Gonzales, Mueller, McDade and Eichenwald: Did They Violate 18 USC 2252A?

On the last day of AG Alberto Gonzales’ fractured civil servant career, a diary was posted at DailyKos detailing how Gonzales and FBI Director Mueller handed out “pixellated” images of child porn to civillian business reps of Internet Service Providers in the spring of 2006.  The diary cites to, and quotes from, a 5th Circuit Appellate Court opinion in which the panel shot down the “pixel” arguement of a defendant:

Grimes argues that the presence of the pixel
boxes prevents, as a matter of law, the nude
photographs of the minor girls from meeting
the statute’s definitional requirements. First,
he asserts that because the genitals were
blocked out, the photographs fail to meet the
definition of “lascivious.” Second, and along
the same lines, he argues that because the genitals
are blocked out, they are not “exhibited.”….

After viewing the photographs, we reject
Grimes’s challenge to the sufficiency of the
evidence. It is plain to any viewer that the
producing of these visual depictions involved
the use of minors engaging in sexually explicit
conduct and that the visual depiction captured
that activity.
Grimes answers by saying that postproduction
computer alterations brought the
photographs outside the statute’s reach. That,
however, is not what the plain language
requires.

The diary references Georgia District Attorney David McDade, the infamous  prosecutor who made copies of the Genarlow Wilson child porn tape and passed it around to reporters and members of the Georgia legislature to prevent a retroactive application of an amended law benefitting Wilson.

It’s been over 2 months since the U.S. Attorney’s Office in that district was made aware of the conduct.  All the elements that satisfy a federal indictment are present.  What’s missing is the “zero tolerance” attitude that Gonzales impressed upon his attorneys.

And yesterday, in a piece by Debbie Nathan for Counterpunch, Nathan details the continuing saga of reporter Kurt Eichenwald.  Court documents recently unsealed expose a reporter who was so far in over his head, it appears he not only financially supported Justin Berry’s re-entry into Internet child porn, but assisted in the site’s administration.  It’s difficult to believe the DOJ was not aware of all this after Berry came forward with the information, followed by his savoir, Eichenwald.  As Nathan points out, information that:

…led to a hysterical circus of congressional hearings and fueled witch-hunting legislation against not just sex offenders, but even teen networking sites like MySpace.

So why is the DOJ giving these individuals a pass while they spent 4 years prosecuting Kelly Hoose for possessing images the government knew were adults?