ZIONSVILLE, Indiana — It’s often been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly and the case of former Subway sandwich shop spokesperson Jared Fogle, who recently pleaded guilty to sex with minors, is an unfortunate example of the cost of that creeping pace.
In August, Fogle agreed to plead guilty to possession of child pornography and sex with two minors. The media got a closer look at the evidence against him on Oct. 27, when The New York Post revealed the contents of audio tapes secretly recorded by Rochelle Herman-Walrond, a journalist who went undercover to assist the FBI in their investigation of Fogle.
Beyond the appalling contents of the tapes themselves, in which Fogle openly brags about raping a boy in Thailand, they reveal that the government knew about his crimes for years before taking action to stop them, as noted by Justin Gardner, a writer for The Free Thought Project:
“[Herman-Walrond] contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who asked her to wear a wire. … She wore a wire for four-and-a-half years before the FBI took action and arrested Fogle.”
In August, Herman-Walrond even questioned the slow progress of the case herself in an interview with ABC affiliate WWSB, where she commented, “That was my biggest question, ‘Why was it taking so long?’ … A case of this size just happens to take that long, and that’s what I was told.”
In his plea bargain, Fogle agreed to plead guilty to paying for sex with two minors and possessing child pornogaphy, but Hermand-Walrond has told the media that she believes there are more victims. Russell Taylor, the head of Fogle’s defunct charity to fight childhood obesity, filmed an additional 12 victims engaging in sexual conduct and shared those images with Fogle.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, a great deal of federal law enforcement resources remain focused on countering terrorism, but the efficiency and effectively of these efforts are also under scrutiny. Rather than targeting genuine terrorists, analysis suggests that the FBI and other agencies encourage or actively manufacture terrorist behavior for which suspects are later arrested. These cases often move much more quickly than the decade-long investigation of Fogle, as Gardner observed in his report:
“The casual excuse is the bureaucracy itself, but we know that when the government wants to act quickly, it does. It does not hesitate in killing, disappearing, or jailing those it deems are a threat to government, and it sets aside constitutional protections to do so.
However, when the threat is in the form of sexual predation on children, government takes its time because ‘it just happens to take that long.’”