Too good to check: Disgraced ex-chief of Penn State now working on … national security

posted at 10:41 am on July 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this a mystery solved.  What kind of work can a man do after having helped keep quiet the child molestations being perpetrated by an underling?  Why, beefing up national security, of course:

Graham Spanier might have been ousted from his post at the helm of Penn State over the sex-abuse scandal that engulfed the university, but it seems he’s found a backup employer: the American taxpayer. …

His lawyer confirms to the Loop that Spanier is working on a part-time consulting basis for a “top-secret” agency on national security issues. But the gig is so hush-hush, he couldn’t even tell his attorneys the name of the agency. In April — months after his ouster as president but before the release of the internal report — he told the Patriot-News of central Pennsylvania that he was working on a “special project for the U.S. government relating [to] national security.”

But who’s he working for? The CIA? Homeland Security? Or maybe just a dull consulting firm with a government contract?

“I have no idea,”says his lawyer, Peter Vaira. “We know the work is in security and he’s prohibited from disclosing which agency or agencies he’s working for.”

National security, huh?  Well, we know he can keep a secret … sort of.  Spanier complained during the probe into Penn State’s actions that investigators had ignored the fact that his clearance had been “reaffirmed” by the government after Jerry Sandusky’s actions came to light. Normally, one doesn’t publicly discuss their federal clearances, in part to keep from attracting attention from people who want to penetrate national security.

So, we’re paying for Spanier’s fallback career, which should make us feel warm and fuzzy indeed — kind of like a stuffed Nittany Lion.

While we’re on the subject, Paul Mirengoff wrote earlier this week that the Freeh report was not nearly as conclusive on Joe Paterno as its executive summary claimed.  Last night, Paul responded to criticisms of his take:

Paterno did not “conceal” Sandusky’s activities from the Board in 1998 when allegations of misconduct came to his attention. These allegations were investigated by several people or entities, and Sandusky was cleared. Thus, there was nothing for Paterno to report to the Board or to anyone else. And Freeh’s complaint that Paterno “allowed” Sandusky to retire in 1999 as a valued member of the Penn State football legacy, instead of a suspected child molester, makes no sense for the reasons set forth by my friend.

2001 is different. When the graduate assistant brought his allegations to Paterno’s attention, Paterno reported the matter to Schultz and Curley, as he should have. But Paterno should also have kept himself apprised of the situation after handing the matter over to these two. If he didn’t, then he didn’t do enough; this, I assume, is what Paterno had in mind when he said he wished he had done more. If Paterno did, then he may have been part of a cover-up. But, for the reasons stated by my friend, I don’t think the evidence cited by Freeh shows this.

Paterno’s apparent failure to circle back with Schultz and Curley doesn’t constitute concealing misconduct from the Board. When a person reports misconduct to the next levels on the chain of command, he doesn’t conceal that misconduct from the body at the top of that chain.

Moreover, Freeh cites no meaningful evidence to support his conclusion that Paterno didn’t tell the Board and others because he wanted to avoid the consequences of bad publicity. This is pure speculation on Freeh’s part, and speculation that ignores the most obvious reason why Paterno did not report misconduct to the Board and others — the fact that Paterno had reported it to the next levels of the chain of command.

Freeh’s report, then, is irresponsible as it relates to Paterno. The “findings” at the beginning of the report are not supported by the evidence that follows.

The 2001 incident was different, and I disagree a little with Paul.  It’s one thing to report wrongdoing of other types to one’s superiors and assume they’re handling it.  When the wrongdoing involves molestation, it’s also different.  Having been warned of the problem, allowing Sandusky to continue to have access to the locker room and young boys for recruitment is not just an occasion to say that Paterno should have circled back again to check on the status of Sandusky.  It should have been an opportunity to demand action and take a principled stand to protect potential victims from abuse.  However, Paul is an experienced attorney with a sharp eye, and both posts are well worth reading.


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I swear, no one gets punished in this country except for the ones who are not politically connected…

right2bright on July 27, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Strangely I’m not surprised.

Conservative4Ever on July 27, 2012 at 10:47 AM

I’d like to know what his expertise in national security matters is. To go from university president to national security consultant isn’t your normal career track.

