There is no such thing as a “Lone Wolf Terrorist” family, friends and supports are all complicit in their crimes. Khalid Masood was not alone.
Los Angeles Daily News, editorial:
“On Wednesday, a vehicle ran down pedestrians on the London Westminster Bridge before crashing into a railing outside Parliament. The attacker then attempted to make his way (inside), stabbing a British police officer along the way, before being shot by other officers. The officer died, along with the attacker and (several) pedestrians on the bridge. At least 40 were injured. … These ‘lone wolf’ terrorist incidents are increasing in frequency. But these attackers are hardly alone. Regardless of the attacker’s religion, or whether affiliated with an official terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continues to leave its mark. … While world leaders consider next steps, it remains imperative to take the fight to groups like ISIS that inspire hate and violence — but we also must commit ourselves to not allow our way of life to be ruled by fear.”
At Middlebury College last week, Charles Murray needed a safe space — literally.
In a significant escalation of the campus speech wars, protesters hooted down the conservative scholar in a lecture hall and then roughed up a Middlebury faculty member escorting him to a car.
The Middlebury administration commendably tried to do the right thing and stand by Murray’s right to be heard, but was overwhelmed by a yowling mob with all the manners and intellectual openness of a gang of British soccer hooligans.
Sometime soon, we may yearn for the days when college students were merely childish and closed-minded. If campus protests of speech begin to more routinely slide into violence, Middlebury will be remembered as a watershed.
First, there was the target. Charles Murray is controversial — mainly for his book, “The Bell Curve,” about IQ — but he is one of the most significant social scientists of our age.
He is employed by the prestigious conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, and his books are highly influential and widely reviewed.
His latest, which was to be the topic of his Middlebury talk, is “Coming Apart,” a bestselling account of the struggles of the white working class that illuminated some of the social forces behind the rise of Donald Trump.
No one is bound to accept any of Murray’s ideas, but they are inarguably worth engaging. He exists in a different universe than Milo Yiannopoulis, the alt-right provocateur infamous for saying or doing anything to try to get infamous. That Middlebury protesters can’t tell the difference between the two shows that their endeavor to know or understand nothing outside their comfort zone has been a smashing success.
Second, there was the venue. No one has ever mistaken Middlebury, a small Vermont liberal-arts college founded by Congregationalists, for Berkeley. It doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed and training ground for rabble-rousers, and yet has given us one of the most appalling episodes of anti-speech thuggery in recent memory.
If it can happen at Middlebury, it can happen anywhere (or at least at Swarthmore or Bucknell).
Finally, there was the violence. The students who brought in Charles Murray framed the evening as “an invitation to argue,” and in that spirit asked Professor Allison Stanger, a Democrat in good standing, to serve as Murray’s interlocutor. When chanting students commandeered the lecture hall, Stanger and Murray repaired to another room for a livestreamed discussion.
Protesters found the room and pounded on the windows and pulled fire alarms. When Murray and Stanger exited at the end of the livestream and headed for their getaway car, protesters assailed them. They shoved and grabbed Stanger, who was shaken up and later went to the hospital, and pounded on the car and tried to obstruct it.
Stanger wrote afterward that she “feared for my life.”And for what offense? Talking to someone who thinks differently than the average Middlebury faculty member or student.
Political correctness has been a phenomenon on campuses since the 1980s, but now has become much more feral. The root of the phenomenon is the idea that unwelcome speech is tantamount to a physical threat against offended listeners.
If this is true, it follows that dissenting speech needs to be shunned (in safe spaces) and attacked (in protests). Shutting down a speaker and literally running him off campus is, from this warped perspective, an entirely justifiable defensive action.
Of course, speech doesn’t threaten anyone. The appropriate response to an erroneous argument is counter-argument. And the free exchange of ideas always allows for the possibility that someone will actually learn something.
If campuses aren’t to sink further into their current miasma of illiberalism, administrators will have to actively fight the tide of suppression. It’s not enough to say the right things about free speech, they have to punish thuggish student agitators. Otherwise, college campuses may become increasingly unsafe spaces for anyone departing from a coercive orthodoxy.
How colleges muddy the waters on sexual-assault accusations
“Was I raped?” This is the question Yale sophomore Ayla Besemer spends several thousand words exploring in a recent issue of her school’s newspaper.
The story: Besemer got very drunk one night during her freshman year. She brought home a guy she knew but doesn’t remember anything that happened next. She woke up with a bruise on her thigh and a used condom on her floor. Yale requires an “affirmative consent” for sexual activity to be considered truly consensual, but Besemer acknowledges she may well have said yes. She blacked out, meaning she might still have been “fully operational — talking, laughing, drinking more and, indeed, having sex as if [she were only] minimally drunk.”
There are clearly some women out there who are deeply confused about what it means to be raped, and they are, in many cases, being misled by the adults around them.
As Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson document in their new book, “The Campus Rape Frenzy,” the Title IX coordinators, whose jobs on campus often involve digging up rape allegations or helping to gather evidence to adjudicate them, encourage young, impressionable women to call every incident of regrettable drunken sex “rape.”
But it would be wrong to suggest that these women are all just confused about sex and sexual assault. Many of them know perfectly well what they have done and are using the system to make excuses for their behavior or even to manipulate the men around them.
Take Nikki Yovino, the 18-year-old Sacred Heart University student who has been charged with falsely claiming she was sexually assaulted by two football players because she didn’t want to lose the interest of another guy. Yovino is a reminder that even in our age of gender enlightenment, women know enough about human nature to get what they want from men.
That was certainly the conclusion from the elaborate hoax perpetrated by “Jackie” at the University of Virginia a couple of years ago. She not only made up a rape allegation, she made up the assailant in order to get another guy jealous.
Columbia graduate Emma Sulkowicz, a k a “Mattress Girl,” accused a fellow student of rape. But the school exonerated him and Sulkowicz declined to press charges. She managed to turn herself into a celebrity and even get course credit in performance art for carrying a mattress around campus. (All while the accusations were destroying the life of the guy who claims she was attacking him after he rebuffed her professed love for him.)
In a case at Appalachian State University, a woman accused two football players of rape even though witnesses saw her inviting them into her room. At Amherst, a woman actually texted a residential adviser about her “stupid” decision to have sex with her roommate’s boyfriend before she accused him of rape. The student was expelled, but is suing Amherst for violating his rights. Last month, a judge seemed sympathetic to his claim against the school.
