This was long overdue and took a horrible murder to fix
[ Editor’s Note: Finally it begins to look like the military, after way too long, has been forced to move the chain of command out of sexual assault cases, where bias against the command having blemishes on their ‘record’ created tremendous pressure on those below them to ‘make the problem go away’.
That typically meant intimidating the victim into withdrawing the complaint. It was a horrible situation where unit commanders would be judge and jury of such incidents, despite the obvious bias of wanting to protect their careers from blemishes.
Professional prosecutors were always the better option, and that this was fought for so long was an example of how a dangerous mindset can be so well protected within the military community to have taken so long to fix it, requiring a gruesome murder and later corpse defilement to sear the event into the public’s attention.
Shame on our military for having taken so long to have the courage to change the awful system where the command structure’s interest came first, over the victim’s … Jim W. Dean ]
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First published … June 23, 2021
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, for the first time, said Tuesday he will support long-debated changes to the military justice system that would remove decisions on prosecuting sexual assault cases from military commanders.
In a statement, obtained by The Associated Press, Austin said he supports taking those sexual assault and related crimes away from the chain of command, and let independent military lawyers handle them.
The Pentagon has long resisted such a change, but Austin and other senior leaders are slowly acknowledging that the military has failed to make progress against sexual assault, and some changes are needed.
Austin pledged to work with Congress to make the changes, saying they will give the department “real opportunities to finally end the scourge of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military.”
…“As I made clear on my first full day in office, this is a leadership issue. And we will lead,” he said. “Our people depend upon it. They deserve nothing less.”
You can read the full article on Politico here.
Jim W. Dean is VT Editor Emeritus. He was an active editor on VT from 2010-2022. He was involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. He now writes and posts periodically for VT.
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