Saturday, October 20, 2007

Darkness By Day

Weekend reading from the Daily Mail, if you can stand it. The article, which bills itself as a background to the Madeleine McCann case opens with this dramatic scene.

A Ferrari engine makes a deep, distinctive sound. When the children at Portugal's most famous orphanage heard the sports car roaring down the driveway, fear swept through the dormitories.

The noise could mean only one thing: the man known as The Doctor was coming to call. Yet this medical practitioner had no intention of adhering to the ancient Hippocratic Oath.

Instead, arriving at Casa Pia (House of the Pious), a 17th century Lisbon orphanage where more than 4,000 children are cared for each year behind high stone walls, the doctor would summon selected boys and girls from their beds for examinations one night each week.

Where possible, he chose deaf-mutes.



After checking that the children were not suffering from any sexual infections, the doctor was joined by the orphanage caretaker, known as Bibi, who ushered the unfortunate children outside to a waiting van.

With the doctor following in his red Ferrari, Bibi drove the van to the prestigious homes of some of the leading members of Lisbon society - ranging from Portuguese government ministers and high-ranking diplomats, to famous television stars and members of the judiciary.

The clear suggestion is that a network of extremely evil people, more evil possibly than even Osama Bin Laden, exists in Portugal. Is it real, or an urban legend? Over to another part of Europe. In 2004, Belgium was rocked by a series of scandals centering around the gang of a man named Marc Dutroux.

a Belgian criminal, convicted of having, in 1995 and 1996, kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six girls, ranging in age from 8 to 19, four of whom he murdered. He was also convicted of having killed a suspected former accomplice, Bernard Weinstein. He was arrested in 1996 and has been in prison since then. His widely publicised trial took place in 2004. A number of shortcomings in the Dutroux investigation caused widespread discontent in Belgium with the country's criminal justice system, and the ensuing scandal was one of the reasons for the reorganisation of Belgium's law enforcement agencies.

The X-Files

As the Dutroux investigation progressed it became evident that he was hooked up to something far wider. The door opened a crack, but the portal was shut before anyone could get a good glimpse at the slithery things within.

There was speculation that Dutroux was part of a widespread pedophile ring, including prominent Belgians. There were several reasons for these speculations, one of them being the many mistakes that had been made during the time that Dutroux was under observation by the police. Other reasons were the occasional statements from Dutroux about just being a "pawn" in a much larger network, the political connections of Nihoul, or the allegations of pedophilia against politicians Elio Di Rupo and Jean-Pierre Grafe in late 1996. The fact that the parents of Julie, Melissa and An continually voiced their dissatisfaction with the investigation also added to speculations of a cover up.

However, maybe the most important reason for rumors about high-level pedophilia networks were the so-called X-Dossiers, which first came to the public's attention in late 1996 and early 1997. It turned out that in the aftermath of Dutroux's arrest (some had contacted the police before), more than half a dozen purported victims of pedophiliac rings had begun to testify in Neufchateau. Their testimonies have always been extremely sensitive, because besides individuals as Dutroux and Nihoul, many well known Belgians were also accused of pedophilia, including members of the royal family, top politicians, and some of the country's leading bankers. Several of the most important names came up in different testimonies. However, the investigations into these testimonies were ultimately all shut down after senior police officers and Justice department officials ruled they were not reliable, leaving the case wide open to speculation that they were yielding under the weight of powerful individual and institutional interests.

Over the years, several books have been published that make the case that the decisions to shut down the X-investigations were unjustified. The newspaper De Morgen and Humo magazine have been saying the same thing, although they are bitterly opposed by most of the other major media outlets.

Dark Networks

How do these networks of scum form? My intuition is they form in a way not very different from any Small World Network, of which terrorist cells are a familiar example: that there are hubs, to which a new arrival on the scene can easily form an attachment. As with all Small World Networks, there are probably only a small number of "hops" which separate a footsoldier like Marc Dutroux from the evil Mr. Bigs. Th existence of hubs will guarantee that.

