Moral Low Ground


Thousands of Pentagon Personnel Bought or Viewed Child Pornography with Impunity

As many as  5,200 Pentagon employees bought or viewed online child pornography, and up to 1,700 of these suspected criminals haven’t been prosecuted or even investigated. The Pentagon’s handling of this outrageous yet severely under-reported scandal is now being criticized in Congress following a Defense Department admission that its investigators failed to properly investigate whether its personnel were on a list of 5,200 child pornography suspects.

In 2006 an international investigation led  by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) called Project Flicker ended four years later in the largest commercial child pornography bust in internet history. Project Flicker spanned seven countries and identified 30,000 customers in 132 countries who were paying up to $100 per month to view videos and images of child rape on over 200 websites. The rape victims in the videos were as young as three years old. Some 10,000 of these criminal clients were Americans. They came from all walks of life– doctors, police officers, school teachers, lawyers and church officials were snared. At least 280 convictions resulted.

Also implicated were thousands of Pentagon employees and contractors. Some 5,200 names were provided by ICE. But the Pentagon failed to investigate a third of these– 1,700 individuals– during their probe that netted about 300 defense and intelligence employees who viewed child pornography on their work or home computers.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) received a letter from Pentagon Inspector General Gordon Heddell saying that child pornography was “not one of DCIS’ (Defense Criminal Investigative Service) investigative priorities.” “The failure of management to recognize the potential national security implications of DoD (Department of Defense) service members, civilian employees and contractors allegedly purchasing child pornography is disturbing,” Grassley told the Boston Globe.

Even more disturbing is the fact that possible criminal charges against the 1,700 suspected criminals are most likely impossible at this time since the statute of limitations has probably expired. The penalty for downloading child pornography, a federal offense, is five to 20 years behind bars. But the alleged crimes took place years ago. While Senator Grassley knows most of the guilty parties will escape legal punishment, he wants to see administrative action taken by the Pentagon.

Of the 300 or so Pentagon employees or contractors identified as being guilty of purchasing or viewing images of child rape, only 70 were pursued. In the end, only a handful were prosecuted.

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  1. Sherrbano TaseerJune 23, 2013 at 1:23 amReply

    I also forgot to mention that the civilian DoD employee that was under the rape investigation was also my supervisor. That made it much harder. My wife and I knew the Japanese victim because I used to be friends with my supervisor before all that happened. It’s a long story and I can’t divulge all the details obviously but when I read this story and the DoD IG final report regarding this same story which is posted on line it really reminded me of my situation. Then you see things like the Benghazi issue. Then again we have to remember that the government is ran by people who are just as capable of making mistakes and of wrong doing as anyone else. So therefore we shouldn’t be afraid of the truth and they shouldn’t hide from the truth either regardless of how embarrassing it might be. Otherwise these kind of issues will get worse if those responsible for guarding the guards don’t do their jobs properly or look the other way when convenient.

  2. Sana AskariJune 23, 2013 at 1:30 amReply

    Wouldn’t most of the DoD employess have been under the management of Rumsfeld? Perhaps there was lax oversight–legislation in 2006 is a step towards improvement, but by then the situation was probably entrenched.

    Yes. Raping children of the opposite sex: good. Raping children of the same sex: bad. I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning…

  3. Sana AskariJune 23, 2013 at 1:33 amReply

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. The DCIS didn’t have the resources because those resources are often misused. DoD criminal investigative activities are regularly misused. They are often used to carry out witch hunts on behalf of Senior DoD officials with their own agendas. Mean while real criminals get away with their actions. I read other articles regarding project flicker that indicate through reliable information that many of the people involved in the child porn were in fact senior DoD officials. This is shameful. The DoD clearly let this fall thru the cracks and didn’t do much about it. They just kind of “went thru the motions” giving the appearance that something was being done. I read a redacted copy of a DoD IG final report of investigation on this matter and it was pretty much a joke as far as action taken. They did of course identify a few “fall guys” that went to jail but the evidence was so strong in those few cases that they couldn’t ignore it. One of the subjects that was identified involved in this was a Navy Captain (O-6). Nothing was done to him. They didn’t even try.

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