Saturday, June 23, 2012

Institutional Failure

At last some victims of predators embedded in and enabled by large powerful institutions got a small measure of justice yesterday.

Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 out of 48 counts of child molestation and rape and will almost certainly never see the world outside of prison walls again.

Monsignor William Lynn, secretary of the clergy for the Diocese of Philadelphia, was convicted of one count of child endangerment becoming the highest ranking member of the Catholic clergy to face criminal charges in the ever expanding international scandal of child sexual abuse around the Catholic Church.  The real culprit, Cardinal Bevilacqua, who appears to have knowingly re-assigned priestly pedophiles to other parishes endangering more children, died in January and I presume now faces a higher court of justice.

These scandals are far from over.  In both cases, monsters were enabled for years by powerful institutions seeking to protect themselves.  I remember when the Jerry Sandusky scandal first broke, how editors, pundits, reporters, and public opinion rallied around Sandusky and his boss, Joe Paterno, not around the crime victims.  The revered leaders of Penn State football could not possibly be guilty of something so monstrous.  Their accusers must be cynical opportunists.  And now, we all know better.  Kudos to the young victims for their courage in coming forward and for standing their ground until justice was done. 
 The Vatican and the Catholic hierarchy continue to do everything they can to avoid any kind of public legal reckoning for what amounts to a massive evasion of justice.  They too can count on institutional power to silence victims and witnesses through intimidation.  In their strenuous efforts to preserve their institutional power and privilege, they are transforming the Catholic Church into an international protection organization for pedophiles.

And how about other institutions?  Accountability these days is for the little people, so it appears.  You can count on going to prison for an $85 mugging, but if you lose around 3 billion dollars worth of depositor and shareholder money in what amounts to gambling, not only do you keep your job, you get defended and congratulated by pundits and politicians.  The Senate Banking Committee gave Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase, a public blow job last week in a disgusting spectacle. 
No one is being held accountable for the Iraq War, the biggest foreign policy boondoggle since the Vietnam War.  Only low ranking disposable factotums faced justice for all the war crimes committed during that war and in Afghanistan.  The policy makers and their cheerleaders in the media  responsible for a disaster that cost thousands of Iraqi and American lives still have their jobs and their pensions and are walking around loose.

After the deadliest attack on American territory, the September 11th, 2001 attacks, our fearless leaders did not exactly cover themselves in glory.  Newly released CIA documents show that before the attacks, Bush administration officials defunded efforts to track Osama Bin Laden and ignored field agents who were sounding fire alarms about the coming attack.  After the attacks, they deliberately lied about fictional connections between Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorists, especially about an alleged meeting between Muhammad Atta and Iraqi agents that turned out to be a fabrication.  From the beginning, they sought to exploit the 9/11 attacks to create support for their plans to invade Iraq.  Incompetence and blinkered ideology enabled the deadliest day in the USA since Antietam.

Our elites suck.

1 comment:

Roger Mortimer said...

Also the conviction of William J Lynn for concealing and facilitating sexual abuse.