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Panel of (white, overwhelmingly male) military leaders at Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assault.
Dragging their feet every step of the way.
The president has said that reducing and more effectively responding to military sexual assault is a top priority, so publicly military leaders have to pretend that it's something they're serious about. But even aside from their very public opposition to proposals, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act, that would make significant changes to how military sexual assault is handled, Darren Samuelsohn's reporting leaves little doubt that the resistance goes much deeper. Richard Socarides, who worked on Don't Ask Don't Tell for the Clinton administration, pretty much sums it up:
“The military always thinks it knows what’s best when it comes to their own and at most will humor the civilian leadership by listening to their views, but thereafter pretty much they do whatever they want,” he said.
And what the military wants is to keep failing rather than putting decisions about sexual assault prosecutions in the hands of prosecutors, to continue being able to make prosecution decisions on the basis of commanders' feelings about the people involved, to not be held to account, not really.

Last June, Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Senate committee that he "took my eye off the ball" when it came to sexual assault because of "12 years of conflict." Now:

“He’s got Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and the rest of the world to worry about, and he and I talk about this issue all the time. That’s a fundamental change compared to last year,” Army Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, Dempsey’s top legal counsel, said this fall during testimony before a congressionally chartered panel studying the issue.
Right. But when the attention dies down, when there's no threat that Congress will pass a bill forcing the military to make serious changes, when there's no longer a president focusing on this issue, what will keep the generals' and admirals' eyes on the ball then? It's time for the U.S. to do what military allies like Great Britain, Canada, and Israel have done and give prosecutors, not commanders, control of sexual assault prosecution decisions.

Tell Congress to protect victims of military sexual assault.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, no! (5+ / 0-)

    We might have to be accountable!  Women are our playthings - oh, no, don't take that away from us!!!

    11:11 being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:28:55 AM PST

  •  Calling Senators today is key! (4+ / 0-)

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    They could vote on this today!

  •  Funny how my husband did 23 years (10+ / 0-)

    in the Navy without ever raping anyone. ANd he banned rape jokes from the shop he ran in AIMD. Several people whined to the LY and the MCPO.  DH pointed out that rape jokes create a hostile work environment for female sailors and thus encouraged conduct unbecoming and undermined disciple and respect.  LT and CPO agreed with him.

    They need to go Gillibrand;s solution: remove sexual assault cases and  domestic violence from the hands of the military completely and turn them over to local cops--not that police are necessarily gonna be terrific, but at least you don't have to report it to your noss and his boss etc up the chain of command--and if the rapist is valued as a worker, forget about it.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:17:08 AM PST

    •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      the AIMD, the LY, and then the MCPO?  Then the DH, LT and CPO agreed with him?

      I understood every bit of that!

      •  I did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch

        and Im not even Navy.

        AIMD - Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department
        MCPO - master Chief Petty Officer (A Senior NCO)
        DH - guessing her husband
        LT - Lieutenant - Navy O3
        CPO - Chief Petty Officer

        Nice snarky remark.  Military people speak a different language and sometimes we forget to translate.  Just like my wife has to translate realtor speak or how my BIL has to translate finance speak.  But what the heck, its more fun to make a snarky remark than ask what the person was trying to communicate.  Much more fun to mock people right?

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

        by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:11:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen DH used here before-- (0+ / 0-)

          it's a fairly well-known abbreviation ofr (dear, darling, damned) husband. Quite common.

          And LT is standard even in mainstream  world for Lieutenant--including police LTs.

          I guess you've had a very limited experience with the military--and lots of other things.

          Sorry you didn't understand.  

          Here's another acronym, you likely don't know: PC, otherwise called common politeness or not being a jerk cause you can be.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:24:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  common politeness (0+ / 0-)

            would include making sure that your message will be understood by those you are communicating with.

            How much trouble would it be to spell some of that out or use a term that is generally understood?

            There are far too many of these esoteric acronyms being used here on DKos.  I'm reading the comments because I'm interested in what you have to say.  It's frustrating when much of the message seems to be written in code.

