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Panel of (white, overwhelmingly male) military leaders at Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assault.
With leadership like this, who can figure how the military would have a sexual assault problem?
And the Army takes the lead in the military competition over which branch can have the most absurd and appalling sexual assault story. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Lt. Col. Joseph Morse, the Army's top sexual assault prosecutor, has reportedly been suspended for, yes, alleged sexual assault:
Sources told Stars and Stripes that the female Army lawyer alleged that Morse attempted to kiss and grope her against her will. The alleged assault reportedly took place in a hotel room at a 2011 sexual assault legal conference attended by special victims prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., before he was appointed as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program.

An Army official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter confirmed an investigation was under way.

“We can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation and that the individual in question has been suspended from duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” the official said. “Given that this is still an open case, we are precluded from providing any additional information at this point.”

Please note that this happened at a sexual assault legal conference, as if Morse was determined to gain the Army a few extra points in the irony category.

Seriously, though, this is a good example of what rape culture looks like, when even the people charged with prosecuting sexual assault engage in it themselves. It's entirely possible Morse didn't even see the connection between his own actions and the cases he prosecutes.

When it comes to sexual assault, the entire military culture has to change. Top to bottom, through and through. And that means not just trying to address sexual assault as an isolated phenomenon, but massively changing gender relations in the military. Tinkering around the edges will not do it.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 11:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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