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ALAN WILSON’S OFFICE PROTECTING SC CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS …

Earlier today this website wrote on the case of Timothy DeFoggi, the cybersecurity director at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) who was convicted this week on some of the most disturbing child pornography charges we’ve ever heard of …

Scary, scary stuff, people …

DeFoggi’s case is a perfect example of the limitations of individual liberty – and the need for government to step in and protect the individual liberties of our most vulnerable citizens.  In fact we can’t think of a more essential function of government than keeping children – especially infants and toddlers – safe from these sorts of depraved predators.

Seriously … there is nothing more important a society (or a government) can do than provide protection to those who lack the ability to protect themselves.

Here in South Carolina, a special task force has been working for the past nine years on precisely such a mission.  And while this website rarely sings the praises of new government agencies – this is one case in which the praise is richly deserved.

The Internet Crimes Again Children (ICAC) task force was created in 2005.  Part of the Attorney General’s office, it works with fifty-five participating agencies at the local, state and federal level.  Its mission is simple: To keep South Carolina children safe from online predators – and to bring to justice those who produce, solicit or distribute child pornography.

Since its inception, the task force has achieved more than 300 convictions – with numerous other cases pending before the courts.  It also provides vital public awareness services – including one full-time staffer who makes safety presentations across the state to equip children, parents and guardians with the tools they need to reduce their risk of being victimized.

“Several ICAC-related arrests this month arrest are a reminder that predators are real,” Wilson told FITS. “The ICAC Task Force works every day to protect South Carolina’s children from those who wish them harm. Predators no longer lurk on playgrounds, but now cruise the Internet looking for victims. When they are caught, it’s our duty to vigorously prosecute these cases, and to seek serious punishment for those who are convicted of harming a child.”

Just this week, Wilson’s office arrested a Donalds, S.C. man and charged him with the sexual exploitation of a minor child.

FITS knows some of the staffers who participate in this task force’s effort – and frankly we don’t know how they do it.  One member of the task force told us how “it’s impossible not to take the job home with you.” Another remarked that they have to watch so many violently disturbing videos that they “can still hear the screaming” at night.

Wow …

“The ICAC task force members truly are unsung heroes,” one of Wilson’s top staffers told us.  “They work far more than forty hours each week, and their responsibilities take them into the darkest, sickest corners of society.  And they do it all, day in and day out, with one goal in mind: helping keep kids safe. It’s impossible to say too much about the fantastic job they do.”

Amen to that …

We don’t often beat our Bibles (in addition to detesting big government, we detest holier-than-thou moralizers), but there is a passage in the Book of Matthew – the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, actually – in which we are reminded that we will ultimately be judged on how we treat “the least of these.”

That strikes us as a universal truth … whether you embrace a particular religion or not.

Anyway, props to the “unsung heroes” of Wilson’s task force.  We are exceedingly grateful for the difficult work they do on behalf of the “least of these” in South Carolina.