            •  I understand now just how limited your experience (0+ / 0-)

              You're 24. That's not a put-down. That's simply a factual statement. At 24, you just don't HAVE a lot of life experience.  Most of us ARE gonna know more than you simply because we're older, which means we've had mor time to learn stuff--and a broader exposure to the world. At 24, I had just quit my first job to go into teaching because I realized I hated the D.C. establishment.

              You're the first person here who has had problems with military abbreviations.  You're certainly the first one to get affronted because I used terms you didn't understand. Most of here have gotten over the adolescent belief that we know everything and have no problems simply asking, politely, for an explanation; it works very well.

              Being snotty ?  Not well at all.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:48:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  OOPS. You're likely NOT 24., (0+ / 0-)

                Got you confused with another guy.  I made a dumb mistake and I sincerely apologize.

                But the principle still stands. If you don't know something--ASK politely.  It works better than being snotty to the person you want to explain.

                The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                by irishwitch on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:51:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  They resist pressure for change on everything. (4+ / 0-)

    I swear, if the brass had its way they'd still be doing studies on possible integration. Even that was hurried forward partly because we needed more warm bodies for the Korean War.

    Sen. Gillibrand can't let go.

    Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

    by Ice Blue on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:04:28 AM PST

  •  It's why I'll won't vote for Patty Murray. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Separating Feinstein & Gillibrand's bills (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Another Grizzle, carolanne

    The Feinstein Bill recognizes the existence of MTS [Military Sexual Trauma] but makes the unit commander the arresting officer, grand jury, prosecutor, judge, and jury.

    The Gillibrand Bill establishes neutral 3rd parties to investigate, prosecute, and try, and administer justice.

    Under Feinstein's bill there will always be a question of what really happened - totally unfair to the innocent and totally unfair to the victims.

    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 Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:49:44 PM PST

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      In 27 years I have never seen a rape case that did not result in a Courts Martial.  So unless the person involved worked directly for the CMCA the case ends up with someone who is NOT their commander.  In every case where the person HAS worked for the CMCA it is referred to the next higher command to prevent conflict of interest.  

      It is rare for the unit commander of the person charged to have the authority to to appoint an Article 32 officer and the commander is NEVER the Article 32 officer because the role of the Article 32 officer is to advise the commander if there is sufficient evidence of a crime to proceed to trial - just like a grand jury does for the District Attorney.

      Unless the Commander opts for a Summary Courts Martial, the Staff Judge Advocate will appoint a lawyer to prosecute the crime.  It would be very unusual to opt for a Summary Courts Martial unless extreme circumstances - remote location/shortage of time - compelled it.  In war time it is sometimes used to fulfill legal responsibilities prior to a summary execution but I think the last time was during the Korean War.

      Any case brought to trial will be heard by a military judge at a minimum (Special CM) or a jury of at least 5 officers (General CM).  A military Judge is a senior Colonel and is completely independent of the chain of command.  They are the closest thing to untouchables we have in the military.  No one can tell them what to do and most of them take great joy in pissing off the Commanding General.  

      The vast majority of sex crimes end up in a General Courts Martial unless the defendant prearranges a plea.  The vast majority of GCMs have a 12 person jury.  I have sat as a juror for a military rape case.

      So in summary, the UNIT commander of the person charged is rarely the one to bring the charges against them, is never the "grand jury," rarely the prosecutor, never the judge, and never the jury.

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

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:55:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  JURY OF PEERS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llbear

        Why does the military ignore a basic right afforded to most accused persons? How about a jury of her/his PEERS? The jury is all officers.

        The chasm between an officer's treatment & EM treatment is enormous. Enlisted men defendants have the deck stacked against them. Most officers get a chewing out, but not much more(slap on wrist). The officers who are appointed to GCM jury are assigned to that CO command structure. Outcome is usually what the CO wants. A GCM is window dressing.

        I was stationed inside Cheyenne mountain in Colorado and a young woman in our Comm. Group was assaulted by a senior NCO on base. She came foward,but...
         She was accused of being a lesbian, the NCO was placed on medical leave with back problems. She was allowed to leave on a general discharge. The whole system is rotten to its core.
        GCM - General Court Martial
        CO Commanding Officer
        EM Enlisted members
        NCO Non-Commissioned Officer

        •  Yeah you dont know the UCMJ (0+ / 0-)

          In the case of a General Court Martial up to 1/3rd of the jury pool can be enlisted if the person charged is enlisted..