Bitter Clinger on July 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Nothing is that secret that we can’t know who Spanier is working for…

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and he needs a 55 gallon drum poured on him… constantly…

If he IS working for the government, time for the split screen ad of Spanier and Obama… NOW…

Khun Joe on July 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

So, we’re paying for Spanier’s fallback career, which should make us feel warm and fuzzy indeed — kind of like a stuffed Nittany Lion.

If the “top secret” stuff is true. People who discuss their super-duper secret jobs are fabricating. I have a friend who’s “under surveillance” by US and international forces because of his unique gifts.

obladioblada on July 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM

….I’m sure Spainer…Corzine…and Obama are all golfing buddies.

Baxter Greene on July 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Only. Man. For. The. Job.

You know, kinda like TurboTax Timmy.

thirtyandseven on July 27, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The keeper of horrific secrets is now keeping secrets on our dime? Absolutely unbelievable. Tell me I’m not living in the twilight zone.

GrannySunni on July 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Don’t worry, if he’s working on something that’ll make Barky look good, it’ll get leaked.

Trafalgar on July 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Too good to check: Disgraced ex-chief of Penn State now working on … national security

….Oh GREAT!…bet you he’s a Democrat!

KOOLAID2 on July 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM

…the DOJ is working fine!…

KOOLAID2 on July 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Any coach that’s arrogant enough to still be on the sidelines at 80 years old, is trouble waiting to happen.

faraway on July 27, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Well, he can keep a secret.

Bevan on July 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

“We know the work is in security and he’s prohibited from disclosing which agency or agencies he’s working for.”

 
He’s been taken out of context.

rogerb on July 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Go look up his area of expertise and publications, then tell me what that has to do with national security.

a capella on July 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

It’s sort of like this hire by Barack Obama a few years ago.

katablog.com on July 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

So, we’re paying for Spanier’s fallback career

I first thought it read fullback.So he got a golden shower,I mean chute.How much cash did he contribute to the Dems?That’s how it works isn’t it?

docflash on July 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

It’s one thing to report wrongdoing of other types to one’s superiors and assume they’re handling it. When the wrongdoing involves molestation, it’s also different. Having been warned of the problem, allowing Sandusky to continue to have access to the locker room and young boys for recruitment is not just an occasion to say that Paterno should have circled back again to check on the status of Sandusky.

This whole situation smells, and pointing the finger and a dead person is a convenient way to sweep it under the rug as quickly as possible.
These kids were taken across state lines to bowl games, why is the FBI not involved. There were serious lapses in required reporting by University officials, why are the accreditation boards not involved. Blaming this on “big time college football” is a “shiny mirror” distraction no different than the obama company.

(1) The report stipulates (page 51) that Paterno objected to the presence of Second Mile children on campus for any purpose whatsoever. “Is this [Sandusky's access to Penn State athletic facilities] for personal use or 2nd Mile kids? No to 2nd Mile. Liability problems.” Freeh nonetheless blames him for not keeping Sandusky and/or the 2nd Mile children off campus.
(2) Even though the report blames Penn State for not keeping Sandusky off campus, or out of the Lasch Building, it admits (page 81) that University counsel (Cynthia Baldwin) said that the University could not legally revoke Sandusky’s access to the athletic facilities because of his Emeritus status, and because he had not been convicted of a crime. Page 106 reiterates this stipulation. Page 107 adds that Baldwin said “his access could not be eliminated without the University being sued.” The report therefore condemns Penn State’s administrators for not doing something their attorney said could get them sued.
(3) The report also stipulates (page 69) that Schultz asked Attorney Wendell Courtney for legal advice on the subject of reporting suspected child abuse. The Freeh Group admits that it could not find out what advice Courtney provided, but it nonetheless accuses Schultz and others of a cover-up without having this information in hand. The bottom line is however that Schultz exercised what appears to be due diligence by asking an attorney what obligations the University had regarding the 2001 shower incident.
(4) The report admits that Curley told the Executive Director of the 2nd Mile about the 2001 shower incident, and the Director then told two 2nd Mile Trustees. They concluded that it was a “non-incident,” but Freeh’s press release and findings do not carry a single word of blame for the 2nd Mile.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Remove his statue from the Penn State campus.

J.E. Dyer on July 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

What kind of work can a man do after having helped keep quiet the child molestations being perpetrated by an underling?

I don’t know, something at the Vatican? Is that too snarky?

Seriously though, I find it hard to believe that Spanier is the only person capable of doing what he is doing AND judgement is a factor that goes into adjudicating security clearances- how can anybody look at Penn State and conclude that Spanier showed good judgement?

