J’Accuse…! (Missing CHILDREN!)

Ya know, I’ve been ‘sharing’ a lot of Facebook posts on missing dogs and cats.  But every day when I go to the Montpelier Post Office, I look at the posters of Missing Children (under 18).  I’ve made a habit of this for the last year or so.  Kids from all over the country.  Hardly ever any from here in Vermont, but they change the posters quite a bit in a week’s time, I’ve noticed.  More kids are added-on almost every three or four days.  The posters taken down to accommodate these new ones?  Well, I figure, since I’ve been looking at them, the Montpelier Post Office would have to add-on a very large wing to keep all those missing children’s posters up.  A VERY LARGE Wing.

This is a tragedy in our nation that seems to get little attention.  As I have read about it, missing children account for about 750,000 of the more than 800,000 missing Americans each year.  Many of these missing kids are repeat runaways, or kids who have been sort of kidnapped by a divorced parent, and are quickly found.  But all those only bring the figure down to about, if not more than, 400,000 missing kids in the U.S. every year.  Where are they?

Some, many I hope, are leading some kind of new life under a new identity in a new town or city.  Some of these with the help of people who care.  Others may be into prostitution as a way of surviving in their new environment.  No doubt many of these are controlled by pimps who get them into drugs.  And some are already dead.

But what about the booming Big Business of Sex & Human Trafficking?  How many of these missing American kids are now in some foreign country (Saudi Arabia?  Japan?  Britain?  China?  Wherever?) being used as products in the sex slavery trade?  As I said, it has become a very Big Business.  And what happens to them after X amount of years?

I think we Americans need to wake up to this Human Holocaust of disappearing children and Human/Sex/Child Trafficking.  If 400,000 Black people or Gay people or whatever people disappeared in this country every year, I expect we’d have long ago demanded and got some action.

Why the SILENCE about this?  Yes, there are government agencies and private sector and non-profit agencies working on finding these kids, and compiling data about kidnapping and trafficking.  But how come we never hear about their work or results?  I’m sure there have been many successes and many tales to tell.  Also many blind alleys.  What is wrong here?  Is it that our Establishment Media simply just doesn’t care about this issue/story?  As an old-fashioned ex-print journalist, I would put on my old cynical reporter hat again and say:  “Helleva story here.  Bigger than drugs!”  

Is so much money changing hands between so many Americans and foreigners that the network of corruption is so vast and complicated that law enforcement and government agencies can do little to control it?  Or identify the players?  And are there many players involved who don’t even realize what they’re playing at?  What their place in this network is?  That, to me, would mean that many government folks are in on it too.  For the $$$.  It is reasonable of me to raise these questions.  Moreover, as an ex-establishment journalist, it is my duty to raise these questions.  It should be the duty of all American media to raise these questions.  When Big Money drugs are involved, there is always the payoff to the corrupt cop or city official.  We’ve all read our share of crime mysteries over the years to know this is a given.  Right here in Vermont, read Archer Mayor.  And so it must be with Big Money Human Trafficking.

So, I propose we here in Vermont take a serious look at what might be.  We have been reading and hearing about the growing Heroin pipeline through Vermont.  From Florida, up the East Coast, through Jersey and NYC, Providence, R.I., Mass, up through Vermont to Montreal.  And back again.  Now, it seems to me that if the Heroin Traffickers have this Underground Railway, certainly the Human/Sex/Child Traffickers do.  And maybe some of them are doing both at the same time.  And maybe some of them are getting a lot of help along the way, from some fine upstanding citizens and pillars of their communities.  Vermont is along the way.  Isn’t it?  Why is it so quiet out there?  Hmmm…

I have as much as accused our Attorney General, Bill Sorrell, of falling down on the job of fighting the growing Heroin epidemic.  Now I will add to that by saying outright that I believe Vermont is part of the Human/Sex/Child Trafficking Pipeline, and Sorrell is falling down dead on his ass on that too.  Yes, in our little La-La Land of Vermont.  Something ugly.  Something that smells.  Another dirty little Vermont secret.  As an ex-print reporter, I’d bet money that there’s a big story here.  Is Sorrell just incompetent?  Or is the story bigger?  A more involved story than what appears to be the case?

It is worth looking into?  But I have little hope our AG will come forward and fill us all in.  Or that the Vermont Democratic Party will want to go near this one.  I would expect the silence to become deafening.  But silence speaks volumes sometimes.  

Therefore, as Zola once put it: J’Accuse…!   I accuse Bill Sorrell, the entire Vermont Attorney General’s office and those in State government who could be able to act on this big money crime that THEY ARE NOT </b>ACTING ON IT AND THAT THEIR INACTION IS DELIBERATE!  Something needs to be done.  This is an election year.  Good time for it.

