The Freeh report has shed more light on the Penn State scandal, and that's a good thing. But unless we learn from it, it will be like other past scandals, like the Catholic Church scandal and the Luzerne scandal and the others that came before them, and, as my managing editor likes to say, it will be explained away as the fault of "the bad men," rather than the result of something darker and more insidious: our willingness to let institutions operate in secret, beyond the reach of the law, and our unwillingness to confront evil and corruption.
Penn State's day of reckoning is coming. With lawyers like Tom Kline, Matt Casey and Slade McLaughlin poised to sue the school, and with facts this damning and a story this ugly, don't be surprised if a jury comes back with a $100 million verdict. I'm not kidding.
But that won't solve all our problems.
Perhaps a better, more individual way to confront the problem is to do the following: Take your son or daughter or niece or nephew or grandchild, and tell them the story of McQueary seeing the little boy being raped in the shower by Sandusky. Then tell them that the people in power didn't try to save the boy, that they didn't even try to find out his name or who he was.
Can you imagine telling a child that? I can't. Do you want to live in a place where something like that is possible? I don't.
Maybe the only way to get everyone conditioned to do the right thing and confront evil is to get them to understand that evil can touch something precious to them as well.
Hank Grezlak is the editor-in-chief of The Legal Intelligencer. He may be contacted at 215-557-2486 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org