Happy Nomad on July 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM

It’s sort of like this hire by Barack Obama a few years ago.

katablog.com on July 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

exactly what I was thinking too…bath house buddies

DanMan on July 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

He’s now working in national security.? He is a family therapist! What credentials does he have, besides growing up in Chicago? If he is, I personally think it is total BS. He has even less credentials than BHO did when he came enetered into the oval office. What a joke!

Patriot Vet on July 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Hey, Ed… point of fact… Sand*sky’s keys to the football building were reported to have been lifted after the 2001 incident. Now that would not preclude him from using showers elsewhere on campus, such as Rec Hall (the old gym), the swimming facilities, or even the Jordan Center.
And, isn’t it interesting that Spanier claimed in his letter of earlier this week that he, too, was the victim of abuse as a youngster.

either orr on July 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM

It seems that vigilantes are needed once again to bring justice to this country.

woodNfish on July 27, 2012 at 12:05 PM

“I work for the government… it’s classified, top secret stuff. I can’t tell you what it is. I wish I could but, you know what they say, ‘If I tell you I’ll have to kill you.’ Heh heh. It’s dangerous work though. I’m shipping out tomorrow in fact. Yeah, this is my last night in the states. Who knows, I might not ever come back. So whaddya say? Can we make this a special night, one I won’t forget? Huh baby? Please?”

Akzed on July 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

So covering for a pederast now qualifies you for a security clearance. My how times have changed… Perhaps his new assigment involves ‘undercover’ work.

ghostwalker1 on July 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Freeh and the MSM are wrong on many of their “talking points” about Paterno and possibly Spanier….it seems many here are skeptical of the MSM when it comes to politics….use that same tenacity to review the actual facts of the case and you will see the outright stretching of reality needed to make allegations in the Freeh report true and the veracity with which the MSM has leveled allegations to ruin the career of a good man….PS….I believe Sandusky is 100% guilty, but like other types of master criminals before him, Sandusky was a master at concealing the true horror of his crimes….

heckrules on July 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Meh, Big Sis is in charge of your security? Secure yourself, from her and all the goons.

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Spanier carried the bucket for the fake Penn State Michael Mann whitewash.

I’m sure he’s got markers to call in for that one.

JEM on July 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

JEM on July 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Actually, that was engineered by the then-provost, now university president, Rodney Erickson.

Same crap, slightly different location.

either orr on July 27, 2012 at 1:06 PM

heckrules on July 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

You may be right about Spanier… except in Spanier’s case, it may be a bleach job of the first order rather than a smear job.

either orr on July 27, 2012 at 1:08 PM

More Paterno apologists. Blah.

How many of us, knowing what Paterno knew and seeing Sandusky still reporting for work and still around young boys would just shrug and keep going?

No, it seems that “technically” he is not guilty of a crime, but at some point common sense and basic decency should be expected and Paterno failed.

So sorry, Mr. Mirengoff, your picking of nits does not distract from the big picture.

kim roy on July 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

1) People that have clearances lose them for far smaller offenses
2) Clearances of any import take many months to obtain
3) Waivers are available BUT typically NOT for clearances of any import
4) Clearances are not to be advertised
5) Advertising clearances of import is cause to lose said clearance

I call BS and encourage folks to call the FBI on this wanker

fewenuff on July 27, 2012 at 2:09 PM

More Paterno apologists. Blah.

How many of us, knowing what Paterno knew and seeing Sandusky still reporting for work and still around young boys would just shrug and keep going?

No, it seems that “technically” he is not guilty of a crime, but at some point common sense and basic decency should be expected and Paterno failed.

So sorry, Mr. Mirengoff, your picking of nits does not distract from the big picture.

kim roy on July 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Amen.

It’s sickening to see the apologists at work, but it’s very instructive in revealing how the culture of Penn State football is so embedded that something like this could happen. If you read through Mirengoff’s post, the previous post referenced therein, and the comments sections on both, you will see a ton of hair splitting, obfuscation, focusing on technicalities, and downright lying about the facts of the case (e.g., some people are now saying that McQueary didn’t witness anything, which is absurd).

