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A former head of UN weapons inspections in Iraq has been charged with child sex offences after being caught in an online sting. Scott Ritter was a lone voice insisting Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war, and remained highly critical of US policy subsequently. He is accused of using the …

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That'll learn him.

That'll teach him to disagree with the government lie about "WMD".

Though one does wonder why, after being targeted by police on a previous occasion, he chose to chat to someone else -- only a cynic would suggest that the guy has been effectively framed.

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re: That'll learn him.

Correction, he has been caught twice in two similar stings - both in 2001 - so after he was no longer involved in weapons inspections but before the Iraq War.

No charges were made the first time, whilst with the second time, charges were dropped and sealed - so after a period of time, if he didn't reoffend, they would be effectively 'forgotten'. To the fevered conspiratiorial mind, no doubt that this is proof that Ritter was being 'warned' by the powers that be to shut up.

Yeah, he's been framed... right.....

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Black Helicopters

Not so much

"That'll teach him to disagree with the government lie about 'WMD'."

Not quite. Like a police officer in Podunk Pennsylvania has a direct line from the CIA calling to nab this guy. As others have mentioned, he's done it before. Yes, he used the I'm-being-persecuted-by-Cheney! excuse then. Some fools believed him. But, newsflash, those folks aren't running the Federal Government anymore. No WMDs were found in Iraq. Oswald shot JFK. Armstrong walked on the Moon. And Ritter thinks about making it with underage girls. No conspiracies.

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Amen....

Our government couldn't even find an underpants bomber when his father warned us about him! Do you really think they are coordinated enough to pickup the phone and call the local police to set something like this up? It's took us 3 days to get into the rubble of Katrina, I seriously doubt big brother had anything to do with this. Most likely he's just a perv.

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WTF?

I'm confused...

"He is accused of unlawful contact with a minor,"

But she was not a minor.

Eh?

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Black Helicopters

Well if a drawing of a child can get you nicked

I don't see why you can't get nicked for chatting up a pretend 15yo

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Anonymous Coward

re: I'm confused..

If you bothered to look at the affidavit and read the last page all would be explained. Unlawful contact with a minor is defined and it’s claimed that “the defendant did intentionally contact a minor for the purpose of engaging in activities” and then lists the laws such activities break.

If it’s illegal to solicit a child for sex by various means (e.g. IM conversation), if you do that to someone who you think is a child, it ain’t going to matter if they were an adult posing as a child.

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Heart

Fair's fair

So if you do it with someone you think is an adult, but who is actually a child, no problem?

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Amusingly

Nope. In the USA ...

If you think it's a child, but it's an adult ... you're fscked. Because the adult is a cop.

If you think it's an adult, but it's a child ... you're fscked. Because children have no responsibility for what they do when an adult is involved.

Basically, pornchat is risky any way you slice it.

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WTF?

Unlawful contact with a minor?!?

How can he be accused of unlawful contact with a minor when no minors were involved? "Emily" was in fact a police officer!

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Anonymous Coward

You are forgetting..

Crimes these days are thought crimes.....

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Black Helicopters

Intent ...

He didn't know that the person on the other side of the IM was not a 15yr old. So while it was a trained police officer, he thought it was an under aged minor. Therefore he's guilty of committing the crime.

One has to wonder if he was 'paid off' or bribed by Iranian Intelligence officers.

That's a legitimate concern because he could have been blackmailed or bribed to make his comments.

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Anonymous Coward

We're talking about Merkins here....

Don't worry - if he's rich enough, he'll be found not guilty.

That's the way Merkin "justice" works.

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Metro

I read about this in todays Metro where it stated he was chatting with the "girl" via IM (i.e. no images), he asked for a pic, "she" obliged, he started tossing one off on webcam (note that he was transmitting not rcving), "she" then said she was 15 at which point he said "oh shit" and turned off the webcam.

I know some offences are strict liability, but you can't have strict liability where the "child" is actually an adult who hasn't even posed as a child until the guy has done something that might be illegal if the other party was a child (phew!). If it's not strict liability then he stopped immediately uopn being told the other party was allegedly a child. Can't it both ways I'm afraid.

Just smacks of crushing dissent - it clearly isn't limited to Africa/Russia/China/Zim etc.

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re: Metro

It's also reported that he also turned the cam back on so the 'minor' could watch while he 'finished the job'.

This isn't the first, second but at least the third time, Ritter has been caught in this kind of sting - two of these cases were before the G W Bush's invasion of Iraq, which Ritter has been such a critic of.