And then there are the times that seem a bit more clear-cut. A University of Michigan student, for example, allegedly used a rape accusation to explain certain things to her mother, who was upset after reading diary entries about her daughter’s wild life on campus.
Women actually used to employ such tactics more regularly. A pregnancy was not so easily avoided, ended or hidden. And, well, folks used to be bigger sticklers for marital fidelity. So having sex with the wrong guy meant women had some explaining to do.
But these days, the reasons for falsely claiming rape have much more to do with the campus soap opera and the sexual politics of one’s peer group than any concern that families will disown you or church communities will banish you.
And the false claims — both on campus and off — are much more prevalent than the media would have you believe. A 2012 Urban Institute report found that of 227 men convicted of rape, 15 percent of them could be eliminated by DNA evidence alone. A study of 351 cases in a Southeastern police department found that 17 percent of the allegations were fabricated and another 66 percent were uncertain.
Though we may not always treat them as such, female college students are adults. It’s true that in many cases, bureaucrats have manipulated them into believing that they were raped when by any reasonable standard, they weren’t. Besemer’s counselor and Yale’s Title IX coordinator told her that her experience could definitely be considered assault.
But we also shouldn’t discount the notion that many of these women knew exactly what they were doing. When you decide to ruin a man’s life and reputation in order to cover up your own mistakes or get what you want from others, you’re not a victim — you’re a sociopath.
Here are some of the most notorious Americans who have been reported as possibly hiding in the island nation just 90 miles off the coast.
1. Joanne Chesimard
Joanne Chesimard has been living in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur since 1984. She was a member of the Black Liberation Army in 1973 when she shot and killed Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop. She was convicted in 1977 and escaped prison two years later.
Chesimard, who is became the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted list last year, hid in a series of safe houses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before fleeing to Cuba. Anyone who helps bring Chesimard, now 66, into custody stands to get $2 million in rewards, according to the FBI.
2. Guillermo Morales
A bomb maker who fought for Puerto Rican independence is one of the American fugitives who has been living in Havana.
Guillermo “William” Morales was sentenced to 99 years in prison after being linked to two explosions in New York City — one in 1975 that killed four and injured 60, and a second in 1977 that killed one, The New York Post reported.
Morales escaped from the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital in 1979 and, though he was reportedly held in a Mexican prison for several years in relation to a different crime, he fled to Cuba after his release in 1988.
“The U.S. press looks at me one way, but the press in Puerto Rico looks at me in a positive way because I’m a person that defends their homeland,” he told The Post in 1999.
4. Charlie Hill
Like Chesimard, who was publicly praised by Fidel Castro, not all of the fugitives are trying to hide their whereabouts.
Charlie Hill is wanted by New Mexico officials after he allegedly killed a state trooper and hijacked a plane in 1971.
Hill, a native of Illinois, spoke to The New York Times in 2007 and discussed what he thought would happen to him if his longtime protector, Castro, died.
“I don’t think there will be much change if Fidel dies,” Hill told The Times in 2007. “There might be, but I think it’s 60-40 that not much will happen. If it does, well, what can I do?”
5. Nehanda Abiodun.
She’s been living in Cuba since 1990. U.S. law enforcement believes she helped Shakur, who was convicted in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper, to escape from prison in 1979.
Abiodun is often called the “godmother” of Cuban hip-hop, Latner says, She became an adviser for Cuban youth who were becoming hip-hop artists. She has served as a bridge between Afro-Cuban and American hip-hop artists.
6. William Lee Brent.
Brent, a Black Panther Party member who had been excommunicated, hijacked TWA flight 154 from Oakland to Havana in 1969. He was imprisoned in Cuba for 22 months as a suspected spy, but upon his release he went on to work at a pig farm and a soap factory before getting a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Havana. He died in Cuba in 2006.
7. Guillermo Morales.
A member of a militant Puerto Rican separatist movement, Morales escaped from a hospital in New York while under police custody. He has admitted he was planting a bomb at a New York military installation when the bomb blew up, taking nearly all his fingers. He was facing 89 years in prison when he escaped. He is still believed to be living in Cuba.
8. William Potts.
One of the last hijackers and another Black Panther Party militant, Potts became known somewhat mockingly as “the homesick hijacker.” Potts diverted a commercial flight from New York City to Cuba in 1984, hoping to go on to South Africa to join the anti-apartheid movement. He was imprisoned for 13 years and then lived as a political exile. In 2013, he returned to the United States and earlier this year pleaded guilty to kidnapping. He is now in prison and eligible for parole in 2021.
The conference sponsored by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists and The Fiduciary and Investment Risk Management Association will focus on Fraud, Money Laundering and Risk Management within the financial sectors was held on February 28th.
We preach against child-marriage abroad. But thousands of American children are wed annually.
By Fraidy Reiss
Fraidy Reiss is founder and executive director of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit that helps women and girls escape arranged and forced marriages and works to end child marriage in the United States
Michelle DeMello and her husband, Eric DeMello, were married when she was just 16 and five months pregnant, and he was 19. This archival photograph was photographed in Lincoln City, Ore., on Feb. 7. (Amanda Lucier for The Washington Post)
Michelle DeMello walked into the clerk’s office in Colorado thinking for sure someone would save her.
She was 16 and pregnant. Her Christian community in Green Mountain Falls was pressuring her family to marry her off to her 19-year-old boyfriend. She didn’t think she had the right to say no to the marriage after the mess she felt she’d made. “I could be the example of the shining whore in town, or I could be what everybody wanted me to be at that moment and save my family a lot of honor,” DeMello said. She assumed that the clerk would refuse to approve the marriage. The law wouldn’t allow a minor to marry, right?
Wrong, as DeMello, now 42, learned.
While most states set 18 as the minimum marriage age, exceptions in every state allow children younger than 18 to marry, typically with parental consent or judicial approval. How much younger? Laws in 27 states do not specify an age below which a child cannot marry.
Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.
Fraidy Reiss is founder and executive director of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit that helps women and girls escape arranged and forced marriages and works to end child marriage in the United States (Courtesy of Unchained At Last)
Despite these alarming numbers, and despite the documented consequences of early marriages, including negative effects on health and education and an increased likelihood of domestic violence, some state lawmakers have resisted passing legislation to end child marriage — because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom or because they cling to the notion that marriage is the best solution for a teen pregnancy.