          When a civilian goes to trial they dont get redefine peers to mean "people who have the same job I do."  In fact, we would rail against them if they did.  Imagine Martha Stewart demanding a jury of only millionaire women.  Or Michael Vick demanding his jury be of just NFL QBs.

          You also assume that somehow the officers are more likely to be unfair to an enlisted defendant.  Thats a bad assumption though one made by many.  Having sat on juries I can tell you its not true.  President Bush thought that military commissions were some kind of Kangaroo court.  He was just as wrong as you are.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 05:08:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you wear blinders this statement is possible: (0+ / 0-)
                In 27 years I have never seen a rape case
                 that did not result in a Courts Martial.

        I have talked with active duty women in the Coast Guard [an officer], Army [both enlisted and officers], Air Force [a pilot], and Navy [enlisted] all of whom were victims of Military Sexual Trauma. Two jurors for military rape cases talked with me about what they could do when their findings were over-ruled by commanding officers.

        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 Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 09:19:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  apples and oranges (0+ / 0-)

          my wife was repeatedly harassed while on active duty and her chain of command took no action.  She was so reluctant to report it she would not even tell me until she was off active duty.  Three other close friends (2 Army, 1 AF) told me of similar issues.  But that is not what I stated.

          In every case I have been exposed to where a FORMAL charge of rape was made, the result was a Court Martial.  This includes two male on male, one rape of a minor child, 2 date rapes and one obviously false rape charge.  At the same time I have been personally involved with at least three cases where I know in my heart a rape occurred but the victim blamed herself and refused to press charges.  

          As for court findings being overturned, I have never seen it. Not once in 27 years have I seen the results of a guilty charge reversed.  I have seen the punishment reduced due to a prearranged plea.  Under the military system the judge and/or jury who decide punishment are not made aware of any plea deal.  I have seen more than one judge go off on the SJA because he took a plea that was a fraction of what the court imposed.  But in every case the person remained guilt and spent time in prison.  

          While I dont doubt some findings are overturned, that is hardly unique to the military.  It was not a military commander who gave a guy 30 days for raping a girl who later killed herself.  It was not a military commander who gave a guy "no beer at parties" as a punishment for raping a girl twice.  These are societal issues, not military issues.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:17:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  i'm shocked. shocked! (0+ / 0-)

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:56:32 PM PST

  •  Yep. There are some things a commander ought (0+ / 0-)

    not to be in charge of.

    •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

      Is that just a general statement or do you have some fact to back it up?

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

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:56:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A few thousand women who have failed to have (0+ / 0-)

        their assaults treated seriously enough for ya?

        •  based on??? (0+ / 0-)

          While I dont doubt that there are thousands of women AND MEN who feel that their cases were not resolved to their satisfaction, do you have any numbers to back up your claim?  How about these:

          Total Active force - 1.4 million.
          Total Force (including Guard/Reserve) - 2.5 million
          Total DoD employees - 3.3 million
          Total active duty dependents - 1.9 million

          Guard/Reserve numbers for dependents are less reliable because of the way they are reported but approximately 1.5  million

          So from a population of 6.6 million plus the civilian population those 6.6 million come in contact with you have - as of last year - about 3300 reported sexual assaults.  Not rapes, but sexual assaults.  No can you name one city with more than 6 million people that did better?

          Given how hard sex crime cases are to bring to trial it almost a given that someone is going to feel like they were wronged no matter what.  And least you think this is an military problem or an American problem, read this:

          http://www.cnn.com/...

          (CNN) -- Police in New Zealand say they're powerless to arrest two boys who've caused outrage with online boasts about raping underage girls too drunk to fight back.
          The alleged offenses happened two years ago but were only made public this week after local media came across a Facebook site, which named and "slut-shamed" girls the boys had allegedly attacked.
          Hmm...looking for the military leader who failed here......Oh and the population of New Zealand is 4.3 million.

