“The tone of questioning at Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing left little doubt that there will be action soon on the issue of sexual assault in the military. But the witness list seemed stacked against one of the bolder proposals — a push by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to take serious sexual assault cases out of the military’s chain of command”.
“There were 20 witnesses at the eight-hour hearing, and all but two of them supported keeping these cases within the military justice system”.
“Under Gillibrand’s proposal, military prosecutors would handle the decision to take a case to court-martial for all serious crimes except those that are uniquely military in nature. Military chiefs of staff would have the power to establish courts, empanel juries and pick judges, and commanders would not be able to overturn convictions or reduce sentences”.
Read the rest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/06/05/was-the-sexual-assault-hearing-stacked-against-major-changes/
“4 Big Players Emerge In Military Sexual Assault Debate”
“The nation's top military leaders came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday primed to defend their ability to handle, in their chain of command, the sexual assault scandal that has engulfed the armed services”.
“But the dramatic faceoff with the Senate Armed Services Committee — in particular two of its female members — appeared to only deepen the chasm between the four-star brass and those who want significant change in a system that has failed victims for decades”.
“If nothing else, the hearing revealed the four players who will play an outsized role in the debate: Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno; Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos; Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y”.
“Tuesday's wall of blue and green, stars, medals and testosterone (there was one woman — a vice admiral — among the dozen decorated officers who appeared before the panel) may not have crumbled”.
“But they took some serious, and, at times, seriously embarrassing fire as the committee contemplates more than a half-dozen bills designed to respond to the crisis”.
Read the rest: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/06/04/188699618/four-big-players-emerge-in-military-sex-assault-debate