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Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Threat

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By Dr. Lori HandrahanBarbWire guest contributor

Child pornography has mushroomed into a giant business, attracting organized crime. At least 200,000 websites sell such images… and rake in from $20 billion to $30 billion a year.
Christian Science Monitor, 2006

Nothing to See Here

Something to think about.

America now produces an estimated half of the world’s child porn. Of all the global internet servers that host child sexual abuse websites, nearly half are located in the United States. An estimated 50,000 Americans, at any given time, are on-line trading images of child sex abuse.

These are the facts.

This production depends on the sexual abuse of American children.

Imagine, for a moment, the number of children raped since you finished your morning coffee in order to produce half the world’s child porn. Think about the children you know. Given the numbers, it is statistically impossible that you do not know a child who is being sexually abused in America today.

It might even be your own child. But you wouldn’t know any of this by following mainstream media.

The American media establishment hardly covers child sex abuse crimes at all compared, for example, with the media coverage of child sex abuse scandals and cover-ups at the highest levels in the British Isles.

When mainstream media does report on the story the message is: Nothing to see here. Move along, please. Yes, there are a few powerful voices here and there that defend the survivor or attempt to deepen the discussion but, by and large, American journalists tend to act as apologists for the sex abuser and move off the story as quickly as possible.

From former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, to John Grisham’s recent comments, the the Steubenville High School rape case, the revived Woody Allen story, or former U.S. Senate staffer Ryan Loskarn’s case, the narratives being played out are the same old discussion: denial. Denial by the media. Denial by the perpetrator. Denial, particularly, by the general public that, often powerful white, men rape small children or spend their nights and weekends achieving sexual pleasure by watching videos, pictures and live-streams of child sex abuse.

CNN’s Poppy Harlow’s coverage of the Steubenville rape story in Ohio last year is a good example. Harlow generated outrage from social media activists when she expressed concerns that one year sentences for the young men who had raped an unconscious high school girl, and then shared videos and photos of this abuse, had destroyed the perpetrators’ lives. Harlow said it was “incredibly difficult… to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.”

No mention or sympathy by Harlow for the girl who had endured the abuse and the images of her sex abuse spread for all to see on the internet. No discussion of how her life “fell apart.”

The media coverage of late Senate staffer Ryan Loskarn’s arrest for graphic and violent child porn, including the rape of a six year old girl in the woods by her father, is another example. Loskarn’s arrest and subsequent suicide, while awaiting trial, generated lots of ink by Washington DC journalists — many who knew Loskarn personally — but the coverage followed the standard script. Journalists expressed overwhelming sympathy for Loskarn but not one journalist asked what about the children in Loskarn’s videos?

Will the six year old girl raped in the woods by her father be rescued?

No one asked. No one wanted to know.

John Harwood, for example, a D.C. reporter for CNBC and The New York Times, tweeted “Feeling so sad about Ryan Loskarn. Knew him a bit as a reporter and liked him. RIP.”

I asked Harwood about the children in Loskarn’s child porn collection. Harwood’s response was “as father of daughters I’m horrified by that violent abuse. But I knew Ryan Loskarn & yes, I am sad for him & his family.”

I responded, “I appreciate that. As the father of daughters will you focus media attention on finding the 6 yr girl in Loskarn’s video? That’s all I am asking. It’s a simple & I think appropriate request. Given #Loskarn’s final words were to the children. No?

Harwood never replied.

Child Porn as a National Security Threat

Over the past two years, I’ve been documenting the scope of America’s child porn industry and the apparent level of involvement by America’s national security and federal employees. Forbes, The Washington Times and others have published my research. Fox News and Canadian TV (CTV) invited me for interviews. My CTV interview went mini-viral as did my Forbes article. I was the first to ask, in 2012, if White House staff might have been involved in the Colombia Secret Service scandal.

I am now researching and writing a book: Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden Security Threat. My starting premise is men, and increasingly women, are raping children, very young children, including infants and toddlers, and sharing videos, images, and live-streaming of this abuse at epidemic levels. These criminals are, by and large, are getting away with it because America refuses to move beyond our denial.

We are sustaining crisis-level numbers of seemingly normal, often powerful and successful men, and some women, involved in America’s child sex abuse industry; far too many of whom are federal or state employees.

It does not matter if the perpetrator is on the demand-side, with incessant appetites for graphic child abuse to achieve sexual gratification, or the supply-side of abusing children, often their own or children of friends and relatives, and selling this abuse on-line. Both supply and demand, which often cross over, have reached epidemic proportions and no one is talking about it.

My research is intended to be a wake-up call. The problem of child sex abuse and its cover-up is real. A generation of American children are being destroyed. If you think this only happens to other children, and your children are safe, you are sadly mistaken. Your children might be enduring sexual abuse right now while you remain dangerously ignorant. Ryan Loskarn’s parents never knew, until they read his suicide note, that he had suffered sex abuse as a child.

America’s appetite for child porn puts all our children at risk. Your children and mine. Whether you acknowledge it or not.

Dr. Paul Farmer, a humanitarian and personal hero, has said we must find the words to talk about the most painful subjects if we hope to have any positive impact on this world of ours. This is my attempt to find those words and open a subject no one wants to discuss.

That is, that while no one was watching, America has become a child porn nation and that puts us all at risk.

Dr. Lori Handrahan’s forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk details America’s child sex abuse epidemic. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2.

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