A new omnibus spending bill allocates $18 million to help the Marine Corps handle the nude photo scandal.
The spending bill amounts to $1.16 trillion in total, which includes $15 billion for defense-related issues and $18 million specifically for “consulting services to include assistance to the Commandant of the Marine Corps,” to ameliorate the scandal, Military Times reports.
That the bill includes $18 million is a sign lawmakers believe the issue to be quite serious. Still, feminist Gloria Allred, the attorney for women whose intimate photos were shared around in private internet groups, accused both Congress and the Pentagon of lackluster investigations into the matter more focused on preserving the perception of institutional integrity.
Back in March, The Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered hundreds of Marines sharing the nude photos of other servicemembers in a private Facebook group called Marines United.
Since then, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has launched numerous investigations into the matter and have come to the conclusion that the matter is much larger than originally thought. And yet, NCIS has not turned up any felony criminal activity at this point. which is much larger than originally thought.
The service has promised to help victims recover from the scandal, even floating the idea of purchasing reputation management software, along with implementing new regulations to ban nude photo sharing.
Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Ryan Alvis recently told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the task force established in the aftermath of the scandal is working on a plan to “eradicate the disrespectful attitudes and behaviors of some Marines.”
“The vast majority of Marines live our ethos, and a part of that ethos is to correct and hold accountable those Marines who don’t,” Alvis said. “Marines don’t degrade their fellow Marines. Marines don’t disrespect or discriminate based on gender, religious affiliation, sexuality or race. The Marine Corps owns this problem and is committed to addressing it for the long-term.”
The omnibus spending bill does not elaborate on what the “consulting services” are or will entail.
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