One-third of the teenage girls rescued this past weekend as part of the FBI's annual national operation to recover juvenile prostitutes and arrest their pimps were found in the Puget Sound region.

Sixty-nine children were rescued in 40 cities across the country, according to the FBI, which concluded its three-day "Operation Cross Country V" Sunday morning.

For the third year in a row, the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma area topped the national list of recoveries, where a total of 23 girls were taken off the streets, said Steven Dean, assistant special-agent-in-charge of the FBI's Seattle field office.

Nine pimps were arrested locally, out of 99 nationally, Dean said.

The operation is part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which was formed in 2003 to address the growing problem of children being forced into prostitution.

This is nothing but ideological nonsense. It's as if these teenagers came from every part of society (middle, rich, and poor), were captured like slaves by evil individuals, and forced to sell their bodies. Society had no part in any of this. It was just the pimps. The FBI is rescuing the girls from the pimps. It's as simple as that. But what happens after the rescue? Where do they go? What do they do?
Once a juvenile prostitute was identified and taken into custody, she was taken to "our command center" at an undisclosed location in the city, Sano said. There, forensic nurses, mental-health professionals, victim advocates and other social-service providers were on hand to get girls the counseling and other help they need to begin recovering from the trauma of being sexually exploited...
This help is coming way too late and will certainly not be enough. And we must not act like we are not busy cutting the remaining social services from city budgets. And in this depressing economic climate, caused by the rich (who refuse to be taxed in any meaningful way), the poorer are only getting poorer. This was no rescue; this was a lame performance.