In the end, there are a few basic facts that cannot be ignored. Paterno, if he wasn’t sure about Sandusky’s nature after the 1998 reports, had to know the same without any doubt after the 2001 incident. While he reported something to his so-called superiors at Penn State, he did nothing else and he knew Sandusky continued to have access to Penn States facilities. So for the next 10+ years he continued to shrug his shoulders at it all. And that might be the best case reading of what happened.

Many of us around here love to point out the hypocrisy of liberals who excuse Ted Kennedy for Chappaquiddick because of “all the good he did in life”. Yet we are seeing through the continued deification of Paterno that such a thing cuts across political lines. And in such a debate, those that are truly victims of this scandal are again forgotten.

thirteen28 on July 27, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I believe Sandusky is 100% guilty, but like other types of master criminals before him, Sandusky was a master at concealing the true horror of his crimes….

heckrules on July 27, 2012

it’s not that he was such a master criminal it’s that sadly other adults chose to enable him and cover for him whatever their reasons.

it’s pretty standard behavior with serial child rapers and their enablers- other adults around predators (that are required by law to report suspected abuse of children to outside agencies-social services, law enforcement) do nothing. molesters are skilled manipulators of both children and the adults around targeted children. some adults don’t seem to need much manipulating to pretend they didn’t see a grown man raping a child,.

this man’s behavior couldn’t have been more blatant- in the showers at a school can hardly be said to be artfully concealed. he committed the crimes for sure but he could have been stopped or at the least removed from having access to the school and children. he’s not a master criminal- serial child rapers have among the highest victim counts of any sexual predators because of the age and vulnerability of their victims. they also serve among the smallest of sentences if convicted- and they’re not often convicted. he was a monster but not particularly masterful-he just was surrounded by people in massive denial who covered for themselves and their football program by covering for him.

people need to stop making excuses for the adults who knew and did nothing but cover their own asses to protect their precious football program.

mittens on July 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

people need to stop making excuses for the adults who knew and did nothing but cover their own asses to protect their precious football program.

mittens on July 27, 2012 at 2:34 PM

People need to stop thinking that it was the football program that needed “protection” or was somehow enabling Sandusky.

Sandusky was removed from the football team even though no charges were brought against him after the ’98 incident. He was no longer an employee under Paterno, yet he was continually granted access to campus facilities by the PSU administration despite Paterno’s objections. The PSU attorney stated that he had to be granted access or the university could be sued.

Yes there were adults that are protecting their asses, and they are letting football be the scapegoat and distraction as their protection.

As far as claims of deification etc from the lynch mob, maybe the facts should be observed instead of acting like the emotional knee jerkers that typify the left side of the aisle. If additional information comes to light that he actively covered things up, I will be the first to condemn him.

In hindsight, should Paterno have pressed the issue more? Of course, monday morning quarterbacking is always easy.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the ONLY person in all of this who expressed public regret about not doing more is the one who is most vilified.
It’s also ironic that in the Philadelphia Catholic priest abuse scandal, the ONLY person who expressed public regret about not doing more is now serving 3-6 years (and he made the admission prior to his being convicted).
@Animal60, +1. Well spoken.

either orr on July 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

He’s now working in national security.? He is a family therapist! What credentials does he have, besides growing up in Chicago? If he is, I personally think it is total BS. He has even less credentials than BHO did when he came enetered into the oval office. What a joke!

Patriot Vet on July 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

You reminded me. When this broke last fall I think I found an article this guy wrote online. Let me see if I can locate it again.

INC on July 27, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Meanwhile, this makes me ill. This guy covered up Sandusky, he’s kept Mann around. All for the $$. Another immoral, corrupt progressive.

So many Americans are unemployed, and Spanier gets work.

INC on July 27, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Clearly this is a breakdown of the vetting process.

Any lib worth his salt can see he is the perfect candidate to replace Jennings as the Safe School Czar.

Browndog on July 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Perverted, evil people stick together.

sablegsd on July 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I read about him on Wiki last fall. I found the article in a Wiki footnote:

Mate swapping: Perceptions, value orientations, and participation in a Midwestern community

Graham B. Spanier and Charles L. Cole

You can only read the abstract online, but I’m fairly certain I was able to look at the entire article last fall. Now you have to pay if you want to download the PDF. IMO Spanier is an uber-creep. Who would go to him for marriage/family therapy??

It’s incomprehensible why he would be working on national security except that Academia and D.C. seem to swim in the same swamp of Chicago values.

