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Mug shot of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, after his arrest for sexual assault.
Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski
The Pentagon is releasing its annual figures on sexual assaults in the military on Tuesday, and there's bad news and worse news:
While the report will show that the number of reported assaults in fiscal year 2012 rose only 6 percent to 3,374—up from 3,192 a year before—the number of people who made an anonymous claim that they were sexually assaulted but never reported the attack skyrocketed from 19,000 in FY11 to 26,000 in FY12.
When you're talking about sexual assaults rising by "only" 6 percent, you've got problems. The military gained a poster boy for those problems on Monday when news broke that Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, had been arrested for sexual assault:
“A drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks,” according to a Arlington County Police Department crime report. “The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police.”
Krusinski is no longer in charge of the Air Force's sexual assault prevention efforts, but that's not really saying much for said efforts, now is it? And this is after "The Air Force recently came under fire when a commander reversed a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case."

The military has been claiming it was getting serious about preventing and responding to sexual assault for years now, but the numbers aren't budging. And with leadership like this, it's not hard to see why.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The military needs some civilian oversight. nt (8+ / 0-)
    •  They have civilian oversight. (6+ / 0-)

      The Commander in Chief is a civilian.
      The Secretary of Defense is a civilian.
      The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is apointed by the President with the consent of Congress.
      And the Vice Chairman.
      And each of the Joint Chiefs.
      The Defense Department is full of civilians.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:50:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In most cases (7+ / 0-)

        the person HAS to report the sexual assault to their commanding officer, first, not to some civilian oversight person.  That's the military.  Even if your commanding officer just raped you, that's the person you are expected to report it to.

        •  no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac, LSophia

          If you have reason not to report to your commander, you can report to another. It better be a good reason. Having been raped by him is a good reason.

          Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:00:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, report it to your commander's (9+ / 0-)

            best friend who is the other commander.

            That's the primary obstacle to stopping this epidemic in our military based on countless reports.

            The large majority of people who are assaulted are afraid to report these incidents because they can't identify neutral parties to whom they could report - or worse there are no neutral parties.

            •  It could be (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LSophia, patbahn

              a higher or lower rank, or even an officer of another branch, if available.

              And you keep reporting it until it is taken seriously. If it comes out you told another officer and they did not take action, their ass is on the line too when it comes to light.

              One of the most effective catalysts to action for an enlisted person frustrated by the chain of command is to mention your congressperson. The military hates congressional interference. I've seen it done.

              When my brother-in-law was drafted into Viet Nam, his mother fought to remove him from a combat role as the sole male progeny of a WWII vet, which was the rule at that time.
              But by the time they got to him, he was in-country with his unit and would not leave for fear of weakening the unit.
              Weeks later, a mortar he was cleaning after a monsoon exploded and took half his right hand and loaded his torso with shrapnel. He survived and has a nice benefits package working as a federal employee in AK.

              He could have gone into an office job in 'Nam. Congress trumps the Chain of Command.

              Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

              by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:18:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It is much more complicated than that (9+ / 0-)

                from the perspective of the victim.  The victim has already been victimized and when they report they are re-victimized by a system that protects the attackers.

                Look at the number of people who report anonymously.  That is a staggeringly high number of people.  26,000 reports in one year.  Those are people who want something done, but who are afraid to ruin their own careers and lives within their unit by attempting to get justice.

                The problem is out of control and it really isn't good for the military as a whole either.  It needs to be addressed and at this point, it is pretty clear that civilian intervention is what's needed.  Neutral parties who are not beholden to some commander or another - people who will take the facts as they come and make sure that those facts are appropriately dealt with.

                •  I can see your point. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dinotrac, LSophia

                  Civilian intervention may help with the problems.

                  I wouldn't want to see military intervention into civilian problems. Not again.

                  But there is civilian oversight at the Pentagon. We'll see if Chuck Hagel himself gets involved.

                  Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                  by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:50:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hagel (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pasadena beggar, zinger99, LSophia

                    will not get involved.  But you can bet if men were being raped in large numbers and then getting punished for being raped, he'd be getting involved.

                    •  Not sure on that yet. He was reported (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gentle Giant, dinotrac, LSophia

                      to have been really furious when informed of this yesterday.

                      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                      by Ginny in CO on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:20:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Time will tell. (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        zinger99, dinotrac, LSophia, Ginny in CO

                        He was under the gun to do something after an Air Force general overturned a sexual assault conviction (and court martial) of an F-16 pilot.  Apparently the pilot raped a woman on the base in Italy.  You can imagine how beloved our troops would be in Italy after that hit the local papers.

                        •  What I really face palmed over was (0+ / 0-)

                          when they transferred Wilkerson to the base at her hometown. There was a diary in the last week on the 'reception' from her family and friends.

                          Heh, the SOFAs all over the world have made our soldiers persona non grata where ever they are based. And the DC crowd, especially GOP, could not understand that the Iraqi Parliament had way too much reason to vote down the proposed SOFA there. No way Obama or al-Maliki could negotiate anything.

