10:45 GMT09 May 2021
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    California Democratic Representative Jackie Speier announced on Thursday that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has identified 700 active-duty Marines and 150 reservists who shared compromising and often illegally obtained images of female service members on Facebook, without the victim’s knowledge or consent.

    Some 1,200 individuals, the Marines among them, were members of the "Marines United" Facebook group through which the photos were shared.

    Speier, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, remarked, "I am furious, I am saddened and I am frustrated by how we have got to this point."

    The chairman of the subcommittee, Texas Republican Representative Mac Thornberry, noted that while he could not confirm Speier's data, he also did not dispute the numbers.

    During a recent Senate hearing, New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand strongly criticized Marine Commandant Robert Neller for allowing a climate that encouraged the unethical and sometimes illegal behavior of those who participated in the Facebook image-sharing page, according to americansecuritytoday.com, a New Jersey-based website specializing in addressing stateside terrorism threats.

    The US armed forces have been adding additional female personnel over the past decade, including in combat positions. As more women have joined the military, reports of harassment and sexual abuse have risen.


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    Marines United, Marines, Senate Armed Services Committee, US Senate, Robert Neller, Jackie Speier, Mac Thornberry, Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington DC, DC, US
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