Posted by: JanF | May 15, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is “Very Frustrated”

I am not sure which makes me more angry: that I am supposed to give a rat’s patootie that Chuck Hagel is experiencing discomfort or that all he can muster is “frustration”.

Every day 70 women serving our country in the armed forces is sexually assaulted. Every week another REAL scandal comes to light suggesting that men in command positions are being protected from prosecution by a culture of … what exactly?

From Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) this week:

“This is sickening. Twice now, in a matter of as many weeks, we’ve seen the very people charged with protecting victims of sexual assault being charged as perpetrators,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said. “It’s an astonishing reminder that the Pentagon has both a major problem on its hands and a tremendous amount of work to do to assure victims — who already only report a small fraction of sexual assaults — that they are changing the culture around these heinous crimes.

That’s more like it: “sickening” with a dash of “heinous crimes”.

As a reminder, last week’s episode of “how hard it is to understand that it is NOT okay to rape women just because they are handy?” was this :

The officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s response to sexual assault was himself arrested for sexual battery this weekend, drawing attention yet again to the extent of rape culture in the armed services.

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski is accused of assaulting a woman in an Arlington, VA, parking lot early Sunday morning. According to the police report of the incident, Krusinski approached the woman in question after a night of drinking

This week’s installment is this report:

… the Department of Defense revealed on Tuesday a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army stationed at the Ft. Hood, TX military base is under investigation for sexual assault. Along with allegedly sexually assaulting two of his peers, the the sergeant is being investigated for possibly forcing a subordinate into prostitution. Making matters even worse, the soldier under investigation was assigned as the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator for an eight-hundred person battalion stationed at the base.

So while Congress is getting in a froth over a non-scandal involving an embassy attack in Benghazi and the IRS targeting real tax cheaters (and possibly cutting corners by noticing that there was a pattern of abuse by organizations with the words “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names and selecting those organizations for scrutiny), we have a real scandal.

Women service members, like women in any occupation, deserve to have an abuse-free work environment. They deserve to be able to go to work without worrying about being raped by their bosses.

In a shocking example that some Republicans are paying attention, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said he is “outraged and disgusted by the reports out of Fort Hood.”:

McKeon, noting he has a granddaughter in the Army, said he saw “no meaningful distinction between complacency or complicity in the military’s latest failure to uphold their own standards of conduct. Nor do I see a distinction between the service member who orchestrated this offense and the chain of command that was either oblivious to or tolerant of criminal behavior. Both are accountable for this appalling breach of trust with their subordinates.”.

Exactly. It happened and continues to happen. Whether it is a culture of looking the other way or a culture of protecting long time service members makes no difference. It is wrong and it needs to be stopped.

Psst! Rep. McKeon!! Expect a call from Rush Limbaugh. You are not toeing the company line. Here, let me help get you back on track: BENGHAZIIIIIIIIIII!!!