          The military is not perfect but we are a hell of a lot better than any comparable group of people.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:28:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Almost all men and all steeped in an outmoded, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dzog

    oppressive tradition.

    Sound familiar?

     

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:04:26 PM PST

    •  Look at that picture. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wildthumb

      A sea of old, white, mostly male faces. With uniforms.

      ---

      "God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance" - Neil deGrasse Tyson

      by dzog on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:06:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not uniforms!! (0+ / 0-)

        Oh my!  The horror.  Lets judge people by the clothes they wear.  Better, lets judge them by the cloths they are REQUIRED to wear.

        Lets see what other stereotypes you can come up with based on CLOTHES:

        Wal Mart Uniform
        Best Buy Uniform
        Nurses Uniform
        Boys Scout Uniform
        Girls Scout Uniform
        Football Uniform
        Basketball Uniform
        McDonalds Uniform

        Cat wait to see how you judge all of them!!

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

        by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:01:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is silly. Military uniforms are a far (0+ / 0-)

          different animal, especially with brass on them and "fruit salad" and whatnot. It's about authority, not really the uniform. Walmart uniform comparison? Please.

          "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

          by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:44:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Only because you project that (0+ / 0-)

            The uniforms you see them in are not about authority at all.  They are a resume.  They tell a story about the person just like a piece of paper if you know how to read them.  Back before we had things like Officer Record Briefs dress uniforms served an important function of letting others know who you were and what you were trained in.

            The dress uniform with medals and ribbons is not the daily work uniform.  In times past it was worn only rarely.  It is customary to wear the formal uniform with ribbons and medals when reporting to a unit and when departing.  It is worn for formal functions and for ceremonies.  And it was normally worn any time you were in a temporary status away from your own unit.  Again, the purpose was to inform.

            When I first came in the military I was in Air Defense.  I wore the crossed canons with a missile.  After three years of service I had been awarded the an Army Commendation Medal, 3 Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon and the Overseas Service Ribbon.  I reported into my next unit wearing all of those.  Without speaking a word my new Commander knew that I was an Air Defender, that I had been in for a minimum of three years but not more than 6 and that during those three years I had not gotten into any trouble.  He also knew that I had completed the first level of professional education and that I had spend a minimum of one year outside of the United States.  And finally he know that I had done well in my last assignment and had been recognized for my achievements.  

            Today my uniform tells a different story.  If you know how to read it it tells who I went to war with, where I went, how long I went and how well I did.  I tells that I have spend a long time in Joint assignments, that I was enlisted before I was an officer attended an Air Force leadership school and put my knees in the breeze at least 5 times.  

            You see decorations and "fruit salad."  I see a career story.

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

            by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:15:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  BTW - its not brass (0+ / 0-)

            General Officers/Flag Officers rank is silver.  The other accoutrements are gold.

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

            by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:27:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  And all women are stupid? (0+ / 0-)

      I guess because Sarah Palin and Liz Chaney say stupid things all women are just like them?

      By your logic women are homophobic empty heads who lie to get fishing licenses.

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

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:57:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who the hell you talking to? You're making NO (0+ / 0-)

        sense whatsoever and your remarks have nothing to do with my remark about men oppressing women in the military, and making a tradition out of it.
         

        "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

        by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:47:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I get it. You misread my original quote. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm referring to the photo: They are "almost all men" AND
          are outmoded in their tradition.  I did not say "ALL men ARE oppressive." I think only individual men and certain male groups are oppressive.

          I just meant this group of military brass men are oppressive.

          Clear, now?

          "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

          by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 08:51:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very clear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wildthumb

            knowing nothing about any of the people there you projected a stereotype on them.  very progressive of you.

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

            by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:17:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Back to me thinking you're very silly and I (0+ / 0-)

              regret this exchange. I was in the military and know something about the mentality there. And if you don't think women troops are disrespected and they're  calling for more scrutiny isn't appropriate, then forget it. And whether or not you personally think I'm progressive or not, I don't care.

