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Panel of (white, overwhelmingly male) military leaders at Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assault.
But don't worry, they swear they take sexual assault seriously.
A U.S. Army general forfeited $20,000 in pay and received a reprimand but was spared further punishment in a plea deal over sexual assault charges. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair:
... admitted to adultery and mistreating the captain but maintained that the affair was consensual. The case began to unravel over questions about the woman's credibility, and the defense vowed to further undermine her at trial, but then the proceedings were halted earlier this month.
Of course, the good-old "questions about the woman's credibility." One of the key skills of the sexual predator is the ability to choose victims who can be effectively undermined. But let's say that the woman's allegations, aside from whatever "mistreatment" Sinclair is admitting to, are false. We're still left with an Army general who had an affair with someone significantly junior to him in rank and age who was under his direct command and "mistreated" her. Even if you set aside the sexual assault allegations—which I'm not saying you should do—this is abuse of power. And it wasn't Sinclair's only such abuse. He pleaded guilty to:
... two other improper relationships. He also admitted to making derogatory comments about women and, when challenged by his staff, replying: “I’m a general, I’ll say whatever the [expletive] I want.”
But it's the woman who says he sexually assaulted and threatened to kill her whose credibility is in question. Now, Sinclair is going to retire. Maybe the Army will demote him as he retires, maybe not. But whatever happens, Sinclair has taken every concern about how far we can trust military commanders to make real changes for the better in the military's culture of sexual assault and he's outlined them in blinking lights, with vuvuzela accompaniment.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism and Daily Kos.

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