How's that for crushing dissent! Setting a person up before the thing they will be speaking out against has happened!

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Black Helicopters

Maybe I'm a cynic

But why the possibility that he was framed once prohibits thinking he might have been framed a second time? After all, he risked causing a huge business loss to Haliburton, Bush, Cheney & Co...

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Anonymous Coward

re: Maybe I'm a cynic

So me get this right... Ritter gets framed in April 2001 (so pre-invasion) in a sting but no charges are brought. In June 2001, he gets framed in another sting, where no doubt he wasn't actually waiting for the 16 year old he was alleged to have arranged to meet - although there are charges, they are dropped and the record sealed on the proviso he doesn't get caught doing anything for a period of time.

In 2003, America invades Iraq and Ritter is a vocal critic.

In 2009, he gets 'framed' for a similar thing for a third time.

I wouldn't say that a mind that thinks this is just a frame-up is cynical, just confused. If Ritter, risked a huge business loss to... Bush, Cheney & Co", (BTW, what were Bush's business links to Iraq), wouldn' t it have made more sense to frame him and discredit him during Bush's administration, rather than after?

Also, isn't it a bit risky using the same kind of frame-up three different times on the same person?

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Anonymous Coward

Links

Do you have any links to the information you present on the first two sting operations? Not that I don't trust you, mind.

As for Bush family ties to Iraq-related business, just check which oil companies they are or have been affiliated with.

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Anonymous Coward

Never mind

Just managed to read the article, and indeed it claims he was involved in two stings before involving "minors". Also the affidavit claims he turned the cam back on after knowing it was a "15" years old on the other end. If what is reported are the facts, then no, it is not a frame-up. Just a paedophile caught in a sting.

The fact that he had the balls to face Bush and his cronies doesn't seem to fit with a typical paedophile personality, but I'm not a psychologist.

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Megaphone

Pennslyvania

Those police officers certainly are very sly!

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Badgers

trained polizei officer

Trained to do what? Lie about her age? Get men to come on to her so she could nick them? Seek out and destroy once and for all this one particular guy?

Does she lie down and roll over and pretend she's dead as well?

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Thumb Up

Even better

... when you understand that it was a "he"... THAT's training, boyo!

Thumbs up, this police officer!

Seriously, the Thought Crime Police (tm) (r) (c) are live and well. What what you think, Citizen...

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Stop

whoah neddy....

There were no WMD's, this has since been confirmed by years of troops and Inspectors marching around Iraq. Saying Iraq didn't have WMD's doesn't mean that Ritter could not be a paedophile. If he is a paedophile it doesn't mean he wasn't telling the truth about WMD's, these are not mutually exclusive. Because he has been charged doesn't mean he's necessarily guilty, or necessarily innocent......

Wait for the case to come up in court and the evidence to be produced. it would not be beyond the bounds of belief that he's guilty, equally it would not be the first time vindictive security services around the world have fitted someone up......

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Anonymous Coward

He was framed, it was a set up

While he was indulging in a knuckle shuffle he was told that the girl was "15" after which he turned the webcam off, in that case he did not do anything wrong and is just being framed.

Thats unfair

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Joke

I once *thought* I was Hitler

Does that make me a war criminal?

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Joke

You only 'thought' you were Hitler.

Therefore, no, you aren't a war criminal. Whereas I, Ghenghis Khan, have often been accused of being less than gentle with my neighbours.

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Big Brother

If the first handful of mud doesn't stick...

Given he's a known "troublemaker", I suppose he should really count himself lucky he didn't "fall down the stairs" after he was arrested, or find himself dead in a field with suspicious needle marks...

No way of knowing for sure, of course, but for the time being at least, "crude frame-up" gets my vote. Or at the very least, plain entrapment...

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder....

If the copper he was flirting with was a big guy covered in tattoos. A bit like his soon-to-be room mate (if this is true and he gets what he deserves). Maybe his roomie will treat him to similar delights...........

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EJ

This guy needs to go to prison

There's no conspiracy going on here - he's getting caught by small town police units. Sure, they're all operating under the control of the FBI/CIA/NSA/<insert right wing militia of choice here>. This guy needs to be put in jail. He's obviously got a problem, and the fact he's been caught in random stings tells me he is doing this a lot in order to get nabbed twice. He's a local guy here in upstate NY, and the first time he thought he was meeting a minor at a Burger King restaurant in Menands/Watervliet NY. This time he was under the impression he was performing on his webcam for a 15yo girl. The dude is sick, and can't control himself. It's time for society to help him control himself.

