During a news conference on Thursday, Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier stated that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service had identified 1,200 Marines involved with the Marines United nude photo sharing scandal revealed earlier this month.
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A Facebook group called Marines United, or “MU” had been exposed for sharing thousands of images of nude photos of fellow female peers, many of which taken or shared without their knowledge. The news garnered a quick response by top Marine Corps Officials prompting the Department of Defense to launch an investigation.
According to Speier, the 1,200 of those identified included over 700 active duty Marines and 150 in the Reserve.
It is unclear whether those identified were directly involved with the photo sharing or inappropriate comments on the page, or if some are just members. Rep. Speier’s office on Friday said that based on a closed-door briefing from the NCIS, all 1,20o of those identified were being considered possible offenders of the abuse, either having interacted with the photos or commenting on them.
“I am furious, I am saddened and I am frustrated by how we have got to this point,” said Speier, after the meeting.
According to a statement from NCIS spokesman Ed Buice obtained by Stars and Stripes, the “NCIS is trying to put all the numbers that are being discussed into context, so the public will be better able to understand the scope of this investigation.”
Congressman Mac Thornberry, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was also in the closed-door meeting. According to Stars and Stripes, he did not confirm Speier’s numbers but did not dispute them. Thornberry said that he was not sure that the USMC or other services “fully have their arms around this problem yet.”