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View Diary: Ft. Hood sexual assault officer arrested for prostitution ring (71 comments)

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  •  It's Asking The Fox To Report On The Hen House.... (42+ / 0-)

    So far, a number of these Commanders have ruled for the perpetrators & against the victims.  

    But.....forcing one of your "subordinates" to become a prostitute.  That's a fresh disgrace. That speaks to the arrogant culture.

    They knew they wouldn't be stopped.  They knew the victims had no where to go, no one to listen to their complaints & that the current military climate would give the perpetrators cover & intimidate the victims into silence.

    It has to stop & it should start by breaking rank, dishonorable discharge & a trial in a
    criminal court of justice.  

    •  I would suggest a term in Leavenworth (33+ / 0-)

      instead of a civilian court's sentence but it seems that a court martial can be overturned with a stroke of a pen by a CO.  It appears the court martial, the traditional military court, is another aspect of the current corruption in the military.

      As an aside, I note the military is having all sorts of problems esp. after its "expansion" of recruitment requirements following our Iraq incursion.   Another problem remains racial discord in the ranks while a third problem is the aggressive proselytization of recruits by various Fundamentalist Christian officers and chaplains.  

      •  The overturning of court martial (12+ / 0-)

        with stroke of the pen appears to be part of the problem (angelajean wrote about here, which you might have seen already). Horace Boothroyd III's suggestion previously that more women in senior ranks would help brought out a comment that a woman officer also overturned a male counterpart's conviction on sexual assault as well (I'll try to find reference to that). More women in senior ranks probably would still help; however, their fractional percentage in those ranks probably doesn't result in as much leading by conscience as would something closer to parity, which tends to inspire in individuals the ability to speak (and act more on) what they truly believe. I guess that's more my opinion than statistical fact. I believe real punishment for every instance of assault, as though it is the crime that it is, will start to affect behavior. When I was in Korea, there was a rash of thefts in the barracks when we'd go out in the field. We knew it was being done by other soldier(s) who stayed behind, and it was coordinated. Our First Sergeant called the troop together extra early for formation and said he would not tolerate it any more (he also said something like "if someone gets caught in the act of doing it, I don't want to see the man, I want to see his hands on my desk"). I don't advocate this approach (that is, caught in the act and having the offending member's "member" appearing on the CO's or NCOIC's desk); however, the thefts mysteriously stopped. The 1st SGT was serious. Leadership has to be serious, treat sexual assault as crime (a most heinous one, which it is), and follow through on harshest punishment.  

        I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

        by dannyboy1 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 04:00:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there has always been an "informal" avenue (9+ / 0-)

          to punish miscreants in the ranks, including forcing some people to bathe after they refused to bathe for a couple of months to protest their assignments.

          However this is among the ranks.  There is still the perception that officers are privileged (esp. academy grads who have each other's back) dating back to when officers would buy, sell and transfer commissions.  This system still operates in many cases where personal interests or friendships over rule the Military Code of Conduct.  Basically it works out the higher the rank, the more invulnerable the individual is.  I had a relative point out to me that in the Navy, it was more egregious for a captain to run his ship aground or to hit a pier while docking than it was for him to be a serial murderer or a serial rapist.  

      •  Before we start junking the entire UCMJ/MCM... (0+ / 0-)

        ...understand that the authority to overturn a court-martial verdict has been around for a VERY long time, and for good reason.

        The convening authority's ability to overturn a court-martial finding prevents soldiers from being railroaded/persecuted - in other words, it's a protection against 'kangaroo courts' in the military.   While it has always been subject to abuse in cases like these, it has also been a VERY important check-and-balance that has justly protected soldiers in the past.

        We don't want to throw that away.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:43:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  while it may have protected soldiers being (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shockwave

          railroaded, it seems the practice would be very much subject to abuse, as the CO could also choose to ignore a grunt's plight as well.  It seems that for a single person to be able to overturn the opinion of a selected committee is a very potentially very dangerous precedent.

          After all this system failed Eddie Slovik

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          •  Yes, Eddie Slovik. In 1945. (0+ / 0-)

            Did you happen to read this part of the Wikipedia page?

            ...of the 2864 Army personnel tried for desertion for the period January 1942 through June 1948, 49 were convicted and sentenced to death, and 48 of those sentences were voided by higher authority.
            So, in 48 of those 49 cases, convening authorities used the EXACT SAME AUTHORITY we're talking about today to overturn death sentences from courts martial.

            Thanks for proving my point.  It's an imperfect system, to be sure, but it would be a grievous error to throw away this check-and-balance in a cavalier fashion.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 01:10:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  however, the Slovik family may disagree with (0+ / 0-)

              you as to how well the system works

              •  Yes, a perfectly snarky reply... (0+ / 0-)

                ...but hardly constructive to the discussion.

                No, the system is not perfect.  NO system is perfect.  There's a reason that the military operates under a separate judicial system, and the bulk of that system's history shows that it works reasonably well.

                It's actually a telling point that one has to go back to 1945 to find a worst-case scenario - a life-or-death abuse of the court martial process.  If you ask me, that's far better than what the civilian judicial system has managed to do in that same period (hello, Innocence Project?).

                I stand with you in calling for corrective action in these recent cases; as a veteran with some limited (battalion- and division-level) experience in military justice matters, I have no problem calling out problems and abuses as they occur.

                However, it's extremely important that we not overreach.  Remember that the same authority that is properly criticized in these cases was also use to spare those 48 WWII deserters the death penalty.  Realize that privates and corporals who were unjustly convicted by courts martial benefit from the authority in question just as often--if not more often--than we see it abused.  It's often the case that abuses garner far more attention than do smooth, proper exercises of command authority.

                It's often hackneyed and trite, but - we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:54:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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