Enough already - this guy is obviously a danger, and needs to be dealt with. Hopefully they won't allow him to sweep his offenses under the rug this go around.

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Paris Hilton

That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth

So he'd have been in the clear if she's flashed first ?

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On the Internet, Hot 15 year olds are....

...always cops.

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Stop

*bangs head into keyboard* NOT a pedophile

NOT a pedophile.

Interested in legally underage girls, at best - with youth-biased culture, who can blame him? - but he really should just watch Girls Gone Wild if he needs to see some firm etcetera.

A pedophile is sexually interested in CHILDREN; that is to say, not having developed sexual characteristics such as breasts, inconvenient growths of hair, and the ability to reproduce.

I am growing to detest this lack of distinction because it leads to bullshit like that Missouri teenager being prosecuted for producing child porn because she took pictures of HERSELF.

Of course, this guy doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed if he falls for a sting not once, not twice, but three times.

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FAIL

Comments here just go to show....

.... some people will excuse even paedophillia if it's done by one of their "heros", they'd rather believe in conspiracy theories. How sad and myopic.

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Pint

Charge him!

The policeman should be charged with impersonation of a minor.

Sounds like entrapment.

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Big Brother

@Matt Bryant...

.... and some people find comfort in the "no smoke without fire" attitude - right up to the point where someone comes banging on THEIR door...

To be damned out of hand, it used to be enough to be black, or at least a damn foreigner. Later, "commie" was added - to huge and terrible effect. These days it's terrorism and paedophilia. Real enough problems, but cynically and massively misused as handy tools to criminalise more and more people, making the population more manageable through threat.

Fling enough mud and you don't have to prove your case - the accusation is enough for the uncaring masses to shrug and carry on as usual - no smoke without fire, mate. The threat of accusation of 'unspeakable' crime becomes enough to bring people to heel, or if all else fails to destroy their credibility. It's a tactic as old as man himself. Effective simple because it hardly ever fails. Effective because people never ever remember their history - choose never to remember.

I don't know if this guy is guilty or not - or even, if he's guilty, of what he's actually guilty of in real terms. I do know this case has a bad smell, and there are plenty of us who don't care to simply hold our noses in search of a quiet life.

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RE: @Matt Bryant...

And I think you need to add paranoids to the list you rambled on about above. Getting caught THREE TIMES trying it on with what he thought were under-age girls makes him a criminal and a paedo, and obviously one that can't control his urges despite being highly intelligent. These are not mere accusations, the guy has been caught twice before and this is the third time. If you want to ignore that and propagate conspiracy theories then that just makes you naive and gullible. You are so het up about all these "injustices" against blacks, foreigners and communists you clearly forgot that Ritter is none of the above. You are so determined that there has to be some conspiracy by "The Man" against all "the people" you just can't see that, regardless of what he has done in his professional life, Ritter has a very serious and criminal problem in his private life, one that makes him a potential threat to under-age girls. I suggest you take off the rose-tinted specs, stop letting others spoon-feed you ideas, and get back into the real World.

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Coat

All a misunderstanding.

Obviously he believes in the value of what he does and was just trying to get young people interested in a career in inspecting weapons.

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Win

+1 Internets to you sir.

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@John 186

"I do know this case has a bad smell"

You are implying that there is some ulterior motive behind this case, without having any actual evidence to that effect, and you imply that some shady establishment is behind a campaign to shut this guy up, again without any evidence.

Isn't that Mudslinging, too?

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It doesn't mean the war was right.

For one thing, a great many children were killed or maimed during and after our invasion of Iraq, arguably worse than this fellow could do flat out.

It seems rather unlikely that the CIA would be framing this guy now, less so at the time, also that it took this long. But after all they don't necessarily agree with the U.S. president himself about what needs to be done and how. There was already one nest found of CIA people still carrying out President Cheney's secret orders in mid 2009, long after he was supposedly gone.

I also wonder if the CIA has a drug or a ray that turns you into a child molester. Really. Discrediting your critics is a valuable weapon if you want to do what they do in an apparently free society. More useful than killing - and you can do that afterwards and make it look like suicide. There are medical cases of uncontrollable sexual urge following brain injury - really - so you'd just need to microwave exactly the right part of their head, and Bob's your nasty uncle.

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FAIL

How many underage Kurdish girls...

How many underage Kurdish girls does it take to declare there were no WMD in Iraq?

As long they were not Sunni Arabs, there is no moral problem...

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