“De Oppresso Liber”
(To Liberate the Oppressed)
~~Motto of the U.S. Army Special Forces.
A poignant Afghan proverb declares, “Cowards cause harm to brave men.”
This ancient Pashtun adage reflects the shocking true life story of U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Charles Martland.
Five years ago, Sgt. Martland saved the life of an Afghan boy who was abducted from his mother, imprisoned as a sex slave, and repeatedly raped by an Afghan police chief, Abdul Rahman. Martland’s heroic actions to rescue a defenseless child cost him dearly. The Army punished not Rahman, but Martland, and relieved him from his duty post in Afghanistan, and is now seeking to involuntarily discharge him from military service.
What was the dreadful and dischargeable infraction by the highly decorated Green Beret Charles Martland?
In 2011, Martland and his Special Forces Captain Dan Quinn (who has since resigned from the military) physically assaulted Abdul Rahman, after learning that Rahman had abducted an Afghan boy, chained him to a bed, repeatedly abused him as a sex slave and beat up the boy’s mother when she sought to find and rescue her son. The Green Berets intervened when they discovered that the boy was being raped and held by Rahman. According to the Martland and Quinn, the Afghan villagers were pleading with them to do something about repeated sexual assaults against children by the Afghan police.
Here is the dirty, not so little secret of Afghanistan: The sexual abuse of children is widespread and embedded into the Afghan Pashtun culture. There is scant prosecution of child sex exploitation in Afghanistan. American military have long been saddled with the knowledge of the Afghan practice of “bacha bazi,” translated as dancing boys. Bacha Bazi is the ancient and widespread practice of Afghan men who abduct and lure poor boys into the grisly world of child sex slavery where they are raped and exploited by Afghan men. Frontline exposed this lurid child sex trafficking trade.
U.S. military stationed in Afghanistan experience the hideous reality that children are expendable in the worthless Afghan criminal justice system. Cultural mores trump human rights among the tribesman of Afghanistan. Incredibly, our military is warned to turn a blind eye to this insidious abuse of children. See no evil.
This wasn’t the first time that Martland and Quinn experienced inaction from the Afghan government for serious child sexual exploitation crimes committed by the Afghan police force. Martland and Quinn knew that two Afghan commanders were not prosecuted nor punished for the rape of a 15-year-old girl and the honor killing of an Afghan commander’s 12 year old daughter who kissed a boy.
Martland, who was disgusted and fed up with the ongoing sexual exploitation of children by Afghan officials said, “I felt that morally we could no longer stand by and allow our Afghan commanders to commit these atrocities.”
Since when is a highly decorated Green Beret who confronts a violent child sex predator and trafficker and woman beater, punished and involuntarily discharge from the military? Is this the new politically correct ethic dominating deployments in foreign lands.