One piece of academic research which might help us understand the structure of pedophile rings is The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution, a monograph by Microsoft which examines how illegally downloaded music or video is shared across a Darknet -- a private network of distribution. It's usefulness lies in that the abstract characteristics of illegal file sharing systems it describes are probably shared to some degree by the pedophile networks. By examining the architecture and vulnerabilities of one, we better understand the organization and weaknesses of the other.

Early attempts to shut down large scale illicit content distribution focused on closing down servers from which the material was downloaded. This would be the equivalent of closing down the Casa Pia orphanage described in opening paragraph. But just as the architects of content distribution sharing systems responded by creating a peer to peer structure where the "goods" were passed from one anonymous system to another, so will the pedophiles have adapted. It was suggested that if Madeleine were indeed abducted, she was "abducted to order". You don't download a child from the server any more, just from another peer node. But even this switch from a client-server model to a peer to peer system did not remove the vulnerabilities entirely. The Small World Property reasserted itself in video and music file sharing networks and created super-peers which were themselves like the old content servers. And these too can be targeted. This means that even in a pedophile network without wholesale warehouses like the Casa Pia orphanage, there are "hubs" of users which occupy important positions in the system. Taking down those hubs will degrade the system seriously.

Finally there is the little appreciated matter of attacking the "search engines" of a Darknet than can be considered. The "search engines" or directories of the content distribution Darknet were themselves attacked, as in the case of Napster. The Microsoft monograph notes that, without a central file server responsible for downloads to shutdown, it was Napster's searchable database that became a legal target. They were finally forced to disallow queries to identify copyrighted material. It's worth digressing to point out why attacking a network's directory is important. All networks face the problem of identifying resources that exist on it to its users. Unless the users know where to find the resources, they may as well not exist. Music or video downloading networks need some way of instructing a joining node where to find what it wants. It needs a playlist. Without the playlist and pointers to where they can be downloaded, the Darknet loses a great deal of its functionality.

What would a search engine for pedophile networks look like? My guess is it would in part look like the hideous sites operated by these perverts on the Internet. The UK Times describes one of these in its article on the children abducted to order.

More than 200 paedophiles in 13 countries had exchanged more than 750,000 images of children through a private internet club called Wonderland. Analysis showed that 1,236 children had been subjected to abuse that officers described as “unimaginable”.

Some were abused live, to order, online. Officers said that they had wept as they catalogued the pictures and that they had been haunted by them for years.

Shutting down these pedophile "search engines" would make things harder for the perverts. So why not close them down? Those who have been following the discussion on Belmont regarding Jihadi websites probably know that it is sometimes better to keep them operating in order to find the key hubs, through traffic analysis and other means, and from there develop the intelligence to take down the network. There is always a tension between the evil caused by leaving enemy cells up and using them to find more enemy cells. Pedophile websites are how they find victims and sick material. But they are also places through which pedophiles can be identified, as the recent arrest of "Swirly Face" pedophile recently arrested in Thailand proves.

But always one returns to the matter of political will. Here we come to the hardest part of the equation. Like Terrorism, there remain many powerful apologists for the sexualization of children. Like the terror apologists, they hide behind words like "civil liberties", "freedom of speech". And maybe as a result the political will to take down pedophilia, like the political mandate to destroy terrorism, leaves something to be desired.

We have the technical tools needed to inflict heavy blows on the pedophile network. In principle every tool designed to uncover terrorism can be used against pedophiles. But do we have a political mandate to use them? And I will say no more on the subject other than to wish, though I am unlikely to get my wish, that the JDAM and bullet in the brain were part of the solution.

29 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

Much too dark a wayfor me to start my reading day.
You may want to join me in distracting yourselves w/some light reading:
---
In Pakistan Quandary, U.S. Reviews Stance

“It never stitched together,” said Dan Markey, a State Department official who dealt with Pakistan until he left government earlier this year.
“At every step, there was more risk aversion — because of the risk of rocking the boat seemed so high — than there was a real strategic vision.”

