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View Diary: Don’t make military sex crimes a partisan issue (55 comments)

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  •  I was under the impression that commanders (19+ / 0-)

    have been part of the problem in the first place. If they are the best go through, and that has been the status quo then wouldn't this problem have already been solved?

    •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IB JOHN

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Fri Feb 14, 2014 at 09:13:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good question... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam AZ, benamery21

      ... When it comes to commanders who’ve abused their power in these cases, I have no patience and no sympathy—they should lose their jobs. That’s why I successfully called for the removal of Air Force Lieutenant General Craig Franklin, who I believe abused his authority in a well-known case out of Aviano Air Base—and why I blocked the nomination of another Lieutenant General who overturned a jury conviction against the advice of legal counsel. Thankfully, in the historic reforms we were able to pass into law just a few months ago, commanders no longer have the power to overturn convictions. And if they choose not to prosecute a case, they must answer to the civilian secretary of their branch. So while we've severely scaled back the role of commanders in these cases, we've heard no testimony and seen little evidence that commanders refusing to bring cases to court-martial was the problem. And stripping commanders of the ability to move cases forward removes a key tool for protecting victims.

      •  If you want to continue allowing commanders (7+ / 0-)

        to make these decisions then, how do we weed out those that make these decisions before they even make them? What kind of testing do we put in place to determine the misogynists in the first place?

        •  Holding commanders accountable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam AZ, benamery21

          You're right that if we want to retain commanders' ability to move cases to court-martial, we need strong mechanisms to hold them accountable. Education and training - and strong pressure from Congress - are certainly necessary ingredients. But we also put further safeguards in place through our reforms. If a commander ever decides against pursuing a sexual assault case, it will be reviewed by that commander's superiors - all the way up to the civilian secretary if the commander is attempting to overrule investigators/prosecutors who want to move forward. Failure to maintain an appropriate command climate that protects victims and inhibits sexual assaults is now grounds for relief from command - and is now an issue that commanders must be formally evaluated on in their performance evaluations.

          •  But as we saw in the testimony, the problem goes (5+ / 0-)

            way up the chain. Are you saying that if a commander decides against persuing a claim that decision will be automaticaly reviewed by everyone up the chain? Or does the victim have to appeal up the chain, effectivly trying to go over their commanders head? Isn't that shunned in military culture?
            Wouldn't it be a sensible safegaurd to allow both? Giving the victim the choice to either persue it within the chain of command or an outside prosecutor? I would think the victim would have a better sense of their specific situation and if they will be heared by their superiors than anyone outside of the situation.

            Why don't we let the victim choose which path is best for them?

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