Nude photo scandal rampant across US military, not just Marines – report
The scandal originally implicated marines using a Facebook group called ‘Marines United’ to share images of naked personnel, jokingly named ‘wins’, but a new BBC report claims the US Navy and Air Force are also investigating the issue.
Photographs on an image-hosting website reportedly seen by the BBC showed branches across the US military involved in collecting and discussing nude images of female personnel. “She is in the navy down in san diego, anyone have any more wins?” one post asked.
Other posts claim the behavior as circulating in Fort Bragg Air Force Base in North Carolina, Wright-Patterson in Ohio and Offutt in Nebraska. The Massachusetts National Guard is implicated in at least one post, reported CBS, which claims to have learned that the investigation will go beyond the marines to all branches of the military.
Marine officials told CBS that at least a half dozen websites are involved in hosting the photos. They also identified a social post that showed a member of the Marines asking for a group containing the images that was free of ‘blue falcons’, a term used to describe a marine who “rats out his buddies.”
The original ‘Marines United’ group with 30,000 members and containing “hundreds – possibly thousands” of photos of naked female recruits, veterans and other women was closed following revelations of the scandal. Its time offline was short-lived when it reemerged as a new page with stricter criteria on who could join.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled an open hearing on the scandal for March 14.
Retired US Marine Erika Butner, who says photos of her were posted as part of the scandal, told reporters she was “disheartened and disgusted with this scandal.”
"[V]ictim blaming and the excuse that some are giving, that ‘boys will be boys’, needs to stop,” Butner said. “As a rape survivor, I can tell you this exact behavior leads to the normalization of sexual harassment and even sexual violence.”
Butner said she knew some of the women featured in the groups and said that they had not given their permission for the images to be shared online.