Monday, July 11, 2011

WA - Grassley seeks data on (child) porn viewer

Original Article

07/07/2011

By Luke Rosiak

Demands to know why attorney has not been charged with crime

The Justice Department declined to press charges against an assistant U.S. attorney caught with child pornography, and the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded Thursday to know why.

The department’s Office of the Inspector General reported to department officials that the federal prosecutor, who was not named, perused pornography on his government computer during work hours on a daily basis. On May 31, months after the misconduct was uncovered, the IG told Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, that the employee had yet to be disciplined.

The investigation determined that the [assistant U.S. attorney] routinely viewed adult content during official duty hours, and that there was at least one image of child pornography recovered on the AUSA's government computer. The AUSA acknowledged that he had spent a significant amount of time each day viewing pornography. The U.S. attorney's office declined prosecution. Disciplinary action against the AUSA is pending,” reads the summary provided to Mr. Grassley in a compilation of investigations that were withheld from the public.

The investigations took place during a six-month period ending March 31.

In a statement to The Washington Times late Thursday, however, the Justice Department said, despite the information provided to Mr. Grassley by its investigative arm, that the employee had left the department in early May.

The department would not say whether it had disciplined the attorney, stating only that the employee had left government service.

The department would not comment on why it did not press criminal charges or on whether the attorney had been charged at the state level.

The Department took immediate and appropriate action in this case and the AUSA ceased working in the district in late April 2011 and left Federal Service in early May,” it said in Thursday night’s statement.

The Office of the Inspector General declined to comment.

This means that, at the very least, the DOJ has allowed an admitted serial viewer of pornography - possibly child pornography - to serve as an AUSA for two months, if not longer, and has yet to take action,” Mr. Grassley wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asking, among other things, whether the attorney worked with children and whether he remained eligible for a pension. “This is simply unacceptable and compounds the questions raised by the fact that this AUSA was found to have ‘at least one image of child pornography’ on his government computer and yet he was not charged with a crime.”

Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said that, in her experience, the Justice Department culture isn’t one in which lawyers look the other way to protect colleagues.

I don’t think AUSAs are all that tolerant of other people committing crimes,” she said.

The federal government often handles child porn cases, in part because the electronic files generally cross state lines. Approximately 95 percent of defendants in felony nonviolent sex offense cases are convicted, according to Justice Department data, with most defendants pleading guilty to avoid the most severe prison terms.

They’re very aggressive, and generally, the cases are a slam dunk because they know that a certain computer has received child pornography,” said Ronald W. Hayward, a former assistant U.S. attorney who is now a defense lawyer. “If [federal agents] come to your door, at that point, the ball game is basically over.”

But he said that cases with very few images are sometimes turned over to the state. “They want the good stuff,” he said.


VAWA: An Idea Whose Time Never Should Have Come

Original Article
Are Men Society's Scapegoats?

07/11/2011

By Gordon E. Finley

Like facing a hurricane, America now faces the reauthorization of a powerful and destructive feminist-made disaster tearing through the lives of children, fathers, families and the nation’s formerly bedrock institution of marriage. The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) begins on July 13, 2011. Now is the time to engage in disaster mitigation to either defund VAWA or to redirect it to serve equally the other half of domestic violence victims – men.

VAWA was born of fraud and in this year of towering economic devastation – unless the law is rewritten to grant men full due process rights and equal justice under law – it should be defunded. The seminal presumption of VAWA, embodied in the Duluth Power Wheel, was that there only could be patriarchal male perpetrators and innocent female victims. All else follows from this core presumption.

The ideological fraud of VAWA is exposed both from the lived experiences of everyday citizens and from hundreds of research studies. As ordinary citizens peruse the media and look about them in their daily lives, they find abundant examples of women being violent towards men. These lived experiences of ordinary men and women challenge the core ideological presumptions of VAWA.

Scientific research from hundreds of empirical studies likewise exposes the ideological – rather than the scientific – foundations of VAWA. The key research findings are: males and females initiate domestic violence in approximately equal numbers; physical harm befalls females somewhat more frequently than males; and the initiation rates for females have been increasing.

Even more devastating to the ideological foundations of VAWA, there now is some evidence that the highest levels of domestic violence are found not in heterosexual male-female relationships, but rather in homosexual lesbian relationships. What is critically important in these findings, of course, is that there is no patriarchal male in lesbian relationships. With the absence of a patriarchal male in lesbian domestic violence, the entire ideological superstructure of VAWA collapses.

So, what difference does it make if VAWA and related programs are re-funded at billions of dollars a year? A great deal as it turns out. For taxpayers, the national debt, and the national deficit, VAWA represents billions of dollars of government waste that creates even more waste. By ending marriages, destroying families and removing fathers from their children, we are left with the consequence of single-mother families. Single-mother families overall yield the worst developmental outcomes for children and create a demand for yet more billions of dollars in taxpayer funded government entitlement programs. Yes, VAWA does all this.

Much of the damage is accomplished through restraining orders based on nonsensically broad definitions of domestic violence. VAWA restraining orders strip men of their due process rights, deny them the right to be present at hearings, and deny men their right to cross-examine their accuser. The consequences of one-sided, judicially granted restraining orders are that the police remove the man from the home, give the woman temporary (generally morphing into permanent) custody of the house, the children, and order the man to pay child support. False restraining orders along with false child sexual abuse allegations are widely used by women to gain advantage in divorce proceedings.

Unfortunately for men, the broad social attitudes spawned by VAWA have created a social, legal, and media environment in which it is extremely difficult for men to defend themselves. Under VAWA and related prosecutions, such as false rape allegations, there is a presumption of guilt until proven innocent and a rush to judgment. Think Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The Senate Judiciary Hearing is titled “The Violence Against Women Act: Building on Seventeen Years of Accomplishments.” It more accurately should be sub-titled “Seventeen Years of Devastating Fathers, Families, Children, and Defrauding Taxpayers.” In my view, and in light of the consequences of VAWA for the economy and for families, VAWA either should defunded or redirected to grant fathers and children due process, equal justice under law, and equal treatment as victims.