Just the latest in a series of scandals, an Inspector General’s Report accuses the State Department of having quashed several attempts to investigate sexual misconduct by overseas officials, including an ambassador. Some of that misconduct is said to have involved sex with prostitutes, some of them minors, which would make the activity criminal, as well as despicable.
A genuine investigation is now, we are told, underway. Evidence of criminality is to be referred to the Justice Department. That will make a refreshing change from empty posturing, and a ceremonial slap on the wrist.
It is easy to become cynical in the face of such scandals. That power corrupts hardly comes as a surprise.
A few observations, however:
- Assuming that grounds exist for these allegations, it took courage for the whistleblower(s) to come forward.
- The children who were violated are no mere fiction. Their youth and potential are daily being squandered.
- The women who sold their bodies to powerful men, for lack of anything else to offer, are more than the smutty jokes made at their expense. They are human beings living out a tragedy.
It is dangerous to become jaded. As we become hardened, less and less can shock us. We begin to pride ourselves in that fact. Gradually, we lose the feeling in our hearts, in the same way diabetics lose the feeling in their extremities. Both processes are deadly.
At very least, we should demand accountability, both from those involved in such misconduct and those who tolerate it.
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