Cruising the streets of Moscow in his car, Lavrentiy Beria would occasionally direct his driver to stop so he could abduct a girl. As the head of Soviet Russia’s secret police, the NKVD, Beria savored his power to kidnap countless victims who he would rape in a specially constructed soundproof room. In 2011, workers excavating a common grave holding some of his victims found children’s skulls among the remains. But Beria returned most of his rape victims with a bouquet of roses as a gesture of sneering irony. Families, just grateful to have their children returned alive, would refrain from complaining to avoid even worse reprisals.
Just as we shudder at the thought of a secret police preying upon children, most Americans rest comfortable in the faith that our own FBI would never commit such heinous acts against children. And if a bad apple within the FBI were to do so, we desperately want to believe that the agency would root out and expel the criminal with a public denunciation as a message to others tempted to abuse their power.
Yet, for five years, FBI Agent David Harris committed a rampage of sexual crimes against a string of victims, some of whom were young children.
On June 24, the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations Special Victims Unit finally put a stop to his terrifying spree when it arrested him. Joining the arrest, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General published a terse report admitting to the shocking facts. God bless the Louisiana state police who refused to be intimidated by the imprimatur of the FBI. Otherwise, Harris might still be marauding through vulnerable children.
These were not just teenage victims. Louisiana charged this FBI agent with “aggravated crimes against nature and indecent behavior with children under the age of 13.” What must it have been like for parents to learn that an FBI agent sexually violated their child? Did Harris’ FBI badge intimidate victims into silence?
The Justice Department, which failed to safeguard that notorious exploiter of children, Jeffery Epstein, also buried this news release about Harris on a Thursday afternoon. Few if any of the FBI-allied mainstream media reported on the shocking story. Similarly, I found no evidence that FBI Director Christopher Wray said anything to reassure victims and the public. It would have been nice if the director had used the occasion to state that the FBI does not tolerate sexual predators of children within its ranks. Wray’s silence sends exactly the wrong message as it may embolden other rogue agents to abuse their power.
Did the FBI fail to detect the serial sexual criminal among its ranks because it was incompetent? Or worse, does the FBI’s practice of silence and protection of its fellow agents extend even to the most heinous sexual crimes? Wray couldn’t be bothered to offer grieving families an explanation.
Wray, like Beria, knows that his survival and power are enhanced by pursuing the political enemies of his boss. Wray has eagerly embraced the ginned-up panic over phantom “white supremacists,” who supposedly pose the greatest threat to America. What is a white supremacist? Ask anyone falsely accused of racism: it’s defined by the accuser to fit their cynical political ends. Was Harris a “white supremacist?” Apparently not. So he remained free to brutalize children for five years.
This scandal appears to have been lost in the wake of the recent revelations regarding former USA Gymnastics physician Lawrence Gerard Nassar. On July 14, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General released another report exposing the FBI’s inaction in response to firsthand complaints of horrifying sexual abuse of children. That report reveals the FBI protected Nassar by burying complaints about him dating back to 2015. In addition, the investigating agents fabricated victims’ accounts to protect the predator doctor.
We also learned early last year that the FBI sat on evidence of Jeffery Epstein’s child prostitution operation, allowing it to continue for years. Many rightly wonder what powerful clients Epstein would have named had he not died in Justice Department custody.
For those who do not benefit from the FBI’s selective use of its power, the consistent tolerance of child predators (even within its own ranks) calls into question the legitimacy of the organization as a law enforcement agency. Nobody elected Christopher Wray to his powerful office. So instead of serving the interests of justice, the FBI continues to use its power to protect predators inside the velvet rope of the upper-tier of the two-tier justice system. And it seems there’s nothing we can do. Wray breezily continued as FBI director through the 2020 election, after helping to cover up multiple scandals.
Like the Soviet families of Beria’s victims, we just have to swallow our outrage.