10/20/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I wonder how wide such networks really are, and how much is urban legend. When you see over-zealous prosecutors and parents putting words in a child's mouth like they did at the McMartin school in California, then it becomes difficult to believe that yes, there really are more pedophiles than there are self-righteous witch-hunters.

On the other hand, given the millions the Catholic Church in the U.S. has had to paid out to victims their priests abuse, maybe the international ring Wretchard is looking for is run by a bunch of bishops.

10/20/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Every year in the USA the faggot/abortionist/godless/satanist manage to extend their boundaries. For example, in recent weeks the california public school system was required to normalize homosexuality. Every year the Christians in the USA cede ground. But in the USA there is still a culture war.

There is no culture war in Europe. The faggots won. Kids are booty.

10/20/2007 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

NahnCee -

I also look askance at crimes supposedly committed against kids. Kids are susceptible to implanted testimony from prosecutors or parents. We had many miscarriages of justice (like McMartin).

Just the other day, the parents of a 9/11 victim were accused of leashing their grandkids to force them to look at their dead son's photo. Too strange - it smells of a spat with the daughter-in-law writ large.

On the other hand, there are many odd people out there and the net empowers them. There have been a number of stenches coming from Europe (example: the Dutroux case) that involve government cover-ups. I would not entirely discount this possibility.

10/20/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. Mark 9:41+

10/20/2007 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Amen, Bobalharb. We wring our hands over waterboarding terrorists (and rightly so, IMO), but there is a special vat of boiling hyena vomit set aside in hell for those who mess with the kids.

10/20/2007 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The Gay network is extremely powerful, and has been for a long time. Normal heterosexual men find groveling obeisance to powerful men disgusting to distasteful. While Homosexuals don't seem to mind much.

This leads to an over-concentration of gays in areas where obeisance to powerful men is key to advancement: Hollywood, the Catholic Church, the EU, and most European bureaucracies. Only relatively high military spending (in comparison to Europe's rate of effectively ZERO for decade after decade) in the US has led to the US bureaucracy being relatively free of Gay domination.

Though the Dem Party is fully dominated by it, and at war with the military as a result. Militaries which go to war like the US depend on combat effectiveness, not fawning obsequiousness. The repeated Cold War conflicts of Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Kosovo, Somalia, Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan have kept the US military relatively effective and less hidebound with fewer "priests" to powerful men.

Do I believe there is evidence to suggest a pedophile network, protected by powerful European men, that has infiltrated the police and other elements of society?

YES. The existence of such a network is a matter of public record in the workings of the UN Peacekeeping forces, which are loaded with European (particularly Belgian, French, and German) pedophiles.

Of course the idea of destroying networks is fairly old. Sherman found it easier and more efficient to destroy rail networks and leave supplies to rot in warehouses than to burn the warehouses. The supplies could be replaced, the transportation network could not.

More ominously, what we are looking at in Europe is a Continent-wide pedophile network protected by the mostly gay, inevitably corrupt, European bureaucracy. No amount of reform is going to "fix" that ... and the alliance of the Gay-dominated bureaucracy (which also tilts left and is anti-family, children, and heterosexual as a result) with the Islamists is natural and understandable.

Under Islam, sexual abuse/exploitation of children is "normal" and not considered a crime. No wonder Gays and Leftists want to destroy Western Culture and are allied with those who also wish to destroy it. If Paris is worth a mass, then so too the ability to exploit and abuse children for perverted sexual desires is worth converting to Islam.

Arafat after all practiced all sorts of deviancy, and died of AIDS.

My difference with Wretchard is that the only way to destroy the pedophile network is to change the culture completely. Which means limited tolerance for gays, no fawning big-men bureaucracy, and sadly, lots of destruction of the existing social fabric through vigilante action sustained for a generation or two. JDAMs or bullets won't work: only fear in great doses. A remarkably ugly choice too: more Madeline McCanns or vigilante action which WILL claim innocents.

10/20/2007 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

My difference with Wretchard is that the only way to destroy the pedophile network is to change the culture completely.
/////////////
Agreed but imho the way to do this is to restore Christianity to its homeland.