              "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

              by Wildthumb on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:23:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Respect and assault are two different things (0+ / 0-)

                I seem to remember this diary being about changing how the military handles sexual assault cases, not about respect or lack there of.

                If you were in the military than you know that most people get exactly as much respect as they earn.  Male or female that doesn't change.

                And this bill isnt calling for more scrutiny, it is saying that we are going to have one form of justice for sex crimes and another for all others.  I ask you, where else in the american justice system do we do this?  And why stop there?  Why not have rape courts and murder courts and robbery courts?  There are 57 punitive articles in the UCMJ (58 if you count the two versions of Article 123) plus article 134 has a HUGE range of crimes that can be applied to it.  Are we going to have 58+ separate justice systems?  And what exactly is it trying to achieve?  None of the issues being brought up are unique to military justice.  Reluctant victims are as big a problem in the civil system.  Alcohol clouded memories complicate cases everywhere.  Societal shaming and "she was dressed like___" are not something invented in the military.  

                This bill is just as much about grandstanding and do noting talk as Republican attempts to ban Shria.  It is meant to play to the base without ever doing anything.  

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

                by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 09:38:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  as i have said before (0+ / 0-)

    most in military leadership are not people to be admired.

    •  So who do you admire? (0+ / 0-)

      Since you think military leaders suck, who doesnt suck?

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

      by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 07:02:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the truth hurts (0+ / 0-)

        sometimes doesn't it.

        •  Nice non answer (0+ / 0-)

          The truth only hurts if you are in denial.  I have no issue with truth.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 05:10:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you can always tell (0+ / 0-)

            when you hit a sensitive spot as i did with you, and you are in denial with the truth i told about the military leaders you obviously respect no matter what they do.

            you must be getting all your info from john wayne movies since your experience is obviously limited.

            •  Your right (0+ / 0-)

              No way I managed to get any experience during my "limited" exposure to the military.  27 years of active duty plus 19 years as a dependent.  "Only" 46 of the 46 years I have been on the planet.

              No doubt you have vastly more experience than me......

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

              by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:02:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i wondered how i could (0+ / 0-)

                get you to admit that you are one of the military leaders i was referring to and a little coaxing accomplished that.

                your ox was gored so you are upset, too bad but you were part of the problem not part of the solution so your complaint is specious on its face.

                i wasn't in as long as you but i had to deal with the military mentality and lifers are lifers for a reason and it isn't because they want to defend the country, they have a more selfish reason than patriotism and just use the patriotic theme to enhance their reputations.

                ps - i was already out of the military and vn when you were born lifer.

                •  Ah so now we get to it (0+ / 0-)

                  BTW you never answered who you admire, just who you think sucks.

                  So the bottom line is you were in, probably didnt like it, probably mocked your leaders as stupid "Lame Ignorant Fucks Expecting Retirement."  Did your time and got out having never had to be the guy who made the hard call while always mocking them and questioning their abilities.  And now you are sure you know EXACTLY how things are today despite having left the service before folks like me were born.  

                  I guess your time in service didnt teach you things like reading all of a web page because in those ancient days we didnt have many computers and we certainly were not going to let the likes of you get near them.  Had you read any of my comments on here it would have been plain that I am on active duty now.  Dont flatter yourself with a notion that it was some secret you were able to sus it out and then "coax" me into admitting.  

                  But hey, thank you for being part of the less than 1% that serve and thank you for paying taxes so I can retire comfortably making close to 6 figures with full medical.  Yeah us lifers sure are stupid.

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

                  by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:44:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Another Blog, another time you wont answer (0+ / 0-)

    Every time you write about this I ask about it:

    When has anyone ever cared MORE about something when they are told its not their responsibility?

    How is the military supposed to punish commanders who fail to uphold standards for investigations and trails if they are no longer responsible for investigations and trails?

    How many different kinds of justice are you planning to set up?  If there is one standard for sex crimes and another for everything else where does it end?  Do we have separate systems for every punitive article?

    Since the ability to restrict the liberty of a citizen is clearly spelled out in the Constitution, when are proponents of this change going to amend the Constitution?

