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View Diary: 60 troops fired after military record checks turn up sexual assault, other convictions (183 comments)

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  •  Appalling and pathetic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, Cassandra Waites

    The fact that you would think of that so quickly says something very, very bad about you.  Go and wash your brain out with soap, reboot it and try again.

    To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

    by Eyesbright on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 04:43:07 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a horrible person, I agree.

      My point remains valid, though.

      Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution. Don't drink illegally, use illegal drugs, or otherwise break campus rules. Then all of these problems go away.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 05:06:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not that simple. (3+ / 0-)

        We're not talking about college here. We're talking about the military, and there are a hell of a lot more rules, most of which are stupid and everyone ignores until something goes wrong.

        - Adultery: Did you ever have consensual sex with your rapist? Or with any of his friends? Did the encounter begin as consensual? Are you married? Is he married? This is a criminal offense in the military.

        Keep in mind that not all marriages in the military are 'real', and of the ones that are, not all are traditional closed marriages; adultery doesn't necessarily mean cheating in the moral sense. But it is illegal. Criminal.

        - Sodomy: Did you consent to oral or anal sex with your rapist or any of his friends? Once again, this is a criminal offense. It's usually not enforced...but it's there if anyone wants to use it, because the military isn't bound by Lawrence v. Texas.

        - Homosexuality: This is thankfully no longer a problem, but if your rape occurred before DADT was repealed, is there anything about the circumstances that would out you? Did your rapist know you were gay?

        I actually had to deal with this one - I had a guy come to me absolutely terrified because he was raped by a guy he met on a gay hookup site. He couldn't report it. He couldn't get counseling. It was heartbreaking.

        Another common story is lesbians being raped by men who then blackmail them into silence.

        - Fraternization: Is your rapist a higher rank than you? Lower? How about all of the other people you were hanging out with that night?

        (Note that the typical, generally-ignored form of fraternization, where both are enlisted or both are officers, isn't specifically covered under Article 134 but rather under Article 92; that doesn't make it any less illegal if someone decides to make it a problem.)

        - Failure to obey order or regulation: Did you drink in a barracks room? Were you in a barracks room with members of the opposite sex after hours? Did you violate your 10pm curfew as an A-school student, or forget to check out with a buddy? Did you visit an off-limits location? Travel out of bounds? Were you on leave, but not at your designated leave address? Did you drink a little too late on a work night? Were you wearing clothes that violate civilian clothing regulations - did your shirt show your midriff, or was your skirt too short, or was your belly button piercing in, or did you wear jeans without a belt?

        - General Article: Did you do anything - anything at all - that someone in your command might find inappropriate? Did you let someone take pictures of you? Have sex with multiple people? Have sex with one of your coworkers? Get embarrassingly drunk? Attend an event where other people were using drugs, even if you weren't?

        Basically, all of the things that civilian defense attorneys like to throw at rape victims to discredit them, the military can throw at you before you even get to court - and threaten to prosecute you for it.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 07:44:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you suggesting, then... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sparhawk

          ...that those aspects of military law should be eliminated, or waived in certain circumstances?

          It's absolutely true that those circumstances exist, but we certainly can't expect the military to pick and choose which to enforce in each situation, right?

          The alternative is that you would expect commanders to have the leeway to say (as an extreme example) something like, "it's true that you were in an off-limits location fraternizing with a superior officer, and that you willingly committed sodomy, but now that you've leveled an allegation of rape, we're going to give you a pass on all of that."  I don't think this is what we want...

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

          by wesmorgan1 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 09:18:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They already do (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, irishwitch

            pick and choose which to enforce. Nobody actually follows all of the rules. Nobody expects anyone to actually follow all of the rules.

            In fact, the ones I listed above are almost never actually enforced on their own. They don't exist to be followed, let alone to be enforced. They exist to keep people scared - to keep them under control, to keep them from making trouble. They add an extra layer of fear to keep people from breaking the real rules (DUI, underage drinking, drug use, unauthorized absence, etc.) and from defending themselves properly when accused of doing so.

            Basically, there's an unspoken subtext in the military: "If you make any trouble for us, we can make a lot more trouble for you." The rules I listed above are the tool with which that subtext is enforced. You make trouble for your unit and your dirty laundry gets aired.

            The problem is that reporting a rape (or really any crime committed by someone in your unit - it's just that rape is one of the more common servicemember-on-servicemember crimes) is "trouble" for the rapist and his buddies. So it's very easy for them to intimidate you. In fact, they don't even really have to say anything - you already know what's going to happen if you talk. That is, if you can even make a truthful statement without admitting to a crime yourself. Chances are you were manipulated into a compromising situation before the actual rape.

            It's actually rather unlikely that a rape victim would get in any sort of official legal trouble (unless the charge was homosexuality pre-DADT repeal). The threat is sort of unrealistic. It's still a highly effective form of intimidation because servicemembers are actively trained to respond to it. The potential official threat also bolsters the legitimacy of the much-more-common unofficial punishments for making waves, like bad evaluations and undesirable duty assignments and social ostracism.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 11:38:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then... (0+ / 0-)

              ...the situation is total bullshit and many, many people need to be fired.

              There cannot and should not be "rules that aren't enforced". It's an invitation to abusive arbitrary behavior and blackmail. If the military truly operates this way, there needs to be some serious reform.

              All of this is beside the point though, which is that rules infractions are infractions. They shouldn't be overlooked or excused because of yet another infraction.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 10:14:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  ^^^ This is the nut (0+ / 0-)
              Basically, there's an unspoken subtext in the military: "If you make any trouble for us, we can make a lot more trouble for you." The rules I listed above are the tool with which that subtext is enforced. You make trouble for your unit and your dirty laundry gets aired.
              And the "trouble" is whatever the unit commander doesn't want to investigate, anything that will put their own advancement in doubt.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 10:50:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  lets go through those one by one (0+ / 0-)

          adultery.  Yes, technically criminal.  The only time it's charged is when someone is charged with a sexual assault offense then it gets added on.  Otherwise, at most you are talking a letter of reprimand for adultery.  (In fairness, a letter of reprimand is a career killer if you are an NCO or officer).

          sodomy.  no longer criminal.  The only consensual sodomy that remains criminal is sodomy between disparate ranks (or between a recruit and a drill sgt) and in both cases, the person in violation is the senior person.  Case law trumps the law as written.

          Fraternization. usually the senior person is held more liable than the junior.  I have not seen this be a valid concern or issue in sex assault cases very often, if at all.

          failure to obey orders.  Again, have not seen this used against alleged victims in the sense of being prosecuted.  A defense atty might use it effectively at trial though.

          general article.  not nearly used as much as you seem to think.  most of the sex offenses have been subsumed into the new new article 120 and taken out of 134...and you have to go to the enumerated articles first and only if nothing fits there are you allowed to go to 134.

          it just doesn't happen very often.

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