10/20/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There have probably always been a certain percentage of bad apples. The left hand of the distribution. A certain number of serial killers per 100,000 for example. Not much you can do about that.

But if there is an empirical spike or epidemic of behavior -- and I don't know that there is or whether we are only now becoming aware of these things through better information -- then the spike is probably due to factors other than congenital badness.

My guess is that the spike is partly due to the spread of this pedophile meme. We are all familiar with the concept of copycat crimes. Copycat crimes occur because some evil people are stupid and can find no way to express their evil until someone creates an imitable model. Then we get a fad. Pedophilia is at one level like a craze.

But on another level it is abetted by the existence of a network. I call it that because it helps me think about its properties more clearly; provides formal models to analyze its behavior. But most people would call it "bad company". Centers of "bad company", nests of pedophiles, whatever you want to call it, have sprung up.

And like other networks, there are people who find their way to the centers, the nests of the Alien Queens. Jihadis, for example, do not arise full blown. They get interested by a sermon in a mosque. Move on to a radical madrassa. Get on the Islamic school trail through Turkey, Egypt, Syria or whatever, until they get to Pakistan or wherever, where they become hardcore.

I think pedophiles go on a similar journey. They watch a show on TV, read a book in the library, attend a lecture. And their dolorous, evil descent has begun its first stages. When we decriminalize every step in this pilgrimage of perversion except the last, then we have essentially led the horse to water, and then shake our finger when he drinks.

Just as in the case of the "broken glass" theory of law enforcement, we have to put up the bollards long, long before it gets to the point where they become hard-core sickos. That won't stop everything. There's always the left hand side of the distribution from going bad, but it may stop the copycats.

10/20/2007 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

I work with a bunch of people, some of whom are doctors and even pediatricians in the US. They see nothing wrong with the fact that gay members of the group can go to countries like Guatemala, hide the fact that they are gay and single, and adopt young children.

The system in countries like that (and they target one country after another, as the rules change) allows them conveniently to do what they want to do, something they almost feel they have a right to, so how could anything be wrong with that?

It has has always been clear to me that what is wrong with a system like this is its wide open exposure to abuse by the sort of people described in your post. I find it impossible to believe that this isn't happening, on a large scale. The opportunities are just too available.

If a bunch of plausibly amiable, self-absorbed doofuses from the US can wander in, acquire young children at will and be supplied with the documentation necessary to take them out of the country to whatever destination they please, the opportunities for abuse must seem irresistibly easy to the people in the networks you describe.

I feel certain this is another massive scandal which will emerge in time. The whole gay adoption community (it's almost an industry) across the developed world has every reason to know about it, the people involved know exactly how it works because they routinely assert and document the necessary misrepresentations themselves and hand over the required payments to intermediaries, but they avert their gaze.

As so often, the journalism 'profession' also has a set of reasons ready to justify not investigating this story. In their world both affluent gays and the third world social workers at the center of this system are PC-protected groups, and should be left alone to do what they want. Weighed against the 'rights' of these adults, what is almost certainly happening to many of these defenceless kids counts for nothing.

10/20/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

This garbage makes me see red to no end. Of course, JDAMS and bullets would be a great start, even though they alone are hardly sufficient. Pedophiles are pedophiles, whether they be gay or heterosexual. Most gays do not desire sex with underage children. These pedophiles do deserve death though, or better yet, a good heavy beating and gang-raping everyday for the rest of their lives.

Don't try the following yourselves kids, it's just a great movie idea:

A loose network of vigilantes pose as pedophiles to infiltrate these evil pedophile networks. One by one, the pedophiles are executed in the most gruesome of ways, but in a method that makes most of them look like accidental deaths.

And yes, there would be roles for JDAMs and bullets.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
child sex crimes are best

but don't give life sentences
gently coddle pedophiles


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
register all criminals

burglars in your neighborhood
murderers living next door


absurd thought -
God of the Universe likes
child rapists the best

give probation and treatment
catch in the act beat to death


http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com/
.

