For years I’ve criticized the mass hysteria over child porn and child sex abuse, but I now realize I was wrong. Hysteria can actually be a good thing. If prudes are calm and rational they can be very persuasive, even when their words are superficial and dishonest, and their behavior is cruel and inhuman. But when such people behave hysterically, they appear downright stupid. Hysterical crusaders for a cause can be so pathetic that they almost make us feel sorry for them.
Some criminals are incredibly incompetent in getting themselves caught, but in this case state employees actually videoed themselves torturing minors to solicit accusations of sex abuse, as if “confessions” under torture are credible. Or maybe the interrogators thought nobody would notice that what they did is degrading and inhuman treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Actually the hysterics did try to hide some of the videos, and about 30 minutes of several videos are still “missing.” But the attempt to cover their tracks is transparently ridiculous. For example, the video of one interrogation was interrupted after 17 minutes, and then resumed 11 minutes later. The psychologist claimed the interruption was necessary to change the battery in the video recorder. In other words, the “professional” began the interrogation of three children, which could last three hours or more, with a battery sufficient for only 17 minutes, and then it took 11 minutes to change the battery! I am not a professional, but I can change a battery in 30 seconds.
All together there are about 10 interruptions in the videos. In cases where no accusations were made the videos were cut at the end while the child was still talking, which indicates an attempt to hide the last desperate attempts to coerce the children. In other cases the videos were cut before the accusations, at the same point near the beginning of the interrogation. Before the interruptions the conversation is about home, school, etc. Then after the interruptions all of a sudden the conversation has changed and the accusations are made. Worse, some of the interruptions are noted by the police officer who was present, but other interruptions are not, which indicates those videos were cut AFTER the interrogations were over. An awful lot of threats can be made in 11 minutes.
Aside from invalidating the evidence now, false accusations obtained under torture will eventually be recanted when the minors grow up and are no longer under threat of being taken away from their parents. Psychologists, social workers and their accomplices who torture children to solicit accusations of abuse might profit in the short term, but how many judges will put their own careers on the line to cover up the torture of children in order to protect the torturers? Sooner or later the hysterics and their accomplices will have to answer for the suffering they caused to innocent children, parents and others, possibly with multiple civil suits against the state for compensation.
Photo by Frank Adamo: Nussberger, Angelika. The European Court of Human Rights. Oxford University Press, 2020.