    Finally once the "new" system "fails" to achieve perfect results who will get tasked with perfection next?  Given the rate of sexual assault in the military is less than 1% what is the goal other than perfection?

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

    by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 06:35:22 PM PST

    •  sell out for hookers (0+ / 0-)

      Recently two Admirals were caught selling out their country for hookers and travel.  The only harm that was done was the theft of treasure and the myth that officers have ethics.  As of now it is unclear if these models of military excellence are going to be punished to full extent of the law, or if I am going to be paying their pensions for the rest of their lives.  If they are going to be investigated for sex tourism, which is illegal if the Admirals had sex with minors, or if the caring officers are going to more concerned about the state of their own pensions and the illegal activities which they are involved.  It would seem to me that using these two admirals as an example might set a precedence that bad behavior is not going to be tolerated.  To be clear, the investigations do not seem to focus on the sexual misconduct of these Admirals, which includes sex trips to Singapore, a place known for child sex tourism.

      As far the constitution is concerned, there is only really one relevent phrase for the military.  That is that the president is commander in chief.  Otherwise a military person has volentary left civilian life and made themselves subject to set or arbitrary rules that ends with an is at the pleasure of the president.  The normal freedoms do not apply.

      For instance, if I have a civilian job, and my boss gropes me, there are a whole bunch of options available to me.  I can take sick days and contact HR.  I can take sick days and contact a lawyer and file a civil suit.  If I am raped by by my boss I can go to a hospital, report it to the police and file charges.  In effect, I can remove myself from the situation and get an independent third party involved.  Even if I don't want to get a third party involved, I can quit my job.  

      What I am not limited to is talking to my bosses supervisor, who may be biased because of friendship or other loyalty.  What I am not limited to is staying in the job because I can be charged for not obeying the orders of a rapist, which is what essentially happened with the Air Force officer who was convicted of rape and then put back in the chain of command.

      So this is what all this about.  Providing military personnel with the same rights and privileges as a citizen.  That of due process by an independent third party.  The special rules you are talking about, the restriction of civil liberties, is the current military system.  

      •  Nice story (0+ / 0-)

        but not eve close to an answer to any of my questions.

        I like how you took a pending case, made up a crime not currently charged, speculated on other crimes and then predetermined the outcome.

        So you hypothetical case.  If I am groped at work I need not take any sick days because we don't have sick leave in the military.  I would have multiple avenues to report any unwanted sexual advances.  

        First, I can make an INFORMAL, anonymous complaint.  The advantage of the informal complaint is that I can receive counseling help/medical treatment without involving anyone at my work.  The chain of command will know that there is a problem in the unit but they will not know who the victim or perpetrator are.  No action can be taken against someone for an informal complaint - either the person reporting or the person accused.

        Second, I can make a formal complaint.  Formal complaint requires formal followup.  Normally this is in the form of a Commander Inquiry, known as a 15-6 investigation in the Army.  This is first step in bringing charges under the UCMJ.  The advantages of the formal complaint are obvious - some form of action is taken and the allegations are known to all.  The disadvantages are a mirror of the advantages - the allegations are known to all.  A relatively recent change allows for punishment of individuals who bring false charges against others.  While relatively rare, there have been cases.  Unfortunately the threat of this is often enough to silence some with valid complaints.

        A third option is to contact the post or Command IG.  The IG will almost always insist on a formal complaint and unlike reporting though the normal sexual assault system the IG cannot provide services directly.  What they will normally do is direct the individual to the proper agency for services.  

        A fourth option is to see the unit IG.  In most battalion and brigade sized units the Executive Officer is also the IG.  For many this is easier because the person is likely known to them at least in passing.  For a low level issue like inappropriate jokes or lewd comments this might be the best route.  The XO can achieve quick and immediate results.  But for more involved cases, he/she would likely escalate the case unless the victim objected.  

        A fifth option is to see the Chaplain.  Along with a lawyer, chaplains are the only confidential receivers of information.  There is no doctor-patient confidentiality in the military.  Like the XO, the Chaplain can achieve fast results but unlike the XO he will likely use the commander rather than confront the person himself.  Unlike the XO, the Chaplain has resources to assist (counseling) and unlike the IG he can keep things confidential.  