                          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                          by Ginny in CO on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:51:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  I think that people are starting to get (6+ / 0-)

                    very nervous about this problem.  It is pretty big.

                    Cleaning house could potentially have the effect of really decimating the commanding ranks given how many cover up and protection schemes there seem to be.  So, that's, I think, why we haven't seen a huge effort made to fix the problem.

                    Then there is the problem of how to do it - our civilian leadership has been kowtowed by the military and their proponents for about two decades to the point where politicians and others are basically afraid to intervene in the inner workings of the military.  No one wants to be seen as having been anything but their "friend" and that goes right up to the top in the White House, imo.

                    But what the military needs is some sort of team of sexual assault prevention experts who are not military or former military - people who have no skin in the military game - and not just a presidential commission to "study" the problem, but people who might be stationed at bases or at a call center who would have the power to move complaints along even if a commander were to object.  That idea is probably unthinkable in a lot of circles, but it seems like it is the only way to turn the trend around at this point.

                    •  The military polices itself, though. (0+ / 0-)

                      They have the UCMJ. Military personnel are not covered by the Constitution. They are, in effect, military/government property.
                      The armed forces' propensity to solve all problems, handle all issues, "in house" is ingrained for over two centuries. It is a different world from the civilian world.

                      Don't expect any direct-to-enlisted civilian oversight. The resistance to it runs so deep that those who haven't served may not grasp it.
                      When the military decides to get something done, it can be accomplished with amazing speed and efficiency. The problem will be addressed. Once the top brass decides to make it so, it will be so.

                      I'm not saying civilian involvement wouldn't be beneficial. I'm just stating it is highly unlikely to happen. It will be addressed. And it may involve an upheaval the likes of which are rarely seen in the armed forces.

                      I'm quite certain civilian intervention, aside from that of the Pentagon, will never happen.

                      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                      by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:22:10 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Senator Gillibrand is really - really - pissed (4+ / 0-)

                        off.  This story is about to get a lot bigger because of the Air Force spokesman's testimony at the Senate hearing they held about the sexual assault rate rising so dramatically.  

                        He said that it was a problem because of the "hook up culture" in American society.  Andrea Mitchell led her questioning in her interview of Gillibrand by saying, "Doesn't this sound a little bit like blame the victim?"

                        So, the military leadership is proving themselves to be completely clueless and misguided both by the numbers and based on their words.  It is going to come down to some serious civilian intervention.

                        And I say that not to contravene your point that there will be heavy resistance, but to underscore how hot this issue looks like it is about to become.

                        •  I agree and didn't misconstrue your comments. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Gillibrand, my congressperson, and Congress in general can hold the Air Force and other branches' feet to the fire. They can force reform.

                          But reform will be created and implemented by the military structure in place. With proper and sufficient force, it will happen.

                          I'd like to see a no-nonsense female high-ranking officer put in charge of implementation. Such a person would not involve herself in any ol' boy mentality and might inspire victims to come forward- might provide the sense of security needed for someone to feel safe to come forward and might possess a deeper understanding and connection to the issues. Such women do exist in the military.

                          Recent LGBT issues, the repeal of DADT, took effect with amazing speed once adopted. The same is true of racist attitudes from the middle to the end of the last century.

                          The double-edged sword of the military world is it's size and rigidity. Rigidity can hurt from resistance to change, but is a boon when change is adopted. It's a small, highly-regimented world our military people serve in. When (not "if") this atrocity is addressed and engaged against, that world will change rapidly, and those who can't keep up will find themselves on the outside. Or worse.

                          I am by no means a flag-waver, military cheerleader as may be seen by my comments above. But I do respect our armed forces and remember that world, even though it was an ill fit for me. I have faith something will be done. Something definitive. Once there is the motivation to do so, and we're seeing that motivation building now.

                          Don't be surprised if the military high brass has already hit the ground running by the time Gillibrand or any others in a similar position come knocking on the Pentagon's door.

                          Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

                          by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:08:55 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Civilians are afraid to intervene in the military? (0+ / 0-)

                      Since when?

                      Bush fired two Joint Chiefs.
                      Obama has fired two Generals.

                      I don't think you are paying attention to the world as it is.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:30:55 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Gentle Giant commenting just above (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        describes the "world as it is" within the military and with respect to civilian oversight pretty accurately.

                        I'd add that your commentary throughout this thread suggests that you have little perspective on how huge and epidemic this problem is.  Firing a general or two isn't going to come even remotely close to solving it.

