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Boston Globe: Pentagon workers tied to child porn

Updated 11:30 a.m.
The Boston Globe's Bryan Bender reported Friday that federal investigators "have identified several dozen Pentagon officials and contractors with high-level security clearances who allegedly purchased and downloaded child pornography, including an undisclosed number who used their government computers to obtain the illegal material."

Employees under investigation have included individuals from "the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- which deal with some of the most sensitive work in intelligence and defense -- among other organizations within the Defense Department," the Globe reported, citing investigative reports.

Many of the cases date back several years. Some of them remain open.

"The fact that offenders include people with access to government secrets puts national security agencies 'at risk of blackmail, bribery, and threats, especially since these individuals typically have access to military installations,' according to one report by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service from late 2009," the Globe wrote.

The Department of Defense inspector general's office publicly released the DCIS report and posted it online late Friday morning.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  | July 23, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
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Hmmm... and in the wake of The WaPo's series on national security, people really want the federal government doing MORE of the work?? These are the agencies who would do it, folks!

Posted by: JG08 | July 23, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Just like preists, rabbi's, teachers, police, politicians, corporate execs, fucdge packing pedophiles are everywhere.
Questions is like the catholic church, what took so long to expunge these cretins

Posted by: thedickster | July 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Yet, it's the bloody teacher unions that get blamed as the real villains who are ruining this country. There is nothing that protects criminals more than the Pentagon.

Posted by: TeddyRoosevelt | July 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

These people are deeply morally flawed. If the allegations are true, they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and pay reparations to the children who were forced to produce such filth to "entertain." Where was the IG on this? Updates to top secret security clearances must occur on an annual basis, and everyone's work related computers must be searched on a recurring, random basis. This is beyond acceptable from our public servants.

Posted by: samwoods77 | July 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

What I find astonishing is that anyone would use their work computer to download porn of any kind. And the story is exactly right--imagine someone with a high level security clearance who is found to be downloading not just porn, but child porn that could put him in prison for years. It's absolutely the best blackmail opportunity imaginable.

Posted by: jhpurdy | July 23, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

You can lose your clearance if you don't pay your bills, but if you like to look at baby rape, you're covered.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | July 23, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

And nobody else noticed that these crimes were committed in PAST YEARS. Maybe Obama went there years ago and downloaded this stuff on the Bush Administration's computers. Huh?

Posted by: GrannyAnnie | July 23, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty liberal and open minded, but this is beyond disgusting. Take them out of formation and lock them away.


Posted by: right_as_rain | July 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Given that these cases go back several years, I guess it is a safe assumption that this is yet another example of how the only thing that was checked, before hiring incompetents for important government jobs, was bona fide Rescumlican credentials.

Posted by: daweeni | July 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

There have been cases of contractors doing similar things, also losing their laptops, etc, so don't point fingers. It's humans involved here, not government humans vs contractor humans.

Posted by: tojo45 | July 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

the crime is that they PAID for it.
how stupid do you have to be to pay to download porn?

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 23, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Makes you wonder what they are doing with the information they are collecting on YOU now doesn't it? If you think they aren't collecting info on you, you are very naive.

Posted by: sucrose | July 23, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Prosecute them real quick.

Posted by: truth1 | July 23, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I just hope these criminals don't get to retire with full government pensions.

Posted by: AnnsThought | July 23, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I have read the IG/DCIS Operation Flicker Report.

Anybody who is facing administrative or judicial action, due to Operation Flicker, I would strongly encourage to have their attorney contact at 202-262-0225 or another computer forensics organization, as soon as possible.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | July 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Another case of Government Service employee corruption.

After each is found GUILTY
they should be stripped of their citizenship, Passport & possessions and
put on a plane for Libya or Syria & NEVER allowed back into the country that
trusted them to SERVE the people who paid them!
NO leniency for government employees who violate the trust we place in them, elected or appointed!

Posted by: misterfids | July 23, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm amazed that there are pedophiles everywhere these days - I mean EVERYWHERE. I always thought it was a problem that only priests and padres had to wrestle with, but now it's also in the Pentagon?? What is the world coming to?

Posted by: Rongoklunk | July 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

With 70% of defense contracted, many of the offenders are probably with private contractors. Companies that often rip-off the government. If their employees are downloading child porn, the federal government should blacklist the company involved.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | July 23, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the uploaded pdf file, I noted that the crimes sem to have occured prior to the Obama administration beginning. BUT, I'll bet you anything that Fox & Co. will be screaming that Obama's DOD is into Kiddy Porn. All day, all night, all weekend long .... and beyond ....

