Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review April 19, 2000 /14 Nissan, 5760

Michelle Malkin

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
David Corn
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports
Newswatch

Econophone

Trakdata


Beware of Elian's psychobabblers

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- IT'S GETTING CREEPY down there in Miami -- and I'm not talking about the dolphins or Marisleysis' fainting spells or Gloria Estefan's political conga line.

I'm talking about the grotesque carnival of child psychologists, social workers, mental health experts, and other assorted spin doctors who claim to possess almighty medical knowledge of "what's best" for little Elian Gonzalez.

As a child of freedom-loving immigrants myself, my sympathies initially went to Elian's Miami relatives. But when they desperately invoked the abuse excuse to justify federal intervention between a parent and child, my heart and stomach turned.

Elian's Miami relatives trotted out psychologists who say separating the boy from his surrogate mother of four months (as opposed to keeping him from his biological father of six years?) would cause irreparable emotional damage. Next, they conjured up an affidavit from an "ex-friend" of Elian's dad who claims he beat Elian and his now-deceased biological mother. The Miami family also demanded a government-appointed panel of scientific experts come down from Washington, D.C. to evaluate then mental ramifications of transferring the child back to dad.

Then, last weekend on NBC's Meet the Press, family attorney Jose Garcia-Pedrosa played the dirtiest card: "We need psychological experts to do what we do anytime a child in this country makes allegations of sexual molestation, child abuse or any kind of misconduct by an adult."

When Russert asked whether Garcia-Pedrosa was suggesting accusations of sexual molestation by Elian against his dad, the lawyer tried to weasel out of the inflammatory charge: "No, no, no. I'm saying anytime a child makes accusations of misconduct by an adult in this country, we don't believe the child and we don't disbelieve the child. We evaluate the child professionally."

Oh, yes. The "professionals." The infallible mind-and-soul readers. The government bureaucracies with do-gooder names like "Child Protective Services." In this country, we have become increasingly beholden to these unaccountable opportunists in white coats. Social critic Thomas Szasz aptly calls them the "mountebanks of the hindering professions." They make a living interfering in others' lives and spouting therapeutic jargon to camouflage their contempt for parental rights, all the while collecting exorbitant consulting and court fees.

Those who side with Elian's Miami relatives conservatives and libertarians, especially cannot ignore the perils of aligning themselves with psychobabbling meddlers. Across the country, such child advocates have mixed medicine and state to justify the reckless termination of individual rights and family bonds.

In Wenatchee, Washington, families have been ripped apart by false accusations of child abuse leveled by state social workers and police investigators. Many of the plaintiffs who have been exonerated are still fighting, months and years after their acquittals, to get their children back from the government. Moms, dads, teachers, and day care workers from Massachusetts to California have been wrongly imprisoned based on the professional evaluations of power-mad experts.

In Florida, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno made an ugly mess in the name of defending children's best interests. As Miami-area head prosecutor in the mid-1980s, Reno launched a crusade against parents accused of ritual child sex abuse. She employed professional interrogators skilled in coercive questioning tactics, which produced numerous false confessions. Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker, who track prosecutorial witch hunts against parents in their book, "Satan's Silence," conclude that Reno's obsession "ended with children themselves being severely damaged and even destroyed in the name of protecting them."

Are Elian's Miami relatives willing to destroy the boy to save him? Do their supporters really believe the father's wishes should be trumped by government- and court-appointed mental health experts? As Republican congressman Steve Largent of Oklahoma, one of Congress' few consistent and principled voices for parental rights has noted, the Elian Gonzalez case "is a family issue, first and foremost...It's already a tragedy that the child lost his mother; it would be a travesty for our government to come between him and his father."

Yes, Fidel Castro is evil. But in our zeal to condemn Cuba's totalitarian regime, we must be careful not to embrace a cure for Elian that is worse than his native country's disease.


JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.

Up

04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate