A War Too Many
In this field office in Washington, 32 prosecutors, investigators and a handful of FBI agents are spending millions of dollars to bring anti-obscenity cases to courthouses across the country for the first time in 10 years. Nothing is off limits, they warn, even soft-core cable programs such as HBO’s long-running Real Sex or the adult movies widely offered in guestrooms of major hotel chains.
Department officials say they will send “ripples” through an industry that has proliferated on the Internet and grown into an estimated $10 billion-a-year colossus profiting Fortune 500 corporations such as Comcast, which offers hard-core movies on a pay-per-view channel.
I must say, this one baffles me. I grant that the Administration–and, indeed, much of the country–is more puritanical of these matters than I am. But even leaving aside the question of whether this is an appropriate thing for the federal government to do, this hardly seems a proper time to devoting resources to yet another unwinnable “war.” The FBI is currently in large-scale hiring mode to beef up its counterterrorism resources and, surely, DOJ has enough to do in this arena as well. It’s bad enough that we’re devoting resources that could be used to catch terrorists to locking up drug users; surely, we don’t need to add people who watch HBO to the list?