and ad­min­is­ter jus­tice ap­pro­pri­ately,” the four-star gen­eral said.

But an Army vet­eran of sev­eral tours in Afghanistan said se­nior com­man­ders al­most al­ways told of­fi­cers to not make an is­sue of wit­nessed abuse.

“Sure, there is noth­ing that pre­cludes a ser­vice mem­ber from telling the chain of com­mand, although one caveat,” the soldier told The Washington Times. “The chain of com­mand usu­ally re­sponds with ‘ that is not our busi­ness.’ Although there is noth­ing pre­clud­ing any­one from re­port­ing it, typ­i­cally a blind eye is turned by most se­nior of­fi­cers, and it is viewed al­most as a cul­tural dif­fer­ence rather than a hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion.”

In the Buck­ley killing, Marine com­man­ders al­lowed Jan, a no­to­ri­ous po­lice chief, to set up shop at base Delhi with his boys. They ar­rived at a time when in­sider at­tacks, known as “green on blue,” were hap­pen­ing at an alarm­ing rate as the en­emy per­suaded Afghans to turn on Amer­i­cans and kill them.

“My son said that his of­fi­cers told him to look the other way be­cause it’s their cul­ture,” Gre­gory Buck­ley Sr. told The New York Times. “‘At night, we can hear them scream­ing, but we’re not al­lowed to do any­thing about it,’” Mr. Buck­ley re­called his son say­ing.

Jan was ex­pelled pre­vi­ously from an Afghan vil­lage, Now Zad, be­cause of cor­rup­tion and for fear that he col­lab­o­rated with the en­emy Tal­iban.

A Marine in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer at the time, Maj. Jason Bre­zler, sent an email dossier to base Delhi in 2012 out­lin­ing Jan’s shady past. But com­man­ders al­lowed him to stay.

The Marine Corps sub­se­quently kicked out Maj. Bre­zler for send­ing the clas­si­fied dossier on an in­se­cure email ac­count. He has gone to fed­eral court to over­turn the de­ci­sion.

Kevin Car­roll, who is rep­re­sent­ing Maj. Bre­zler pro bono along with Mr. Bowe, said that in­dif­fer­ence to child rape is the ex­act rea­son three Marines are dead.

Mr. Car­roll told The Washington Times, “Not only did the Marines al­low Sarwan Jan to rape nine young men and boys on base, one of whom grabbed a ri­fle and mur­dered three Marines, the Marine com­man­der also low­ered base se­cu­rity twice in def­er­ence of Afghan cul­tural sen­si­bil­i­ties, de­spite Jason Bre­zler’s warn­ing of the threats posed by Sarwan Jan.”

Jan was ex­pelled from Now Zad, the Buck­ley law­suit states “be­cause Jan, and those un­der his con­trol, were ex­tort­ing Now Zad res­i­dents, kid­nap­ping and keep­ing Afghan boys as sex slaves, traf­fick­ing in nar­cotics, and pro­vid­ing arms, mu­ni­tions, and Afghan po­lice uni­forms to the Tal­iban to fa­cil­i­tate in­sider at­tacks on Marine and other coali­tion forces.”

The law­suit says Marine com­man­ders made a tragic er­ror by look­ing the other way as Jan op­er­ated his boy harem right un­der their noses.

“Trag­i­cally, Marine com­man­ders not only per­mit­ted Jan to re­turn to FOB Delhi, but in­ex­pli­ca­bly took no steps in re­sponse to Bre­zler’s sub­se­quent warn­ing,” the law­suit states. “There was no in­ves­ti­ga­tion or scru­tiny into, or mon­i­tor­ing of, Jan or the un­known boys and young men he brought onto FOB Delhi. No steps were taken to re­strict the abil­ity of Jan or his en­tourage to ex­e­cute or fa­cil­i­tate in­sider at­tacks such as se­cur­ing Afghan weapons or post­ing armed Marine guards in ar­eas in which they had ac­cess. No warn­ings or in­struc­tions were is­sued to Marine per­son­nel, es­pe­cially to the Marine ad­vis­ers work­ing and liv­ing in close prox­im­ity with Jan and his en­tourage of un­knowns.”

Mr. Bowe said the Marine Corps has stonewalled the fam­ily’s re­quest for doc­u­ments de­tail­ing the Navy Crim­i­nal In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vice in­quiry into the three killings. His law­suits asks the Dis­trict Court judge to or­der the Marines to turn over the file.

“The Marine Corps has con­ducted no in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the tragic deaths at FOB Delhi, [and] pro­vided none of the re­quired record dis­clo­sures,” the law­suit says.

Mr. Bowe said the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has asked the judge to dis­miss the case.

In July 2014, an Afghan judge clas­si­fied the killer as a ju­ve­nile and sen­tenced Ain­ud­din Khu­daira­ham to 7½ years in prison.

He killed the Marines with an AK-47 and pro­claimed he had joined ji­had.

Also killed were Cpl. Richard A. Rivera Jr. and Staff Sgt. Scott E. Dickinson.

Press re­ports from Afghanistan say Jan was pro­moted from po­lice chief and as­signed to another base.

The Washington Times made in­quiries with the U.S. com­mand press of­fice in Kabul, which said it could not sup­ply any in­for­ma­tion on Jan.

On Mon­day, White House press sec­re­tary Josh Ernest re­sponded to queries about Amer­i­can ser­vice mem­bers be­ing asked to look the other way when child rape oc­curs by tout­ing the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s deep con­cern for pro­tect­ing “ba­sic hu­man free­doms.”

“The United States is deeply con­cerned about the safety and wel­fare of Afghan boys who may be ex­ploited by mem­bers of the Afghan na­tional se­cu­rity and de­fense forces,” said Mr. Ernest. “This form of sex­ual ex­ploita­tion vi­o­lates Afghan law and Afghanistan’s in­ter­na­tional obli­ga­tions. More broadly, pro­tect­ing hu­man rights, in­clud­ing coun­ter­ing the ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren, is a high pri­or­ity for the U.S. gov­ern­ment. We mon­i­tor such atroc­i­ties closely and have con­tin­u­ally stood up for those who have suf­fered ex­ploita­tion and de­nial of ba­sic hu­man free­doms.”


A Marine carry team moves a trans­fer case con­tain­ing the re­mains of Lance Cpl. Gre­gory T. Buck­ley, 21, of Ocean­side, New York, in 2012. A law­suit charges that the mil­i­tary’s in­dif­fer­ence to Afghan of­fi­cials’ sex­ual abuse of boys led to the killings of Buck­ley and two other Marines by the youth­ful com­pan­ion of a cor­rupt Afghan po­lice chief.

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