Patrick Trueman anticipated trouble when the War on Illegal Pornography — a coalition of 70 pro-family organizations — essentially picked a fight with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) by flooding the attorney general’s office with calls to prosecute illegal pornography. But Trueman never expected what happened next.
Trueman, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, received an email today from the phone company that he used to set up the toll-free number that connected people directly to the DOJ.
The email read, “We have closed this account at the request of our provider and the party that your account was forwarding phone calls to.”
A DOJ spokeswoman told Family News in Focus by email: “The department played no role in the number being taken down, and in fact we are receiving calls in the department now about this issue.”
“I can see that they’re upset, but wait a minute. We’re talking about the First Amendment rights of American citizens,” Trueman said. “And we have the right to petition our government. They are the government, and I’m offended that they have shut down our First Amendment Rights.”
In an email to supporters, Trueman wrote, “We are not deterred. We just contracted with another company and have been promised that they will work for us and keep the line open.”
The coalition had launched on Monday a grassroots campaign to highlight Holder’s lack of enforcement of obscenity laws, as well as to encourage the DOJ to prosecute producers of illegal pornography. Federal laws prohibit distribution of obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable and satellite TV, through the mail and in retail outlets. Yet, there has not been a single new federal obscenity indictment since President Obama took office. In fact, Holder shut down the DOJ’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in the Criminal Division.
Holder appeared before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this morning and admitted that pornography leads to sex trafficking, violence against women, as well as child porn. However, when questioned by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., about the proliferation of illegal pornography on his watch, Holder faltered.
“We have a number and I can get that number to you,” Holder said. “I don’t have it at my fingertips.”
“The attorney general was very much aware that he’d be grilled on this issue when he went before Congress,” Trueman said. “After all, more than 100 members of Congress sent him a letter complaining of his lack of enforcement of adult obscenity cases.”
Nevertheless, Holder appeared to evade Judiciary members’ questions.
“He knows he doesn’t have any cases,” Trueman said. “For him to say ‘we’ll get back to you’ is just a giant governmental fib.”
— Steve Jordahl contributed to this story.
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