Quantcast
Connect with us

Democrat strips anti-sexual assault measure out of military spending bill

Published

on

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) stripped a measure proposed by fellow Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) that would have taken sexual assault reporting out of the chain of command out of a defense spending bill on Tuesday.

Gillibrand’s bill, which had 27 co-sponsors — four of which were Republicans, was opposed by military personnel as well as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. The bill also received lukewarm support from Democratic leadership. Levin promised an alternative measure that would allow other commanders to review cases of sexual assault.

ADVERTISEMENT

Protect our Defenders, a group that advocates on behalf of victims of military sexual assault, said in a statement emailed to Raw Story:

We are disappointed.  We have still not seen any concrete examples that indicates commanders can or will fairly and without bias adequately handle the responsibility of sexual assault cases.  The authority needs to be moved out of the normal chain of command.  Senator Levin’s proposal is insufficient.  It is another half measure that will essentially kick the can down the road.

Senator Levin’s proposal to hold generals responsible for failing to prosecute sexual assault, does not address the significant problem facing victims.  It is the low-level commanders who hold the initial disposition authority that can prevent a sexual assault case from ever moving forward. These unit commanders hold the keys to the courthouse, in that they can unilaterally dispose of a case before it ever gets to the general or admiral level. Without addressing this issue, Senator Levin’s bill will have very little effect, if any, in military justice.

NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell reported that Gillibrand plans to make another attempt at adding her amendment to the defense spending bill when it comes up for a final vote later this summer.

The Pentagon released a report earlier this year that estimated as many as 26,000 sexual assaults occurred in the armed forces in 2012 — breaking down to an estimated 70 per day. The military has also seen a number of horrifying sexual assault cases in which commanders have overturned convictions of assailants,  victims have endured retribution and top officials were said to have “looked the other way.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Levin’s removal of the measure comes just a week after top brass testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on how the military should address its problem of sexual assault. In that hearing, the victims said that measures taken against sexual assault thus far have been insufficient.

“My daughter reported her rape to her chain of command,” one Washington state woman testified. “But she was denied every single level of care.”

Watch the report, broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show on June 12.

ADVERTISEMENT

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was paid for by Raw Story subscribers. Not a subscriber? Try us and go ad-free for $1. Prefer to give a one-time tip? Click here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump may ‘undo his presidency’ — with Republicans backing impeachment: CNN’s conservative anchor

Published

on

President Donald Trump's presidency is in peril as Republican lawmakers condemn the administration for green-lighting Turkey's ethnic cleansing of Kurds in northern Syria.

"President Trump this week set fire to the emoluments clause by announcing his own resort would host the G-7 summit. His Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, set fire to his boss’s innocence admitting on camera to the very thing Trump is being investigated for and possibly impeached over," CNN's S.E. Cupp said.

"Donald Trump has put the Republican Party through a lot. Most have gone willingly along with him -- kids in cages, a trade war, protecting Putin, honoring Kim Jong-Un, breaking the law, the lies, the insults, the fake news, the rape allegations. Defending the president over the indefensible has become something of a cottage industry for Republican lawmakers, few of whom have ever dared to call him out," she noted.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Boris Johnson said he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit — but just asked to extend deadline

Published

on

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to write to Brussels seeking a Brexit deadline extension after MPs voted Saturday to demand he delay Britain's October 31 departure date.

In a phonecall with European Council President Donald Tusk after the vote, Johnson said he would send the letter mandated by MPs to seek more time, a EU source told AFP.

"The PM confirmed that the letter would be sent to Tusk today," the source said.

"Tusk will on that basis start consulting EU leaders on how to react. This may take a few days," he added.

Tusk said on Twitter that he was "waiting for the letter".

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis

Published

on

President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.

"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image