Langley Connections and the Rise of the Child
Another "expert" who has dismissed McMartin as a classic witch-hunt
is Dr. Douglas Besherov, once the director of the National
Center on child Abuse and Neglect. He is also a director of the rabidly
right-wing American Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C.
think tank To supplement his weighty credentials, Besherov writes for academic
social and political quarterlies with long histories of collaborating with
the CIA for propaganda purposes. He is a coeval of Irving Kristol, a veteran
CIA psychological warfare specialist. In 1976, the Congressional Church committee
hearings revealed that the CIA is deeply entrenched in the American press.
Some 400 journalists, it emerged at the hearings, had collaborated with the
Agency at least once. CIA propagandists like Besherov and Kristol provide
others in the field with a scholastic support base, and mold opinion on campus.
with such CIA-anchored academic journals as Encounter and The
Public Interest, both edited by neo-con Kristol.
In 1986, Public Interest published a monograph by Dr. Besherov
entitled "Unfounded Allegations A New Child Abuse Problem."
Besherov opens with the observation of legal scholar Sanford Katz that "the
maltreatment of children is as old as recorded history. Infanticide, ritual
sacrifice, exposure, mutilation, abandonment, brutal discipline and the near
slavery of child labor have existed in all cultures." Dr. Besherov, left
dry-eyed by such conditions, blamed the media and mandatory reporting laws
for dragging child abuse out of the closet (where he seems to prefer it) and
blowing the severity of the problem out of proportion. Besherov's influential
follow-up article, "Doing Something About Child Abuse: The Need to
Narrow the Grounds for State Intervention," was published in 1985
by Irving Kristol and the American Enterprise Institute. In it, Besherov argues
that most allegations of child abuse are statistically unfounded. His slipshod
use of statistics drove the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) to publicly
find him responsible for leading the public "to believe that child abuse
is leveling off or that, as reports increase, the level of substantiation
decreases." The CWLA notes that its survey results indicate a "substantial
increase in reports," and "a stable rate of confirmation,"
directly contradicting Besherov's statistical red herring. Turning to the
children removed from their homes by social workers, Besherov states flatly:
"According to data collected by the federal government, it appears that
up to half of these children were in no immediate danger at home and could
have been safely left there."
The government "data" cited by Besherov derives from
a study conducted by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. The authors
of the study
told New York Times reporter David Hechler that "the information is not
there" to support Besherov's assertion that half of all abused children
left n the custody of their parents are in "no immediate danger."
"He has used our statistics in this case to prove a point when (he) simply
can't do it," a Center researcher told Hechler. When asked for his response,
the AEI scholar refused to comment. By fabricating statistics, Besherov reveals
himself to be a propagandist.
Have unfounded allegations led to a national McCarthyite frenzy,
as Besherov contends? "I'm sure there are false allegations,," concedes
David Finkelhor, a sociologist specializing in child abuse. "I'm sure
when people are caught up in false allegations it's terrible." But in
criminal cases of all kinds, "there's always the possibility of false
allegations, and I don't think they're more severe in the area of child abuse
that they are in - I want to say something innocuous people making
false allegations about having had money stolen from them, or false allegations
of embezzlement." Besherov's work has given rise to such hysteria-producing
diatribes as "False Accusations of Child Abuse: Could it Happen to
You." (Women's Day, July 8, 1986), and "Invasion of the
Child Savers: No One is Safe in the War Against Abuse" (Progressive,
September, 1985) both are adventures in hyperbole, like Besherov's cooked
"Family abuse," by A.C. Carlson, another
protégé of Irving Kristol appeared inReason
magazine, a publication that has frequently runs CIA disinformation. Hechler
writes that Carlson has gone "even further than Besherov, inflating the
unfounded rate beyond belief." Erroneously, in fact, Carlson laments
that "the victims pile up," like corpses in a pile, and commiserates
needlessly with "the sky-rocketing number of parents and teachers falsely
accused of child abuse." Ritual abuse "skeptics" with CIA
connections are covering up the latest phase in Agency-sponsored mind control
For thirty years, Agency scientists have collaborated with cults
(many of them founded by the government) to conceal the development of mind
control technology. Jim Jones and the People's Temple was
one product of the alliance. McMartin was another. Both episodes
have been buried in disinformation. The campaign to mislead the public about
ritual abuse is ambitious, rivaling the campaign to conceal the facts in the
murder of John F. Kennedy. The smokescreen is also explained in part by reports
implicating the CIA in child prostitution for the purposes of political blackmail
a variation on the age-old sex trap.
CIA agents have been directly involved in organized child sex
rings. In Enslaved (1991), an investigation of the worldwide slavery
underground, Gordon Thomas found Agency participation in the kidnap of Latin
American children "flown across the border in light aircraft, and sold
to child sex rings, or sold so their organs could be used in transplants."
Some of the pilots, Thomas discovered, "made two or three flights a day.
The more experienced used Beech 18s because of the aircraft's capacity and
maneuverability. The majority of the fliers were mercenaries who had flown
for the CIA." Ray Buckey's father, Charles, worked for Hughes Aircraft.
