The New York Times reports that lawmakers from both parties question the commitment of the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stopping the online exploitation of children. The lawmakers also questioned the failure of the agencies to provide major witnesses for a Congressional investigation. During hearings of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, House members voiced their protest, and the tenor of the proceedings indicated that a showdown may be imminent. Representative Joe L. Barton of Texas, speaking to William W. Mercer, a United States attorney for Montana, said: “You folks seem bound and determined to be as uncooperative as possible. I’m going to call the attorney general one more time, and we had better get the people we want to testify.” To which Mr. Mercer responded that the child exploitation caseload has increased 445 percent over the past four years, and added that federal prosecutions of child pornography and abuse cases has increased to 1,500 cases last year, up from 344 in 1995… (Note: This site requires free registration.)