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Pat Trueman: Bush Not Keeping Promises on Obscenity Enforcement

Washington- A former official in the Justice Department says the Bush administration has not kept its promises when it comes to obscenity prosecutions.

In 2002, then Attorney General John Ashcroft promised a return to vigorous prosecutions of obscenity — after a decade long reduction in such cases.

But five years later, Pat Trueman says President Bush’s administration has not kept its promises regarding obscenity enforcement. Trueman is special counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and former chief of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity section.

“The Bush administration, I would say, gets a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ on obscenity prosecution. They just haven’t had an interest in it. They talk about it once in awhile. But they really can’t be said to have done a better job than Bill Clinton and Janet Reno,” the pro-family attorney points out.

Two years ago, an Obscenity Prosecution Task Force was created in the Justice Department, with a goal of encouraging local prosecutors to bring cases. Although there have been more cases brought against producers of extreme content, there have been no prosecutions of mainstream porn. Trueman says things must change before the next attorney general takes office.

“We want to get to them now and get to the White House and get some concessions to make sure that the next attorney general will give his prosecutors the green light to vigorously prosecute obscenity or pornography crimes. That hasn’t happened in this Bush administration,” says the ADF special counsel.

President Bush has nominated former federal judge Michael Mukasey for attorney general.


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