Now, go to your Post Offices and look at those posters.  These are our CHILDREN.  And evil people have turned them into PRODUCTS.  If American activists took a fraction of the energy they put into Peace and ‘labeling’ GMOs and put that energy into demanding that our missing children become a national priority issue, well, I think there would be folks in government, both State and Federal, who would have to pay attention.  It would DEMAND their attention.  Otherwise, they would look culpable.  Yes, culpable, Mr. Sorrell.

Think about it.  These are our CHILDREN.  CHILDREN!  Look at those faces on those posters.  Do they look familiar?  Of course they do.  We see them every day.  Walking down the streets, coming home from school, laughing, goofing around.  Alive and happy.  They expect things of us.  We teach them, and they teach us.  We are not too old to learn, I hope.  Maybe just too lazy, but we can learn.  

It’s work, these children.  But it is the very best job in the world.

Peter Buknatski

Montpelier, Vt.

3 thoughts on “J’Accuse…! (Missing CHILDREN!)

  1. I much appreciate your post.  Seeing a wall of young faces is hard to respond to in a tangible way.  Of course this is everyone’s job and not just the DA’s.  But criminal abductions of children need a spotlight put on them by our legal authorities:  what could the DA’s office do that is not being done, specifically?  Hotline numbers for kids to contact should be ubiquitous, with teams ready to respond.  

    It’s an old saw, but having a parent home with the kids – a parent that qualifies other than by simple biology or circumstance – is the best way to prevent these scenarios.  That’s not possible for all, but being present for our children as much as possible and (it sounds trite) eating meals with them daily and having conversations where we actively listen(!) to them goes a long way to making a difference in their lives and putting kids out of harm’s way.  MODELLING an ethical, prudent and positive life/lifestyle is perhaps the most important thing to do to keep them safe and it does not require time or money.  I am appalled by some parenting I see and can probably predict who will get exploited and who will ruin their lives with substances before they reach the age of majority. I’ve heard that having one solid, mature adult in their lives can help a child succeed amidst chaos…we might be that person who believes in them.

    Quality, affordable preschool and public school staff can help kids without functioning parents, to some extent, and these are woefully undersupported.  That’s one of very few things I credit Shumlin with focusing on.

    Our globalized world has become unmanageable in many ways, and certainly our priorities get bolixed up because we are human beings living in a world driven by profit and power and arrogance and frenzy. We need to drop out of that world and create a new one. Look around, put your shoulder to the load and find a way to make a difference.  Thanks for keeping these kids in focus, Petey.

  2. …the parenting problem, Katrinka.  One of the sites I looked up for stats on this said something to the effect that the yearly numbers on Missing Children/Missing Persons in the U.S. had multiplied 40 times since the 70s.  I should have put in my post that ‘latch-key’ kids are more likely targets, or kids who have more ‘hangin’ out’ time because their parents don’t care what their doing, or their parents are working two jobs.  And teenagers who have to do babysitting or get part-time jobs to fund themselves and help with household expenses.

    Those 2 things–The parenting since the 70s, and the economic crunch on parents (and children) have probably accounted for most of the increases in missing children over the decades.  And the ‘predators’ have discovered their own economics–the riches of human beings walking around out there just waiting to be ‘harvested’.  Sick, but TRUE.

    So, we need to look also at what has made our children more vulnerable in this age of GREED and BAIL-OUTS.  I think working families need a Bail-Out.  I think the goddamn Federal Government ought to declare War On Human Trafficking and also provide funds for working parents and children that would come under a law written into a new CHILD PROTECTION ACT.

    This issue has been something nagging at me for years.  I have, as many others have, talked a lot about our kids having a ‘bleak future’ in these ADVENTURES IN CAPITALISM times.  Could it be that I have missed the point that children have now become as endangered as the elderly and sick who have DEATH WITH DIGNITY hovering over them?  Shit, we have organ harvesting.  We bomb children in Afghanistan.  Kids just ain’t getting a fair break anymore.  Neither are their parents.  I think that RIGHT TO LIFERS have to campaign more for aid to working mothers and working parents in the name of ‘protecting’ all the ‘unborn’ fetuses they focus on.  We should all focus on this.

    Michelle Obama could do a lot if she got on a Missing Kids campaign.  Look at all the stir she made about obese people?

    God.  I could go on and on.  It’s a BIG ISSUE, and there’s all kinds of causes and effects.  Maybe that’s why I’ve avoided looking at it for so long.  Time to wake up!

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