Marine Corps rattled by explicit photo controversy. NCIS – Naval Naval Criminal Investigative Service investigating.
Since January 30, 2017, Marines have been posting hundreds of nude photos of their female colleagues — veterans and civilians — without their consent, to a secret Facebook group titled “Marines United,” according to military veteran and investigative journalist Thomas Brennan. The matter is currently under investigation by military officials.
The scandal was uncovered by The War Horse, a nonprofit news organization run by Brennan, and he pointed out that photos of more than two-dozen women were posted to the page — along with their names and military rank. He also reported that comments on one of the photos called for the woman to be sexually assaulted.
The secret Facebook group has nearly 30,000 members, and the photos drew a lot of attention as well as more than 2,500 comments.
The scandal “underscores ongoing problems of sexual harassment within military ranks and could hurt recruitment of women. Officials within the Defense Department confirmed it also puts service members at risk for blackmail and jeopardizes national security,” Brennan wrote
Brennan reported that some members of the group “invited others to collect, identify and share photos of naked or scantily clad service women;” and he said, “Dozens of now-deleted Google Drive folders linked from the Facebook page included dossiers of women containing their names, military branches, nude photographs, screenshots of their social media accounts and images of sexual acts. Dozens of other subfolders included unidentifiable women in various stages of undress. Many images appear to have originated from the consensual, but private, exchange of racy images, some clearly taken by the women themselves.”
Two of the women whose photos were shared to the group said they believe that former partners leaked the pics, and other women fear their accounts were hacked, the images were stolen.
Just after Brennan requested a comment regarding the incident, the social media profiles that posted the photos were removed by Facebook and Google at the military’s request.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has launched a formal investigation, and least one Marine has already been discharged for photographing a female corporal without her consent.