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View Diary: Three retired generals get behind Gillibrand's military sexual assault bill (25 comments)

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  •  It's all about control (0+ / 0-)

    I was at an event recently where a group of military women discussed what could be done to change the culture in order to reduce assaults, harassment, and discrimination.  Number one recommendation?  Take prosecution & investigation of all these cases (not just assault) out of the chain of command.

    I then listened to several senior people carefully "mansplain" how Terribly Important it was to keep these all within the chain of command.  They said gravely, "It might be harder to get convictions."

    While this sounds "terrible", actually what it means is that the chain of command would no longer be able to bend the law to their will.  People on both sides of accusations would finally get a fair trial.  The command would not be able to "gang up" on one side or the other, picking sides and essentially pre-determining the outcome.  Judges could not be pressured to "get convictions" for junior personnel or show leniency for seniors.  I feel this would result in more people being willing to come forward - and more importantly, in helping to eliminate this sort of violence, which breeds when people think such actions are all part of "being part of the gang".

    One assault survivor said the reason for not coming forward earlier was that there was nobody trusted to tell: the abuser was their supervisor - who was close-knit with the designated advocates, the chaplain, the chain of command, and the majority of other personnel at the unit. It is far easier in these cases for everyone to attack the character of the accused (one person at fault) than admit that a number of people within the unit, including themselves, were either guilty or complicit (perhaps dozens of people at fault).  An assault is rarely an isolated event.  Often there is a pattern of behavior or climate at the unit that makes such violence acceptable, permissible, or even desirable.  No unit will admit that voluntarily.

    People in the military should have the right to a fair trial.  We have got to get this out of the hands of the military chain of command.  Who knows what other egregious behavior is being swept under the rug by the same "self-governing" system?  Kudos to Sen. Gillibrand.

    •  Please explain in detail (0+ / 0-)

      how you are going to have separate justice systems for "sex crimes" and all other.  DETAIL.

      I have read MANY diaries about this topic and yet NOT ONCE has anyone explained how removing commanders from the process will make them care about sexual assaults MORE.

      Please give me ONE example anywhere in life where making someone not responsible for something has made them take more responsibility for it.  Just one.  

      Please tell me how we can get rid of commanders who dont take sexual assault seriously by telling them it is no longer their responsibility.  How can we hold them accountable when your proposal will make them not accountable?

      Please tell me how we get more command emphasis for something by removing commanders from the process?

      Do you have any idea how command works?  Dont you know that if you take something away from a commander it doesnt become the lowest priority, it disappears completely.  In fact any commander who was doing and activity that was not part of his command should be relieved on the spot.  If its not his job he better not be doing it.

      Finally, please tell me how many other areas are too hard for commanders to deal with?  Do we have Rape courts and all others?  Or do we have Rape courts, racial discrimination courts, sexual discrimination courts, etc, etc, etc?

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you in the military? (0+ / 0-)

      because you are showing a significant gap in knowledge about military justice.

      Military judges are completely independent of the the Chain of Command.  

      I would truly love to know what this "event" was because I have yet to hear a single active duty service member, man or woman, think establishing a separate justice system is a good idea.  Even those who I know have been assaulted understand that you dont make something more important by removing it from the chain of command.

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 06:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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