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General News    H3'ed 7/13/12

Sexual Predators and Predator Drones: Is One Abhorrent but the Other OK?

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By Dennis Loo (7/13/12)

Joe Paterno was revealed yesterday in the Freeh Report on the Penn State scandal to have known at least as early as 1998 that Jerry Sandusky was raping young boys in the football locker room showers. The grand old father figure of Penn State football, who used to have life-sized cardboard statutes of himself being sold in Penn State stores, personally protected Jerry Sandusky from being criminally prosecuted in 1999 after top officials at the University had decided to formally report Sandusky to law enforcement. Paterno apparently convinced President Graham B. Spanier (who had to resign in disgrace after Sandusky's arrest in 2011) to instead tell Sandusky that he should get counseling. And then Joe lied about being fully informed about and involved in Sandusky's sexual predatorship afterwards.

People in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are shocked and saddened that this winningest college football coach of all-time protected a sexual predator because it would have been bad publicity for the football program and the university. And they should be.

But I have a question: what is the difference between a sexual predator being allowed to rape and molest young boys while the institutional old boys club protected him and continued to give him access to the university facilities after Sandusky retired in 1999 so that he could "groom" his victims for attacking them, and our current president using Predator Drones -- an idea that Obama actually initiated when he suggested that they should be used in Pakistan in August 2007 during the campaign, a suggestion that Bush initially ridiculed as too belligerent, and then adopted during his regime? Since taking office, Obama has escalated the use of drones in Pakistan and elsewhere, adding to which he now personally approves who will be killed next by Predator Drone on his "kill list," and he continues to shield his predecessors Bush and Cheney who have confessed to torturing detainees, at least one hundred of them who are documented to have died under torture? How are Joe Paterno and top university officials guilty as sin for their shielding a single sexual predator and Obama and the Democrats not guilty as sin for shielding Bush and Cheney and for carrying forward these same crimes of assassination, indefinite detention, and torture? Is not one predator just as bad as the other Predator?

How is Obama's statement that he's "looking forward, not backwards," any different in the face of Bush and Cheney's atrocities than JoePa's turning away from and shielding his assistant coach's crimes? Is not the former even worse than the latter?

And finally, if people vote for Obama again knowing all of this, and not publicly condemning these horrid acts, are they not looking the other way while crimes are being and have been committed in their names? As The New York Times described it today,

"In 2000, a janitor at the football building saw Mr. Sandusky assaulting a boy in the showers. Horrified, he consulted with his colleagues, but decided not to do anything. They were all, Mr. Freeh said, afraid to 'take on the football program.'

"'They said the university would circle around it,' Mr. Freeh said of the employees. 'It was like going against the president of the United States. If that's the culture on the bottom, then God help the culture at the top.'" 

If the culture at the top is hopelessly corrupted, then the culture at the bottom has to intervene.

First published at DennisLoo.com.
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Cal Poly Pomona Sociology Professor. Author of "Globalization and the Demolition of Society," co-editor/author (with Peter Phillips) of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney." National Steering Committee Member of the World Can't (more...)
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