Pentagon Employees buy Child Porn

In 2006 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement made an investigation into 250 purchases of child pornography that were made by civilian and military employees of the Defence Department. These purchases were made online by people with the highest available security clearance. According to the investigation they used credit cards or PayPal to purchase images of children in sexual situations. But the Pentagon investigated only a handful of the cases, Defence Department records show.

The investigation was called Project Flicker which was created to investigate overseas processing of child-porn payments. During the course of the investigation ICE obtained names and credit card information of more than 5,000 Americans who had signed up to websites that offered images of child pornography. Many customers gave military email addresses or physical addresses with Army or fleet ZIP codes when they purchased the subscriptions.

The Pentagon’s Defence Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) checked the list of people investigated against military databases and found Defence employees and contractors. The names included staffers for the secretary of defence, contractors for the ultra-secretive National Security Agency, and a program manager at the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The DCIS only went after 20 percent of the individuals identified, and successfully prosecuted only a handful of them.

Project Flicker investigative reports show that DCIS investigators identified 264 Defence employees or contractors who had purchased child pornography online. Interestingly, nine of those had “Top Secret Sensitive Compartmentalized Information” security clearances. This means they had access to the nation’s most sensitive secrets. However just 10 were ever charged with viewing or purchasing child pornography. 212 people on ICE’s list were never investigated at all.

The following are excerpts from the investigation.

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