10/20/2007 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

This is very dark stuff. It makes our collective paranoia run away with itself. I know these people are out there. I ran into one at college. I've run into a number of homeless guys that I was suspicious of. But I can't relate to this idea of networks of powerful people controlling the police and manipulating the Press. For one thing, these people are weird. They don't connect well with normal people, though it's not for lack of trying. For another thing, they start out in the world alone. They're going to make a lot of mistakes before they get hooked into any network. Even the priests, who are almost impervious to suspicion, were usually very tentative and may be sincerely ashamed of their sins. They got caught anyway, and transferred -- essentially protected. OK, that bespeaks of some sort of network. But there is really no reason to believe that their superiors were condoning their activities, just protecting the reputation of the Church.

I'm also hesitant to trust the energetic investigators. There are some people who see evil behind every bush. I think it's related to the human predilection for conspiracy theories. People believe the most bizarre things with very little encouragement. I have a nephew who still believes that the Apollo missions never took place. He's a solid normal religious person with lots of friends.

There are also other people who hyperventilate about every variation from their personal dogmas. These people might, for instance, conflate homosexuality with pedophilia or abortion with murder.

10/20/2007 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard -- the tolerance for sex crimes against children, like that for Jihad, mosques in formerly Christian nations, and welfare for what are essentially alien presences (Muslims in Europe) is possible ONLY when the good times are rolling.

Already Germany's money has run out and the new government is halting welfare payments. There is no more money. And no work -- most of former East Germany is out of work. Men particularly are hardest hit, skilled machinists and such no longer able to find much of anything, with immigrants legal and illegal driving down wages for other less-skilled jobs and closing out (with a closed immigrant-only social network) jobs anyway.

WHAT does that look like? Take everything away from a bunch of men, likely middle aged, and tell the younger ones they'll never have anything. Germany has already reached that point.

I think Peters is more right than Steyn. Inaction when the good times roll is pretty standard. Men with nothing to lose are of course hideously dangerous. Particularly ones with skills.

The question is ... who will be the first targets? Very likely the vigilante action will be a blunt hammer, killing a lot of people who don't deserve killing and many who are innocent of anything.

The Gangsters in the US in the Twenties well understood the danger of killing children. A few incidents where it happened generated such anger that politicians were forced to do something, to forestall an armed mob. Nothing else is designed to whip up everyone. Even women who ordinarily would act as a moderating force when choosing between threats to their children and "the right thing" won't choose the right thing. [And men without women such as in Germany won't even have THAT moderating influence].

I don't suppose it would be too difficult for a skilled machinist to make a repeating firearm, given time and materials. The bullets either come to think of it.

ANY elite unless constantly churned tends to decadence and things like sexual predation (and worse) on children. I would not be shocked at all by the existence of a network. I would be more surprised if one did not exist.

10/20/2007 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I have to object vociferously to equating homosexuality with pedophelia. Every statistic I have ever seen has shown pedophiles to be almost exclusively heterosexual and male. Maybe the two are being linked because of the Catholic Church scandals here in the U.S., but I just do not believe that pedopheliacs are gay, or that homosexuals target children, and if anyone *does* want to claim that, I wish they'd put out some links to back up that claim.

10/20/2007 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

Having had occasion at the time to briefly and lightly touch the interior of the McMartin case, I can state with assurance (though I cannot document it) if there was a miscarriage of justice it was on the side of leniency. Far more evidence disappeared from police custody than was available for trial, and of that only a fraction was allowed in court.

The Catholic church pedophile problem was known and discussed among the NCCB almost 10 years before the dam broke. During that time they had every opportunity and incentive to clean it up and they didn't.

As to whether pedophiles are heterosexual or homosexual, I don't know. The Catholic Church now bars any homosexual from being ordained. This was enacted because it was noted that 80%, and possibly more of the incidents involved boys over the age of 13.

Disgusting as these pedophile networks are, the real horror is that most sexual abuse of children, both male and female, takes place within the family. I don't think that as a society we are quite ready to take a long, hard look at that.

