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Same old boys...

March 9, 2014 - John Stack
Last week, the Senate couldn't overcome a Republican fillibuster on a bill sponsored by our junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. One big story in the news recently has been the abysmal record of sexual assaults on women in the military. The Pentagon itself reported there were 3553 sexual assaults on women, an increase of 43% over 2012. We had 219 casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. So, if you have a daughter/sister in the military, don't worry about them being killed in combat. There is at least a 15 times chance of them being raped than killed. And this is a bare minimum.

More statistics from the Department of Labor. They estimate between 20 and 47% of women eave service having been sexually assaulted. More women leave the Army with PTSD from rape than from combat problems.

Rape is one of the most under reported crimes in civilian life, and much more so in the military. Many women are afraid to report a rape, as it is their commanders who are literally the judge and jury of their cases. They face reprisal for reporting a rape , ostracism and fear from others for reporting a rape. Just last week, Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair plead guilty to charges of inappropriate relationships with female officers, as well as still being on tried for a sexual assault of yet another woman, a 34 year old Captain. And yes, he is married with children.

Last week, Lt Colonel Joseph Morse was charged with sexual assault. What is extra newsworthy about this? He is the leader of the Army's Special victims unit, the unit that prosecutes , among other things, sexual assault.

All of this led to Sen Gilliband's recent amendment to a military bill. She would have taken sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and had them prosecuted independently. This amendment failed, not because it dodn't have the votes, but that the Republican minority basically fillibustered the change so that it could not be brought to a vote. Recently, the ADE quoted local navy Commander Phil Williams opposition to this bill. "What you got is a photogenic senator, and she's sort of a media darling". So, one of his main speaking points is that Gillibrand is kind of a dumb blonde that people fawn over, and that's the only reason people are paying attention. Not that anything she says has merit, but, she's a cute girl "looking at some low hanging fruit" - this is why we NEED this bill. The sexist nature of his dismissal is the problem with the current situation.

On a different note, he pulls one from a typical polital attack playbook. "Gillibrand's saying you're not smart enough to handle this," Williams said. "This is the same guy you're giving the keys to a $1 billion destroyer, with nuclear weapons on board." Senator Gillibrand said nothing of the kind. She never once impugned the intelligence of any commanders. And, because you command a destroyer with nukes, I don't see how that translates to being better than others in any occupation. Lawyers go to school for years to learn their job. Judges are by and far former lawyers with years and years of working cases. Why would a military commander have a better idea of legal cases than virtually every accredited lawyer in America? Having the key to nukes doesn't make a good second grade teacher. I want my teacher to have graduated with a course in education, not military strategy.

Finally, Amy Davidson relly blows it. She claims that because the future of the military is more women, this won't be a problem in the future. 1 in 7 members of the armed forces are women - she sees this as a lot. (Although she concedes the higher ranks are even lesser represented). She also misses the fact that 50% of all sexual assaults in the military are perpetrated ON MEN and the current chain of command hasn't helped them either....

 
 

Article Comments

(3)

EsoxSavant

Mar-25-14 12:55 PM

Something tells me "reading", "understanding" and "Dw12983" aren't mentioned in the same sentence too often. Your editorial is spot on.

Mar-25-14 12:30 PM

Sorry DW. Your ignorance does not make me wrong. If you read my blog, and understood the difference between Gillibrand's bill and McCaskill's bill you would see. My blog mostly talked about taking the prosecutorial duties out of the chain of command - which is the major difference between the two bills.

DW12983

Mar-15-14 1:45 PM

You jumped the gun again! Once the unneeded and unwise sections of Gilly's bill were removed/changed, The U.S. Senate on Monday voted 97 to 0 in approving modest reforms aimed at strengthening prosecution of sex assaults in the military. According to Senator Claire McCaskill " changes adopted Monday, which were designed to bolster a series of similar reforms adopted last year, mean the U.S. military has "one of the most victim-friendly justice systems in the world."

 
 

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