Senior U.S. lawmakers on Sunday condemned the suspected distribution of nude photographs of female Marines to military personnel and veterans via a social media network that promotes sexual violence, and called on the Marine Corps to fully investigate.
The Marine Corps Times, an independent newspaper focusing on issues involving the service, published an internal Marine Corps communications document with talking points about the issue, describing the social media network as a closed Facebook group with about 30,000 members. The network solicited nude photos of female service members, some of whom had their name, rank and duty station listed, the newspaper reported.
A Marine Corps spokesman told the newspaper that military officials are uncertain how many military personnel could be involved.
The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, Republican Mac Thornberry of Texas, and the panel’s senior Democrat, Adam Smith of Washington state, separately called for a complete investigation.
“Degrading behavior of this kind is entirely unacceptable,” Thornberry said in a statement. “I expect the Marine Corps to investigate this matter fully with appropriate consequences for those who willingly participated.”
Smith also called for proper care to be provided to the victims, and said that, “This behavior by Marines and former Marines is degrading, dangerous, and completely unacceptable.”
Officials from the Marine Corps Naval Criminal Investigative Service were not immediately available for comment.
The site talked of misogynist behavior, the Marine Corps document said, and the photos were on a secure drive in cloud storage, which has been removed.
The document advised a response along the lines of: “The Marine Corps is deeply concerned about allegations regarding the derogatory online comments and sharing of salacious photographs in a closed website. This behavior destroys morale, erodes trust, and degrades the individual.”
According to an annual report that the Pentagon released in May 2016, the U.S. military received about 6,000 reports of sexual assault in 2015, similar to the number in 2014, but such crimes are still underreported.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Additional reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Will Dunham)
Protesters give Donald Trump a one-finger salute as Marine One flies over DC protests
President Donald Trump returned to Washington, DC on Saturday as large crowds of protesters fill the city's streets.
Trump had flown to Florida to see the launch of the SpaceX Starship and returned as the sun was going down.
BuzzFeed News reporter Ellie Hall captured a picture of Marine One approaching the White House -- and being welcomed back to town with raised middle fingers.
Trump, in Marine One, just did a flyover of the protest area outside the White House.
Trump announces he has unilaterally decided to let Putin back into the G7 Summit: report
President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he intends to let Russia attend the next Group of Seven summit.
Since 2014, Russia's membership in the organization has been suspending in response to Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea. That changed the name from the G8 Summit to the G7 Summit.
The announcement came from pool reporter Gabby Orr of Politico, who said Trump will also invite South Korea, Australia and India to the next summit, which he is postponing until September.
More via pooler: “‘I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,’ he said. Alyssa Farah said this is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China.”
Seattle mayor imposes emergency curfew — set to begin only 14 minutes after her announcement
The mayor of Seattle announced on Twitter that she would be signing an executive order imposing a curfew.
"I will soon be signing an emergency order and the city of Seattle will be imposing a 5 pm curfew soon," Durkin tweeted at 4:46 p.m. -- only 14 minutes before the order was set to go into effect.
"Crowds need to disburse from downtown immediately," she ordered.
"While many individuals gathered peaceful, some individuals have started fires and are destroying buildings. There are multiple fires downtown and it is an extremely dangerous situation. @Seattelfire (sic) does not have access to buildings," she continued.