Sign Outside Penn State Stadium Before Last Week's Game (BAG News Notes)
We live in America, where reasonably free speech is permitted, and the comment above is my personal opinion. (Note: I had a much more bitter and nasty screed posted here, but have truncated it -- not for any other reason than Sandusky, Paterno, Cullen and others will either get what's coming to them, or not. My description of what I'd like to see happen -- something involving baseball bats -- I'll leave out. There's a cached version out there in the Intertubes if anyone really feels the need.)
We live in a nation of laws (I mean, laws for some; justice for some, and the protection of the System for others). And Little Jerry Sandusky's attorney says he is not guilty.
Between January 2008 and July 2009, Sandusky called Victim One 118 times, the report said...The New York Times added,
"Jerry Sandusky admitted to my face, he admitted it," [The Mother Of Victim One] told the Patriot-News. "He admitted that he lathered up my son, they were naked and he bear-hugged him. If they would have done something about it in 1998 ... they dropped the ball."
Sandusky [replied to the mother]: “I understand. I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness. I know I won’t get it from you. I wish I were dead.” The local district attorney is given material to consider prosecution. No prosecution is undertaken. The child welfare agency takes no action. And, according to prosecutors, the commander of the university’s campus police force tells his detective, Schreffler, to close the case. The case is closed after District Attorney Ray Gricar decides there will be no criminal charges...
McQueary reports what he saw to Paterno at Paterno’s home. In a recent statement, Paterno insisted McQueary did not tell him of the extent of the sexual assault that McQueary said he witnessed, only that McQueary had seen something inappropriate involving Sandusky and a child. “As Coach Sandusky was retired from our coaching staff at the time, I referred the matter to university administrators,” Paterno said in the statement.
And, to a former Law Enforcement Dog, this part is really interesting:
April, 2005 -- Ray Gricar, the former district attorney who chose not to prosecute Sandusky in 1998, disappears. The circumstances are murky: his car is found abandoned, his laptop is recovered months later in a river without a hard drive and his body is never found.An Assistant D.A. handles a lot of cases; who knows what he might have been working on? But to make someone do a Jimmy Hoffa, to have disappeared for almost eight years... that takes some professional wet work. Someone should pull the Gricar case out of the freezer and take another look.
It took a number of people enabling and protecting a monster for a decade and a half, to allow him to cripple at least eight lives. That we know about.
And the defense the enablers will use will be to say it was done to protect the Great University Of Penn State, and The Great Coach Paterno. They will all figuratively beat their chests and weep for the cameras and say -- as The Monster Himself did above -- they are so sorry sorry very sorry, and say they know nothing can make it better and no one will forgive them but they want the world to know they are so so sorry sorry sorry sorry. On advice of counsel. Please don't sue us and let us keep our jobs; we have kids of our own -- Essentially, the Little Rupert defense.
And there are apparently many, many people who will rise to the defense of the Great University and its Legendary Coach. Many were out in force last week, overturning cars and breaking windows, to show their displeasure in The Great Coach Paterno's firing. They're back in school, making jokes about kids "getting Sanduskied". I'm sure those bright stars feel The Great Coach has no involvement in enabling child rape for over fifteen years, and no reason he should personally apologize and take responsibility, for anything. Because he is, of course, The Legendary Coach.
I'd like to remind Jerry, and The Great Coach Paterno, and others, that police agencies tend to take the rape and sexual abuse of children in a serious and special way.
And this time, given the extreme scrutiny of a case that played out over fifteen years -- and that one of the questions that will demand an answer is, How was this whoreson, this sociopathic predator, able to what he did for so long, given that there was evidence -- and that people knew? The people who protected him won't be able to buy so many people off, or play on their local sympathies towards the Great University. And, they can't make every detective who's working the case disappear.
But, they'll find that out. And we'll get to watch.
MEHR: Sports columnist Kelly Scarletta in The Bleacher Report weighed in after the rampage of Penn State students over Paterno's firing:
The Joe Paterno story to me is deeply personal. I never told anyone in my life until about an hour ago, when I told my wife before I wrote this article. The reason it's so, so personal to me is that I was molested when I was 11...
I simply held that within me for 33 years until tonight. It's a hard thing to talk about. Nothing I have ever done has left me feeling more precarious. It is a frightening thing.
The people who were victimized are a thousand times more delicate than you can possibly imagine. Every action you take in defense of Paterno is an action against them. How dare you? How DARE you show more sympathy for the man who, through his minimal action, covered it up than the victims?
Don't tell me that your "heart goes out to the victims." If it did you wouldn't be rioting in the streets of State College... Your heart goes out to the victims? Where is their vigil? Where is their demonstration?
