A few comments on the Freeh Report
To paraphrase what Sherlock Holmes said to Watson, "sometimes it is the smallest and simplest details that are the most damning."
I thought of this after skimming through - I will admit that I did not read it in detail - the Freeh Report. As of right now, ESPN, other mass media outlets, and many in the public are treating this report as if it has biblical-like authority.
Upon reading the report and placing it into its proper historical and literary context, I believe that it is undergraduate at best and dishonest at worst.
Since I am a huge baseball fan, I will use the strike system. The first strike is against its authority. Louis Freeh did not speak to the most prime witnesses. He did, however, say that he tried speaking to Jerry Sandusky but Sandusky refused to talk. The media has been asserting all along that the main witnesses include Sandusky, Paterno, Schultz, Spanier, McQueary, and Curley. While I must admit that he was not given subpoena power, it still does not take away from the fact that not speaking to these individuals takes away from the biblical-like authority that ESPN, and many others, has given it.
And where was his response to not speaking to the others? Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not hear or see any. Even if he tried to talk to them, it still takes away from the authority of the text. If he did not try because he assumed the others would say the same as Sandusky, his report is depraved. If he did not try because the Board of Trustees - whom I believe are the source of the scandal - told him not to, then he is involved in the cover up. You might also say that the lawyers got involved and did not allow for comment from these people.
That is fair, but the authority of the report still remains incomplete at best.
Strike 2 for me is that Louis Freeh, ESPN, and the like are claiming that Freeh and his group consulted approximately3 million sources. What? This is more alarming than strike 1. There are two reasons why this is absurd. First, to put this in perspective, even if Freeh has 300 people in his employ, it would mean that each person would have to review - in detail (for the sake of the victims) - 10,000 documents. Freeh and his group released the 267 page report approximately eight months after he was hired. In that eight month period, all 300 people would have to have been consulting with each other, making sure that each tidbit of information was agreeing with other information that was being read, analyzed, etc. Of course, the 300 person team is complete hypothesis. Thirty people on his team means 100,000 documents per person. I know of several people who have written 300+ page doctoral dissertations in 3-5 years, using way less than 3 million documents, and they said they were strapped for time. This man is claiming that he analyzed 3 million documents with a team of people and wrote a 267 page paper in an eight month period? And even if he had computers running simulations, what parent would want a computer giving his/her youngster some closure after they had been raped?
The second reason why this is absurd is because, at some level, Freeh, ESPN, and the public at large are essentially claiming that 3 million documents had some content of the scandal that, at some level, Freeh and his group considered to be of importance. There is something that needs to be understood about a document. It must be represented by someone! A memo is written by someone, an email is written by someone, an interview is conducted with someone, a hard copy is written by someone and then printed by someone, etc. Giving some leeway that multiple documents were written/created by the same person, I will argue that, according to Freeh's assertions, there are 2 to 2.5 million people who know at least one important detail in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Do you believe this? This is one heretic who certainly does not!