Debbie Nathan tenker høyt om barneporno

Debbie Nathan skrev i fjor sommer i sin blogg om at hun mente journalister burde ha rettslig immunitet til å oppsøke og undersøke barneporno som en del av sitt arbeide. Hun har i mine øyne svært mange gode poeng, bl.a:

I’m worried that the government has declared an entire field of law enforcement and public policy off-limits from empirical critique by academia and the fourth estate. I want a process that allows non-governmental investigators and journos to be vetted and qualified as child-porn researchers. I’m not sure who would do the vetting or what the criteria would be. Neither is Penn State’s Jenkins. Still, says Jenkins, if front-line research and reporting remains prohibited, “if there’s no garbage filter, no independent means for checking, verifying or criticizing the government, that’s very worrisome. As an analogy, just imagine if every word we knew about terrorism came from the FBI or the White House.”

Jeg tør ikke tenke på det en gang. Når vi vet hvordan Bush og co har fortiet og manipulert fakta om global oppvarming, evolusjon osv, så ser vi hvor viktig det er med en aktiv presse som kan rette et kritisk søkelys på den informasjonen folket serveres av myndighetene. Vi ser eksempler på det samme når det gjelder barneporno og pedofile overgripere også fra norske og europeiske myndigheter.


For noen dager siden postet Nathan en ny artikkel hvor hun skriver bl.a. følgende:

An animal-cruelty image sales prohibition law was enacted during the waning years of the Clinton administration. It was passed to deal with “crush videos” — where women say smutty things to rodents and other small animals, then trample them with their bare feet or shoes. According to the Times, President Clinton wanted the bill used only against depictions of cruelty to animals “designed to appeal to a prurient interest in sex.”(Good thing he never taped himself being mean to Monica, with all his refusals to have intercourse with her.)

[…]

Despite the sexual “smash video” limitation, notes the Times, people have been prosecuted for selling videos of dog fights. And now, a company that webcasts cockfights from Puerto Rico has gone to federal court in Miami to argue that Americans have a First Amendment right to market such images, even if the behavior depicted is a crime in the place where the image is consumed.

The First Amendment argument has nothing to do with commercialization. It’s about possession and viewing per se. The argument goes like this: It’s not the image of a crime that should be criminalized–it’s the crime itself. If bad behavior isn’t outlawed in the jurisdiction where the image is produced, the remedy is not to ban the picture. It’s to change the law to prohibit the conduct. Then go after the law breakers for committing the crime. Use the pictures as evidence. But don’t make images of the crime illegal.

Hun hevder deretter at det samme argumentet kan gjøres om barneporno. Det er mange argumenter for at forbudet mot å se/besitte barneporno gir absurde konsevenser. Hva med bilder av 16-åringer produsert i et land hvor dette er lovlig? I disse landene er det helt lovlig å filme 16- og 17-åringer som har sex. Men i bl.a. USA og Norge er de samme bildene ulovlige fordi her er aldersgrensen 18 år. Så har man alle bildene og filmene som lages av mindreårige selv, noe som kanskje utgjør størstedelen av “barnepornoen” på nettet i dag. Så har man den absurditeten at man helt lovlig kan ha sex med en 16-åring, men ser man bikinibilder av samme 16-åring kan man dømmes for barneporno. Flere absurditeter og problemstillinger kan leses i mine tidligere artikler i denne bloggen.

Nathan fortsetter:

So, is separating the image from the crime — and outlawing the image — right or rational? Maybe yes, maybe no. When it comes to cockfights and dog fights, the courts are batting around these questions, Constitutional scholars are jumping in, and and the Times has a front-section, full-of-Times-gravitas story.
But do you ever hear the same reasoning (or rationality, or mainstream reporting) applied to the child porn question?

You may protest that children are not chickens. Many people (including those in the Department of Justice) argue that subsequent to the commission of child sexual abuse, distributing the visual record of that abuse hurts child victims all over again. Others note that this claim sounds plausible on the surface, but there’s no data to back it up.

Til min glede tar hun også opp det samme poenget som jeg gjorde i artikkelen “Drapsmann for Taliban”, nemlig at det ikke stilles spørsmål med avbildning av andre former for overgrep. Er det virkelig verre å bli seksuelt misbrukt enn å bli utsatt for grov vold eller tortur? Hvorfor stilles det ikke spørsmål ved at det er lovlig å se på, besitte og distribuere bilder av førstnevnte, men ikke sistnevnte?

(There’s no data, either, to tell how all those Abu Ghraib victims feel about the mass distribution of photos showing them being sexually assaulted. But no one … except the government … has ever suggested it should be a crime to look at the images of those assaults.)

Interesting that we can mull over First Amendment rights when it comes to crimes against chickens, dogs, and Iraqi sex torture victims. But not children.

Ikke sant?