These two positions are diametrically opposed. You either support "JoePa," the man who tacitly enabled these rapes to continue to occur, even if just by his lack of more than minimally required action, or you support the victims, the boys who were raped. There is simply no reasonable way to take both positions at the same time.
Any sympathy, any good will I had for Paterno went out the window when he released that deplorable statement, "I am grateful beyond words to all the coaches...who have been a part of this program."
Really Joe? All of them? Even Sandusky?
Sandusky is accused of raping children. Do you get that? At the very least, Paterno had an obligation to at least have some curiosity based on what he knew. Whether it was a legal obligation is semantics. He had a moral obligation as a grown man, a man in leadership and as a human being.
Did he deserve more than getting fired over the phone? I honestly couldn't care less. Did he meet the minimum legal requirement? Yes. Does that mean he didn't do anything wrong? No. It most certainly does not.
Noch Eimal, Der Schwein: Apparently, Sandusky -- with his attorney sitting next to him -- allowed himself to be interviewed by NBC sports commentator Bob Costas; the interview will air on Tuesday evening, November 15th, reported the Los Angeles Times:
[When] Costas pressed Sandusky in an interviewing airing tonight on NBC News' "Rock Center," Sandusky conceded: "I shouldn't have showered with those kids."
The interview suggests that Sandusky plans to fight the charges contained in the 40-count indictment filed against him, alleging that he sexually abused eight boys over a 15-year-period. The charges have rocked the sports world, resulting in the sidelining or outright firing of several top officials at Penn State for allegedly covering up the crimes or not doing enough to protect children. Among them: the school president, and legendary football coach Joe Paterno...
Costas managed to nab a telephone interview with Sandusky. During the interview, Sandusky said he is not guilty.
"I say that I am innocent of those charges," Sandusky told Costas. When asked by Costas, "Are you a pedophile?" Sandusky responded, "No."
At one point, Costas asks him how such charges could have come about. "I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids, I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," Sandusky said.
Und Noch Immer Mehr:There's also this post at Balloon Juice:
I’m sure these people are well intentioned, but this talk of moving forward and healing is premature, insensitive and unjust to the victims. There is no forward movement or closure to be had now or anytime in the near future. The story of child rape at Penn State has yet to be told in any degree of fullness, and justice for the victims will be long and painful process.
Today, as Jerry Sandusky is characterizing witnessed anal rape as “I have horsed around with kids”, we learn that the director of Second Mile, a licensed psychologist, had no curiosity when he was told that Sandusky’s actions with a boy in the showers at PSU made that witness “uncomfortable”. That man has resigned, but much more remains to be told about his former employer.
Almost 10 more victims have come forward in the last few days. As more victims look for justice, we will have months of discovery and years of lawsuits. We’re going to learn how two institutions took an eyewitness account of child rape, which is incredibly rare in child abuse cases, and used weasel words and willful ignorance to bury it. We’ll learn what sort of deal Joe Paterno made with Sandusky in 1998, what else the PSU football program covered up between then and now, and who else was abused while Second Mile looked the other way.
When it is over, the reputation of Penn State, its football program, and its finances, will have taken a tremendous hit. It may well be that the institution will be deeply damaged and may never achieve anything like its past glory. That’s OK, because any institution that systematically covers up child rape for more than a decade doesn’t deserve to “move on”.
The victims — not good hearted but ignorant students or alumni of PSU — will decide when and if the healing can begin. And all the prayer in the world will not give those victims justice. The courts will.
In the Sunday edition of The Daily Collegian, Penn State's college paper, there was a notice in boldface: “Saturday’s football game against Nebraska provided a return to normalcy for Penn State”.
There were also articles about a 'Vigil for the victims', ("The Penn State student body is still strong and doesn’t reflect the actions of what one man did and what two men didn’t do,” says one student), alongside articles on bomb threats and sexual abuse of a woman, and photos of students posing beside the life-size bronze statue of The Great Legendary Hero Coach ("Fans gather outside the Paterno house to show their support after the first football game without Joe Paterno since 1949").
Here He Goes Again, Breaking That Law Of The Intertubes, but I feel like I'm reading the Sachsenhausen local newspaper from mid-May, 1945: "Extremely Unpleasant Things Come To Light At Local Konzentrationslager", with articles on how all the good christians of the town held a prayer service for victims ("How were we to know?" asks local resident), and the Bürgermeister proclaims that the healing has begun for their little town. For the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of murdered and survivors -- well, not so much.
What in God's name was wrong with Penn State and its entire local community? What is still wrong with it now?