In this way, U.S. lawmakers are strongly at odds with U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls, released last year by the State Department, lists reducing child, early and forced marriage as a key goal. The strategy includes harsh words about marriage before 18, declaring it a “human rights abuse” that “produces devastating repercussions for a girl’s life, effectively ending her childhood” by forcing her “into adulthood and motherhood before she is physically and mentally mature.” The State Department pointed to the developing world, where 1 in 3 girls is married by age 18, and 1 in 9 is married by 15.
While the numbers at home are nowhere near that dire, they are alarming. Many of the children married between 2000 and 2010 were wed to adults significantly older than they were, the data shows. At least 31 percent were married to a spouse age 21 or older. (The actual number is probably higher, as some states did not provide spousal ages.) Some children were married at an age, or with a spousal age difference, that constitutes statutory rape under their state’s laws. In Idaho, for example, someone 18 or older who has sex with a child under 16 can be charged with a felony and imprisoned for up to 25 years. Yet data from Idaho — which had the highest rate of child marriage of the states that provided data — shows that some 55 girls under 16 were married to men 18 or older between 2000 and 2010.
Many of the states that provided data included categories such as “14 and younger,” without specifying exactly how much younger some brides and grooms were. Thus, the 12-year-olds we found in Alaska, Louisiana and South Carolina’s data might not have been the youngest children wed in America between 2000 and 2010. Also, the data we collected did not account for children wed in religious-only ceremonies or taken overseas to be married, situations that we at Unchained often see.
Most states did not provide identifying information about the children, but Unchained has seen child marriage in nearly every American culture and religion, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular communities. We have seen it in families who have been in America for generations and immigrant families from all over the world. In my experience, parents who marry off their minor children often are motivated by cultural or religious traditions; a desire to control their child’s behavior or sexuality; money (a bride price or dowry); or immigration-related reasons (for instance, when a child sponsors a foreign spouse). And, of course, many minors marry of their own volition — even though in most realms of life, our laws do not allow children to make such high-stakes adult decisions.
Parental control over her sexuality was why Sara Siddiqui, 36, was married at 15. Her father discovered that she had a boyfriend from a different cultural background and told her she’d be “damned forever” if she lost her virginity outside of marriage, even though she was still a virgin. He arranged her Islamic wedding to a stranger, 13 years her senior, in less than one day; her civil marriage in Nevada followed when she was 16 and six months pregnant. “I couldn’t even drive yet when I was handed over to this man,” said Siddiqui, who was trapped in her marriage for 10 years. “I wasn’t ready to take care of myself, and I was thrown into taking care of a husband and being a mother.”
Minors such as Siddiqui can easily be forced into marriage or forced to stay in a marriage. Adults being pressured in this way have options, including access to domestic-violence shelters. But a child who leaves home is considered a runaway; the police try to return her to her family and could even charge our organization criminally if we were to get involved. Most domestic-violence shelters do not accept minors, and youth shelters typically notify parents that their children are there. Child-protective services are usually not a solution, either: Caseworkers point out that preventing legal marriages is not in their mandate.
Those fleeing a forced marriage often have complex legal needs, but for children, obtaining legal representation is extremely difficult. Even if they can afford to pay attorney’s fees, contracts with children, including retainer agreements, generally can be voided by the child, making them undesirable clients to lawyers. Further, children typically are not allowed to file legal actions in their own names.
Regardless of whether the union was the child’s or the parents’ idea, marriage before 18 has catastrophic, lifelong effects on a girl, undermining her health, education and economic opportunities while increasing her risk of experiencing violence.
Women who marry at 18 or younger face a 23 percent higher risk of heart attack, diabetes, cancer and stroke than do women who marry between ages 19 and 25, partly because early marriage can lead to added stress and forfeited education. Women who wed before 18 also are at increased risk of developing various psychiatric disorders, even when controlling for socio-demographic factors.
American girls who marry before 19 are 50 percent more likely than their unmarried peers to drop out of high school and four times less likely to graduate from college. A girl who marries young is 31 percentage points more likely to live in poverty when she is older, a striking figure that appears to be unrelated to preexisting differences in such girls. And, according to a global study, women who marry before 18 are three times more likely to be beaten by their spouses than women who wed at 21 or older.
Ending child marriage should be simple. Every state can pass the legislation I’ve helped write to eliminate exceptions that allow marriage before age 18 — or set the marriage age higher than 18, in states where the age of majority is higher. New Jersey is the closest state to doing this, with a bill advancing in the legislature that would end all marriage before 18. Massachusetts recently introduced a similar bill.
But when Virginia passed a bill last year to end child marriage, legislators added an exception for emancipated minors as young as 16, even though the devastating effects of marriage before 18 do not disappear when a girl is emancipated. Bills introduced last year in New York and Maryland languished and eventually died, though Maryland’s was just reintroduced. Other states have not acted at all. “Some of my colleagues were stuck in an old-school way of thinking: A girl gets pregnant, she needs to get married,” said Maryland Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, who introduced the bill to end child marriage in her state.
Only nine states still allow pregnancy exceptions to the marriage age, as such exceptions have been used to cover up rape and to force girls to marry their rapists. Consider Sherry Johnson of Florida, who said she was raped repeatedly as a child and was pregnant by 11, at which time her mother forced her to marry her 20-year-old rapist under Florida’s pregnancy exception in the 1970s.
Additionally, teenage mothers who marry and divorce are more likely to experience economic deprivation and instability than those who do not. If the father wants to co-parent, he can establish paternity and provide insurance and other benefits to the baby without getting married.
Legislators should remember that pregnant teenage girls are at increased risk of forced marriage. They need more protection, not less.
Nor does ending child marriage illegally infringe on religious rights. The Supreme Court has upheld laws that incidentally forbid an act required by religion, if the laws do not specifically target religious practice. Besides, most religions tend to describe marriage as an important union between two willing partners. That sounds nothing like child marriage, which is often forced and which has close to a 70 percent chance of ending in divorce. “There was a concern that we would be offending certain cultures within our society,” said New York Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who introduced an unsuccessful bill last year to end child marriage in her state. “So instead of seeing this as an abuse of young women, [some legislators] were seeing this as something we needed to protect for certain cultures.”
Betsy Layman, 37, shares Paulin’s goal. Layman was 27 when she escaped the marriage that had been arranged for her in her Orthodox Jewish community in New York when she was 17, to a man she had known for 45 minutes. Even after she fled with her three children, the repercussions of her marriage continued to plague her. She was a single mother with a high school equivalency certificate, no work experience and no money for child care. The temporary and part-time jobs she managed to get couldn’t cover the bills.