                        •  Goodness gracious. Sorry, but it's very hard to (0+ / 0-)

                          write everything like this:

                          Fired a couple of generals, and if I had the time, I'll be we found some other interventions as well, but, gee, given the original assertion is that the civilian overseers are afraid to intervene (like Harry Truman was afraid of MacAurther) the fact that civilian overseers have not hesitated to knock top generals out of their posts does not comport with an assertion of fearfulness. While we're at it -- if civilian overseers wish to impress their seriousness about this issue on the military, all they really need to do is make sure the Joint Chiefs know their asses are on the line if something isn't done.  The military is actually pretty good at making change when it realizes that change is required.  For example, while the military hasn't exactly solved the problem of race relations, it got out way ahead of the civilian world.  It was training and promoting minorities to positions of responsibility when the civilian world was still claiming that qualified applicants couldn't be found. And that'st he kind of thing I'm talking about: the civilian oversight can and does make an impression on the military -- WHEN IT CARES TO.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The military is actually pretty good about (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            making change when it realizes that change is required**

                            **Tailhook Scandal


                            We are still waiting.

                            I think that 20 years is a pretty generous grace period.

                          •  **cough** Secret Service hookers **cough** (0+ / 0-)

                            Yeah. The military has a ways to go. Sticks out like a sore thumb given that civilian society has completely solved the problem.

                            *cough* Eliot Spitzer *cough
                            * Jerry Sandusky *cough
                            * Mark Hurd *cough
                            Jennifer Vigilcough*

                            I feel compelled to tell you that there are more names because I just know you'll say that 5 people is hardly very many.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:15:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  So, I'm even more convinced now that (0+ / 0-)

                    I've seen a clip of the testimony of an Air Force commander who spoke at a hearing in the Senate today saying that he believes that the problems come from "the hook up culture" outside the military before these people come in.

                    Further, he stated that many of the women who come into the military had already been assaulted prior which I have no idea why he decided to include in his testimony.

                    •  Oh. It sounds like he thinks that, since they (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DSPS owl

                      were assaulted "prior" to getting into the military, that they should be used to it by now (and therefore, so what?). That's even worse than his statement about the "hook-up" culture.

        •  not true (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dogs are fuzzy, dinotrac

          there are victim advocates at the bridage and battalion level who are usually senior NCOs or civilians.  They are usually the first people it is reported to that aren't friends or coworkers, not the company commander.

          There are additional advocates at the post/base level.  The Company commander would be required by regulation to involve these people if somehow he was the first person reported to, at least in the Army.

          There are a whole host of steps and controls including the withholding of decision-making authority in all sexual assault cases to the O6 level by the Sec Army.

          So your assertion, at least in the Army, simply is not true.

          •  I'm having a hard time reconciling (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            statements like this and from Gentle Giant with the stats and the information that has been coming out for so long. I married into an AF family, worked with a lot of RN wives and have taken care of a lot of vets since graduating in '77.

            Military Community Members of Daily Kos have been covering this for some time. The 2012 release of the documentary Invisible War, on military sexual trauma and the culture of sexual assault has received pretty good attention in the media as well.

            There are a lot of instances where the individual has had to report to their immediate superior. And many where the whole unit then found out and made life hell for the victim. The options to report have been changed fairly recently, and probably some of the advocate positions. They are not located in combat areas where a female is 5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than injured in action.

            Nor is the problem limited to the military. VA Opposes Bi-Partisan Bill to Increase Assistance to Military Sexual Assault Victims. That would apply to some of my patients.

            A few MCMDK diaries:

            Efforts to End Sexual Assault in the Military

            Last Straw Yet? Tipping Point Maybe? Because God is Raping Soldiers Back to Church Now! Reporting rape to a chaplain just gets you into the religious proselytizing too prevalent in the military.

            Raped and pregnant in the military? Your benefits can't include an abortion. Overseas and can't get one? You will get discharged and sent home.

            The military has to have official processes for reporting and investigating sexual assault. The problem, worse than civilian processes, is that the victims know better than to think it will do much more than further harm them. Changing both the process and the effectiveness is going to be slow.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:45:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm giving you direct evidence (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              of what the rules are in the army.  I cant speak for the other services, and it is my belief that some of them are not nearly as good on these issues as the army but I can't say that with direct evidence since I don't operate in their systems.

              I am in no way saying that a unit can't "make hell for a victim."  There are all sorts of ways unfortunately that can happen with and without commanders knowing about it or partaking in it.

              Not defending that, and certainly not suggesting that any alleged victim, military or no, has an easy road when it comes to reporting and then going through the entire process.

              What I am saying is that there are in fact regulations in place that mandate reporting to folks specially trained in this.  I know there is a special victim prosecutor for most major installations in the army that deals with nothing but sexual assaults.  I know that Congress seeks information on them quarterly.  I know that the victim advocates meet monthly with prosecutors.  There is just a ton of visibility on these things.

              Again, can't speak for other services.  I don't know that I can agree that the process is better for civilians as far as reporting than the military.  I can't imagine someone in a small town or a big city thinks she can go to a police station or even prosecutor and talk about date rape or being intoxicated and expect much positive to happen.  Those offenses are at least sometimes prosecuted in the army, and they are often if not nearly always investigated.

              •  That's all known. It's because those rules (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DSPS owl

                and processes are failing so miserably that they are being scrutinized. It can vary in each service and location, just as civilian situations vary widely.

