Lame Senate defeats bill to eliminate military commanders from decisions to prosecute sex crimes

Friday, March 7, 2014

Good afternoon:

Despite a well documented epidemic of sexual assaults committed against women in the military and the failure of military commanders to decide to prosecute the alleged offenders, the Senate failed yesterday to muster enough votes to overcome a filibuster against a bill that would have removed military commanders from deciding whether to prosecute an alleged offender.

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D) of New York sponsored the bill, which despite bipartisan support, only mustered 55 votes. 60 votes were required to overcome the filibuster.

Senator Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky and Senator Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa supported the bill.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) of Missouri led the opposition, despite several recent highly publicized cases, including the trial of Brigadier General Jeffrey A. Sinclair. He is charged with two counts of forcing a captain to give him a blow job and with threatening to kill her, if she revealed their three-year affair. He already pled guilty to having improper relationships with two other women and to committing adultery with the Captain. His trial started today at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

As of September 30th of last year, over 1600 complaints of sexual assault have not been processed.

After defeating Senator Gillibrand’s bill, the Senate voted 100-0 to advance a related bill proposed by Senator McCaskill to the floor for a vote next week. This bill would change the current procedure by referring sexual assault complaints to a civilian review board, if a military commander and a prosecutor disagree about prosecuting an alleged offender.

I do not see any compelling reason to continue to include military commanders in the decision-making process. They cannot help but be biased since they often know the accuser and the accused and they have proven that they cannot handle the responsibility.

For more information on yesterday’s shenanigans in the Senate, go here to read the New Yorr Times report.

For more information on the trial of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, go here.

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Fred

11 Responses to Lame Senate defeats bill to eliminate military commanders from decisions to prosecute sex crimes

  1. Malisha says:

    I worked a case in the army. Four children were molested by their father on visitation from their custodial mother who lived in the mid-West. Dad was head of the marksmanship unit at Fort Benning. The oldest kids were twins and then there were two daughters a few years younger and younger yet. Something like 11 and 11, then 9, then 4. The kids disclosed and the father was investigated by the CID who named the father in three counts of sexual assault and his CO refused to prosecute so he got custody of the kids. Then a civilian court in the midwest held a hearing and the kids were evaluated by doctors and mom got custody. So dad got the kids and took the to the base and when the mom came on the base to get them back legally with her court order the dad had the police escort who came with her arrested, then fired, then banned from police work ever again, and then mom lost custody and visitation. Dad tried to get the mom’s FATHER (kids’ grandfather) prosecuted by the civilian authorities but they investigated and found him NOT GUILTY; the stress killed him (he had a bad heart and he missed his beloved grandkids and his wife’s and daughter’s lives were in the pits and he was disillusioned). Then the CID officer got arrested and retaliated against. Then a group of activists put together a dossier and I took it to the Pentagon. The general in charge of social services for the army shook my hand and tried his best to break it. It hurt for a week. I had to soak it in ice wter. But they had to start an IG investigation. They produced a 2,400 page report that simply concluded that there were a lot of things going on and nobody knew what. THEN the marksman retired and took the kids and disappeared. He was still getting his pension (at that time no electronic payments) on a federal reservation. The kids were not recovered until a year after that. The littlest child, whose hymen was intact when she was taken away, had no remaining hymenal tissue when she returned. The twins were sullen and cowed and had been repeatedly raped (boy and girl; physical evidence in both cases). All four kids were very badly abused. The civilian courts did nothing. Dad kept his pension. You and i, taxpayers, are still paying for the molester’s upkeep, and NOT in a prison. We instituted a DOD IG investigation after the idiotic DOA IG investigation. No dice for anything.

    The army installations are snake-pits. CO’s cover up all manner of crimes against children. We called this case “baby-hook” as it had come right on the heels of “tailhook” in the navy.

    • mark hellner says:

      That is an example of how authoritarian hierarchies operate.

      Look at how the Catholic Church uses all sorts of intimidation against someone who accuses and official within their system.

      Or how Kelly Thomas’s “resistance” against Lord PD Blue was used against him, post mortem.

      And Libertarianism is just another form of it. The Libertarians want to give property rights a free reign over all, thus elevating those few who actually have a lot of property rights that status of Lord and Master over the majority of the population who has little, if any, property. And that is why they hate “the government”. A government of, for, and by the people that is elected via one person getting one vote is how the masses protect their individual rights and freedom.

