Sun. Aug 7th, 2022

Just when I thought the Federal government couldn’t waste tax dollars on anything else frivolous, especially after Hurricane Katrina, I was proven wrong again.In early August, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) began recruiting for a new team.

According to the Washington Post, “The new squad will divert eight agents, a supervisor and assorted support staff to gather evidence against manufacturers and purveyors of pornography not the kind exploiting children, but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.”

“I guess this means we’ve won the war on terror,” said one incensed FBI agent anonymously to the Washington Post.

Public corruption is, in fact, officially the fourth priority of the FBI and “one of the top priorities” of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. The FBI’s number one priority, according to the Post, is protecting the United States from terrorist attack.

If this were a task force to eradicate child pornography, of course I’d be all for it. However, does the U.S. government actually have enough funding to be tracking down supposed “criminals” without any real basis for judging their offenses?

According to the same article, “Community standards along with a prurient purpose and absence of artistic merit define criminal obscenity under current Supreme Court doctrine.”

Absence of artistic merit? I can name many, many horrible things in the world that lack artistic merit. Yet porn, using consenting adults and marketed to consenting adults, at least does not inflict violence. The article was remiss to mention if the task force was concerned particularly with any type of porn.

Videos that depict violence are even very arbitrary, as anyone within the S/M community knows that it is not the same as real violence. The actors have consented ahead of time to what will be done, and are able to stop it if it goes too far with the use of what they call “safe words.”

If the government were really serious about eliminating something that indirectly causes much harm to the country, maybe they should tackle the problem of racism or sexism.

Much of pornography is sexist and degrading to women; however, it is unknown if this will be the type they will target. Even if pornography such as that were eliminated, what about the everyday acts of sexism and reallife violence done to women?

According to the Washington Post, Congress began funding the “obscenity initiative” in the 2005 fiscal year. The initiative designates that the FBI must devote 10 agents to adult pornography.

At least there is already a program in place for crimes against children under the Violent Crimes unit. This unit is responsible for investigating and preventing kidnappings and online child pornography.

According to the FBI’s Web site, “It is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Crimes Against Children Program to provide a quick and effective response to all incidences of crimes against children.” This includes the National Sex Offender Registry and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

These programs do not seem like a waste of money to me. There can never be enough money given to protecting children and helping them learn. If it were up to me, I would rather the FBI devote 10 more agents to child pornography.

The FBI’s ridiculous new unit to investigate consensual adult pornography on a subjective basis is a frivolous use of government funds, and one of many poor decisions in regards to the nation’s deficit budget.

Sally Cramer is a senior majoring in studio arts with minors in communication studies and women’s studies.

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