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REPORT: U.S. Officials Turned A ‘Blind Eye’ To Afghan Army Sex Abuse During Obama Administration

A potentially explosive report from The New York Times claims that U.S. officials turned a “blind eye” to ongoing child sex abuse problems within the Afghan army and funded that nation’s military despite repeated allegations of pedophilia and even child sex trafficking.

The New York Times cites a document, released Monday, which says that the U.S. military reported more than 5,000 incidents of “gross human rights abuses” to authorities between 2010 and 2016, many involving children. But despite their repeated requests — and the dictates of American law — the U.S. continued to provide financial support to the Afghan Army.

According to the Times, the document exposed how “prevalent child sex abuse was in the Afghan military,” and outlined how often the American military “looked the other way at the widespread practice of ‘bacha bazi’ …i n which some Afghan commanders keep underage boys as sex slaves.”

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released the report, which was compiled in 2016 after The New York Times wrote a story alleging that “bacha bazi” was “rampant” within the ranks of the Afghan military, and how the U.S. might have unwittingly rubber-stamped the horrific practice. SIGAR says it’s now investigating and taking action based on both the story and the report.

Beyond mere sexual assault and human trafficking, SIGAR also reportedly investigated several suspicious incidents where U.S. soldiers were killed or left abandoned by Afghan commanders after complaining about the practice of “bacha bazi.” In one case, U.S. Marine, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley, Jr., and two other Marines in his command were killed by a “slave boy” belonging to a local Afghan military leader, after they complained to military authorities about the commander’s despicable behavior.

The Department of Justice told the NYT that they are investigating at least 75 incidents of “gross” human rights abuses in Afghanistan and that caseload also includes child sex abuse complaints.

Technically, the Afghan military should lose financial support from the United States if they are caught committing “gross human rights violations,” but the Afghan military, because it’s an ally in an ongoing war, is technically exempt from that restriction.

SIGAR, the NYT says, is trying to work with Afghan governmental authorities and the State Department to eliminate that exemption and cut off the practice of “bacha bazi” through rule of law, but they say it will take time, since Afghan authorities are quick to promise to undo the tradition, but slow to prosecute offenders.

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