There is an old adage that holds "Hughes is the CIA." Charles
Buckey built the McMartin Preschool. According to carbon dating
readings, the tunnels unearthed beneath the preschool were dug in 1968
the year the school was built. Buckey Sr. testified on the stand that there
were no tunnels. The media has been completely silent on this score,
which brings us to...
The Tunnel Cover-Up
El Paso reporter Debbie Nathan, utterly convinced
of the defendants' innocence, entered the fray in The Village Voice, and has
appeared in newspapers across the country, including The L.A. Weekly, Sacramento
Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She has been honored with the
Free Press Association's H. L. Mencken Award, and Northwestern University's
Medill School of Journalism prize. She is a leading proponent of the "mass
hysteria" thesis, the notion that many child abuse allegations are "unfounded."
Her cavalier dismissal is not supported by objective research. Dr. David Chadwick
of San Diego's childrens' Hospital, in the Journal of the American Medical
Association (May 26, 1989), contends that 8 percent of all abuse allegations
are unfounded, at most, and are "rather easily distinguishable in a careful
review." At times it is difficult to tell whether Nathan is a "skeptic"
or an apologist of sexual abuse. "Most pedophilia," she contends,
"consists of caressing and fondling. for most children, these experiences
appear to be at best confusing, at worst traumatic. But others seem to willingly
participate, and some adults recall that while still legally minors they accepted,
even welcomed, sex with grown-ups." Nathan doesn't condemn the abuser.
After all, "compared to the abuses of a child protection movement gone
mad, could incest be any worse?" Alex Cockburn is a Nathan supporter,
and has on occasion gotten caught up in her pro-pedophilic obfuscations, as
in this diatribe from The Nation for March 8, 1993:
As a Miami-based anthropologist, Rafael Martinez, consultant
to the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, told Nathan, in traditional
Latin American cultures "kissing and hugging is common with children
up to three or four years old. It is common for females to kiss children
all over the place including on the genitals.
The practice of kissing children on the genitals may be traditional
in some cultures, but it is frowned upon by the Manhattan Beach preschool
licensing board. Alex Cockburn's skepticism toward ritual abuse was summed
up in an editorial appearing in the February 8, 1990 Wall Street Journal,
"The McMartin Case: Indict the Children, Jail the Parents."
The son of a British spy, and a loquacious defender of the Warren Commission,
Cockburn has such strong feelings about the McMartin case that he once publicly
maligned an editor of the L.A. Weekly for refusing to print a recommendation
that "the tots bearing false witness in the McMartin preschool case be
jailed for perjury." His primary source on the subject of child abuse,
Debbie Nathan, is herself something of a false witness. In 'What McMartin
Started: The Ritual Abuse Hoax" (Village Voice, June 12, 1990),
Ms. Nathan moaned that "children at McMartin told of being molested in
tunnels under the school. None were ever found, but until recently parents
were still digging."
In fact, 30 days before Nathan's article appeared, the tunnels
were discovered beneath the preschool by scientists hired by the parents,
confirming the testimony of the children. The project employed a team of archeologists
from local universities, two geologists, a professional excavator, a carbon-dating
specialist and a professional photographer to document the dig's progress
and findings. The longest tunnel was six feet beneath the preschool, running
eastward 45 feet from the southwest wall, and ten feet along the north wall.
The tunnel walls were held in place by support beams and a roof of plywood
and tarpaper. A branch of the tunnel led to a nine-foot chamber (the "secret
room" described by the children?). Another extended from the preschool
to the triplex next door, surfacing beneath a roll-away bathtub/ Forensic
tests on thousands of objects found at the site including two hundred
animal bones were conducted.
Until the tunnels were found, the L.A. Times covered the dig with a
smirk. The parents and scientists involved were portrayed as crack-pots -
until the existence of the tunnels were substantiated by experts,
at which time the newspaper abruptly stopped reporting the story.
The public was left with the false impression that the search had failed.
Critics of the excavation pointed out that District Attorney Ira Reiner had
already searched for tunnels. At best, this is a half-truth. Reiner's team
tore up a bit of floor tile, but did not even bother to remove the glue that
held it in place. The D.A.'s team, as it happens, dug up the lot next to the
preschool, not underneath. "Actually," McMartin mother Jackie MacGauley,
who supervised the excavation, notes, "we were the first to dig on the
property." The search for the tunnels was undertaken with ground-penetrating
radar to probe for inconsistencies in the soil. A bell-shaped area of disturbed
earth was discovered along the foundation of the west wall.
The tunnels beneath the opposite wall was unearthed (precisely
where the children said it would be found all along) beneath the foundation.
A [passage had been knocked through the concrete. "It was interesting,"
MacGauley told L.A.'s Pacifica Radio, "because a lot of the child development
specialists, psychiatrists and therapists across the country thought that
it was some psychological phenomenon that the kids would talk about tunnels.
Somehow that idea got 'planted,' and they had all these theories as to why
all the kids would talk about something like this. It obviously couldn't be
true. And the district attorney at the time just flatly did not believe it,
and really didn't want to look."
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