INC on July 27, 2012 at 4:09 PM

As far as claims of deification etc from the lynch mob, maybe the facts should be observed instead of acting like the emotional knee jerkers that typify the left side of the aisle. If additional information comes to light that he actively covered things up, I will be the first to condemn him.

Yes, because criticizing someone who received a first hand report of a child being raped in the shower and chose to do the minimum he could constitutes a “lynch mob”. Calling someone out for not doing more after hearing said first hand report, even when said someone himself said he wished he’d done more, constitutes a “lynch mob.” It’s all just emotional knee jerk reaction, isn’t it? Who cares about little boys being raped while Paterno himself did the minimum he could to put an end to it.

He was no longer an employee under Paterno, yet he was continually granted access to campus facilities by the PSU administration despite Paterno’s objections.

So what principled stand did he take after his objections were overuled?

The PSU attorney stated that he had to be granted access or the university could be sued.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Looks like that plan backfired, didn’t it?

thirteen28 on July 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

More Paterno apologists. Blah.

How many of us, knowing what Paterno knew and seeing Sandusky still reporting for work and still around young boys would just shrug and keep going?

No, it seems that “technically” he is not guilty of a crime, but at some point common sense and basic decency should be expected and Paterno failed.

So sorry, Mr. Mirengoff, your picking of nits does not distract from the big picture.

kim roy on July 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Again, Sandusky stopped working for Penn State in 1998.

It seems very unfair to hold Paterno responsible for Sndusky’s acts as a private citizen years after he left Penn State’s employ,

It’s also not clear what Paterno knew. McQuery came to him, incoherent, and apparently said he saw Sandusky doing something sexually inappropriate with a young boy in the shower. McQuery even says he didn’t tell Paterno exactly what he saw. Paterno reported it. It does not appear that he was equipped to investigate it further on his own. Sandusky had not worked for Penn State for years by that time. How could Paterno, with the repsonsibilities of head coach and English professor conduct this investigation? What authority did he have over an ex-employee? False accusations of child abuse ruin lives. He may have felt that it was appropriate for the University to investigate prior to making a public accusation. McQuery was fairly new at the time and there may have been questions about the truth of his comments and the nature of what occurred. If there was something bad happening, why didn’t he, as a strapping young man, step in and stop it at the time? If someone came to you with a story like this about someone you knew for a long time, would you believe them without question? Would you report a husband or brother or father to the police without knowing more?

I appreciate hotair including a more balanced approach to the incident. Many of the reports appear to have been scapegoating Paterno.

talkingpoints on July 27, 2012 at 5:12 PM

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that the ONLY person in all of this who expressed public regret about not doing more is the one who is most vilified.
It’s also ironic that in the Philadelphia Catholic priest abuse scandal, the ONLY person who expressed public regret about not doing more is now serving 3-6 years (and he made the admission prior to his being convicted).
@Animal60, +1. Well spoken.

either orr on July 27, 2012 at 3:21 PM

I have to wonder how many of these self righteous posters would but their livelihood on the line, their families at stake betting on second hand knowledge.

Having been the spokesperson once for what I thought was a vocal cohesive group turned into “just me” with everyone else changing to “it is not so bad” mentality. What really p.o’s me is that the real culprits will likely walk away while the “shiny object” of college football takes the brunt of the lynch mobs mentality of many of the posters here.

It is no wonder that liberals get away with so much when they make a plea “for the children”. It seems to have clouded a lot of minds here.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 5:20 PM

So what principled stand did he take after his objections were overuled?

thirteen28 on July 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

Just maybe he knew people that had been falsely accused, as I have. Making accusations like that, without solid proof are just as heinous as the actual crimes.

See, I can speculate as much as you.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

Just maybe he knew people that had been falsely accused, as I have. Making accusations like that, without solid proof are just as heinous as the actual crimes.

See, I can speculate as much as you.

Animal60 on July 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM

He didn’t need solid proof – that’s what the legal authorities are supposed to get. He just needed to relay what McQueary told him and have the legal authorities – not the university itself – do their investigation.

He likely already knew reports of the 1998 incident, and I find it quite a stretch to believe he didn’t given the way Sandusky was forced to retire. That right there was a huge red flag, and reports of a second incident should have been all he needed to go to the real authorities (read: not the athletic director) with what he knew. Instead he reported it up his university chain of command and then simply forgot about it. As even Paterno himself said, he should have done more.

thirteen28 on July 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM