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Published On: Tue, Jul 16th, 2013

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz join Kirsten Gillibrand to combat sexual assault in the military, Bill Kristol calls it a ‘pseudo-crisis’

U.S. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today to announce their full support of the Military Justice Improvement Act, to combat sexual assault in the military.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Image/US Congress

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Image/US Congress

The proposal offered by a bipartisan coalition of 33 Senators seeks to reverse the systemic fear that numerous victims of military sexual assault have described in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them due to the clear bias and inherent conflicts of interest posed by the military chain of command’s current sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to a trial.

According to Sen. Gillibrand’s press release today, according to the FY2012 SAPRO report released earlier this year by the Defense Department, an estimated 26,000 cases of unwanted sexual contact and sexual assaults occurred in FY2012, a 37% increase from FY2011.

Another report released by the Defense Department this year showed that more than 1 in 5 female service members reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact while serving in the military. Also according to the FY2012 SAPRO Report, 25% of women and 27% of men who received unwanted sexual contact indicated the offender was someone in their military chain of command.

Further, 50% of female victims stated they did not report the crime because they believed that nothing would be done with their report. Even the current top military leadership admits the current system “has failed” and as Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos stated this year, victims do not come forward because “they don’t trust the chain of command.”

“What our strong and growing bipartisan coalition has shown is that ending sexual assaults in the military by creating an independent and accountable military justice system is not a partisan or ideological issue. Our carefully crafted common sense proposal written in direct response to the experiences of those who have gone through a system rife with bias and conflict of interest is not a Democratic or Republican idea – it is just the right idea,” said Senator Gillibrand.

Image/Video Screen Shot

Image/Video Screen Shot

“The vast majority of our service members are honorable and upstanding individuals. In the instance when one is accused of a serious crime, especially one of harassment or assault, the allegation needs to be taken seriously and conflicts of interest should not impact whether a crime is prosecuted properly,” said Senator Paul.

“Sexual abuse in the military is a grave violation of trust and the duty we owe to protect our men and women in uniform,” said Senator Cruz. “Despite good-faith efforts from the chain of command, sexual assault remains a persistent problem.  We must act to ensure that assaults are prevented and victims of assault are able to report any crimes that occur.  Senator Gillibrand should be commended for her leadership working to modernize our military justice system to protect our men and women from sexual assault, and this amendment makes real progress in that regard.  Several of our strongest allies such as Israel, the United Kingdom, and Germany have made similar reforms to their military justice systems, and seen marked improvement.  I support this amendment and believe it will improve readiness and capability so that the United States military remains the greatest fighting force in the world.”

YouTube screen shot

YouTube screen shot

In light of this bipartisan proposal, Weekly Standard editor and prominent neoconservative, William Kristol wrote in a column today:

“Sens. Paul and Cruz are signing on to Sen. Gillibrand’s proposal to undermine the military’s chain of command on behalf of the pseudo-crisis of military sexual assault. The Obama administration thinks Gillibrand’s proposal is a bad idea. It is a bad idea. We’re curious to hear what substantive arguments Paul and Cruz will make on behalf of this proposal. Or is this just media grandstanding, like their last bold intervention in national security policy, when they raised the alarm about the dire threat of drone attacks on Americans sitting in cafes?”

Kristol goes on to say, “It goes beyond where even the Obama administration is willing to go in weakening the military.”

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Sen. Gillibrand’s ‘Military Justice Improvement Act’ falls short in the Senate - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Conservative Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky (see video below) backed her effort; however, it faced opposition from powerful fellow Democrats, including Sen. Claire McCaskill and Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin, as well as the president himself. […]

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