Posted by: fridrikr1 | July 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If blackmail is a problem, life without parole in solitary confinement at a maximum security facility is a solution.

Posted by: Woodstocknative | July 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Our laws on child porn are so strict, we are becoming a Police State. Let me explain. If you are caught with kiddie porn in the US, it is automatic that you get a Federal Indictment and five to ten years in the Federal Pen, coming out as a Sexual Pervert who gets outed everywhere he goes, . . for having pictures! While on a Grand Jury, one of my jobs was to indict those silly folk who got caught one way of another with Dirty Pictures. So, . . we'll ruin the rest of their lives.

Did you know that the government has special programs to search through your computer to look for porn? Yup. It's used especially at airports, entry points to the US, and other places the Feds can get to you. if somebody sent you some pictures, and they find them, you are done for the rest of your life.

My point is not for kiddie porn - it is one of the most disgusting crimes because of what it does to the children, forever screwing them up. Those involved in it must be severely prosecuted. I had to refuse to look at the evidence in some cases, taking the word of the other 22 jurors.

But we have gone way off the edge, and most Americans, who may pass around photos, do not know about this law and its terrible consequences.

Conservatives and cowardly politicians have turned us into a hateful, violent, and punishment-oriented society.

We are done.

Posted by: gkam | July 23, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Aside from the awfulness of the crime itself, it's also discouraging because I'd like to think that people in jobs that require clearances are smart. Only a complete idiot would do this on a government computer.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | July 23, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Re "gkam" and the gov. searching your computer at airports etc, that's ridiculous. They would have to actually turn on your computer and search it, which could take hours. Concern about privacy is one thing, but let's keep it in reality.

Posted by: tojo45 | July 23, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

agree with those who do NOT want these people to draw more pay, if convicted or confess, and esp. do not want them to enjoy a fat gov. pension.
how dumb are these glass bowls? it is like a felon version of dumb and dumber.

Posted by: FloridaChick | July 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I think what gkam was referring to tojo45, was that if you log into the airport network, they can infiltrate your computer and search your hard drive for the stuff.

As far as the other parts of gkam's post, I really don't care what happens to people that download kiddie porn. As far as I'm concerned, if they weren't looking at the stuff, there would be no market for it and our children would be safe from it. So as long as they want to be sick perverts that find our babies sexually stimulating, let them hang for it. No sympathy and no easy outs.

Posted by: JenAZ | July 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I hope some of those people know how to perform a low level disk format :-)

Posted by: yeayea911 | July 23, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Fire em and toss them in jail. Buncha dummies I'll bet they though they could get away with it because they had a TS clearance.

Posted by: FLvet | July 23, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

JG08 wrote: "Hmmm... and in the wake of The WaPo's series on national security, people really want the federal government doing MORE of the work?? These are the agencies who would do it, folks!"




Any opportunity to mindlessly slam government, right JG08? As soon as something negative appears about the government, you automatically find it just another piece of evidence that ALL GOVERNMENT is bad. Wonderful sharp thinking. Really shows your analytical skills. Do you have any blanket statements to share about corporate entities? No? Hmmmmm......*hint...there's a really big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico*

Posted by: swatkins1 | July 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

It's actually not uncommon for Customs agents to search the files on people's laptops when they're getting in from int'l flights. So yes, you actually do have to turn it on and they look at it. And it doesn't take hours, just do a search for .jpg files.

Personally I think it's a 4th Amendment violation but the courts disagree.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | July 23, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bs2004 | July 23, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's just keep growing the govt.. I cannot wait until hospital looks like DMV's.

What country are we living in? We pay people not to work over and over.. bc they won't do the jobs the illegals will.. where have I heard that? We sue a fellow state of the Union for enforcing a law -- crazy.. we allow a company whose track record for safety is questionable to be in charge of the largest disaster in US history.. while our Prez sings with Paul M, golfs a dozen times, and eats food that we are not suppose to touch. Lovely.

Posted by: redsky28 | July 23, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should realize that his/her office computer is not private and none of us has a right or expectation of privacy on an employer-provided computer.

Pornography has no place in the workplace. It is as inappropriate as groping co-workers. Why would anyone access this stuff at work?

People who do this stuff should be fired for stupidity and lack of judgment.

Posted by: cassandra9 | July 23, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: tojo45 Re "gkam" and the gov. searching your computer at airports etc, that's ridiculous. They would have to actually turn on your computer and search it, which could take hours. Concern about privacy is one thing, but let's keep it in reality.

That IS reality. I actually signed federal indictments for that myself during my time as Foreman of a Federal Criminal Grand Jury, and handed them up to the Magistrate. We got our evidence from exactly those programs to search your computers.

