Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November 12th, 2010

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.  The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.  It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. –  Joseph Goebbels

The following article appeared on the FBI website on Tuesday; since it is from a public entity I will reprint it verbatim.  Read it carefully, recognizing what it says and what it doesn’t say; I’ll interpolate my comments between paragraphs.

Over the past 72 hours, the FBI, its local and state law enforcement partners, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concluded Operation Cross Country V, a three-day national enforcement action as part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative.  The operation included enforcement actions in 40 cities across 34 FBI divisions around the country and led to the recovery of 69 children who were being victimized through prostitution.  Additionally, nearly 885 others, including 99 pimps, were arrested on state and local charges.

The very first thing which should jump out at you is “885 others, including 99 pimps, were arrested on state and local charges.”  How do they know that 99 were pimps?  Were they wearing garish clothes and funny hats?  Or perhaps they had ID cards in their wallets which said “pimp”?  What this obviously translates into is that 99 of the people arrested have been accused of being pimps on the basis of their male gender, which means the other 786 people arrested were all adult female prostitutes.  Let that number sink in for a moment; this heroic “task force” action to supposedly rescue 69 “children who were being victimized through prostitution” (i.e. underage prostitutes, most of them 16-17) was actually just an excuse for the FBI to help local cops bust nearly 800 hookers, mostly streetwalkers and massage parlor girls but probably a number of escorts as well (there’s no way to tell until and unless an investigative journalist ferrets out the identities of those 786 unidentified “others”).  I think most of y’all can probably see why they’re not identified; it wouldn’t look too good if a raid on those who “prostitute women and children across many states” actually victimized hundreds of  “prostituted” women.

“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” said Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.  “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization.  Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.”

Let’s see now, the last propaganda figure I saw said there were 200,000 “prostituted children” in the US, and your raid just rescued how many?  69.  Allowing both figures are correct (which is generous indeed), that’s 0.0345%.  Offhand, I’d call that a colossal failure and therefore nothing to brag about.  “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization.” If you really believe that, why do you continue to support a strategy which clearly doesn’t work?  Why not try something new, like, oh, I don’t know, decriminalizing adult prostitution so we and our clients can help y’all find the underage girls and bust their pimps?  “Through our strategic partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies, we are able to make a difference.” 0.0345% is not a difference.  If you were robbed of $2000 and the cops succeeded in recovering 69¢ of it, would you consider that something for them to swagger and crow about?  I sure wouldn’t.

Task Force operations usually begin as local actions, targeting such places as truck stops, casinos, street “tracks,” and Internet websites, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions.  Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation.  Information gleaned from those arrested often uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states.  FBI agents further develop this information in partnership with U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and file federal charges where appropriate.  To date, the 39 Innocence Lost Task Forces and Working Groups have recovered over 1,200 children from the streets.  The investigations and subsequent 625 convictions have resulted in lengthy sentences, including multiple 25-years-to-life sentences and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in assets.

This paragraph is the gold mine.  “Task Force operations…[target] such places as truck stops, casinos…and Internet websites, based on intelligence gathered by officers working in their respective jurisdictions.” What all this high-falutin’ talk translates into is “prostitution stings”.  “Initial arrests are often violations of local and state laws relating to prostitution or solicitation.” In other words, popping hookers; this is their attempt to justify literally “making a federal case” out of misdemeanor prostitution busts.  “Information gleaned from those arrested often uncovers organized efforts to prostitute women and children across many states.” This is the most ominous-sounding sentence in the whole story, but do you understand what it means?  It means they threaten clients and escorts with unending federal and state persecution (including but not limited to Mann Act prosecutions, IRS audits and “Child Protective Services” Gestapo actions) unless they cough up their usernames and passwords for escort advertising websites and review boards (“organized efforts to prostitute women…across many states”) so the FBI and local cops can set up stings for escorts.

“… the 39…Task Forces and Working Groups have recovered over 1,200 children from the streets…and [have resulted in] 625 convictions…” Let’s assume the arrest rate in this particular “task force” is the same as that in the other 38; that means they’ve arrested about 15,391 people so far, of which 13,669 were whores.  But out of all that, they’ve only scored 625 convictions, or 4.06%.  Now, I’m not exactly an expert in law, but something tells me a 4% conviction rate isn’t very good; given the ease with which the Feds railroad people, I would call it terrible.  What we have here is a boondoggle on a massive scale, resulting in a diversion of federal funds to arrest women for violating local laws under the aegis of “protecting children.”

In the spring of 2003, the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, in partnership with the Department of Justice’s CEOS and NCMEC, formed the Innocence Lost National Initiative to address the growing problem of children forced into prostitution.  “The leadership of the FBI and the Justice Department in attacking domestic child trafficking and prostitution is historic,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  “Once again, Operation Cross Country has awakened the nation to the fact that today, American children are being marketed and sold for sex in American cities.  These kids are victims.  This is 21st century slavery.  We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary partnership to rescue children, save lives, and bring the pimps and operators to justice.”

This program brings state and federal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and social service providers all from around the country to NCMEC, where the groups are trained together.  In addition, CEOS has reinforced the training by assigning prosecutors to help bring cases in those cities plagued by child prostitution.  The FBI thanks the over 2,100 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers representing 186 separate agencies who participated in Operation Cross Country and ongoing enforcement efforts.  The charges announced today are merely accusations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

The last two paragraphs are basically nothing but hot air full of the usual misidentifications and conflations; teenagers are defined as “children”, advertising or review websites referred to as “operators” or “pimps”, the problem is “ever-increasing” (which again means their tactics are ineffective), and putting people to sleep is described as “awakening” them.  Fortunately, not everyone is subject to propaganda-induced hypnosis; I leave you with this article by Joanna Chiu about the so-called “Innocence Lost” scam, courtesy of (appropriately enough) RealityCheck.org.

(Special thanks to Brandy Devereaux for featuring a “sneak preview” of this column on her TCAA site).

Read Full Post »