                Instead of old and new policies and emphasis improving the stats, they are significantly worse. Is that because of more awareness? Backlash? It just reinforces the problem is not getting the right intervention.

                The point is to ask how to be sure effective, appropriate rules and services are followed consistently, add more where appropriate, and increase outside oversight until the stats are much closer to inevitable rates.

                Ultimately this is not about whether the most powerful, advanced and effective military the world has ever known can do this. The issue is what attitudes, beliefs and practices are interfering with prevention and justice. We know there are difficulties in changing those. Which makes changing behavior all the more difficult, especially when humans are put on the defensive.

                This just surfaced. Air Force Brochure Tells Sexual Assault Victims to ‘Submit’ Spencer Ackerman, Danger Room.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:37:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  One very good question worth pursuing: (0+ / 0-)

                  This is not a military problem per se.

                  It is a cultural problem. Civilian life is chock full of sexual predators -- and of prosecutors who refuse to prosecute and friends who think it's fun to put the video up on the internet.

                  I don't know if the problem is worse in the military or not.
                  Is it more hushed up because of the chain of command or more visible because the military is home to some pretty tough women?

                  Do they handle it better or worse?
                  Can civilians learn from the military or vice versa?

                  What special problems about being military are being missed by the current procedures and safeguards?

                  I do not believe that military people are worse than civilians.  If anything, I would expect the opposite.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:35:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  About that Air Force bruchure: (0+ / 0-)

                  " does not offer instruction to servicemembers on not committing sexual assault. Prevention is treated as the responsibility of potential victims."

                  The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

                  by DSPS owl on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:50:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Are they? (0+ / 0-)

                  I put out a list of question in another part of the thread.

                  What are the comparisons between the military and civilian LE on:

                  types of sexual assaults and contacts prosecuted
                  percentage taken to trial v. percentage that don't go anywhere
                  percentage that are reported v. not reported

                  I know for example that a woman in the army who says she was drunk and had sex with someone while seriously drunk has a decent shot of that case going to trial, or at least being investigated.  I would be highly incredulous to see a similar case in the civilian world even be investigated unless she were a minor or she was completely passed out when the sex happened.

                  That is not to say that all's hunky dory, it isn't.  But as someone noted down below, it's not hunky dory all over, not just in the military.  I don't know that the stats are significantly worse.  Why is there an increase in reporting? Is it because we are doing a better job of enticing/encouraging reporting so that more true numbers are coming out or is it that the reporting is the same but more incidents are occurring? Is this a one year blip or a trend?

                  As far as the submit thing.  i don't know.  I'd personally be real careful in offering advice on what to do in a product like that because the real answer on what to do depends.  I don't know if resisting is a good idea or not a good idea.  I would guess it would be in some situations, and not in others.  I think the vast majority of rapes it would probably be advisable, but not sure.  I think though it's something that isn't easily presented, nor is it some symptom of how horrible the military is.  

                  I think one reason why the military is being so scrutinzed is that we are the only entity that actually provides numbers in real detail.  What other cohort do we have anywhere near as reliable numbers? Cities? States? Colleges?

        •  That is incorrect (0+ / 0-)

          I'd just like to note that there are multiple reporting options for those who have been sexually assaulted. There are two kinds of reports: restricted and unrestricted. Restricted means no prosecution, but the victim gets help. Unrestricted means prosecution, investigation, etc.

          Those who have been assaulted can talk to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator or Chaplain to generate a restricted report. If that person lets the Chain of Command know, then it must become an Unrestricted report. (People in the chain she could talk to: supervisor, First Sergeant, Chief Enlisted, Superintendant, Commander, pretty much anyone in the chain, likely even anyone outside the chain.)

          No amnesty for Wall Street.

          by LnGrrrR on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:11:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The military hasn't had any meaningful (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LSophia, Ginny in CO, zinger99, DSPS owl

        civilian oversight since Bush I.

        But the point of my comment was that given the track record on assaults the military is not doing even an adequate job of keeping its own house clean.  The job this this man was doing should be given to an outsider and that outsider should be given sweeping powers to address the problem of assaults - and not just those of the sexual nature, either.

        •  the actors on NCIS (0+ / 0-)

          would probably be more effective than whoever they've got enforcing the law these days.

        •  If the current administration chooses not to (0+ / 0-)

          exercise it's responsibility, then it should be called to task.

          The structure is set up, and Joint Chiefs serve at the pleasure of the President.  

          Under the Bush Administration,two  Joint Chiefs were forced to resign under the weight of scandal.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:03:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            So you expect the President of the United States to review 26,000 reports of sexual assault annually?

            Look - here's the deal - it is pretty obvious that the military is doing a shit job of policing itself on this front - and probably some others - it is time to basically tell them that some civilians are going to be doing oversight until such time as the organization gets cleaned up.  It is a mess.

            •  Try reading again. (0+ / 0-)

              There is a whole list of civilians involved in overseeing the military, and there are military commanders who serve at the pleasure of civilians.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:33:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are missing the point entirely. (5+ / 0-)

                The military needs a unit of neutral parties who preferably would NOT have served in the military and would ideally have some experience with assault prevention to turn this trend around.

                •  Neutral parties -- Now that's an interesting (0+ / 0-)


                  Where would these neutral parties exist?
                  How would they get the jobs?

                  More seriously: why do you think a lack of military experience is a good thing for people who must work with and understand the military culture?

                  I would liken it to the role of regulators in the recent West, TX plant explosion.  If I've got people regulating a fertilizer plant, I sure would like somebody who understands the dangers that lurk there and be smart enough to know that claims not to have dangerous levels of highly explosive materials are, if you'll pardon the expression, just blowing smoke.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:40:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If we go with your plan, we just (7+ / 0-)

                    end up with another bad actor put in charge of sexual assault prevention like this one who was arrested in Arlington.

                    Senator Gillibrand is on MSNBC right now saying that she thinks that this oversight "needs to be taken away from the Chain of Command".  She was unequivocal in making her point.  She and I agree.

                    •  What plan? (0+ / 0-)

                      I never put forward a plan.

                      I remain curious where these so-called "neutral parties" come from.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:26:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There are people in America who work (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        LSophia, DSPS owl

                        with both victims and offenders n the sexual assault arena.  They are people who have no career advancement aspirations in the military system and if properly empowered could be helpful in cleaning up the military on this front.

                        •  I'm still intrigued with this idea of neutral. (0+ / 0-)

                          Sounds like the people you describe are advocates, which isn't neutral at all.

                          Advocates are a good thing -- you sure as hell want them in battered women's shelters, counseling, etc.

                          But not neutral.

                          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                          by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:24:30 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm intrigued with the idea that you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DSPS owl

                            seem to be so clueless about why this problem is so persistent and epidemic at this point.

                            The internal reporting structure works against the victims.  The internal authorities are often inclined to cover these things up for fear that it would reflect badly on their command. Military culture has not adapted to the more modern view that women should be treated with equality.  There are assaults on men represented in these numbers, as well.  

                            This self-selecting body that we call our military in the current era has grown sicker and sicker over the years.

                            Enlisting people who are not wed to or loyal to protecting the military institutions at the expense of victims of these crime and who are skilled in victim and predator management seems like the only viable plan for changing the trend in this culture.  

                            How many senior military personnel are experts in responding sexual assault crimes?  Some may argue - especially in light of the Arlington arrest - that the military personnel who know anything about sexual assault are the same people who are the predators in these cases. Another good reason to move this clean up initiative outside of the military ranks.

                          •  That's all in your head. (0+ / 0-)

                            Curious, though:

                            How much military experience do you have?

                            I'll admit to being biased.
                            I was a military brat who spent my formative years around military people.
                            Not able to be neutral.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:14:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To clarify -- I am not referring to the scope (0+ / 0-)

                            and significance of the problem as being in your head.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 01:54:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  Well (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zinger99, LSophia, Hemlock Tea, DSPS owl
                    More seriously: why do you think a lack of military experience is a good thing for people who must work with and understand the military culture?
                    I'm thinking that the "military culture" is a big part of the problem. So yes, people from outside of that just might be a good idea.

                    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

                    by lcbo on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:28:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  People from the outside will get nowhere. (0+ / 0-)

                      Fine to have some around, but you need people around who understand the culture if you really want to make progress.

                      Otherwise you get nice type clamshells from folks who see you as the enemy -- which you will be.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:25:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  sure, but clearly the military is not (0+ / 0-)

                        "policing itself" and its internal processes for handling this problem are not working. the processes for handling the problem appear to be there; the will to act and follow through on them is not.

                        you say it is of the utmost importance that the military be allowed to handle this themselves, but clearly they are not. it's the Church all over again; the military's name and reputation is given priority over victims.

                        this is a problem that has been out there in the media for years, and the situation doesn't seem to be improving at all. i understand how opaque the military world is supposed to be to civilians and how we "just don't understand", but at this point it's pretty obvious even to us civvies what's going on in there.

                        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                        by Boogalord on Wed May 08, 2013 at 10:03:53 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  The military needs some adult supervision- n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:01:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And (0+ / 0-)

        The Secretary of the Army is a civilian.
        The Secretary of the Navy is a civilian.
        The Secretary of the Air Force is a civilian.

        This aggression will not stand, man.

        by kaleidescope on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:28:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But not by a fundamentalist Christian (5+ / 0-)
  •  When they do everything they can... (9+ / 0-)

    to get rid of people who aren't interested in going to deployment after deployment after deployment...

    This guy is pretty much what we've got left in the military.  People who are adept at working the system, and only the system.

    I expect a General's reversal of any conviction.  Because ya know...  "Allegations."

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:32:41 AM PDT

  •  this is why (12+ / 0-)

    when I was advising a young woman of her options for funding college this year, I chose not to give her information about the military. It's not my place to hold that information back for political reasons, but the rates of violence against women are so bad in the military, I don't feel in good conscience I can recommend it.

  •  Just from the resistance wounds (9+ / 0-)

    you can see the press has toned down what happened. Those are really nasty bite marks on his lips.  I hope he talks funny for the rest of his worthless life.

  •  Christian Dominionists Try To Run The Air Force (10+ / 0-)

    But it's not reducing the rape is it?

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:36:54 AM PDT

    •  They have had carte blanche for fifteen years (5+ / 0-)

      obviously rape prevention is not a value they are interested in.

    •  All conservative ideologies use rape (9+ / 0-)

      as a control method.  Dominionists are not Christians anymore than Al Qaeda is Islamic.  These are groups run by men who can't compete on a level playing field.  They're inept, their sense of entitlement leads to laziness and rebellion if they're not the top dogs, they're filled with self-pity and resentment about changes in culture that puts genuine demands on them.  Unfortunately they hook up with women with similar issues, cover for their true purpose.

      The death throes of patriarchy are ugly and violent.

      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

      by I love OCD on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:19:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        incognita, I love OCD, LilithGardener

        Hatred and repression of women - or of any group - is its own religion.  It merely seeks to use others as its some screen.

        •  Well At Least There's No Children To Rape At Work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Two words:  "Jerry Sandusky"

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:57:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesnt matter to them who they (0+ / 0-)

            rape, what matters is a brief sense of being powerful.  Rapists are pathetic cowards, the dregs of a macho culture breathing it's last breath.  

            I suspect there'd be some serious action from the top brass if women were grabbing dicks and twisting hard.  Maybe that would call attention to the sickness in that culture.

            It's time for women to push back.  My 21 year old daughter decked a drunk who grabbed her friend's tits.  She's not big or tough, she's smart enough to see someone too impaired to be dangerous.  She also knew there were bouncers close by.  She told me she'd rather take a punch than sit there being helpless.  We need more of that, less fear.

            I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

            by I love OCD on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:16:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  His face... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, gffish, incognita, zinger99, DSPS owl

    I hope it was his victim who gave him that fat lip. Not enough but good for starters...

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:37:05 AM PDT

    •  If he had attacked an Air Force member... (6+ / 0-)

      and she had left those marks, she would be brought up on charges of attacking an officer.

      And she then would have been ushered out as an "adjustment disorder" and threatened with court martial for attacking an officer if she complained.

      And some friend of his would decide if his offense was serious enough to ruin his career, or if this was just a joke gotten out of hand....

      And then he would be promoted.

      His mistake was in attacking a civilian...

      I wish she would come forward. I would love to send her flowers.

  •  "Military justice is to justice as military music (4+ / 0-)

    is to music."

                             Robert Scheer, Ramparts Magazine during
                                                     the 1960's.

    Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world..-- Jack Layton

    by sturunner on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:37:40 AM PDT

    •  Seems like Congress (0+ / 0-)

      could have a very big impact on the problem of military rape by, say, cutting the military budget by $50,000,000 every time there is a rape that commanders ignore or commit or punish the accuser for.  

  •  Jesus. H. Christ. (9+ / 0-)

    We have the military being taken over by Christian fundies, and this is what we get. For some reason its just more of the same.

    A true craftsman will meticulously construct the apparatus of his own demise.

    by onionjim on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:41:53 AM PDT

    •  As in the civilian world, (0+ / 0-)

      we are witnessing the backlash or side effects of repression.

      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:05:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what kind of cases (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy

      are taken in civilian courts v. military courts?

      What are the respective conviction rates?

      What are the percentages of claims made that go to trial in each system?

      What are the average sentences per type of offense in each system?

      How likely is it do you think that a civilian prosecutor will take to trial a "date rape" with alcohol allegation versus a military jurisdiction?

      These are all questions one would think would need to be answered to properly assess both whether there is a problem with the military way of doing this, or if there is an overall societal problem (which I think there is) how more or less "bad" is the military vis-a-vis the civilian sector in handling this.

  •  Are numbers going up, or is reporting going up? (7+ / 0-)

    Is this report indicative of a rise in the number of annual assults, or is reporting an assult no longer seen as career suicide, so people are more likely to report it, and less likely to accept it as "part of the culture of getting along"?

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:43:36 AM PDT

    •  I had this same question. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      howabout, lostboyjim
    •  I don't know for sure, but just based on my (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant, lostboyjim, incognita

      history with the military, I think the instances are going up.  When I was in, the culture favored the reporting female.

      "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

      by Sychotic1 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:01:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's frustrating!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ginny in CO, Sychotic1

        Is this more rampant in the Air Force than in other branches (I'm thinking particularly about the Marines, and how they responded to the repeal of DADT with a by god we are going to do this, and do it right attitude, even though they were opposed to it up to that moment).

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:10:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with both (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Married into an AF family in '75. Got the impression the mid 20th century branch had gotten off without so many old sexist attitudes ingrained. They were there, it was military.