      In a way, the Capitalist system is moving back to Feudalism. A few with most of the property rights lord over all of us. And they tip their hand by arguing “we need to work harder for less money so that we can be wealthy”. Really????? IMO, the factual statement should be “the toiling masses need to work harder for less compensation so that we who own the capital can extract more of the wealth they create”.

      Libertarianism also floats the false premise that the wage markets are perfection that compensates labor for exactly what they create.

      Really???

      Libertarians wax poetic about how a humble fast food worker deserves the pittance they a paid because that is what the great market decides.

      Ok.

      A Mexican auto worker gets about $16 per day to assemble cars. And I might add that some, such as the Ford Fusion, are of high quality with respect to thing gone wrong post assembly.

      So, by Libertarian logic, our domestic automobile workers, who get compensated at about $30 per hour are way overpaid for the pittance they produce. I mean they “only” produce as much as those Mexicans, right?

      Or is all that rhetoric just BS piled high and deeper to extract more of the wealth we, the workers, create to a fat, pile of doughboy blubber who looks like he never worked a minute of hard labor in his life called Newt Gingrich can pontificate about our lack of work ethic?

      • Malisha says:

        The problem with liars is that as soon as they tell their lie, we all try to disprove it with logic, examples, studies, statistics, arguments. None of that matters. They laugh about it because they drew off our energy like that. They’re well into their third lie laughing about us still “disproving” their first, as we speak. And once we totally “disprove” their first lie, it doesn’t matter and they win. That’s what the game is.

        It’s time for a different reaction to lies. But since it’s way PAST time for a different reaction to lies, nothing can be done to change this and they’re the only game in town.

  2. bettykath says:

    Stand your ground is taking over! I had a conversation, sort of, mostly I listened, to someone unload a lot of Faux Noise on me and included a lot of the false email stuff that has been going around. (I really had to correct her on the idea that all Congress-critters get their full pay for the rest of their lives.) Turns out, from her pov, she was just “standing her ground,” her characterization. Holy shot! It was like fogen had taken over. Stand your ground by shooting first and don’t give the other guy a chance.

  3. Chris Street says:

    I don’t agree with Leatherman on this issue.
    As an honorably discharged Army vet (enlisted) I believe military commanders would lose authority needed to maintain discipline if sex abuse cases were taken from their purview and given to civilian authorities. As we enter peace time, the military will continue to “tighten up” on personal conduct because a reduction in forces (RIF) is currently taking place. (Another words, miscreants will no longer be tolerated because they won’t be needed on the front lines of battle.)
    As for Brig. Gen. Sinclair, he has screwed up and his military career is over–however–I don’t think he is the monster the prosecution has made him out to be. Reference the fact the lead prosecutor has asked to be taken off the case because he believes the female captain (defendant) lied to him and that some of the evidence she has offered, may be false or have been doctored/tampered with.
    As it stands, I believe Sinclair will be found innocent of the most serious charges.

    • I disagree because I think the word miscreant understates the seriousness of a sexual assault and I do not think it’s appropriate to wait for a RIF before taking action to hold sex offenders accountable.

    • bettykath says:

      The commanders have had their chance to deal with sexual assault cases. They haven’t and they don’t. In at least one case, a convicted sexual assault was overturned by the commander and perpetrator then returned to service, in the same whatever as his victim.

    • lyn says:

      Women lie about rape a lot. I find it hard to believe that a Captain inspired so much passion as to force a BJ. Doesn’t she have teeth?

      • bettykath says:

        I remember a local murder case. The woman was abducted and bit his penis when he forced her. He killed her.

        More men than women are getting raped in the military. It’s a power thing.

    • bettykath says:

      Chris Street, Given the record of the commanders so far, how effective is it to have victims being forced to do their military duties next to, and frequently, subordinate to, their rapists? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the rapists ended up dead – suicided, friendly fire, accident.

      • Chris Street says:

        I see the point bettykath makes. What would the situation be like in a civilian work situation? An employee accuses her supervisor of a sex offense. He/she goes to local law enforcement to make the charge. What does the manager over both the supervisor and the employee do? Put one (both) on paid/unpaid leave; fire one (both,) meanwhile law enforcement will work the case and determine the relevant facts. There is, unfortunately, no easy, comfortable solution for what the manager or company owner should do. Usually there is company policy to cover such unfortunate events.

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