comments_image Comments

Pentagon Ignores Child Porn in its Ranks

Share

John Cook reports for Yahoo News that the Pentagon unearthed the names of more than 250 DoD personnel who had purchased child pornography online, but declined to investigate more than a handful. The purchases were uncovered in a larger civilian investigation conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). An investigative arm of the DoD then cross-checked the names against military databases to generate the list of Defense Department employees.

But according to Cook, the agency "opened investigations into only 20 percent of the individuals identified, and succeeded in prosecuting just a handful." A total of 264 DoD staff were identified, according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Cook writes:

Astonishingly, nine of those had "Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information" security clearances, meaning they had access to the nation's most sensitive secrets. All told, 76 of the individuals had Secret or higher clearances. But DCIS investigated only 52 of the suspects, and just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography...

The vast majority of those investigated, including an active-duty lieutenant colonel in the Army and an official in the office of the secretary of defense, were never charged. On top of that, 212 people on ICE's list were never investigated at all.

A source familiar with the investigation, who was granted anonymity to discuss the details, said that the Pentagon's investigative unit was focused on contractor fraud and didn't have the resources to pursue cases unrelated to its core mission. "We were stuck in a situation where we had some great information, but didn't have the resources to run with it," the source told Cook. Many of the investigative reports he obtained end with a similar citation: "Due to DCIS headquarters' direction and other DCIS investigative priorities, this investigation is cancelled."

See more stories tagged with: