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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.
The poster boy for military sexual assault.
The more you read about the military's so-called efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault, the more you doubt the sincerity of even the sternest, most uniform-clad, medal-bedecked assurances of military leaders that they really truly take the problem seriously and want to deal with it. Politico's Darren Samuelsohn lines up ways that the refusal to take military sexual assault seriously comes from the top—representative of the slow walk from the top, two databases ordered by Congress to track crime statistics in general and sexual assault in particular were not finished until years past their deadlines, with the latter still not completed—and from throughout the military hierarchy.

For instance, a Texas family complained about an Air Force recruiter harassing a teenage girl in 2010. The recruiter, Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez, was ultimately convicted of multiple sex crimes after the family of another teenage girl complained in 2011. But:

During the sentencing phase of his trial at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, both the girl and her mother testified but did not discuss their initial report because the prosecution wanted to keep the focus on Rodriguez’s actions — not the officer who heard their first warnings, according to the Pentagon source familiar with the case.

“My experience is that when allegations are ignored, it is by lower-level supervisors protecting a favored airman,” said the Defense Department official.

In a statement to POLITICO, an Air Force spokeswoman said the first warnings about Rodriguez’s misconduct came to the leaders of the Air Force Recruiting Service in November 2011 when he was “immediately removed from recruiting duty and an investigation began.”

Except, of course, that the first warnings came in 2010 or, quite likely, earlier and were ignored or covered up.

If there was really zero tolerance of this kind of thing—both sexual assault and covering it up—at the highest levels of the military, if all those generals and admirals and colonels who show up at congressional hearings and swear up and down that this time they're really going to get serious, the rate of military sexual assault would be a fraction of what it now is, and the unrestricted reporting rate (which is required for an investigation and is very low; restricted reporting allows victims medical care and is much, much higher) would rise significantly.

Military leadership wants us to believe the problem is being taken seriously and will soon be under control. But it's clear that's not going to happen as long as the problem remains in the same hands. Congress needs to force serious change. That's force, not politely request.

Tell the U.S. Senate to take action against sexual assault in the military by passing Sen. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Haven't read all this crap but suspect the problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, llbear
    •  Right its the UCMJ (0+ / 0-)

      And since the UCMJ comes from congress and congress comes form the people its your fault.  

      You have the absolute power to change things.  Walk down to a recruiting office and sign up.  Oh wait, that is hard and like the OP you would rather just snipe away while doing nothing.  Put up or shut up.

      Lead
      Follow
      GET OUT OF THE WAY

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:58:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So in other words, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randomfacts, happymisanthropy

        nobody is allowed to care about this problem except military officers? I am so glad your anonymous opinion doesn't matter one bit.

        Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

        by Boundegar on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:26:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah but mine does (0+ / 0-)

          because I am doing something every day to make this problem better.  

          And of course you didnt read a thing I said.  The OP claimed it was the UCMJ that was the issue while admitting he/she had not read it.  I pointed out that Congress writes the UCMJ and since Congress is by the people, the people are to blame if the UCMJ is bad.  

          Further since ANYONE can join the military, if you REALLY care about the problem you can join up and work to fix it.  But since less than 1/2 of 1% of the population serves, the chances of the OP signing up are slim.  

          Personally I dont think the UCMJ is the problem because I have read every one of the punitive articles as well as spent hours and hours in formal training and study.  There is so much flexibility in the UCMJ there is no excuse for not punishing those who are convicted.  But you know, I only live the UCMJ every day so what do I know.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:36:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  That headline says it all. n/t (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner, bewareofme, thomask, jck, llbear, triv33

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:46:43 AM PDT

  •  The BEST we can realistically hope for (6+ / 0-)

    is that the military will address its reprehensible assault culture going forward...

    but that no one will be held criminally responsible for the rapes and assaults of the recent past.

    That's not good enough.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:26:39 AM PDT

    •  And you know this how? (0+ / 0-)

      There is not statute of limitations on rape.  We have brought people back on active duty specifically to try them.  We do it all the time.  But you know that is a fact and no one here is interested in facts if they dont fit their narrative.  

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:01:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Call it a prediction then... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        triv33

        I hope I'm wrong.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:05:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  or something (0+ / 0-)

          you just pulled out of your butt.

          Speculating about the future is bad enough.  Ignoring facts on past activity while making those speculations is worse.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:17:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you'll be busy as all hell, then... (4+ / 0-)
        WASHINGTON — The problem of sexual assault in the military leapt to the forefront in Washington on Tuesday as the Pentagon released a survey estimating that 26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted last year, up from 19,000 in 2010, and an angry President Obama and Congress demanded action
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        Pulled out of the NYT, from a Pentagon study, not my butt.

        I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

        by triv33 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:49:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  lets see (0+ / 0-)

          #1 - there were roughly 3300 actual reported assaults last year

          #2 - given the size of the military - 1.4 million just on active duty - we are on the low end of similar populations.  

          #3 - more than 17,000 of those estimated 26,000 were male on male and the sharp rise in male on male reports coincides with repeal of DADT.  A large percentage of those 17000 reports are likely "revenge reports" with no actual assault.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:12:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  give me a break. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33, PhilJD, JesseCW, Oh Mary Oh
            A large percentage of those 17000 reports are likely "revenge reports" with no actual assault.
            a large percentage of those reports are more likely to  be from cases that once would have led to discharge. as a gay man, i find your supposition highly offensive.

            oh, and by the way, from your comment upthread about just going and signing up. i'm 52 with hiv/aids. exactly which recruiting office would you suggest would sign me up?

            •  which means (0+ / 0-)

              you had 20+ years to care enough to sign up.  I think the guard was taking folks up to 45 until the economy collapsed.  

              I have talked about the issue of the sudden surge in male on male anonymous reports in other areas.  Because the reports are anonymous it is nearly impossible to verify if they are true or not but the fact is there was a massive surge of reports as the debate on repealing DADT started up and it spiked even more immediately following repeal.  But what didnt happen was any corresponding increase in non-annomyous reports - reports that if found to be false would result in charges against the false accusers.  Unless every gay service member suddenly decided to get rapey there are a LOT of false reports.  Most of us who have been dealing with this for a long time believe there is an effort to discredit gay service members and making false reports of assaults is a pretty effective way.  You can be offended as much as you want but the number are pretty conclusive.  And while you are being offended I am working to stop out discrimination against gay service members just as hard as I worked to protect them during the DADT days.

              You talk, I do.

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

              by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:14:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  are you a recruiter? (0+ / 0-)

                for the sake of our military, i certainly hope not.

              •  So, you encourage people to lie during the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                liberaldemdave

                enlistment process?

                Do you see that as an official part of your duties?

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:53:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

                  I joined in 1986.  I was not asked if I was gay or not.  No one I knew who joined at the time or since was asked if they were gay.  Frankly, it wasnt that big an issue.  It became an issue after DADT but the issue was also solved by the Dont Ask part.  I was personally amazed/saddened/repulsed by the "leaders" who suddenly became concerned about gays after DADT when I knew that they hadn't given a crap the week before.  It was just one more thing to blame on President Clinton.

                  So as for telling people to lie, no I never did and would never have had to because it wasnt a question on the contract I signed.  

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

                  by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:39:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Wait. You think the only questions are on the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    liberaldemdave

                    contract?

                    You had no Moment of Truth?  Seriously?

                    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                    by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:04:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  please tell (0+ / 0-)

                      I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

                      I entered the Army with long hair dyed blue black with bleached streaks.  Im from Northern California and did Basic Training in Texas.  If ANYONE was going to be given the double secret gay test in 1986 it was me.

                      After I got to my first duty station I socialized with lots of people but mainly hung out other Californians.  We had a large "California Mafia" and we made lots of fun of those we considered rednecks and hicks.  Oh and we lead the pretty brutal retaliation against someone who outed (unsuccessfully because the command didnt care) a peer who was gay.  Idiot bigot got drunk and in his car so we called the SPs out of "concern."  He got an Article 15 and our gay peer got an ARCOM on ETS.  It was the last time someone tried to "out" anyone.  If anyone was going to be targeted for secret gay tests it was me and my fellow "mafia."

                      So please tell of "secret" gay tests because I have never heard of them.

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

                      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:47:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  You are willfully and viciously harming (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                liberaldemdave

                gay service members.

                 Unless every gay service member suddenly decided to get rapey there are a LOT of false reports.  
                The assumption that any large percentage of male on male sexual assaults are committed by gay men is homophobic, ignorant, and extraordinarily hateful.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:55:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh good lord (0+ / 0-)

                  read everything PLEASE.

                  I was responding to an assertion that those reports were likely from gay men who couldn't report before.  

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

                  by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:33:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And you were claiming that male on male sexual (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    liberaldemdave

                    assault would only increase if GAY men "got all rapey".

                    You are what's fucking broken.

                    You sound like a fucking Catholic Priest trying to convince a bunch of tools that the Vatican takes child abuse seriously.

                    It's disgusting.

                    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                    by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:03:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  so... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PhilJD, JesseCW, liberaldemdave

            3300 reported, 240 prosecuted, yeah, busier than a one armed paper hanger with a bad case of crabs.

            I shave my legs with Occam's razor~

            by triv33 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:39:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what the military has not done a good job with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ksuwildkat, triv33

              is distinguishing those x thousands of "assaults" between rapes on one end of the spectrum to wrongful touchings (grabs of various sorts) on the other end.

              The former get prosecuted at a lot higher rate than the latter, but the latter get other punishments from non-judicial punishment to administrative discharges.

              But the latter doesn't show up as "prosecuted" and the latter makes up the bulk of those x thousands of "assaults."

              Now, the military needs to break down those numbers a lot better so we can all compare apples to apples and figure out the scope of the issues.

              But there are not 26K offenses that happen that ANYONE would prosecute because most of those are things that are low level assaults that would get you fired in the civilian world but otherwise not a criminal record.

              •  You can't seriously be this ignorant. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                triv33, liberaldemdave

                I just don't believe they make bubbles this thick.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:42:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  nah (0+ / 0-)

                  he his just a military lawyer.  No way he knows more about this than you do.

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

                  by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:39:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That's exactly why nothing is being done (0+ / 0-)

                    to adress this shit.

                    You're reflective of the people in charge.

                    It's like talking to the local priest about the Catholic Church covering up child rape.

                    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                    by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:21:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  just so I understand (0+ / 0-)

                      changing the laws to make it easier to get convictions is nothing.

                      assigning advocates to victims is nothing.

                      increasing training is nothing.

                      creating new prosecutors solely for sexual assaults is nothing.

                      I forgot they added experienced civilian sexual assault litigators as trainers for prosecutors, but I'm sure that's nothing too.

                •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                  no need to discuss, just name-call.

                  If you were truly interested in solving the problem, we'd have a discussion where you'd tell me where you disagreed or what I've got it wrong, and I'd give you my opinion.

                  But you aren't into that.  You've decided it's a certain way and no information will sway you and anyone who thinks differently, regardless of experience, is an idiot.

                  Got it.  I will check you off my people it's worth engaging with list.

          •  Really? Fucking REALLY? You don't think just (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            triv33

            fucking maybe more gay men (and most male on male sexual assaults in the military involve straight men attacking men who are gay or perceived as gay) were willing to come forward about being attacked because they're now a good deal less likely to lose their fucking careers?

            Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

            by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:41:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  um, yeah really (0+ / 0-)

              #1 - it started BEFORE repeal.  There was an uptick BEFORE, when repeal was being debated.  If they were really gay men coming forward with real assaults that was the exact worst time to do so.  

              #2 - the increase is all in anonymous reporting.  If you make a formal report and it is proven to be false you will be charged with a number of crimes including the very easy to prove "Disobeying a lawful order."  On the other hand anonymous reports cannot be used against someone no matter how obvious the false reporting is.  Had the increase in assaults been real we would have seen and increase in both types of reporting.  

              #3 - Because gay sex was illegal prior to the repeal of DADT it was actually EASIER to report male on male assault before than it is now.  Before every incident was assault because there was no consensual gay sex allowed.  Now as a commander I would actually have to question if there was force where as before force was assumed.

              I can see that you took this the exact wrong way.  A lot of us who have to deal with this daily are convinced that some day we are going to find a website with a "how to" on making it look like President Obama has allowed thousands of gay rapists to join the military.  Because that is what the numbers point to and they started going up before repeal.  I cant prove it and probably never will but I know I have been serving with gay soldiers since my first day 27 years ago and in all that time with thousands of people I have known exactly one male on male rapist (tried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years).  I lost count of the number of male on female rape/assaults.

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

              by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:29:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are you fucking arguing that male on male rape (0+ / 0-)

                is primarily committed by gay men?

                SERIOUSLY?!?!?  That's a degree of homophobic bullshit you expect to hear from an American minister giving lectures in Uganda to politicians.

                #1 Gay men, and men perceived to be gay, are the mostly likely targets of male on male sexual assaults.  It's not at all surprising that more of them may have been targeted as they quit keeping the closet door shut so tightly.

                #2 People report anonymously because command does all they can to punish men and women who report predators.  

                #3 Like HELL it was easier.  Before DADT, reporting being the victim of a male on male sexual assault led directly to being suspected of having somehow "brought it on".  
                Reporting it meant getting your own life examained with a fine tooth comb, and your superiors finding out that you went to the "wrong" clubs.

                The shit you're spewing right now is ignorant, disgusting, and sadly very reflective of the views of most of the bigoted ignorant dipshits running our military.

                Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:52:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again, read because only you are arguing that (0+ / 0-)

                  I was responding to YOUR assertion that the increased reporting was due to gay men suddenly believing they could report.  I didnt say that they were being assaulted by gay men.

                  I know full well why some people prefer anonymous reports.  I have personally begged derive members to file a formal report only to hear about how they dont want to have to relive the attack over and over while it winds its way through the system.  Sound familiar?  It should because it is exactly what happens in civilian courts.

                  As for digging into the personal life of the victim, that is hardly unique to gay victims.  Its a fact of life for all victims of sexual assault.  But unlike the civil side of things in the military we have the ability to punish without a trial under Article 15.  Article 15 means no attacking the victim because there is no defense attorney.  And the standards for evidence are what ever the commander wants to hear - to include prior bad acts.  Of course according to the narrative here, none of those are good things because unless every complaint ends in a criminal conviction the military sucks.

                  And lets be frank - the VAST majority of commanders were looking for ways to dispose of male on male complaints as quickly as possible.  If anything they were too quick to say guilty just to get rid of "iciness."  No one was looking to dig deeply because they didnt want to see what they might find.  Yes there were the some who seemed WAY to interested in learning everything but they were the exception not the rule.  The one male on male rape trial I was part of lasted less than a day.  I have been part of male/female cases that lasted months.  

                  Nice of you to call me a dipshit when you cant even be bother to read WHAT YOU WROTE.  

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

                  by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:01:03 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You insisted that the only way sexual (0+ / 0-)

                    assault would increase would be if gay men "got all rapey".

                    No one else typed it, unless you're sharing your account.

                    Those are YOUR fucking words.  

                    As for digging into the personal life of the victim, that is hardly unique to gay victims.  Its a fact of life for all victims of sexual assault.  But unlike the civil side of things in the military we have the ability to punish without a trial under Article 15.  Article 15 means no attacking the victim because there is no defense attorney.  And the standards for evidence are what ever the commander wants to hear - to include prior bad acts.  
                    YES!  If a gay man is raped and reports it, his life will be dug up.  Prior to Congress finally repealing DADT, that meant he'd be discharged.  Now, it just means his opportunities for career advancement will be destroyed.
                    Of course according to the narrative here, none of those are good things because unless every complaint ends in a criminal conviction the military sucks.
                    Stop whimpering like a child. It's really really fucking annoying and it makes it impossible to believe that you're seeking to anything other than continue your attacks on victims.

                    1% conviction rates are pathetic.  They are the result of a truly sick culture that blames the victims of sexual assualt and punishes them for seeking protection.

                    It's like you think the survivors of the systemic abuse you seek to minimize have never spoke in public, or simply do not exist.  

                    I call you a dipshit only because you're a truly evil homophobic dipshit desperately trying to mislead the public in order to preserve and maintain a broken institutional culture that promotes and rewards both sexual predators and those who protect them.

                    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                    by JesseCW on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:11:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  wrong (0+ / 0-)

      I sat first chair on a case where someone was brought back from retirement to try them for a sexual assault, and I supervised another that will be tried sometime in the next 6 months, again involving sexual assault.

      I was not alone, there are a number.  There's a whole process for recalling retirees and prosecuting them.

      We are statutorily barred from trying folks once they've ETS'd (but not retired).  We have no jurisdiction to bring them back and try them.  Want to change that, talk to Congress.

      •  thanks for the correction (0+ / 0-)

        you know you are getting old when all of the people you are around are going to retire not ETS.  

        From memory I cant think of to many folks we have brought out of retirement for crimes other than sexual assault.  We grabbed that retired Colonel in Florida for selling secrets but CI cases are different.  

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

        by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:35:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The military is an authoritarian culture. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Force is what they respect.

    •  um, no (0+ / 0-)

      we respect authority.  But no organization pushes authority lower than the military.  I was a squad leader at 22, platoon sergeant at 23.  I had more say in who things ran in my organization before my 25th birthday than some civilians have in their 50s.  And unlike civilian organizations you rarely have to put up with a bad leader for more than two years because they will move on, you will move on or both.  For 4 years now the Army has been on a rampage eliminating "toxic leaders"  - something many civilian businesses would do well to follow.  All of this leads to far more checks on abuse than most "regular" workplaces.  

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:24:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I served in our armed forces (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, happymisanthropy, Oh Mary Oh

    which admittedly was 30 years ago, the officers and non-commissioned officers were as big a part of the problem as of any potential solution. And while some of the external behavior and command commentary may have changed, I suspect the actual attitudes and defensiveness have not. The military tends to look out for its own at the peer level and to CYA at the command level. The military is also very good at passive resistance to any change that it does not like and is superb at faking it when pushed to do things it does not believe in.
    But this problem is more than a mere military one, it reflects an American culture that demeans women in general, disputes and denies any claims they make of maltreatment and all the while happily purchases billions of dollars worth of misogynistic music and videos yearly.

    •  Big changes (0+ / 0-)

      I will tell you that there have been huge changes in the 27 years I have been on active duty so I can assure you that things are different from when you were in.

      I think the single biggest and best change has been as a result of senior leaders having daughters on active duty.  Its been 37 years since women were allowed at the service academies so we are finally at the point where all abut a very very few Flag Officers have had women peers their entire careers.  And we are at the point where a significant percentage of Colonels and above have daughters on active duty.  When they deal with in ranks assaults they are FINALLY seeing their own children as possible victims.  

      Of course there is always some bad news.  Over the last 20 years in particular there has been a significant rise in extreme conservatives that view women in the military as the problem.  They come from a wold view of women as barefoot and pregnant on their best days.  What follows with that is a belief that women "deserve what they get" since they shouldnt be in a "man job" anyway.  They exist across all services but it is particularly bad in the Air Force.  They are aided and abetted by an overall macho attitude of the pilot culture.  Over the last 10 years it has gotten even worse in the Air Force because those macho pilots are not doing the fighting.  its a lot harder to decide to rape someone who has been in a firefight with you.  its even harder when you have seen them kick ass in Combatives.  

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:15:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  plenty of changes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksuwildkat

      we've changed the law on sexual assaults, so much so that we had to change it again because the courts said it was too biased against accused.

      we've added special victim prosecutors who do nothing but try sexual assault cases (and some murder cases).

      we are about to add special victim counsels (attorneys) but we've had victim advocates (non-attorneys) for several years now so that victims would have someone to talk to and walk them through the system.

      We have constant training videos, vignettes, etc that is mandatory and ubiquitous.

      Problem solved? Obviously not, but the reality is that all sorts of steps have been taken, it isn't a case of nothing is done.

      I will agree from my pov this is less a military problem and more a cultural problem (and I dont agree it's solely an American cultural issue, it's a human cultural issue because rape is a global problem).

  •  All we need is perfection (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llbear, kirrix

    Yes, that is the requirement.  Never mind the military crime rate is FAR below that for similar sized communities.  Never mind reporting, investigation and conviction rates are exceptional when compared to universities.

    Go ahead and snipe away because at the end of the day you dont matter.  You will never be part of the solution.  You are one of those wonderful people who says much and does nothing.  But thank you because you are what makes those of us who DO SOMETHING so special.

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

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:54:27 AM PDT

    •  You are a bit too edgy there, ksuwildkat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksuwildkat

      But your basic point is correct.

      Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

      by llbear on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:08:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When you speculate about what he MIGHT have done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksuwildkat

    as you do here:

    Except, of course, that the first warnings came in 2010 or, quite likely, earlier and were ignored or covered up

    needed emphasis added

    When you speculate, you diminish what he did do. Stick to the facts - they are bad enough. Unless and until it can be proven that Rodriguez’s prior actions were known to higher command, don't muddy the waters.

    The topic is an important one, and angelajean is an expert on the Air Force. Make her a front page writer.

    Those who fought the war in Afghanistan won it. Get them out of Afghanistan NOW . . . It's long past time. The time has come to repair this country and care for its' veterans.

    by llbear on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:05:04 AM PDT

    •  Yeah and everyone else gets it right (0+ / 0-)

      the first time.

      How many universities let frats harass women with no consequences.  How many of those frat boys go on to commit other crimes?  How many PROFESSORS have had inappropriate relationships with students.  Check that, it would be easier to name the ones who haven't.  Since the OP is speculating, why not speculate about that?

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:28:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem isn't military culture. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ksuwildkat, geordie

    The message is loud and clear from bootcamp all the way until the day you leave the service.  I can't even count how many trainings I have sat through beating us over the head with the message.  Every command I have been at has responded efficiently and (to the best of my ability to tell) justly with every unrestricted report made.

    The problem is not military culture.  It's the culture servicemen come from before they join.

    At boot camp, my division and brother div attended the training on sexual assault.  It began with a question: does a man have a right to sex from his wife whenever he wants, even if his wife is not in the mood for it?  About three-quarters of the divisions responded yes.  That isn't taught by the military (afterall, we were only in boot camp at the begining of our military training), that sort of thinking comes from before joining.  The entire United States needs rape/sexual assault training, and they need it right from the beginning.

    "There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes. - James Morrow

    by kirrix on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:09:33 AM PDT

    •  Half and half IMHO (0+ / 0-)

      You are absolutely right that we have folks coming in with attitudes that need fixing.  One of my first challenges as a squad leader was a kid from Appalachia.  I couldnt put my finger on the issue so I asked him.  He responded "My pappy didnt have no use for darkies and I cant find one."  Oh man!!  Dude was about a day away from a beat down.  I had to explain we were all green in the Army and then work from there.  6 months later he and his best friend were back to back in a bar fight...his African American best friend.  

      At the same time there are some who think that being in combat gives them a right to act like a viking.  We have to fight both issues.

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

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:49:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll disagree here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ksuwildkat

      there are still some military conservative cultural issues that don't help.

      When I prosecuted, I had to fight I think the issue of panels not liking it when women got too drunk, or when women were too flirty or dressed too provocatively.

      I had to drum beat that the onus was on the accused not on the victim unless and until she she manifested clear consent to a sexual act.

      So there are some old school cultural barriers that still need fully broken down.

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