TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: An Obscene Web Site?

An Obscene Web Site?

Reuters News Wire (
Sat, 8 Oct 2005 16:47:54 -0500

Iraq-corpse Web site operator held for obscenity

The American operator of a Web site which posted grisly pictures of
people killed in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts was arrested on
obscenity charges unrelated to the war photos, police officials in
Florida said.

The Polk County sheriff's office said Christopher Michael Wilson was
arrested on Friday and faces one count of wholesale distribution of
obscene material and 300 misdemeanor charges relating to the Web site
and pornographic photos.

The charges were unrelated to the photos of corpses from Iraq and
Afghanistan, which the site states were provided by U.S. troops in
exchange for free access to pornographic material.

Several of the graphic pictures showed men wearing what looked like
U.S. military uniforms, standing over charred corpses, mutilated
bodies and severed body parts.

Many were accompanied by captions making light of the corpses. One
photo of a charred body was dubbed "Cooked Iraqi."

The Pentagon has said it found no evidence any of the photos were
posted by soldiers.

Wilson was being held in jail under a $151,000 bond, the Polk County
sheriff's office said.

"In my 33 years of law enforcement experience, this is one of the most
horrific examples of filthy, obscene materials we have ever seized,"
Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. He did not elaborate.

Judd said the investigation was continuing and any pertinent
information would be shared with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigations

Judd told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper his investigation was not
spurred by federal authorities.

Wilson lives in Lakeland, Florida, but hosts the site out of
Amsterdam, Netherlands, according to an article last month in the
Online Journalism Review of the Annenberg School for Communications at
the University of Southern California.

The controversy sparked by the photographs of war dead followed the
publication a year and a half ago of photos showing U.S. soldiers
abusing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail. That scandal prompted
international condemnation of the United States.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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