“I was on Section 8, Medicaid and food stamps,” Layman said. “There were times there just was not enough food for dinner.” When the electric company shut off her power for nonpayment, she would light candles around the house and tell her children there was a blackout. Only when her youngest child reached school age was she able to find full-time employment and gain some stability.
“Legislators have the power to prevent what happened to me from happening to another 17-year-old girl,” Layman said. “I beg you to end child marriage.”
For the past few years I have been monitoring reports of professors and staff arrested for trading in child rape and torture; aka child pornography. My research, which is far from comprehensive, details 89 professors and staff arrested on child rape and torture, aka child porn, charges. Both the volume and type of crime should raise alarm bells. Yet academic institutions remain silent. Protect the institution, not the children, appears to be the rallying cry at far too many higher education institutions.
As you read these accounts of arrests, please remember these are real children being raped and tortured in these videos and images. American children. Perhaps, even a child you know and have no idea how that child is suffering. It might even be your own child.
Every time an image or video is shared, that child is trafficked again.
On 19 January 2017, Ranzenberger was sentenced in federal court to 14 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release. On 26 January 2017, he was sentenced to 14 to 45 years in prison in Michigan State’s Isabella County Court to be served concurrently with his federal sentencing. He remained in custody pending sentencing.
Despite the volume and type of child rape and torture, including infant rape, DeZutter was trading in he was sentenced, 16 September 2015, to only 4 months in jail with five years probation. He was free, for the first conviction, on conditional release, without monetary surety, until his sentencing.
DeZutter told investigators he had been trading in child sex abuse images/videos since 1996. Investigators said his University of Minnesota laptop was “full” of child sex abuse files. Investigators said DeZutter told them, upon his arrest, “You are not going find a lot of this at home. I do most of this at the office.” The university barred DeZutter from campus and placed him on paid leave. He was terminated, for cause, on 13 February 2015.
Justin Carroll, 67 year old Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and interim athletic director at Washington University, was indicted, 30 January 2017, on one federal charge of access with intent to view child pornography.
a how-to guide for child sex abuse and grooming, “the art of remotely directing a boy on webcam, through typing text and displaying videos, to achieve a desired pose or behavior.” Carroll submitted his resignation after his arrest. He had been at the university for 36 years.
In September 2016, Haas pleaded guilty to one count of accessing the internet with the intent to view child-exploitation images and was sentenced in December 2016. Upon Haas’ arrest Villanova released the following statement: “The university is horrified by the behavior of this individual and has relieved the faculty member of his teaching duties. He is not permitted to return to campus. The university has an unwavering commitment to a safe campus for all community members, and illegal, offensive and dangerous behaviors will not be tolerated.”
Shannon was sentenced, November 2007, on two counts of child abuse to house arrest for two years and eight years of probation. He had been allowed to enter no-contest plea. Shannon was ordered to forfeit his law license but was not required to register as a sex offender. He was caught by police “engaging in Internet chat or online messaging where he encouraged another person to engage in the exploitation of a child” and offered people, on-line, advice about how to drug children for rape. The university allowed Shannon to resign, July 2006, after law enforcement searched his home.
Holt Parker, a 59 year old classics professor at the University of Cincinnati, was arrested, 15 March 2016, on one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography as well as destruction or removal of property to prevent seizure. He pleaded guilty, 29 August 2016, to one count of possession of child pornography and was free on bail pending sentencing. On 26 January 2017, he was sentenced to four years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release.
Parker told investigators he traded child rape almost “every day” for the past five or six years. He used the email “firstname.lastname@example.org” to trade in child pornography. Parker “bragged about having sex with an 8-year-old girl” and responded to the rape of a 4 year old child with “love that,” “show me,” “please!” He collected “thousands” of images/videos of child rape and torture including of an infant. Parker’s Ph.D. is from Yale. He published on sexuality, slavery and sadism.
Charles Jones, a 59 year old professor at Union College, was arrested, 22 January 2017, on child pornography charges. Jones was charged with
distribution and possession of child pornography and indicted, 24 February 2017. Police were notified when child sex abuse images were found on a college printer, in 2014, that Jones used. Hundreds of images of child sex abuse were located on Jones’ computer. At the time of this writing, Jones remains in custody pending sentencing.
Mark Manion, a 51 year old philosophy professor who taught ethics at Drexel University, was arrested, 28 October 2010, on child porn charges. He pleaded guilty, 13 January 2010, to possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, or computer. Manion was caught by information technology staff when he asked IT staff to remove a virus on his computer. At the time of his arrest, he had over 800 child sex abuse images. Manion had made hundreds of visits to child-porn sites. Manion was sentenced to seven years probation and no jail time. He is a registered sex offender.
Michael Wilson, a 46 year old professor at the College of William and Mary,
was arrested, July 2010, on child pornography production. He pleaded guilty on 18 October 2010 and was sentenced, 3 February 2011, to 15 years in jailfollowed by 10 years of supervised release. The prosecuting attorney said, “It is shocking that a college professor manipulated a young girl for his own sexual gratification. This case is a wake-up call to parents and kids alike that the face of evil is often the ordinary and the familiar, including people in positions of trust.” He was producing child pornography on his college computer.
charged with charged with statutory rape and sodomy and one count of child pornography transportation. He pleaded guilty, March 2012, and was sentenced to just over 37 years in jail. He had pleaded not guilty in April 2010. In October 2013, a federal appeals court set aside Kyle’s guilty plea and on remand, 30 December 2015, Kyle pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated sexual abuse with children and was sentenced
Kenneth Martin Kyle’s Amended Judgement
to 30 years in jail concurrent with a sentence imposed in Missouri’s circuit court.
At the time of his arrest he had “hundreds” of child rape images/videos on his home computer. Kyle traveled, almost monthly, to St. Louis to rape a 5 month old baby until the infant was 13 months when Kyle was caught. He produced child pornography of himself raping the baby. The infant was offered by the child’s mother, Tessa VanVlerah. St. Louis police arrested, VanVlerah, a college student, at her parents’ home in Ballwin. Kyle had met VanVlerah on-line. VanVlerah was sentenced to life in prison. The university allowed Kyle to resign.
Adam Cobb, a 48 year old professor and director of the Mahan Advanced
Research Project at Naval War College, was arrested, 3 April 2015, on child porn distribution charges. He pleaded guilty, 24 February 2015, and was sentenced, 13 February 2017, to five years in jail followed by 10 years of supervised release. Cobb was caught when he uploaded child sex abuse images to Tumblr. Cobb has been in custody since December of 2015, when he violated terms of his pre-trial release and the court revoked his $1,000,000 surety bond release.
