A Pennsylvania grand jury report, made public Tuesday afternoon, names 300 Catholic priests who allegedly engaged in sexual abuse of children and youth over the course of decades. At least 1,000 victims are identifiable from Church records, the panel found, and the number of victims is likely many times that figure.
The names of about two dozen priests are redacted from the published report pending a Pennsylvania Supreme Court hearing of a suit claiming there is insufficient evidence of their guilt. But the bulk of the names are made public in the report, along with sickening details of abuse.
Although the cases go back as far as 70 years—the oldest victim to testify about his abuse as a child was 83—the bulk of the documented abuse took place between the 1960s and the 1980s, and about 200 of the alleged priest-abusers are still alive. Only two have been prosecuted.
The grand jury spoke in scathing terms of the conduct it had uncovered. The report’s introduction begins:
“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have heard some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere…
“Most of the victims were boys; but there were girls too. Some were teens; many were pre-pubescent. Some were manipulated with alcohol or pornography. Some were made to masturbate their assailants, or were groped by them. Some were raped orally, some vaginally, some anally. But all of them were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all.”
The report pulls no punches in indicting the Catholic hierarchy: “Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible not only did nothing: They hid it all. For decades.”
This is disgusting and the priests should be behind bars for what they've done.
The whole thing disgusts me and I'd rather not even have it up here at this site but I am a Catholic so I should, especially, make sure that this abuse that priests carried out is at this site.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:
Suspected Islamic State member accused of killing police officer in Iraq arrested in Sacramento, where he settled as a refugee lat.ms/2MvkD7B
This is the US Justice Dept's press release on the issue:
Iraqi National Wanted for Murder in Iraq Arrested In California
So Omar Ameen came to the US as a refugee and settled in California. Four years later, he has been arrested and will now be returned to Iraq.
Is he guilty?
He's charged. He's accused. And that's a really big problem. The US government is fully aware of the lack of justice in Iraq. Returning him is very likely the same as sentencing him to die. Whether he is innocent or guilty, he is most likely going to be executed. Trials last minutes in Iraq. Rules and laws are not followed.
Grasp that THE NEW YORK TIMES used to do regular updates on the state of justice in Iraq and even they long ago stopped writing. Mainly because nothing changed. Progress did not arrive.
Omar Ameen may be guilty. Right now he has the presumption of innocence. And it's very sad that he is being handed over to a country where he will not get a fair trial and where the outcome from the charges is death.
In Iraq, tens of strikers begin open sit in in front of Basra Province government building after security forces kill a protester while dispersing a protest.
Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) notes, "One protester has died after police fired on a demonstration in Ezzedine Salim, Basra province. Current demonstrators are calling for the release of previously detained protesters."
On KPFA's VOICE OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, the issue of the protests was addressed yesterday.
They discussed how Tahrir Square in Baghdad has seen protests but smaller ones and how their is the history of closing streets in Baghdad to prevent masses from gathering in Tahrir Square.
Balsam Mustafa: All of the parties, the Iraqi government, is in the Green Zone. So they were very careful to protect the Green Zone and they, as you said, blocked all of the roads. They prevented the protesters from moving forward and, a couple of week ago, they used water canons to prevent the protests for progressing. and this could be another reason why the protests in Baghdad was less than in the other provinces due to the security measures taken by the government.
As the protests continue, so does the violence aimed at them.
IOHR: Security Forces beat the protestor using batons while breaking up the protest.
This violence is a daily event that those brave enough to go into the streets and protest
Yesterday on KPFA, Balsam Mustafa noted, "There were reports of activists and protesters who were chased and beaten. Many were arrested. Although some of them were soon released on bail, some are still missing."
The demands of the protesters are people needs, the basics. This includes jobs. Baslam noted that in Basra, when new jobs were announced there were "over half a million applicants to only ten thousand jobs."
May 12th, Iraq held elections. Still no government formed. Next month, the KRG holds elections.
#Kurdistan legislative elections on 30 Sept: 773 candidates run for 111 (including 11 quotas) seats, 23 lists.
Iraq May elections: 6690 candidates, 87 lists, 329 (9 quotas) seats.
What explains such a crowded field? intra and inter identity politics could be one reason.
If a government is not formed in Iraq before September 30th, look for the KRG government to be formed before Iraq's national government is formed.
And the Iraq War continues.
Coalition strikes continue against ISIS targets in the Middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq-Syria border region.
And US troops aren't leaving Iraq any time soon.
Pentagon: "We have assessed that, even after the liberation of ISIS controlled territory, ISIS probably is still more capable than al-Qaida in Iraq at its peak in 2006-2007...suggesting it is well positioned to rebuild and work on enabling its physical caliphate to reemerge"
The Iraq War drags on and on. At CSIS, Anthony Cordrsman offers his evaluation of Iraq which includes the following:
To repeat, we never bought the lie that ISIS was defeated in Iraq because we never confused their adapting to what, for them, were excellent conditions. Meaning that the goal of terrorists cells and organizations is not to govern or rule. Iraq's government was so inept at the time (headed then by Nouri al-Maliki) that ISIS was able to take areas and govern them. They continue to do that in an area in Anbar Province but that is not their goal or aim and ending that in Mosul did not mean the defeat of ISIS. Suggesting otherwise, as the media did, is a misreading of the basic objectives and of international political theory.
He writes of the need for support to be measure-based and that will (and should) remind everyone that this is a road we've traveled before. The benchmarks. Democrats demanded them from the Bully Boy Bush White House. If Iraq didn't meet certain benchmarks, military support would be cut off. Thing is, it never happened. The benchmarks were never met. And the military aid was never cut. It was nonsense. They should have followed it and stood by their words. Instead, the Congressional Dems (with few exceptions -- Lloyd Doggett would be one exception) saw continuing the Iraq War as a way to win the White House in 2008.
What's going to change with new benchmarks?
Benchmarks are a way to continue the war, not a way to end it. Benchmarks will not be pass/fail as they should be. Instead, we will again see press outlets and the government weasling out of what the benchmarks actually demand to insist that progress is being made.
The following sites updated: