Victims group deplores US military policy in Afghanistan

For immediate release: Monday, Sept. 21

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566

It’s an outrage that our military and our money are backing child rape in Afghanistan. In a very real way, there’s little difference between ignoring and enabling sexual violence.

Our hearts go out to Dan Quinn and the grieving family of Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. These two brave men clearly did what was right.

Of course we must be sensitive to the religious beliefs and cultural practices of others. But under no circumstances can we ignore or aid those who sexually assault kids, not even in the name of fighting terrorism.

We don’t profess to be experts in military or diplomatic strategy. But we strongly believe that virtually nothing trumps children’s safety, not even seemingly crucial foreign policy or political considerations. And we’re convinced that “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Our military and civilian commanders can and must find a way to fight both the Taliban and child rapists.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (


U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies

By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN - SEPT. 20, 2015 - New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan — 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.”

Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed  . . .

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