Robert Berardo, a 56 year adjunct professor at Middlesex County College,
Raritan Valley College and formerly at Monmouth University and girls’ softball coach, was arrested, September 2016, and charged with one count each of endangering a child due to distribution possession and intent to distribute child pornography. He was held on $110,000 bail.
Gigatribe is a peer-to-peer (P2P) program he used to trade PTHC “pre-teen hard core” brutal torture of children under 12 years old. His on-line name was “funshooter2006.” At the time of his arrest, he was caught with 4,000 images/videos of child sex abuse including the abuse of toddlers.
He was indicted on two counts of distributing or receiving child porn and one count of possessing child porn. He pleaded guilty to all three charges on 21 April 2014 and was sentenced, 14 July 2014, to 8.8 years in federal jail and 20 years supervised release.
Michael Morris’ Criminal Complaint
Micheal Morris Sentencing Memorandum
For the past five years Morris posed as a teenage boy or girl, and got 14 to 16 year old girls to perform sex acts for him live-streamed via web cameras. He had been trading in child sex rape and torture for 15 years.
Micheal Morris Sentencing Memorandum
In the few months he was under investigation, he accessed, more than 192 times, child sex abuse from his home and UVA computer. UVA suspended Morris pending investigation. He later resigned.
Larry Nassar, a 53 year old medical professor at Michigan State University and a former USA Gymnastics doctor, was arrested, 16 December 2016, and
Jason Kahler, a 41 year old Saginaw Valley State University English professor, was arrested, August 2016, on child pornography charges. He was suspended without pay and barred from campus.
Kahler was caught by the FBI’s Operation Pacifier when they seized control of a child rape website called Playpen. He has been free on bond pending sentencing. His next court date was set for 17 January 2017. Kahler is the second SVSU professor arrested on child porn charges.
Meadows had set up a hidden camera in the locker rooms at Cincinnati Sports Club, a health club he belonged to, in order to film “children in the nude” and “using the restroom.” He is free on bond pending his next court date.
She, and her boyfriend, had been discussing molesting a five year old child. She told her boyfriend “he should allow himself to become aroused by young girls that he sees in public and that he should then report back to her.” Simmons College had placed Azotea on paid leave.
Another UNT professor, Alan Marchard, had been arrested, by campus police, on child porn charges in 2003. Marchard had been using his university computer to trade in child rape. UNT would not comment on whether Quinn was doing the same. Marchard pleaded guilty, August 2004, to four counts of child porn possession and received six years of probation with no jail time. UNT had placed Marchard on paid leave. He later resigned. Marchard is a registered sex offender.
undercover police officer who was pretending to be a father offering his son for sex abuse. He had traveled from Michigan to Florida with the intention of raping a child. Cavalcoli had posted, at least twice, online requests to meet fathers offering their children for rape when he traveled to Indiana and Ireland. He was sentenced, 30 March 2016, to ten years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. The university placed Cavalcoli on an unpaid leave and terminated his employment upon his sentencing. Cavalcoli is the third University of Michigan employee to be arrested on child sex abuse charges. Steven Germinder, profiled under the Staff Section of this article, a finance employee at University of Michigan, was also arrested on child porn charges.
Beattie was originally charged with 10 child pornography counts at the state level. These were all dropped in lieu of a plea deal, when Beattie pleaded guilty to federal charges of one count of possession and one count of distribution. He was sentenced, July 2016, to 12 years in prison and ten years of supervised release. Upon his arrest, the university placed Beattie on paid leave and later terminated his employment. He is the third UND employeearrested on child pornography charges. The arrest of Paul Bradley Meagher, a campus police officer, is listed in the Staff Section of this article.
Richard Kelly, a 56 year old father of a two year old and a pediatric endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and pediatrics instructor at Harvard Medical School, was arrested, 13 September 2012, on child porn charges. He pleaded guilty, November 2013, to three charges of receiving
and possessing child pornography and was sentenced, 12 March 2014, to six and half years in federal prison followed by five and half years of supervised release.
Kelly had been the Medical Director at Phillips Academy for 19 years before suddenly resigning. He was receiving child sex abuse DVDs at Phillips Academy. Kelly possessed over 100 DVDs of child sex abuse at the time of his arrest.
15 October 2014, on 50 child pornography charges. His court date was set for 3 August 2015, on 51 child porn counts which included children as young as five years old. He had been director of the Tulane University Shakespeare Festival from 2001 to 2009.
child pornography possession. On 24 July 2015, he pleaded guilty to all 10 counts and was sentenced to 5 years in jail with 3 years and 8 months suspended followed by five years of supervised release. He is listed as a sex offender.
More had been trading in child sex abuse from university computers. George Mason, apparently, terminated his employment. More
George Mason University Police Response to a Freedom of Information Request
University and attorney with Arnold and Porter, was arrested, 9 August 2010, on one count of producing child pornography and five counts of possession. Gessler purchased, for $300 dollars, a run-away 15 year old girl on-line, sexually abused her and produced videos/images of his abuse which he traded on-line. He was sentenced, May 2011, to three months in jail followed by two years of probation and is register as a sex offender. Virginia revoked his law license June 2011.
Ronald Sinacore, a 55 year old Associate Director of the Office of Equity and Diversity Services at George Mason University, was arrested, October 2004,
charged with one count each of child pornography possession and production. June 2005, he was found guilty of manufacturing child pornography, possessing child pornography and extortion. He was sentenced, 16 September 2005, to eight years in jail followed by six years of supervised release. Sinacore had been filming his own sexual abuse of young boys at home and in his campus office. He was caught when one of the teenage boys went to the police and said Sinacore threaten to use tapes to blackmail the child for money. He is a registered sex offender.
was trading in child rape on campus and was arrested by campus police. He was placed on paid leave and banned from campus. Two weeks later he resigned. After his home was searched, he was charged with a total of 301 felony child porn charges. His next hearing is scheduled for 21 June 2017.
Gary Spring, a 61 year old professor and Chair of the Civil Engineering
computers to trade in child sex abuse. During a 16 day period he accessed at least 300 imagesof child rape. He was caught when Merrimack information technology (IT) staff notified campus security of Spring’s crimes on campus. In addition to his role as a professor, Spring was an administrator for a residential children’s summer camp at Merrimack College.