          Moved to CO in '94 and was surprised at the CO Springs enclave. Given what I had learned in AK about the evangelical movement, seemed likely that Focus on the Family had infiltrated via local churches. Since learning about The Family (Sharlett), and that FoF went to Co Springs in '77, I have more suspicions that may have been an intentional relocation. The brass had been getting indoctrinated in the 70's.

          Yeah, the Marines were, Marines, when it came to the DADT repeal.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Tue May 07, 2013 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Great moto!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

        by frenchy339 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:23:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Apparently going Towanda (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, LSophia, Ginny in CO

    enmasse will be the only way to get the point across. A male dominated legal system has no interest in protecting women. If it did domestic violence victims would not have to get their own restraining orders.

  •  Shameful. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, LSophia

    Just as it is shameful in civilian ranks.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:53:16 AM PDT

  •  Everybody should see (9+ / 0-)

    the documentary "The Invisible War".  It's on Netflix.  It is an eye opener.  The military in many cases ignores the accusations, or accuses the raped person of having caused it, or drives the accuser out of the military and in many cases promotes the rapists.

  •  I was in the Navy. (11+ / 0-)

    I respect the Armed Forces and those who choose to serve.

    But this idea that everyone who wears a uniform is a hero irks me to say the least. Military adulation is the prelude to Fascism. Unconditional love for all things military is silly and makes forays into mental sickness.
    I served with some amazing individuals- honorable, trustworthy, even noble.

    I also served with some right bastards.

    Any time I hear the rah-rahs, the cheerleading for our armed forces, this is one particular facet of the military world that comes to mind. It is not new. It is more than a blemish that needs to be cured at its root, not just glossed over. It is an atrocity.

    The kind of patriotism that claims perfection is idiocy. I'm patriotic, but I'm also aware there is lots of room for improvement. Love of country, like love of people, allows that you can love and recognize fault and want better.

    I wish the flag-wavers, the demonstrative patriots, would recognize this and spend more of their fervor helping to improve instead of polishing their apple or wishing for the greatness to shed upon them.

    Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 07:58:07 AM PDT

    •  My brother (0+ / 0-)

      did a NROTC Program at Notre Dame, and then gave the Navy 4 years.  That was a long time ago but I remember him saying that the mentality of the average enlisted man was sometimes a frightening thing to behold.

      The mindless cheerleading for the troops is a sign of lazy thinking and also seems like a "thank god it's you people and not me 'standing on the wall'".

  •  I wonder if... (6+ / 0-)

    Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski
    Is married
    Has female children
    Goes to church
    Is a Christian
    How long he has had a drinking problem

    The Air Force can throw him under the bus or do all it can to save his butt.

    Psst!!!......Mittens you are more of a poor loser than I thought.

    by wbishop3 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:00:14 AM PDT

    •  With the civilian nature of the arrest and (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      timewarp, LSophia, incognita, RF, drmah

      ensuing publicity, the Air Force's hands are basically tied. Stick a fork in him.

      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:08:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fork is stuck already (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, drmah

        The guy is a huge embarrassment and of comparatively low rank.  I'd be very surprised if the Air Force doesn't just chuck him under the bus.

        His appointment in itself seems to indicate how seriously they took this issue (not!).  Are two- or three-star generals really going to listen when a lieutenant colonel tells them how to prevent sexual assault?  

    •  He's already (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a speed bump for the USAF PR bus.

      •  Personally, I wouldn't be surprised (0+ / 0-)

        if he was set up to fail. Not to fail this spectacularly or stupidly, and certainly not publicly, but, come on.  He was probably supposed to set up some sort of namby-pamby program that appeared to address the issue, without doing anything to change the core culture.  

        If they really wanted to change the core culture - if they really valued all of their servicemembers, not just the glory hounds, the jocks and the fast-trackers, they would change the culture.  They're capable of doing this - we saw it when DADT was repealed.  They just don't want to.

        Not that anyone asked me, but as an OD professional, I would say what they really need is for some four-star to take this on as its champion, get a three- or two-star woman to run it and to kick patootie and take names.  Let's see if they do it.

  •  This Woman Fought Back....Check Out His Face (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, leema, incognita, RF, DSPS owl, lady blair

    At least there is that.  Beside the looming criminal charges & removal from his post, he's been humiliated & has a mug shot to prove it.  

    Nasty little character.  

  •  Particularly the Air Force. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And most especially the Air Force officer cadre.

  •  Unbelievable (5+ / 0-)

    I hope that every case that he has overseen is reopened and re-investigated.  

    I will not be surprised if other women in the military have been assaulted by him in the past.  There is no way that this is the 1st time he has done something like this -- my guess is that it simply the first time that he did not have the ability to use his status as an officer to intimidate his victim into silence.  

  •  The "only 6%" knocked me right off my chair. I (4+ / 0-)

    don't know which was most offensive,  the "only 6%" or that the predator the military put in charge of sexual abuse cases is an abuser himself.
    The military could not function without women.  I shall never understand why the brass lets this happen.  Unless, of course, there are so few women in the top ranks.

