Lawmakers Target Pentagon Pedophiles With Bipartisan Child Porn Bill

Bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) aim to halt the use of Department of Defense (DoD) computer networks for downloading or distributing child porn. 

Hundreds of government employees were implicated as part of ICE's 2006 "Operation Flicker" - which identified over 5,000 individuals who had used credit cards or PayPal to buy child porn, or subscribe to websites that offered the material. Of those, ICE identified 264 DoD employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online.

Nine of them had "Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information" security clearances, while 76 of them held clearances of Secret or higher.

Here's the kicker: Of those 264 DoD suspects, just 52 were investigated by the Pentagon's Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), meaning the Bush administration willfully ignored over 200 suspected pedophiles working for the Defense Department

The new bill, The End Network Abuse Act will require the Pentagon to enter into contracts with groups which will be involved in the effort, including law enforcement, social services, child protection services and trauma-informed healthcare providers. It would also provide for additional training and technical expertise among military investigators, according to The Hill

The National Criminal Justice Training Center, one of the groups that has thrown its weight behind the bill, reported in 2018 that DOD's network was ranked 19th out of almost 3,000 nationwide networks on the amount of peer-to-peer child pornography sharing.

Spanberger described the issues of child sexual exploitation and abuse as “horrific crimes.”

The notion that the Department of Defense’s network and Pentagon-issued computers may be used to view, create, or circulate such horrifying images is a shameful disgrace, and one we must fight head on,” Spanberger said in statement. -The Hill

Rep. Meadows said that "peer-to-peer trading of child pornography is an unacceptable practice, and federal agencies cannot allow their networks to become a platform for it." 

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have introduced similar legislation in the Senate. According to The Hill, "A spokesperson for Spanberger told The Hill that while there are no set dates in either the House or Senate for marking up the bill, the sponsors are trying to pass it “both as individual bills and as amendments” to other legislative packages."

Aside from raising awareness, however, the bills don't appear to offer specific remedies to halt the child porn epidemic at the Pentagon

Perhaps instead Congress could divert some of its Russiagate energy to investigating the 200+ individuals who were given a pass nearly 20 years ago? Then again, that might not help anyone win the 2020 election.