        Finally a sixth option is to see the commander.  All commanders are required to have an open door policy.  This extends to everyone below them so if you are on Fort Hood you can see the III Corps Commander (3 star General) on open door policy as long as your unit falls under III Corps.  Like seeing the IG, the Commander is likely going to move directly to formal action.  Unlike the IG he has every resource of the command available.

        Now what is missing here are the police.  For an actual assault there is the option to go directly to CID/OSI/NCIS.  The MPs are not really set up for criminal investigations but there is almost always an on call investigator.  But n matter what the command will be brought in as soon as possible.  The authority of CID is derived from the commander much like civilian police rely on judges.

        As far as removing ones self from the situation, there are many opinions of that.  Some think the victim should be moved while others think the accused should go while others think neither and others both.  I think you have to judge each situation.  For someone who has been in a unit for a long time and has a support network, removing them as the victim can punish them as much as help.  In any case, if the accused is in the chain of command, the victim will immediately be removed from their authority if a formal complain is filed.  Note I said formal.  Many of the issues we have are because the victims only want to file an informal complaint and then are upset because no action is taken.  Having done this multiple times I can tell you that it is very hard to convince a victim to file a formal complaint and despite begging them not to they normally file informally.  If the AF case is the one I am familiar with the officer was accused of rape by a civilian, not someone in his command.  If I remember the case correctly, the local DA refused the case due to lack of evidence.  It was a bad case and there were no winners.

        As for an independent third party, you have apparently never met a JAG officer.  They are fiercely independent even if they wear the uniform.  And in general the standards for case and evidence in military sexual assault cases are generally favorable for the victim.  As an example it is MUCH harder to put the victims "lifestyle" on trial in the military and if you are going to accuse or even insinuate the victim is lying you had better have a lot of evidence.  

        So how about you answer just one of my questions about this bill?

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

        by ksuwildkat on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 10:28:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  this whole thing is silly (0+ / 0-)

    The military takes orders from the civilian Commander in Chief, not the other way around. If the Commander in Chief orders the military to crack down on sexual offenders, then the military cracks down on sexual offenders.  If the Commander in Chief orders the military to wear pink uniforms and carry daisies in their guns, then the military wears pink uniforms and carries daisies in their guns.

    Period.  End of discussion.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 05:26:41 AM PST

    •  Please expand on "crack down" (0+ / 0-)

      So exactly how are we supposed to "crack down"?  Are we supposed to bring false charges against people to pump up the numbers?  Or do we deny due process and just try people in mass for seeming like they are sexual predators?  How many sexual offenders do you think there are in the military?  Given we have a total population over 2.5 million, what is a statistical normal level vs something that needs to experience a "crack down"?

      By the way how many rape cases have been overturned due to DNA evidence in the last 10 years?  If those were part of a "crack down" is that an acceptable consequence of being able to say you are tough on crime?

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

      by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:30:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no idea at all what you are on about (0+ / 0-)

        (shrug)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 12:42:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You came close (0+ / 0-)

          "I have no idea"

          Should have stopped there.  Because that is what is going on.  People are stomping their feat and yelling for change but since they dont know the scope of the problem they dont know what to change.

          How are you going to "crack down" on the following:

          All 2.5 million members of the military come from society at large
          Our society at large has serious issues with how we treat women and how we treat sex crimes
          Rape cases are inherently difficult because they are unlike any other violent crime.  You cant justify murder because you "thought she was into it."  You cant justify armed robbery because "I used to rob her all the time so I thought we were good."
          The vast majority of rape cases involve someone known to the victim and a huge number involve drugs or alcohol.  And they normally have few or no witnesses and little physical evidence except what can be explained away as the result of consenting sex.  

          Now as long as all those things are true about rape cases and as long as we draw our military from the overall population of the country there are going to be sexual assaults in the military and they are going to be hard to bring to trial and hard to gt convictions for.  You figure out a way to "crack down" on all those things and you will be a hero to all, including me.

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

          by ksuwildkat on Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 01:13:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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