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View Diary: Military sexual assault numbers rise—and gain a great poster boy (137 comments)

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  •  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:
                        LSophia

                        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:
                      LSophia

                      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:
                          LSophia

                          making change when it realizes that change is required**

                          **Tailhook Scandal

                          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                          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
                            **cough
                            * Jerry Sandusky *cough
                            **cough
                            * Mark Hurd *cough
                            **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:
          LSophia

          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:
            dinotrac

            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-)

                "...it 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:
          lcbo

          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-)

                thought.

                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 ]

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