I crossed a BBC article this morning that I had to mull over in my mind. I didn’t want to ignore it and to blatantly answer on the spot seemed wrong. The title ‘FBI failed to investigate USA Gymnastics abuser, watchdog finds’ is pretty damning to read. And it does not stop when we see “Numerous missteps and cover-ups by FBI agents allowed his abuse to continue for months after the case was first opened, the report found”. I particularly noticed “numerous missteps and cover-ups”, a setting we always face in every walk of life, but to see it in the FBI corner is a little weird. There is also “the Department of Justice Inspector General found that despite the seriousness of the allegations against Nassar, the FBI field office in Indianapolis dragged its feet in responding”. Here we see ‘dragged its feet’ and I wonder what else the 119 page report had to offer. The report gives us from the start an account from Stephen D. Penny “During the meeting, among other things, Penny described graphic information that three gymnasts (Gymnasts 1, 2, and 3), all of whom were minors at the time of the alleged sexual assaults, had provided to USA Gymnastics. Penny further informed the FBI that the three athletes were available to be interviewed”, so we have 3 accounts, from minors this was in July 2015. Then on the next page we get “The MSU Police Department Learns of Nassar’s Alleged Abuse and Executes a Search Warrant on Nassar’s Residence in September 2016”, so there is a level of inaction for 14 months. Perhaps inaction is the wrong word, the endangerment of minors was unanswered for that amount of time. We also get “FBI’s Lansing Resident Agency first learned of the Nassar allegations and opened its Nassar investigation on October 5, 2016 (neither the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office nor the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office had previously informed the Lansing Resident Agency of the Nassar allegations)”, as we see there is now a stage of seeming inactivity for almost 15 months. There we get the larger issue “The Lansing Resident Agency ultimately discovered over 30,000 images of child pornography on the devices seized by the MSUPD during its search of Nassar’s residence”, so we get two issues, not only was there a larger stage of inactivity, the criminal in question had 15 month to do away with ‘30,000 images of child pornography’, we can only be thankful for the arrogance of some criminals. Even as I am on the fence mainly as the mention of the word ‘child pornography’ 30 times, yet on page 55 we also see “The audit indicated that, on May 5, 2016, the week prior to the call from the Los Angeles Field Office, the Indianapolis SSA accessed eight FD-71s in an electronic file which we determined, by the case number, to be an FBI Indianapolis “zero classification file” for child pornography cases that are no longer being investigated. None of those files concerned the Nassar matter”, there are a number of issues with that statement, but I am also willing to admit that there is a larger stage here and the lack of details do not make Nassar guilty, yet the lack of details and the the added “The Indianapolis SSA told the Los Angeles SSA that he had created a formal FBI complaint form (FD-71) in 2015 to transfer the Nassar allegations from the Indianapolis office to the Lansing Resident Agency; however, the Los Angeles Field Office, the Indianapolis SSA, and other FBI employees stated that they searched for the FD-71 in the FBI’s computer system but could not find it. The OIG also found no evidence that such a document had been sent to the Lansing Resident Agency in 2015” at the top of the file gives us a few more items.
Consider the gravity, now consider “The OIG also found no evidence that such a document had been sent to the Lansing Resident Agency in 2015”, an issue with serious criminal gravity and there is a lack of follow up, which gives me the feeling that this was more than ‘dragging their feet’, this was in my humble opinion an event to shovel something this serious under the carpet. When we add the events around Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, there is a larger stage that nearly every walk of law enforcement seems icky about, and the fact that most of them have kids comes across as massively weird to me.
This is seen on page 16 where we see “Under federal law, law enforcement personnel who, “while engaged in a professional capacity…on Federal land or in a federally operated (or contracted) facility,” learn of “facts that give reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse,” including sexual abuse or exploitation, “shall as soon as possible make a report of the suspected abuse” to the appropriate law enforcement agency” this gives us a few issues and there we see where the failure takes a much larger turn, are certain abusers protected? Yes, it is highly speculative, but after Epstein, is that such a stretch? The timeline shows that this started on July 28th 2015, he was in the end arrested on November 21st 2016, so he was left ‘unattended’ to for well over a year. In addition, children were left in danger as he was released on a bond. It took a Wall Street Journal reporter who send an alarm light on January 17th 2017. The timeline also gives us that on February 8th 2018 we get “including its claim that the Indianapolis Field Office provided its findings to the Detroit Field Office”, so was this falsifying records? It is a leap, but not quite the leap we think it is. Yet the most damning part is seen on page 26, a part the BBC does not really give us (no blame to the BBC). It is “Both the Indianapolis ASAC and the Indianapolis SSA told the OIG that Penny was instructed twice during the July 28, 2015 meeting to report the Nassar allegations to local law enforcement where the violations were committed, as no apparent violations occurred in Indiana.” Some might say that this was passing the buck, but the frame of accusations is a lot larger, the direct flaw of this is what I would call ‘Clarification, Verification and Follow up’. In a stage where the lives of children are reported to be in danger (or any serious crime for that matter), do you really think that a phone call or a direct email is too much? When IT systems fail again and again, relying on one part is jut too dangerous and that flaw is found in nearly all governmental systems, not merely the ones in the USA. And the ‘excuse’ that we see with “Penny was instructed twice during the July 28, 2015” which is in this document, all whilst the surrounding events. This report (at https://oig.justice.gov/sites/default/files/reports/21-093.pdf) shows a larger failing, and the issue is not pounding the FBI, although there is some entertainment found in having a go at Christopher Asher Wray merely for the need to boost ones ego. Yet the larger stage of that document is that this event is as it is documented a much larger treasure trove for governments to see, check and verify how their own systems are holding up to scrutiny. Yes, we know that plenty of nations have their own systems, but is this document used as a template to see if there are flaws in their own system? I wonder.
Listen,. We can all have our Monday morning Quarterback moments, my larger issue is wondering how the US and other nations evolve their systems to prevent this from happening (again). I have always lived by the setting that ‘the person who claims to make no mistakes’ has either never worked or is lying. It is important to repair end evolve any system, any protocol and any procedure. It is essential for any evolving forward motion.