The penultimate book by ‘best-selling’ essayist Malcolm Gladwell, Talk With strangers (2019), addresses the importance of learning to read the intentions of strangers: how is it that Adolf Hitler so astonishingly fooled Arthur Neville Chamberlain, or how the CIA could relentlessly promote the most famous Cuban spy of the last decades, Ana Belén Montes? The work has 16 chapters and one of them deals with the scandal of Larry Nassar, the physician for the United States Gymnastics Federation. As Gladwell recounted from numerous testimonies, girls were often abused within meters of their parents – who were sometimes in the same office or in the adjacent waiting room. But they didn’t notice anything, even when would perceive a strange environment; such was his reverence for the prestigious doctor, an expert in Osteopathy Manual Manipulativa.
Two years after the publication of the book and three since Nassar was sentenced to life imprisonment, the United States Department of Justice has concluded that the FBI abandoned the young athletes and he hid the complaints for more than a year, while the young women continued to suffer the torture. This Wednesday (by Zoom due to the hangover from the pandemic), Simone Biles and three other American gymnasts will appear before the Senate to relate his experience to MPs who are assessing the FBI’s unusual negligence. Two months have passed since Biles and her colleagues found out, with novel details and outrageous details of how some officials they lied and hid evidence about Nassar and his serial sexual assault. What’s more, they learned how the then president of the Gymnastics Federation, Steve Penny, exchanged favors at least with the local FBI agent Jay Abbott to try to land on the matter.
Despite “nature extraordinarily serious Despite the allegations and the possibility that Nassar’s conduct could continue, FBI agents in Indianapolis responded to the allegations against Nassar with due seriousness and urgency, committing numerous and fundamental mistakes when they responded to them and they raped multiple practices of the FBI ”, concluded the report of the inspector general Michael Horowitz, from the United States Department of Justice. Nails 70 Women were abused by the doctor from the FBI’s first suspicions (July 2015) until their arrest (November 2016).
“I just signed your death warrant”
Despite the life sentence handed down against Nassar (“I just signed your death warrant. You have done nothing so that you deserve to be free anymore ”, affirmed the judge on the day of sentencing), the case is still very much alive in American society and in the women’s gymnastics team itself. Olympic champion Biles, icon from world sport, he retired during the past Tokyo Games of some tests for a anxiety related to those events and the reunion with the Olympic world after being openly critical of the way the gymnastics federation (USA Gymnastics) and the Olympic committee of the United States handled the denunciations of the abuses against Nassar. (It is one of the 140 gymnasts who have filed a complaint against both entities).
The influence and the efforts of Biles (along with several colleagues and former gymnasts) to end the sexual abuse of the Rancho Karolyi was decisive in reversing the abominable attitude of the Olympic organizations and later the FBI, lthe federal research and intelligence agency, after turning a blind eye for more than a year. (In a recent interview with the magazine Vogue, Biles stated that he was “destroyed” by the delay of the Tokyo Games in 2020 in anticipation of having to live another year with federative members: “I cried and thought that I could not bear to be another year”said the champion).
Rachael DenhollanderA lawyer and former gymnast, she was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar; his police report, made in August 2016, was the fuze that finally unblocked the authorities’ investigation. “The Olympic Games are not a happy date”He told the media in his country this summer. “It is a gigantic trigger”.
Biles and his three companions (McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman y Maggie Nichols) will have the opportunity to ratify some of their public statements in the Senate. “It is difficult to come with the organization that failed us so many times,” said Biles during the 2019 United States National Championship: “We did everything they asked us to do, even when we didn’t want to. And they didn’t do their damn job. His only job, literally his only job, was to protect us; and they didn’t. ”
Nassar, who for years abused at least 330 young people For decades, he received a 40-year prison sentence, added to the other 60 he was already serving in prison for crimes of child pornography. In addition to the four gymnasts, the director of the FBI will declare, Christopher Wray, and Michael Horowitz, the rapporteur of the report that has led to this investigation: why did the FBI Office in Indianapolis react so unjustifiably to the first accusations (consenting the continuation of crimes)?
The case is so serious that it is capable of link to the two parties of a political system absolutely polarized: After Horowitz’s report was released, it has been a mixed group of senators from the Republican Party and from Democratic Party the one that created the committee to purge responsibilities in an agency that has once again been questioned.