Tue 23 Dec, 2008 04:27 pm
This is incredible
'My Motives Were Pure and Innocent'
A member of John Kerry's "band of brothers" pleads guilty to possessing child porn.
By JAMES TARANTO
Remember Wade Sanders? He was one of the "band of brothers"--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 Karl Rove and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth chief John O'Neill to Josef Goebbels. He repeatedly referred to the president and his men as "chicken hawks," an especially nasty term because it is slang for a child molester as well as a derisive term for a nonveteran who favors a strong defense.
Sanders, who also served as a deputy assistant Navy secretary during the Clinton administration, continued his anti-Bush campaign even after Kerry's defeat. In a December 2004 op-ed for the San Diego Union-Tribune, he lectured the president on "the heavy responsibility of command":Let me, for a moment, address the commander in chief directly: Sir, with all due respect, you would be well advised to acquaint yourself with the level of responsibility and accountability that accompany the title. If you really want to fill those shoes, if you want to parade about in uniform, if you want to use our men and women in uniform as your personal props, then please honor moral and ethical standards that go with the job.
In 2007, Kerry attempted to use his Senate position to settle a personal score, scuttling the confirmation of businessman Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium because Fox donated money to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. (President Bush gave Fox a recess appointment.) In a March 2007 Washington Times op-ed, Sanders railed righteously against Fox:
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but one of the lessons drilled into me by the military and preserved through the memory of friends who were lucky enough to come home from Vietnam alive, is that truth matters above all else. And as a military man, it doesn't matter much who is being attacked--John McCain, Max Cleland, John Kerry, or Jack Murtha--I just don't believe that assaults on the military records of veterans belong in our politics. Nor do I believe that those who finance smears of decorated Vietnam veterans deserve to represent America on the world stage. . . .Those of us who are real swift boaters know something about judgment and responsibility for our decisions.
The following month, in a letter to the editor of the Boston Herald, Sanders harrumphed:
Yes, I am a member of Kerry's ready reserve of Swift Boat vets and unlike those who served with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and their ilk, I serve with honor, integrity and exercise sound judgment. Fox would do well to reacquaint himself with those qualities.
Sanders is back in the news. 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."
If this explanation sounds familiar, you probably are thinking of Bernie Ward, the liberal 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.''
Don'tcha just hate when journalism research goes awry? To ensure that things don't spiral out of control, we'll give Sanders the last word: "Those of us who are real swift boaters know something about judgment and responsibility for our decisions."
Also the excuse Peter Townsend of The Who used when he got caught.
The gall of this pervert is just incredible.