God help us all.

10/21/2007 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Attempts to come to grips with the study of pedophilia are hampered by definitional problems. If child sex abuse is what you are looking at, most cases occur in the home with a natural parent the guilty party. But though that evil should not be minimized, when we speak of pedophile networks involving kidnappings, horror houses, and involving judges, policemen and criminals, we are not talking about the child abuse that takes place in the home, evil though this may be.

We are not even talking about male homosexual liasons with technically underage adolescents between 13 and 15, which the paper I linked to above argues should be excluded from pedophilia. We are speaking of the abduction of Madeleine McCanns, sex tourism with toddlers, and putrid websites where children are tortured. This is a particular kind of evil.

Definitions are important here, as they are in terrorism. We hear that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". That, like saying that most child abuse occurs in the home, is defining the problem away. I suspect that child sex abuse in the home has been happening from the beginning of time, but bad though it may be, it is not the problem we want to solve.

Once you start segmenting the pedophile category you will probably find that certain types dominate certain segments. I don't think the Western clergy are responsible for child abuse in the home, for example, but they probably constitute a bigger factor in certain settings, like schools.

Parenthetically, I'd like to say that while I don't have any hard numbers to back up my assertion, my belief is that clerical sex abuse in the Third World is wildly different from places where the clergy has become a "gay" profession. In the Philippines at least, clerical sexual indiscretions are likely to be with women. And we still see echoes of this in literature in for example, the Scarlet Letter, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Abelard and Heloise. Where the clergy was a masculine profession, it was the women who were at risk. You may recall that the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius of Loyola, was a swashbuckling soldier and rake before he turned saint. In the literature of the Philippines, for example, the fictional Padre Damaso came to represent the type of friar who sowed a lot of wild oats with the women of the town.

The point is that when pedophilia is disaggregated into segments, some will be dominated by homosexuals and others not.

I would like to add that some of the literature on the subject talks about the dis proportionality between the percentage of the homosexuals in the general population and their percentage among pedophilic perps. This has been questioned and I have no opinion on the matter, other than to say that it is probable sensitive to the definitional issues I've outlined above.

However that may be, one objective way forward is to begin from the hubs I've described, be they on the Internet or in secret cabals. Find the Dutrouxs. Find the Wonderlands. See who goes there and hit them with a hammer.

10/21/2007 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

What’s interesting about the Dutroux case is how similar it is to the Franklin case (now officially called a hoax) which also included charges of high level child abuse rings among American elites.

Here is a link to a very thorough (though slightly conspiratorial) article about the Dutroux affair. The list of accused elite Belgian participants at the end is astounding.

[http://www.pehi.eu/dutroux/Belgian_X_dossiers_of_the_Dutroux_affair.htm]

The comparison between the Franklin, Dutroux, and Casa Pia cases (among many others) shows how easily one can accept charges of an elite cabal of child rapists and murders in other countries but one is usually not allowed to believe such things about their own elite. The local media makes sure of that. A common mistake for people to make is considering the media as anything other than a tool that the media owners and clients use to shape public opinion in their favour. The media is certainly not a neutral public service to keep the public informed.

In any case, the article in the Daily Mail is primarily in support of the ludicrous suggestion that a ring of paedophiles kidnapped Madeleine McCann. As the Portuguese Casa Pia case shows, professional paedophiles tend to choose the lowest social stratums from which to take their victims, like orphanages, not posh Algarve resorts. If the McCanns were innocent they and their friends would have taken a lie detector long ago. It is only the incompetence of the Portuguese police and the competence of the disinformation campaign they are waging in the British media that is keeping them out of jail.

10/21/2007 03:01:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/21/2007 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I cannot put that link up for some reason but if you scroll down to the bottom of the Dutroux page on Wiki you can find the link there

10/21/2007 04:26:00 AM  
Blogger tckurd said...

Who says we don't have some of those networks here in the good ole USA (in addition to the whole Catholic thing) ?

