Nude photos are allegedly still being shared among some thousands of Marine Corps on social media, CNN reports. Members are apparently redirected to a new page, Marines United 2, or MU2. The group is attempting to single out whistle-blowers, and the members have taken to mocking federal investigators.
Marine Sgt. James LaPorta is a freelance reporter who provided CNN with inside information before getting kicked out of the group. The male marines have continued to publish obscene comments about women, along with a link to a cloud storage site with thousands of photos of women removing their clothes or having sexual relations.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is still investigating. Per a tweet posted by the organization, text 274637 with tips.
In the meantime, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, shared a video on Twitter, addressing the scandal.
“Unfortunately, it appears that some Marines may have forgotten these fundamental truths, and instead have acted selfishly and unprofessionally through their actions on social media,” he said.
Neller further urged victims of harassment to come forward and speak to their commanding officers or chaplains, and asked senior officials to address the issue seriously, in order to protect anyone whose fallen prey to these acts.
The U.S. Department of Defense has launched an investigation into hundreds of U.S. Marines, who reportedly used a secret Facebook group to share nude photographs of their female coworkers.
Thomas Brennan, a Marine veteran and founder of a nonprofit news organization called The War Horse, came forward to report the group named “Marines United,” which has around 30,000 members, including U.S. Marines, Marine Corps veterans and British Royal Marines. He wrote a report for the Center For Investigative Reporting, after which he received threats.
The group, which was originally founded in 2015, contains nude images and details of female service members and veterans, including screenshots of their social media accounts and photos of them performing sexual acts.
Some of the photos seem to be taken by stalkers and shared on now-deleted Google Drive folders, while others were shared directly to the group. While some Marines promised free beer to contributors of images, others tagged friends after uploading pictures. “I know one of these chicks. Check her out boys,” one post read.
At least two dozen women from the hundreds of photos on the group have been identified along with their rank and current location.
Many pictures included offensive and obscene remarks pertaining to the women’s physical attributes. Five women were contacted by The War Horse, two of whom suspect their former partners are behind the leaked images, and others wondered if their social media accounts were hacked to obtain the images.
On Jan. 30, social media accounts sharing the images were deleted by Facebook and Google at the Corps’ request, but again on Feb. 16, pictures of a woman followed at Camp Lejeune were posted on the group. The Marine who shot those photos has been discharged from active duty.
“We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and each other: This behavior hurts fellow Marines, family members and civilians. It is a direct attack on our ethos and legacy,” Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green, the most senior Marine on active duty, wrote in an email.
Instances like these destroy the credibility and go against the core values of the Marine Corps. However, this is not the first time the branch of armed forces has been involved in such acts. In 2013, a Facebook group called "F'N Wook" came to light, where hundreds of derogatory comments about women in the Marine Corps were posted by male colleagues and servicemen.