The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating allegations an unspecified number of military personnel and veterans allegedly distributed nude photos of female colleagues and other women as part of a perverse social media network that promotes sexual violence.
The explosive revelation was first reported by The War Horse and published Saturday via Reveal, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting. Potentially hundreds of Marines may be caught up in the scandal, which has shaken top Pentagon officials and prompted death threats against the Marine veteran who disclosed it. An undetermined number of nude photos were shared online by way of a Facebook group titled Marines United, according to the report. The community has nearly 30,000 members, mostly comprising active-duty U.S. Marines, Marine Corps veterans and British Royal Marines.
The unseemly episode is deeply embarrassing for the Marine Corps and the Defense Department, proud institutions that, like many college campuses around the country, have struggled to curtail widespread problems with sexual assault. At the same time, it exposes an unsettling rift within a segment of American society consistently regarded as reputable, honorable and trustworthy.
A Marine Corps spokesman at the Pentagon confirmed that an investigation is underway, telling Marine Corps Times on Saturday night that military officials are uncertain how many personnel may be involved. The spokesman, Maj. Clark Carpenter, referred additional questions to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, but that agency’s spokesman was not immediately available. (Read more from “A Nude Photo Scandal Has Shaken the Entire Marine Corps” HERE)