I don’t think there’s any question about that, and have said so since the opening bell on this case. Doug Mataconis writes about this at OTB and basically confirms my initially voiced suspicions:
A new set of email messages among top level Penn State officials shows quite blatantly the extent to which they went out of their way to protect Jerry Sandusky when they first became aware of sexual abuse allegations against him:
(CNN) – With convicted serial child sex abuser Jerry Sanduskybehind bars, new questions are surfacing about what Penn State officials knew about a 2001 incident involving the former assistant football coach’s encounter with a boy in the shower — and whether they covered up the incident.
Sandusky sexually abused other boys in the years after the 2001 incident and before his arrest.
CNN does not have the purported e-mails. However, the alleged contents were read to CNN.
The messages indicate former Penn State President Graham Spanier and two other former university officials knew they had a problem with Sandusky after a 2001 shower incident, but apparently first decided to handle it using a “humane” approach before contacting outside authorities whose job it is to investigate suspected abuse.
“This is a more humane and upfront way to handle this,’ Gary Schultz, who was a university vice president at the time, allegedly wrote.
Paul Campos summarizes the email exchange in the immediate aftermath of McQuerry bringing the incident he witnessed in the Penn State football team’s showers to the attention of Head Coach Joe Paterno:
*On February 9, 2001, former PSU quarterback and current graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary meets with Paterno and tells him that on the previous evening he saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the showers of the PSU football facility.
*At some point between February 9 and on or about February 19th, Paterno informs Curley of what McQueary has told him.
*On or about February 19th, Curley and Schultz contact McQueary about the incident.
*On February 26th, Schultz writes to Curley to confirm that Curley is aware/approves of a three-part plan to deal with the potential institutional difficulties raised by having Joe Paterno’s former defensive coordinator continue to rape little boys on campus. This plan consists of talking to Sandusky “regarding the future appropriate use of the University facility,” … “contacting the chair of the charitable organization” [this is Sandusky’s Second Mile foundation, which he used to procure victims] and “contacting the Department of Welfare.” [The latter step was the minimum legal obligation placed on Penn State officials by Pennsylvania law].
This, of course, is exactly what they should have done and, had they gone forward with this plan then there’s a good chance that Sandusky would have come under investigation far earlier than he did and that the boys he abused in the years that followed would have been spared being victimized by a monster. So what happened? Why wasn’t there a report made to the Department of Welfare as Schultz and Curley had planned?
I respond to Doug:
Fry him and those who protected him. I have no problems with this at all, in fact I’d have problems if they didn’t.
But I wonder; Does protecting one from the consequences of criminal actions, end up being viewed differently, because of the political implications?
And mind you, please, I’ve not thought this totally through…. but was Sandusky protected by PSU brass because they didn’t want to be seen as persecuting a a politically-protected sub-group? IE; a homosexual?
This is somewhat less visious on my part than it sounds.
It seems to me that when one is a Member of a politically protected group, the politically favored group if you will, that the burden of proof in so far and least as public opinion goes, is unequal to that apply to those who are not members of that group.
I’m wondering if the protection provided wasn’t because of a perception on the part of the PSU brass that public opinion (and the court thereof)would it be running strongly against them should charges be brought. PSU brass would have been seen as going after the member of the favored “minority” group.
As such, such a case would have been harder to get to the real court system intact, much less through it.
I wonder also, if this isn’t a direct result of our offer reliance on legal system for every situation that pops up. Just a few short years ago, somebody stumbling into the scene of Sandusky with a twelve year old in the shower, (Ala Mike McQueary) would have resulted in Sandusky having a baseball bat taken to him by the person observing the scene. These days, we rely on the government to take care of such matters, but we hold back, afraid we’ll be seen as the problem. This is particularly true of those who have what I will call “Star power”.
I wrote some months ago about that;
McQueary’s claim is initial reax was to call his father. Since I have no evidence he did not make such a call, it seems most logical to proceed with the assumption he did so call.
We have one of two possible reasons he would make such a call;
1: Like a good little liberal, he doesn’t have the stones to take the action most people would have taken…. kicking Sandusky’s ass, or at least being confrontational. A good little liberal would nbe non-judgemental and certainly never violent. Such a person would certainly make an appeal to an authority figure…. one not involved in government.
2: McQuery recognizes Sandusky as star power. Consider my comments as regards Michael Jackson, a few days ago:
Certainly, we can see by his whack-job behavior, that Jackson was well beyond reason for a lot of years, but that point alone does not absolve him of his irresponsibility toward his health and the consequences of it. That irresponsibility was essentially reinforced by his star power. Let’s be honest enough to say that after the string of hits in the 80’s and early 90’s, the guy could spend an entire CD making artificial fart noises and nothing else, and his fans would be buying the things, talking about how talented he was, and that he was breaking new artistic ground, rather than simply breaking wind… and that brings me to the second point; Jackson is being held as innocent by his fans, since he was the star and could do no wrong.
It seems a lock sure bet to me that Sandusky had gotten to that level of start power at PSU. So, people would have some serious difficulty trusting a report of child abuse from such a person. (And should I need to remind anyone, that Jackson himself had a thing for small boys?) McQueary looked at the situation and recognized his far smaller… and easily replaceable… role at PSU, and balked at throwing away what he’d achieved… because he doubted… and perhaps correctly… that anything would ever be done about what he saw. So, an appeal to a trusted authority figure… a desperate cry for help.
Of the two, the latter seems more likely, though I don’t rule out some combo of the two.
There seems something in human nature that causes us to ignore the wrongs of those we hold high, those who ahve what I’ve been calling “star power”. I’m sure we each can point to other similar situations…. Bill Clinton, certainly, had is (rather irrational) defenders…. many of whom when called on such defense today, dance around or outright deny it.
At the same time, I wonder if now that the dam has burst, and his star power is gone, the consequences on Sandusky won’t be heavier than they would be otherwise.
That, I think would be a logical result of if nothing else, an extra trust abused by Sandusky.
At the bottom line, did this go on as long as it did because of… liberalism?