You have no idea what changes took place to advance the Police State during the Bush Years.

Just wait.

Posted by: gkam | July 23, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

These people are the products of the artificial barriers being used by the govt to get a better, more trust worthy candidate. The problem with that is you end up with people who appear perfect but are really good at hiding repressed deviant behavior. There is no such thing as a perfect person. Tear down the artificial barriers and you get real people, who have learned real lessons and who are less apt to repeat mistakes. I'd rather have someone who has lived, made mistakes and learned from them. I dont want someone who appears perfect because I know thats a falicy. The perfect person is hiding something that is going to come out sooner or later.

Posted by: darrin_burton | July 23, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

They are probably the high paid...GS-14/15s...!

Posted by: deelw | July 23, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

If you read the IG's Operation Flicker report, you see these employees with classified clearances spent hours combing through kiddie porn sites, using PayPal and other accounts to purchase material from them. What I want to know is who is watching all these federal employees. It is not only in the Pentagon and secret contractors, there are instances in the Securities and Exchange Commission of employees frequenting porn sites while they ignored Lehman's troubles and looked the other way about Bernie Madoff. We are not getting our dollars worth out of these federal employees. Using government computers to look at porn sites is reckless, and using computers to buy kiddie porn is madness.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | July 23, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Unless there is some reasonable explanation for their viewing porn, they should be disciplined severely or,in egregious cases, fired. This should be a zero tolerance matter.

Posted by: JohnRice | July 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

These people are deeply morally flawed. If the allegations are true, they deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and pay reparations to the children who were forced to produce such filth to "entertain." Where was the IG on this? Updates to top secret security clearances must occur on an annual basis, and everyone's work related computers must be searched on a recurring, random basis. This is beyond acceptable from our public servants.
Posted by: samwoods77 | July 23, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse
Get a grip LIB T@RD. Porn is not illegal, looking at it at work may be a violation of company policy but is not illegal. Child porn however is illegal and those viewing should be treated no differently than those before them. As for reparations LOL these people simply watched it they didn’t produce it. That’s the same as saying; you watched a crime on the internet and are now as guilty as those who committed the crime. This could only be conceived in the mind of a LIB moron…..Also just an FYI for the LIB T@RDS out there in never, never land. ANY and ALL policy COSTS MONEY so unless YOU are prepared to PAY MORE IN TAXES keep your stup1d ideas to yourself.

Posted by: askgees | July 23, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

It's not actually pr0n.

It's out-of-band data and instructions sent "back channel" via steganography __embedded__ in pr0n.

It just _looks like_ pr0n.

And of course, this being all Top Secret America dontcha know, they can't use this as a defense at their trials.

Posted by: thardman | July 23, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


Our government CAN block sites that they consider 'right wing trash' but they CAN'T block porn sites that deal with CHILD pornography. They KNOW where these places are but they don't go there to rescue those children. But they can step on your Constitutional right to listen to political dissidents. They can invent the most heinous armaments and send idiots to out of space but they can't block websites that engage in child pornography.

These are the things that has turned me into a misanthropist.

Posted by: coqui44 | July 23, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

If blackmail is a problem, life without parole in solitary confinement at a maximum security facility is a solution.
Posted by: Woodstocknative | July 23, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse
Until they find something on your PC then you may change your mind. These people are simply looking at what’s out there. They had nothing to do with making it or putting it out there but the wonderfully INEPT US POLITICIANS haven’t a clue how to deal with ANYTHING and this is the results. Be wary, if someone sends you an email containing one of these pictures you too are now considered a problem. Even though you didn’t request it you received it.

Posted by: askgees | July 23, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

WAR Is Porn! - The U.S. should be OUT of all foreign countries Militarilly! - Our Army should Protect Our U.S. BORDERS First!! - Bring Our' Troops Home NOW! - "ENOUGH- Illegals, Drugs, Murders, & Human-Trafficing CRAP"!! - Why does every CONGRESS Promote WAR? - The Military / Industrial Complex needs Reined-IN NOW!! -- What a Waste of Our' REPUBLIC'S $RICHES & LIVES!! -- WE-the-People are being Attacked by POVERTY, JOB-LESSNESS, ILLEGALS, &a CONGRESS whom care less!! -- "END THIS ATTACK FROM WITHIN"!!! -- Remove the RED & BLUE TRAITORS WHOM PROMOTE "WAR" & BORDER TERRORISM!!!

Posted by: jward52 | July 23, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

we should be out

Posted by: davidsequeirafdic | July 23, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Disgusting. They should stop looking at child porn at once, and get back to the noble patriotic task of blowing up Afghan and Pakistani children.

