Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Military chiefs oppose "removing power to silence" sexual assault probes

So, the military rejects any new approach to dealing with the rampant and increasing sexual assault from within it's own ranks...

From Eliott C. McLaughlin's article at CNN:

Military chiefs oppose removing commanders from sexual assault probes

Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force chiefs expressed opposition Tuesday to removing the chain of command from sexual assault investigations, as Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said there may be public confusion about the military's reporting process.

Mr. Levin, there is "public confusion" about why the military is a safe haven for sexual assault criminals.

Legislation has been introduced to give responsibility to military prosecutors, instead of commanders, in these probes.

You mean that a 3rd party, instead of the boss of both the perpetrator and the victim would have the power to prosecute?  But that would remove at least some of the conflict of interest, the horror!

Referring to media reports that there is only one way to report sexual assault, Levin, D-Michigan, asked each of the military heads at a hearing if there currently are multiple options in addition to notifying a unit commander.

The three generals and admiral all replied yes. They also told the committee that instances of commanders ignoring their judge advocate generals' advice in sexual assault cases are extremely rare.

Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican member of the Armed Service panel, earlier called sexual assault in the military "an enemy to morale and readiness," and urged his colleagues to tread carefully in tackling the issue.

Inhofe said he is opposed to any legislation "removing commanders from their indispensable roles" in the military justice system, and noted that military and civilian courts are different animals because members of the military do not enjoy the same rights as civilians.

"There's a risk of unintended consequences if we act with haste without thorough and thoughtful review," the Oklahoma lawmaker said.


The military has been hit hard over the issue of sexual assault among its ranks, with the Defense Department reporting an estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact, ranging from rape to groping, in 2012. That was a 35% jump from 2010, the Defense Department said.

Inhofe, we've got 26,000 cases of sexual assault and a 35% increase in two years.  What unintended consequence could be worse than this?

Shame on the military and shame on you Inhofe.

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