Some U.S. troops are claiming they were told by their commanding officers to ignore Afghan police officers who were sexually abusing boys on military bases in Afghanistan.
Gregory Buckley Sr. told The New York Times his son, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr., "Said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Buckley Jr. was fatally shot at a military base in the Helmand Province by a teen "tea boy" — a servant, possibly sex slave — who was living there with several other boys; other marines were killed as well.
On his Facebook page, Buckley Sr. recently blamed the U.S. military's policies in part for his son's and other marines' deaths: "A Marine Major attempts to warn his brothers on FOB Delhi of an imminent threat. The warning is purposefully ignored. Three Marines are murdered 17 days later. Only The Marine Major is investigated & punished."
The New York Times cited interviews and court records that claimed American soldiers and Marines have been told not to stop boys from being sexually abused because it is part of the Afghan culture and objecting would cause problems with Afghan allies, who are being funded with U.S. tax dollars.
Capt. Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces member, stated:
"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. 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."
Quinn reportedly beat up Abdul Rahman, an Afghan police commander, who allegedly chained a boy to his bed as a sex slave. Quinn was relieved of his command, pulled out of Afghanistan and subsequently left the military.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, a Special Forces member, who helped Quinn strike Rahman is reportedly being pushed out.
Martland told the Army in a letter how he and Quinn “felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow [Afghan Local Police] to commit atrocities."
“The Army contends that Martland and others should have looked the other way (a contention that I believe is nonsense),” Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California recently told the Pentagon’s inspector general in writing.
Col. Brian Tribus, spokesman for the American command in Afghanistan, told The New York Times via email: “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law ... There would be no express requirement that U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan report it.”
The only exception is when rape is being used a weapon during war, Tribus added.
Local Afghan police reportedly don't enforce the law and the child rapes were happening on U.S. bases.
“The bigger picture was fighting the Taliban,” an unidentified former Marine lance corporal said. “It wasn’t to stop molestation.”
The former lance corporal recalled finding three or four men on the floor with children on a military base.
“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,” the former lance corporal stated.