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Child Porn vs. Child Protection

Child Porn vs. Child Protection
By: Janice Shaw Crouse - 8/19/2008

It is symptomatic of the condition of our culture today that the Express, a daily newspaper for commuters published by the Washington Post, can feature a piece in its entertainment section about an indie-rock band known as the New Pornographers without raising any eyebrows. But let someone speak out against pornography and suddenly people get uncomfortable.

We’ve reached the point where we blindly ignore gross and horrific child abuse. And we’ve become so comfortable in our upscale communities that we don’t want to acknowledge what the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) calls “the seedy and sophisticated underworld” of child porn.

The world of child porn, according to the NCMEC, is exploding around us even though it is illegal to produce as well as to access child pornography. Not only is there more child porn; it is getting worse and worse. The NCMEC reports that the images used in child pornography are “getting younger and younger.” In addition, the images are “more graphic and violent.”

When I clicked on a local NBC website I found 35,000 stories about local arrests for violating the child porn laws. These people weren’t obviously seedy characters, either. Another aspect of child porn that the public hasn’t yet recognized is that the problem has invaded public spaces and enticed and ensnared some men who move among us – teachers at local school or neighborhood day care centers, policemen in the cruisers, men in offices and men sitting in the next pew at church or synagogue. Not surprisingly, many of those addicted to porn frequent areas where vulnerable children can be found. Over the past few weeks in the D.C. area, there were news accounts about arrests, convictions or sentencing of a former Library of Congress worker, college professor, midshipman, Maryland State trooper, bus driver, and a teacher.

Two very high profile cases are in the news this week.

Federal agents arrested Peter North, a local computer specialist who works for the Department of Homeland Security, calling him “one of the nation’s most prolific disseminators of child pornography.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) affidavit states that the FBI found 80 gigabytes of child porn on the external hard drive of North’s computer. North’s Internet Protocol (IP) address linked nearly a thousand times a year to child porn – much of it extremely graphic and depicting sexual acts with prepubescent children.

In a Massachusetts case, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Curley filed a $200 million civil lawsuit against The North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) – an organization devoted to promoting adult-child sex – accusing the organization of a central role in the death of their 10-year-old son, Jeffrey. The Curley’s believe that Charles Jaynes and his accomplice Salvatore Sicari, who were convicted of the murder in 1998 and are serving life sentences for the murder, were driven to the crime by NAMBLA’s literature and website. Even though the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is defending NAMBLA, its funding has not dried up. The ACLU has a history of racing to defend those who openly promote pedophilia at the same time they attack organizations that provide spiritual and moral guidance and protection for children.

At what point should the public’s right to protect vulnerable children from the immoral and reprehensible views of NAMBLA trump the free speech rights of the organization? Ordinary people using their common sense and concern for their children – those not having their minds clouded by faulty thinking – can be forgiven if they conclude that NAMBLA has moved far beyond mere lobbying (in keeping with democratic principles) for changes in the law governing the age of consent and have crossed the line into promoting behavior that endangers vulnerable children.

The facts in the Curley case are bloodcurdling: Their public interest law case claims that after absorbing NAMBLA’s instruction manuals, Jaynes and Sicari were actively looking for sex with a young boy. In October 1997, they lured Jeffrey from the yard of his home into their car. When Jeffrey put up a fight, they choked him to death with a gasoline-soaked rag and took his body across state lines to Jayne’s apartment in New Hampshire. After performing gruesome sex acts with young Jeffrey’s dead body, they stuffed him into a plastic container and filled it with cement before crossing another state line to dispose of the body in Maine’s Great Works River.

Among those who “get” the ramifications for children’s safety is Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly who is outraged that NAMBLA gets away with publishing how-to manuals on how to lure boys into sex and what to do if they get caught. Casually called the “rape and escape” manual, NAMBLA publishes “The Survival Manual: The Man’s Guide to Staying Alive in Man-Boy Sexual Relationships.”

In addition, there are reports that NAMBLA is distributing child porn and has networks for trading child victims. There is a growing sense that NAMBLA is actually “aiding and abetting” criminal conduct and should face legal consequences. Jaynes adds to the validity of that sense because he kept a diary citing his concerns about having sex with children before joining NAMBLA (emphasis mine).

There is precedence for holding NAMBLA legally accountable. Ohio’s Court of Appeals found NAMBLA was complicit in a child-rape case because the defendant had NAMBLA materials indicating “preparation and purpose.”

At some point- I hope before more children like Jeffrey Curley are considered expendable to satisfy the sexual perversions of porn addicts – Americans must decide whether we want to protect the pedophiles or our children. They can start by recognizing the damage pornography does to children, women, men, and our culture and reject it instead of blithely accepting it like a band that names themselves the New Pornographers.

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