There have been other reports of child sex abuse by University of Maine professors. In 2001, Senior Child Protection staffer Cynthia Wellman claimed University of Maine professors were sexually abusing children, along with Child Protection Staff, on campus. The State of Maine has refused to open a criminal investigation.
counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and four felony counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. Peppers was sentenced, 2 March 2016, to 3 years probation. He was free pending sentencing on $60,000 surety bond. Peppers was trading in the rape and torture, PTHC, of children as young as eight years old. Peppers is listed as sex offender.
Travis Brown, a 45 year old assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Arkansas, was sentenced, 14 October 2014, to five years in jail on child porn charges. He was arrested 6 February 2014 and charged withfour counts of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession. Brown pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child porn in exchange for all other charges dropped.
Upon his arrest investigators found some 629 images of children, ages 10–12 years old, being sexually abused. The university terminated his employment on 10 February 2014. Brown’s investigation was triggered by a “tip” to the state police. Pending his sentencing, Brown was under house arrest, $5,000 signature bond, and his father’s custody.
Gary Farlow, a physics professor at Wright State University, was arrested and charged, 25 September 2014, with one count of child porn possession. On 22 December 2014, he pleaded guilty. Farlow was sentenced, 30 March 2015, to ten years supervised release. He was free on personal recognizance pending
sentencing. Farlow possessed in excess of 400 images of child sex abuse. Information technology staff discovered Farlow’s crimes on his university computer. Farlow was placed on paid suspension. He has not been employed with Wright State, since 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. He is listed as a sex offender.
three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count third-degree child exploitation. Pokryfka had been trading in child sex abuse images/videos of children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. He was caught when he sent an undercover Homeland Security agent child sex abuse images. Originally held on $100,000 bond, he was indicated on 13 August 2013 on two counts of distribution and possession of child pornography. In a deal, Pokryfka pleaded guilty to one count of child porn possession on 24 November 2014.
On 17 May 2007, Ward pleaded guilty, in Virginia, to producing child pornography for importation into the US and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. On 17 November 2008, in Pennsylvania, Ward pleaded guilty to four counts of child pornography and sexual misconduct and one count of making false statements to a federal official and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Ward was “an esteemed Ivy League professor,” wealthy Fortune 500 consultant and founder of a nonprofit youth outreach program for at-risk youths. He was earning “five-figure paychecks for as little as two days’ work,” drove expensive cars and had homes in Hawaii and Cape Cod. He had been abusing children for decades before he was caught, and finally imprisoned, by a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Inspector at Dulles International Airport. In 1993 Ward had been charged with child sex abuse including “molesting a 13-year-old there as often as 100 times” but after two highly publicized trials, he was only given probation. The University of Pennsylvania allowed him to remain employed as a professor and he continued to sexually abuse children until his 2006 arrest.
In 1991 Lasaga volunteered with New Haven, Connecticut’s Board of Education to mentor disadvantaged youth. He sexually abused the child he “mentored” and produced child porn of the abuse over a five year period.
was arrested, 3 August 2016, on charges of charges of possessing and transporting child pornography. Chao was trading in PTHC, pre-teen hard core, which is the brutal rape and torture of small children.
Beei Haun Chao’s Criminal Complaint
On 4 August 2016, he pleaded not guilt to the federal charges and has been free on $50,000 bond in the custody of his wife. The university placed him on paid leave. His university profile is still live. His pre-trial hearing is currently set for 24 April 2017.
This is, at least, the second arrest of a University of Hawaii professor on child sexual exploitation charges.
David Stegenga, a 64 year old University of Hawaii math professor, was
Taj Mahon-Haft, a 34 year old assistant professor in criminal justice at Radford University, was arrested twice in March 2013 on child porn related charges. He used his university computer to trade in child sex abuse images/videos.
The university placed him on paid administrative leave, 27 June 2013, relieved of his teaching duties and ordered not to have contact with students. He had been developing a distance-learning course using a university IPad for the University during this paid administrative leave. Benz had been active with the Boy Scouts. Two days after his arrest, the Boys Scouts of America suspended Benz and permanently removed him from all current and future association. His membership and all of his privileges were revoked and he was placed on the Boy Scouts’ ineligible volunteer list.
Matthew Irwin, a 47 year old professor at Texas A&M University-Galveston, was arrested, August 2015, and charged on child pornography counts.
At the time of his arrest, he had more than 4,000 videos/imagesof child rape and torture. Irwin was sentenced, June 2016, to eight years in federal prison on one count each of child porn receipt and possession followed by ten years of supervised release.
Al-Khayyal was caught, 5 August 2009, at the airport with child sex abuse on his laptop upon his return to Georgia, after a trip to China. He had been trading in sex abuse and rape of children on his university computer.
was arrested, 27 September 2010, and charged with 46 child pornography counts. He was trading in the rape of infants and used the search term “bib-cam.” Sullivan said he had been trading in child rape for about two years and had at least 1,000 videos/images upon his arrest. He was a Ph.D. student in the English Department and a tutor in the Digital Studio. At least two other FSU employees have been arrested on child pornography charges. They are listed in the following Staff section.
Michael Stroup, a 52 year old economics professor and interim chair of the Economics Department at Stephen Austin State University, was arrested, 29 September 2015, on child pornography charges. Stroup was using university
Zydney is the son of school board member Laurel Zydney.He has been free on $15,000 unsecured bail since his arrest. There is no date set for sentencing because Zydney appealed to Superior Court, 26 August 2016, to dismiss all charges. Superior Court has not yet set a date for oral arguments.
of sexual solicitation of a minor and one count of providing obscene material to a minor. On 7 November 2016, charges were placed on inactive docket pending a plea resolution.
Barbins was caught 19 October 2015, when the Knox County Sheriff’s Department in Illinois received a tip about the sexual exploitation of a child in Knox County. Barbins had been St. Mary’s head swim coach for 18 years. The college terminated his employment upon news of his arrest.
Dayton Cramer, a 70 year old Deputy General Counsel at Florida State University (FSU), was arrested, 14 February 2017, on charges of soliciting a
minor for sex. Cramer was caught by undercover agents posing as a step-mother offering her 13 year old daughter for rape. When he arrived at the location, intending to sexually abuse a child, police arrested him.
FSU terminated Cramer immediately upon receiving his criminal complaint. Cramer also resigned during the process of his termination. He is a retired US Army colonel, with tours of duty at the Pentagon, and was previously the chief legal counsel for US Military Academy at West Point where he also had issues with sexual harassment and/or discrimination against female staff. Cramer is under house arrest pending his next hearing.
