Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley questions the logic behind the F-B-I’s new focus that would take agents away from tracking terrorists to instead put away pornographers. Reports say the bureau’s new anti-obscenity squad is a top priority, which Grassley says seems to contradict where the federal agency should be centering its attention.
Grassley says “I don’t want the F-B-I to forget what a primary change of direction for them has been since Nine-Eleven four years ago. That change of direction was that they are in the front line of the domestic war on terrorism and if they fail, then we lose that domestic war.”
A report in today’s (Tuesday) Washington Post says the F-B-I’s new anti-porn squad would -not- target the sort of filth that exploits children, for example, “but the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults.” Grassley says the F-B-I has been shifting away from chasing down “Bonnie and Clyde” bank robbers in recent years and is now in a unique position to pursue terrorists. Keeping America safe from the next al-Qaida attack should be the target, Grassley says, not smut peddlers. Grassley says “What we need to have the F-B-I remember is that there is a lot of law enforcement in the United States to go after bank robbers and pornographers other than just the F-B-I, that’s state and local and other law enforcement at the federal level.”
Grassley, a Republican, says he has no complaint about a team that will go after criminals in the porn industry, but at the same time, he doesn’t want the federal government’s top law enforcement agency to lose sight of its primary goal. Grassley says “I wanna’ be able to count on the F-B-I not forgetting that they are the front line in the war against terrorism, to protect Americans, making sure the awful things that happened on September the 11th at the Pentagon or New York City don’t happen again.”
The Post article says the new anti-porn squad is considered something of a running joke that’s left some agents exasperated. One agent told the paper, anonymously, “I guess this means we’ve won the war on terror.”