PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A New York Times article detailing the sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan security forces, and its tacit approval by US authorities, sparked outrage this week and calls for change from Washington.
Gregory Buckley Sr, whose son Gregory Jr., was murdered on a base in Afghanistan spoke with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 about what his son experienced and how his superiors reacted when confronted with incidences of sexual abuse.
Buckley recounted a telephone exchange where his son described seeing an Afghan chief enter a military base with a number of young boys.
“He goes yeah, they’re his sex slaves. They run from the age of eight years old up to 17. I said, well get them off the base. He said, no, we’re not allowed to do that, they overrule rule us. I said, an Afghan chief overrules a Marine? They said, yeah. This is what he was told by his superior. Later on that night, the other soldiers go together to go look for the nine boys that they couldn’t find and when they found them…they found the nine little boys underneath the covers with with these old men. These are young little boys. They were crying. They were having sex with these little boys. Then they were told to turn around and walk back out the door and leave them be by one of our own.”
He alleged that when anyone complained or moved to stop the abuse, they were reprimanded or threatened with punishment.
“Greg said they do this all the time. He said, it’s terrible, at night time, when I’m on duty, you can hear these boys crying. He says they sexually abuse them. They make them dance for them and they turn around and take them home and then they chain them to a bed and they have sex with them. It’s just a sick, sick way of life around here. I said, then do something about it. He goes, I can’t. My hands are tied. He says, if we turn around and we do anything then we can get a dishonorable discharge so we just have to look the other way.”
Buckley’s son was murdered in 2012 by a boy who was often sexually abused on the base, and he believes the US military’s unwillingness to address issue played a major role in the killing.
“I understand the anger that he might have towards my son and all these other Marines and Americans, because we allowed this to go on and we’ve allowed it to go on since we’ve been there, for decades. It’s crazy. How do we sit back, as Americans, and allow these young boys to be attacked and young little girls be raped and women to be beaten the way they are beaten? They have no regard for life, but we’re just guilty by association, by allowing it to happen.”