Dayton Cramer is, at least, the third arrest for child sexual exploitation/child pornography among FSU employees.
Several FSU students, Zhaozhao Shen and Jordan Steiner, have also been arrested. Jeffrey Davis, a 37 year old elective coordinator at Florida State University’s College of Medicine, was arrested, September 2013, on 29 counts of child pornography possession.
Jon Riveire, a 32 year old Assistant Director for Student Conduct in Office of
Student Ethics at Indiana University, was arrested, 12 May 2015, and charged with six felony child pornography counts. He pleaded guilty to one count, November 2016, in exchange for having the other charges dropped and was sentenced, 27 February 2017, to two and half years which appear he may spend under house arrest, serving no jail time. Riveire was trading in child rape, including of children aged three-five years old, on university computers and networks. He will be placed on the sex offender registry. Although he is prohibited from contact with children under 16 years old, the court provided an exception to his own two young children; one of whom is two years old. He will retain unsupervised access to his own children. Riverie was responsible for hearing cases of student misconduct in residence halls. The university terminated his employment upon his arrest.
Benjamin Felker, a 28 year old employee of Wheaton College in Illinois, was
South Florida State College terminated Long’s employment for violating college policy regarding use of campus technology. He had been using his South Florida State College computer to trade in child rape and torture.
child porn possession, 13 counts of unauthorized access to a computer system, eight counts of distributing material showing a child in the nude, two counts of posing a child in the nude and single counts of possessing a firearm without a firearm identification card, improper storage of a firearm and attempting to commit a crime. Linnehan was indicted, 16 January 2014, on 37 counts. He pleaded guilty, 3 February 2015, to more than 30 charges. Linnehan was free on $25,000 bailpending sentencing. He was sentenced, 24 February 2015, to 8–10 years in prison.
In addition to possessing more than one million videos/images of child sex abuse, Linnehan also illegally access student computers and email accounts and stole private photographs. Linnehan was caught when Amanda Lambert, a mother in California, was caught producing and distributing child sex abuse images/videos of her own children. Lambert pleaded guilty 6 October 2014 to sexual exploitation of a child and distributing child pornography and was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison. Linnehan had been trading child sex abuse images with Lambert, including those of Lambert’s own 4 and 6 year old daughters. Springfield College placed Linnehan on administrative leave on 2 April 2013, and terminated his employed on 5 April 2013. Linnehan is the father of a 4 year old boy.
Daniel Shaw, 47 year old information technology (IT) staff for Purdue University, was arrested, 23 September 2014, and charged with two felony counts of possession of child pornography and a felony count of child exploitation. He pleaded guilty, 27 January 2015, to child porn possession. He was set to be sentenced 7 April 2015.
He had been trading in videos/images of children in “nude or in states of undress in sexually suggestive poses, engaged in sexual activity or being subjected to sadomasochistic sexual abuse.” He was released on $500 cash bond plus $5,000 surety. He had been employed at Purdue since 2009. The university said he had left his position, upon his arrest, for “personnel reasons.”
University of North Carolinawas arrested, 18 February 2013, and charged with 47 counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He had previously been arrested, 19 December 2012, and charged with two counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. In a deal, Hitlin pleaded guilty to nine counts of second degree sex exploitation of a minor and all other charges were dismissed. He was sentenced, 28 May 2014, to 15–27 months in prison all of which were suspended making his final sentence only 36 months probation. Hitlin is now a registered sex offender.
Hitlin was caught interacting, from his university computer, on a child sex abuse trading site (chat.motherless.com) with an undercover agent; Detective Mike Deaton who alerted university authorities. Hitlin also used his university email email@example.com to distribute child sex abuse images.
Are universities and colleges “protecting the institution” and not children being trafficked, raped and tortured? Institutions that protect criminals are corrupt institutions. Protecting child rapists, and those who trade in the criminal enterprise of child rape, cripples institutions. It does not protect them. Ask the Catholic Church.
What Can You Do?
Do you want your children taught by a professor who masturbates to the rape and torture of very small children? Are you comfortable knowing tuition fees help fund these crimes because too many universities and colleges refuse to install software that could report to law enforcement attempts to trade in child pornography by their professors and staff?
Demand action. Request a meeting with the provost or president of the educational institution in your community, the university or college you attended, or the institution where your children are enrolled. Print out this article. Bring it to the meeting and ask if the educational institution has installed software, like NetClean, that reports to law enforcement attempts on their network to trafficked in children. If not, why not?
No more silence. No more “institutional” protection by universities and colleges for those who trade in child rape. No child pornography should ever be traded on university and college campuses. Demand an end to child pornography on university and college campuses.
A great man has passed. Roy Innis was the most famous National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) a civil rights organization founded in 1942.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and Chemist.
Innis drafted the Community Self-Determination Act of 1968 and garnered bipartisan sponsorship of this bill by one-third of the U.S. Senate and over 50 congressmen. This was the first time in U.S. history that a bill drafted by a black organization was introduced into the United States Congress.
Innis routinely met with world leaders and was a confidant of several U.S. Presidents.
He lost two sons to criminals with guns. I met him once in DC and that conversation had a great impact on my life.
More than 300 Marines have earned the Medal of Honor since award’s inception in 1861. But missing from that list is perhaps the most legendary Marine, whose memory still looms large in the lore of the Corps: Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller.
The image of Puller’s iconic frown and his memorable quips about combat have come to define what it means to be a Marine for generations. Puller once told his troops, when surrounded by enemy fighters in Korea: “All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us … they can’t get away this time.”
Puller earned five Navy crosses, the nation’s second-highest honor for valor. At least two serious attempts have been made to get one of Puller’s awards upgraded to the Medal of Honor, but they failed. Even today, Marine veterans and devotees still grumbled that Puller deserves to be recognized with the nation’s highest honor and the book has not been closed on the matter.
“Marines still today in boot camp chant his name. They all still do know about him and they should keep his spirit alive,” said Kim Van Note, president of the Basilone Memorial Foundation, a charity named for one Marine Medal of Honor recipient who served under Puller’s command at Guadalcanal, Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone.
“I definitely believe he should have been awarded the Medal of Honor,” Van Note said.
The Pentagon has recently begun to acknowledged publicly for the first time that bestowing military honors and medals for valor is an imperfect bureaucratic process – critics say it can seem arbitrary.