House and Senate Page Boys are groomed for an adolescence of perversion. Hand selected, I would add. And as for the "network" which enables, it is probably on the order of size of the NCAA which regularly checks in with all the local boys at their high schools playing hot sweaty sports.

Let's not even discuss 4H Club and Boy Scouts, ok? Are we to believe that Eagle Scouts don't know what has happened in the ranks. How many famous people were Eagle Scouts? I won't tell if you won't ask.

10/21/2007 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

Nahncee,

I'm not sure if your comment about 'equating homosexuality with pedophelia' was directed at mine or not.

If you look at what I said, I didn't anywhere suggest that the gays I know who adopt abroad are doing so for nefarious purposes. I don't believe that (and if I did I would do something about it).

They are however able to go to multiple foreign countries, routinely misrepresent what they are up to and come away with custody of the kids. If they can do that then my point is that people whose intentions are evil can do the same thing. Whatever controls are supposed to be in place are absolutely not working.

Given the content of Wretchard's post that's a scandal, which unfortunately nobody seems inclined to notice or tackle.

10/21/2007 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

RE: my comment on homosexuals vs. pedophelia, I'm recalling an article I read somewhere some years ago; I have no idea where at this point, although it may have been a discussion of gay men adopting. My recollection of that article is that its statistics were an astounding percentage, something like 99.5% of all child sexual predators are male heterosexuals. That gay men do *not* adopt for the purpose of having an in-house movable sex toy.

I'm also remembering that the article stated in plain black and white that blaming homosexuals for pedophilia is a deliberate red herring thrown out to protect the real predators, and is also an example of homophobia.

I think Wretchard's definitions of what are and are not pedophilia are also instructive. Given that Roman Polanski had sex with a 13-year-old girl and has been living in comfort and safety in Europe ever since then, apparently there are a lot of people (including the Catholic Church) who think that 13 for a boy or a girl is not really a child and should be considered on a different plateau.

10/21/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

Maybe we're making this too hard.

There are some very repugnant activities that lie beyond the ability of law enforcement to pursue and eliminate (mostly because law enforcement is statistical and presumes some amount of civil society to hold bad-actors in check). So, when law enforcement is proven unable to deal with various horrific activities (repugnant and evil in everyone's mind, from pedophiles to enslavement to terrorism), we need something closer to going to war, but not quite war because the foe is a network, not a nation state.

I think the Founders knew we'd have such problems where neither police nor armed-services were appropriate. Which is why the U.S. Congress actually has an enumerated power to cover these situations – it can issue "Letters of Marque and Reprisal" (Article 1, Section 8).

They should do so. Pass a law issuing a generic letter of Marque and Reprisal usable by anyone (including members of the networks committing such heinous acts) which authorizes the killing (or arrest if they are so inclined) of anyone engaged in or enabling such acts. Their reward will be a legal transfer of all the (alleged) wrongdoer's assets to them after a judicial review by a panel constituted in the same manner as the FISA court (no need for a jury save when the alleged wrongdoer is not dead, and the Court is only determining if the executioner opperated within the Letter).

Mistakes will be made. The law should define compensation by the government for honest mistakes and criminal penalties for bounty hunters who murder, v. engage in state-sanctioned killing. Include in the law a "hold harmless" provision that anyone who stumbles into such a network and reports it will not have their assets transferred (when/if killed irrespective of their innocence or guilt). Since the U.N. has been ineffective at delivering joint security, write the Letters in such a way that every country can use them as a template, and set an example of transparency in every dimension.

This will raise the cost of being party to such a network by a couple of orders of magnitude.

Make it a party platform plank.

Run a trial. Sunset the Letters in three years. Measure before and after. Perhaps insist on a supermajority to put a target on the list.

Which reminds me of all the emotion around guns. It occurs to me that we should measure the amount of civil society in a given locality (in a couple of dimensions, but mostly violent crime – crime that impacts a victim's health and comfort – meaning living with a feeling of trust v. fear, living as a free person confident in their own defense v. being a slave to a fear of mugging, home invasion, etc.), and ask that civilians that area carry concealed weapons at a level proportional to this metric.

