Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Case of Karma?

Remember Wade Sanders? He was one of the "band of brothers"-- one of only two Swift Boat veterans who supported John Kerry's presidential campaign and appeared onstage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention before Kerry's "reporting for duty" speech.

On the campaign trail, Sanders was one of Kerry's nastiest surrogates. In August 2004, he likened the president to a "trapped animal." In September, he compared Swift Boat Veterans for Truth chief John O'Neill, who respresented the sentiments of the overwhelming majority of Kerry's fellow sailors, to Josef Goebbels. He repeatedly referred to the president and his men as "chicken hawks."

This is where Karma comes in, as the term is also slang for a child molester as well as a derisive term for a nonveteran who favors a strong defense. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that he "pleaded guilty yesterday to a federal charge of possessing child pornography":

The investigation into Sanders began in October 2007, according to a statement filed in the case by San Diego FBI agent John Caruthers.

Another FBI agent working undercover signed on to a file-sharing computer network and entered a search term that is used for accessing child pornography images.

Among the responses to that search term was one for a specific computer address that the agents eventually traced to Sanders' home in South Park in San Diego. The agent then obtained a list of files that were being shared on the computer and downloaded 11 files, including at least two that contained images of child pornography.

On May 2, 2008, agents executed a search warrant at Sanders' home and seized his computer. During the search, Sanders admitted he had downloaded child pornography using the file-sharing program, but said he deleted the files once he noticed they were downloaded, according to the FBI statement.

Sanders acknowledged in court that he had "possessed computer files containing 600 images of minors, including a 21-minute video that depicted girls engaging in sex acts with an adult man." But don't worry--his motives were "pure and innocent":

In a telephone interview last night, Sanders said he had downloaded the files as part of his research for an article on the sexual exploitation of children in foreign countries. He said his work for the Clinton administration had included aiding victims of child sex abuse in the former Yugoslavia.

"I have no sexual attraction to children whatsoever," Sanders said. "There was no evil intent."

Sanders, a lawyer, said he didn't realize federal child pornography laws barred downloading or viewing the material even by researchers. He said that is why he decided to plead guilty.

"I thought since my motives were pure and innocent, that would make a difference," he said. "I'm technically guilty of the crime."

This explanation sounds familiar. I remember Bernie Ward, the liberal--no, make that communist; this guy used to regularly perform political fellatio on the Sandinistas and Fidel Castro's banditos in Cuba--San Francisco talk-show host who in August was sentenced to seven years in federal prison after pleading guilty to distribution of child pornography. As the San Jose Mercury News reported, he claimed he was working on a book:

[Ward's] lawyer urged [Judge Vaughn] Walker to impose the lowest possible sentence, saying Ward began downloading the images as part of journalism research that went awry, spiralling out of control when he began drinking heavily. Doron Weinberg, Ward's attorney, told Walker the child porn downloading "spanned a brief period in an exemplary life.''

Mind you, the prosecution of Bernie Ward began after:

...an investigation that was triggered by his online chats with an online dominatrix who turned him in to police when she grew concerned about images he had of young children.

It turned out to be pictures of at least 15 and possibly up to 150 underage children.

It gets better:

The government's court documents alleged that Ward possessed images of sex acts on children as young as three years old, and revealed his online exchanges with the dominatrix in which he discussed his sexual attraction to children."These images depicted these minors suffering the most horrific torment,'' Steve Grocki, a Justice Department lawyer who led the Ward prosecution, said to Walker. "He traded in the currency of human suffering.

Don't you just know odd things like that can happen when journalism research goes awry?

Self-righteous Sanders used to say that "Those of us who are real swift boaters know something about judgment and responsibility for our decisions."

Perhaps he studied the kiddie porn "in a fashion reminiscient of Jen-Jiss Caan", like his buddy John Kerry would say.

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