July 3, 2013

Pentagon Watch: Senate Takes Action

Is Secretary Hagel Serious About Sexual Exploitation?

Pentagon Watch, Number 5 – July 3, 2013

After ignoring the will of Congress for nearly two decades on the issue of sexually exploitive materials sold to servicemen, the Pentagon has been given an ultimatum of sorts by the U. S. Senate Armed Services Committee. The Military Honor and Decency Act prohibits the sale of pornography on Military bases but this law has all but been ignored by the Pentagon since it passed Congress in 1996. The Military’s sexual exploitation scandal may change that.

Morality in Media is encouraged that the Armed Services committee, in an effort led by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), added key language to the final markup of the 2014 Defense budget to address the problem of pornography in the military. “The committee is concerned about the impact this material may have on the health and wellness of military service members and their families,” says the report. It directs military officials to notify Congress about what steps will be taken to comply with the prohibition of the sale of pornography.

Morality in Media thanks our troops around the world for protecting us and we keep all of them in our thoughts and prayers this Fourth of July. We also appreciate the collective work being done by the Pentagon and Congress to ensure that the Military’s sexual exploitation crisis comes to an end and that all service members, women and men, feel welcome in their service.

In a June letter to Defense Secretary Hagel, Morality in Media asked him to stop selling sexually exploitive magazines and to prohibit access to pornography by electronic devices on military bases worldwide.

Secretary Hagel ordered the removal of all pornography and other offensive and degrading materials from workspaces. Morality in Media would urge that if the Secretary believes porn is a problem, as we certainly do, then eliminate all porn. It is incongruous to prohibit service members from possessing pornography and offer to sell it to them at the same time.

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