A force-wide review of combat medals that began last year is confirming that dozens, potentially hundreds, of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were not properly recognized for their bravery on the battlefield and will have their honors upgraded. Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has recommended that two Navy Cross recipients have their awards elevated to the Medal of Honor.
While the review is officially limited to the post-9/11 wars, questions persist about whether Puller and other past warriors have been appropriately recognized.
Puller, a Virginia native, enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War One and attended boot camp at Parris Island. He was soon commissioned as a second lieutenant a year later, setting in motion a career that would stretch more than three decades.
Whether serving in Nicaragua, the Pacific or Korea, Puller was routinely on or near the front lines, often exposed to the same risks as his men, said retired Marine Col. Jon Hoffman, who wrote the biography “Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC.”
“In Nicaragua in particular, he led the charges against the enemy himself rather than telling his men to charge while he held back,” Hoffman told Marine Corps Times. “It is a style of leadership common across the history of warfare, but one which he continued up through a relatively high level of command.”
Puller earned his first Navy Cross as a first lieutenant. Puller led several successful attacks against Nicaraguan bandits between February and August 1930, despite being outnumbered, according to his Navy Cross citation.
“By his intelligent and forceful leadership without thought of his own personal safety, by great physical exertion and by suffering many hardships, Lieutenant Puller surmounted all obstacles and dealt five successive and severe blows against organized banditry in the Republic of Nicaragua,” the award citation says.
During World War II, Puller temporarily took command of a Marine battalion at the Battle of Cape Gloucester after both the battalion commander and executive officer were wounded, the citation for his third Navy Cross says.
“Lieutenant Colonel Puller unhesitatingly exposed himself to rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire from strongly entrenched Japanese positions to move from company to company in his front lines, reorganizing and maintaining a critical position along a fire-swept ridge,” the citation says.
“His forceful leadership and gallant fighting spirit under the most hazardous conditions were contributing factors in the defeat of the enemy during this campaign and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Puller’s awards primarily recognize his leadership rather than the danger he placed himself in during battles, said Hoffman. One aspect of his leadership style was putting his Marines first.
“What endeared him to his men was not just that demonstrated bravery, but also the way he bonded with them and looked out for them, in a way that many other equally brave officers of the time did not,” Hoffman said.
In his book, Hoffman wrote how after one battle at Guadalcanal, Puller spent the night bucking up his Marines after an attack against Japanese troops had failed.
“A squad leader who had experienced the ‘terrible feeling being under fire the first time’ thought that the colonel’s display of courage and calm during the fight ‘really raised our morale,’” Hoffman wrote.
As a battlefield commander, Puller did not wait for orders when things went wrong. He took initiative and responded aggressively and quickly.
One example of this is in September 1942, when Puller, on his own authority, led a mission to rescue nearly 400 Marines trapped behind enemy lines. “While others dithered, Puller acted,” Hoffman said.
Puller was leading one of three units in an operation to cross the Matanikau River. The Marines only expected to encounter a few hundred enemy troops, but the Japanese had amassed roughly 4,000 in the area, Hoffman wrote.
The plan to cross the river quickly fell apart, but the 1st Marine Division ordered the attack to continue.
When a small group of Marines launched an amphibious landing behind enemy lines, they were surrounded by the Japanese and cut off from the sea. Outnumbered by Japanese troops, the unit “was on the verge of reenacting Custer’s Last Stand,” Hoffman wrote.
Puller was leading a battalion elsewhere on Guadalcanal. He realized that time was running out for the trapped Marines. He became enraged that his superiors had not come up with a plan to save them.
“He used his initiative to figure out what to do and then make it happen, while others were preoccupied with other issues or simply unable to come up with a solution to this difficult problem of a battalion surrounded behind enemy lines,” Hoffman said.
Puller boarded the destroyer Monssen and worked with the ship’s captain and gunnery officer to come up with a plan to shell the Japanese troops and allow the trapped Marines time and space to withdraw, Hoffman wrote.
The first landing craft to approach the beach where the Marines had gathered came under fire, forcing some to back off, Hoffman wrote.
“Chesty had already boarded one of the small craft,” Hoffman wrote. “He ordered it into shore and shouted at others to follow him. The battalion laid down additional covering fire and the landing boats finally came in at both locations. The Marines carried their wounded out into the surf, but had to leave their dead behind.”
Puller had gone far outside his normal authority, but saved many Marines who might have otherwise been killed. None of his superiors had authorized him to work with the Monssen’s captain, but the skipper agreed to help rescue the Marines.
“That’s what makes this operation so special in my eyes – Puller responding to the situation, figuring out what to do, and then making it happen, all in a very short space of time,” Hoffman said.
“It was all about rescuing his men, when no one else seemed sufficiently concerned about them.”
Puller’s service record shows he was never recommended for the Medal of Honor, according to the Marine Corps History Division. Still, some people have unsuccessfully campaigned for one of Puller’s awards to be upgraded, including Medal of Honor recipient Col. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington.
In February 1952, Boyington wrote directly to President Truman, calling Puller “the greatest soldier of any service that has ever existed.”
“I had the honor and pleasure of serving under General Puller when he was a captain in the Marine Corps,” Boyington wrote. “I never served under General Puller in combat, however, I know his record from A to Z. I would like better than anything in the world to have you look into his record. General Puller is entitled to the Congressional Medal of Honor more than any living person in the United States.”
But Truman may have never seen Boyington’s letter, said Jim Armistead, an archives specialist at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
“Much of his incoming mail was filtered and referred to other more appropriate offices,” Armistead said. “For example, if a mother who wrote to President Truman wanted an early discharge for her son so he could come home to work on the farm, her request would be forwarded to the Department of the Army.”
In this case, Boyington’s letter was sent to Truman’s naval aide, Adm. Robert Lee Dennison, Armistead said. That April, Dennison received a response from the commandant’s office saying that Puller had never been recommended for the Medal of Honor, according to the History Division.
Another attempt to get President Kennedy to award Puller the Medal of Honor was referred to the Marine Corps, which determined Puller was no longer legally eligible to be considered for the nation’s highest award for military valor, Hoffman wrote.
In recent years, there have not been any serious campaigns to upgrade one of Puller’s awards. Hoffman said.
“Usually a service would need substantial new information (lost recommendations or witness reports, or new witness reports provided by surviving veterans),” Hoffman said. “None of that came forward in Puller’s case – the people pushing for it were simply asking that his case be re-evaluated.”