Posted by: Bud0 | July 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Question: Are they government employees?
Answer: Yes

Question: What do most government workers do while they are wasting taxpayer dollars?
Answer: Looking at porn online.

Question: What does expanding the government do?
Answer: Expand the number of government employees looking at porn instead of working.

Question: What is the solution to the above reality?
Answer: Get rid of government employees by REDUCING the size of the government.

Posted by: Indpnt1 | July 23, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It is so funny to watch the liberal media.

1. On the one hand, they advocate a greatly expanded government.

2. On the other hand, every other day they point out some federal agency is doing nothing but looking at porn on the internet all day.

I say get rid of liberal news organizations AND government agencies.

Posted by: Indpnt1 | July 23, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

i could swear we just went through something like this in washington.

Posted by: SISSD1 | July 23, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Your tax dollars at work. Or not. It seems that everyday we learn more about how dysfunctional and incompetent practically every major institution, whether government or big business, has become. I don't blame the Democrats or the Republicans. I blame the Democrats and the Republicans. And good luck with voting out the incumbents. I'm sure that whoever we replace them with won't take long to learn that the broken system is bigger than them and that they better just be in it for themselves. And that goes for the Tea Party along with the rest. We as Americans don't demand significant change and we never get it.

Posted by: curtb | July 23, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Aw, gee, shucks......these are Pentagon warriors in the GWOT (Global War on Terror).
What is a little child porn??? These people should get BIG raise, right BUSH???

Posted by: usnr02 | July 23, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

My cable company recently offfered me a free premium channel upgrade. I asked which one excludes all pornography. None, they replied. We live in a pornogified culture where our dollars will be syphooned off into an industry that exploits and profits off of others' sexually. Not surprised by the Pentagon guys but still repulsed by them. Nevertheless, like paying for porn that I don't want, I depend on these guys to protect and defend liberty and justice for all. Ick!

Posted by: MIndfulPerson | July 23, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

If it is so serious, why let them have access. The FDA makes sites unavailable to the employees.

Posted by: gary4books | July 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

wonder how the offices of wapo.. ny times .. shallow stream media would fare if they tracked theirrstaffs use of the internet..

betya not very well... but of course the "journalists" would say that their porn surfing was "research"...

Posted by: kglkgl06 | July 23, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't we expect those with top secret security clearances to be unusually adept at surreptitiously accessing, downloading and e-mailing porn?

Posted by: kinkysr | July 23, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse


If you think Madoff ran a huge scam, Amway has ripped off millions of people for several decades, to the tune of 10s of billions of dollars.

Read about it on this website: and forward the information to everyone you know, so they don't get scammed.

Amway is a scam, and here's why: Amway pays out as little money as they can get away with, so they support the higher level IBOs ripping off their downline via the tool scam.

As a result, about 99% of IBOs operate at a net loss, while the top 1% make several TIMES more from their Amway tool scam than from the Amway products. This was made illegal in the UK in 2008, but our FTC is unable to pull their heads out of their butts to stop it here.

Posted by: texansay | July 23, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I used to work for someone who was fond of saying that appearance is reality. Success in a bureaucracy depends on maintaining appearances, and it really shouldn't surprise anyone that a system that focuses on appearances will sometimes harbor some very ugly realities. One reality that is being hidden by focus on things like kiddie porn is that the US is a militaristic empire that kills people for things like oil while pretending to be concerned about the welfare of children.

Posted by: rbmyersusa | July 23, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

@gary4books: Actually, although I have no idea why this was apparently allowed to happen, the House has passed a bill to require federally-funded networks to block viewing or downloading pornography (source:

And this won't just be for DoD networks (which as I understand are already tightly monitored) but also intelligence firms contracted by the government, which also had employees nabbed in this sting.

Posted by: helenaostroff | July 24, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Over blown? Perhaps.

I know too much about this, since my husband is one of "those evil agents" of the government that 'spy' into peoples' private lives -- while they are using a government (DOD) computer, the is supposed to be used for "official use only" and everything is subject to search and seizure.

Hey it says so on the log in screen!

Kiddie Porn, Child Porn is BIG BUSINESS. With major criminal organizations involved. It isn't the images per say (there are very few "new ones" (Thank-G-D)) but that is how many criminals get your card card, debit card, or other financial information.

Oh, yea, there are a few "innocents" that get sweep up with the dregs. There are means to keep from being dumped in the garbage. TURN OFF your computer when not in use. And LOG OFF when you are done with a task.

Surprise it took this long to be released.

Posted by: sdent60 | July 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

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