If an area is totally at peace, police don't need to ask people they meet on the street to please carry. If an area is violent (especially if it is becoming more violent, the slope is in the wrong direction), police should ask people they see on the street to carry, and if they find a citizen is not, give them pamphlets describing the current crimes and trends, and pointers to programs to loan appropriate-to-the-person weapons and obtain free training.

Well, I can dream.

/Ari

10/21/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

"Mistakes will be made."

You can say that again, Ari :) What a paradise for bumping off one's rival. But, it does make a good dream....

10/21/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: mistakes.

Many more innocents are victims today than would be sacrificed by the state sanctioned killing necessary to disrupt these networks. Transparency is key, and killing with compensation for mistakes with judicial review will give us the statistics we need to judge if mistakenly sacrificing 1 innocent to save 100 or 10 or even 1 was worth the agony (this isn't new, it's a trade we make every day when our judicial system releases a repeat offender, a violent criminal who then commits yet another crime).

Either way society pays a price and bears the responsibility and guilt. If I'm going to carry this guilt I'd rather it be from a clearly less worse sin of commission than the soul deadening sin of omission of standing by tisk-tisking while these innocents are brutalized.

I'm willing to entertain other proposals and pay large premiums to avoid these "mistakes" and the need to trade the bad against the worse. But when they fail (and it's not like we have not been trying for decades), eventually we should return to and use the tools the Founders gave us, one of which is reserved for the Congress, not the President to use (assuming they'd like to play a role in assuring our security rather than just waiting for the President to lead).

10/21/2007 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Letters of Marque and Reprisal were a standard part of warfare back in the eighteenth century, everybody stoped using them because the privateers far too often became pirates. Nation states bite the bullet and funded professional navies.

And privateers were aimed at an enemy state's shipping. Not analogous at all.

We dealt with the Barbary Pirates by going after their political patrons. I'm afraid to truly clean up these networks will first require clearing away the corrupt organizations that provide them cover and assistance.

10/22/2007 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yuck!

Any chance the Euros would reconsider capital punishment?

Or castration?

10/22/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

re: private means pursing public goals (1800s or not).

England had arguably the dominant naval fleet at the time they unleashed the privateers against the Spanish interests, many of whom lived in the gray world, if not downright pirates themselves.

This is what's needed for today's networks threats that span nation-states and are far beyond the naturally archaic-in-ability police and backwards-looking armed-forces. Since the enemy won't, has no need to, mass forces, there's nothing for an army (or navy) to attack, and since we lack the electronic equivalent of borders there's no possibility police can be fleet enough to catch the truly bad actors (most often they just catch the stupids and underlings). Plus the government is uniformly not up to new missions and challenges until the people effectively take up arms after the next crisis. We need not wait, unless we are really willing to settle for the equivalent of attempting to contain communism with its tragic costs of a hundred million murdered and billions of lives absolutely wasted (most communist production had outputs of less value than their inputs). Any one of which these lost souls may have been my / our (civilization's) salvation from the next natural or manmade disaster - certainly some group of them would have given me another ten years of life, postponing my own end-of-the-world, given how the west with a smaller population has already contributed ten, so yes, it's self-serving (and utilitarian) to see these abuses end.

The old is new. Congress has an opportunity to do something for our sense of security (which is a necessary, but not sufficient component of being free) beyond complain about the executive and citizens not appreciating their efforts in our behalf.

Might even get their approval ratings out of the septic tank they are swimming in.

10/22/2007 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Sergey said...

Sometimes to marginalize an especially abominable kind of moral depravity we need a full-blown culture of untolerance, to the point of witch hunting. This will be possible only after complete reversal of cultural climate change of the last half century, which was characterized by successive retreat from one moral red line after another. This is possible, though, but only by abrupt collapse of the whole ideological structure behind this destructive course. I expect this with some uneasiness and fear: we can find ourselves in Calvinist rigorist realm with moral police and burning at stake.

10/25/2007 08:00:00 AM  

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