    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything - unknown

    by incognita on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:35:14 AM PDT

    •  They don't want to see it (0+ / 0-)

      They like their culture the way it is.  They value things like toughness, action, aggression - all seen as traditionally "male" virtues, and ones that, by their definitions, men are automatically superior to women.

      Admitting that they have a problem is admitting that they've failed in their stated values, so they don't want to do that.  They also don't want to look "inside" at their culture to see why it is the people they put into power routinely prey on those weaker than themselves.

      It's much easier to put the blame externally and (try to) sweep it under the rug.

      Let's see if Congress lets them get away with it this time.

  •  So who appointed this guy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We not only have to shame this guy, but also the person above him that appointed him.  This won't stop until responsibility is taken.

  •  if she really did those injuries (0+ / 0-)

    its' almost like there isn't much point in a trial.

  •   Didn't I read that standards had been lowered (0+ / 0-)

    for our new all volunteer army.  Think this might have something to do with it?  

    “... there is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson, The Sky Is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist

    by leema on Tue May 07, 2013 at 08:51:21 AM PDT

  •  Thank the FSM for idiots (0+ / 0-)

    This POS was obviously so filled with entitlement that he just figured he could get away with being a sexual predator. Sadly he only just got caught. I have no doubt there is a string of crimes that he has committed and we will never know the actual number of his victims.

    I am so glad that the police were able to arrive in time that he cannot pull the slut card.

    It is so fortunate that his victim was able to fight back. So often when we are victims of violence, in the moment, we lose our ability to do so.

    I hope that the entire chain of command that enabled this sick bastard to exist is examined by a third-party review. This is not a case of a bad apple.

    I pray every day of his life he will be ashamed but I know that prayer will go unanswered. I am sure the Bible will forgive him because he is a good Bible-worshiper and has had his Bible revealed to him through Bible-Jesus. Now that he has been caught he is sorry for being caught and he he can become a Pastor or a Deacon.

    Fortunately when he goes before the FSM he will find his empty plate broken on the floor because Jesus will have overturned the Biblicists table before the antipasto.

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:11:38 AM PDT

  •  If she hadn't fought, and called police... (0+ / 0-)

    ...would he have raped her?

    I think Yes.

    And I think it isn't the first time he has done this.

    And I think whoever put him in that position he held knew this. They were putting "one of their own" in there.

  •  Data points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    Rate of sexual assault in general US population approx .016% (source Rainn and Census)

    Rate of sexual assault in military 1.7% (26k/1.5 mil)

    Agree with a previous poster who did not encourage women to join armed services.  I would try to dissuade my daughter.

    “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

    by frenchy339 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:47:15 AM PDT

  •  Sexual assault is a serious issue (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LSophia, kyril

    that is not going away. I'm a vet. It was an issue when I was in but was at least being addressed. The problem remains. This is not acceptable. The military services of the country must be held to a higher standard.
    I felt then and do now that ANY act of this nature must be investigated fully and fairly to both parties involved. It stains the honor of those who serve and did serve any time it occurs. It drags the services through the sewage and prevents some of the best and brightest from serving by the mere evidence that it exists at all. There must be a quantum cultural shift in the services.
    This means no more lip service. The attitude must shift to complete zero tolerance. This would also include false accusation. Immediate dishonorable discharge for those found guilty. Real prison time at Ft. Leavenworth or if it is an incident off of base or post then time spent in a state prison.  
    As for the drunk Lt.Col? If the evidence convicts him beyond a reasonable doubt, the consequences must be applied. The irony of this would be funny if it were not so fucking tragic.
    Lastly as us paratroopers were frequently told intoxication is not an excuse for stupid or criminal behavior. Boys being boys is nose art on an aircraft. It is not playing horny drunken grabass with a person who wants no part of the game.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:13:51 AM PDT

  •  This HAS to qualify as a new level of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    embarrassment for our boys in uniforms' actions... not to mention the ongoing "official" PR presence of the U.S. military.  Another area where the macho, bullying posture of America's "patriots" needs major re-working, starting with re-thinking.  Excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

    Hard to believe that George H.W. Bush once called for America to be a "kinder, gentler nation."

    Americans who vote against their own interests are driven by "the human need to find a strand of significance that will hold everything together that isn't on TV..." (quote is from P. Roth in "Sabbath's Theater")

    by ceebee7 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:52:26 AM PDT

  •  i was in the military (0+ / 0-)

    and although it was a long time ago and they deserve our respect, if you knew what really goes on and what the leaders are like the hero worship syndrome america has with the military would cease in a second.

  •  heh... the woman kicked the crap out of him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    boy did he deserve it...  

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Tue May 07, 2013 at 12:31:41 PM PDT

  •  military enlistment of criminals cant be helping (0+ / 0-)

    All you have to do is look at this site and what the military is recruiting to see why rape is going up.  It also shows how they ignore rape.

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