Tonawanda News

Opinion

June 9, 2013

OUR VIEW: Military sex assaults a national disgrace

Tonawanda News — How is it possible that our nation’s most powerful military leaders — all men — found the gumption to tell Congress there’s nothing substantive to be done when 26,000 female enlistees were sexually assaulted last year?

All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were hauled before the Senate Armed Forces Committee last week and senators from both parties were incredulous at the brass’s response — or, more correctly their lack thereof — to the issue.

Make no mistake, the way women are treated in our military is nothing short of a national disgrace. These women forego what their civilian friends and relatives enjoy and sign up to help defend our country. For thousands of women last year, their reward wasn’t adulation or even common decency. 

They were raped.

Worse still — as if being a victim of the most personally violating crime there is wasn’t bad enough — those brave few who summoned the courage to speak out against their attackers were in many cases subjected to the type of scorn and ridicule that should have been reserved for the rapist, not his victim. In many cases the rape victims were drummed out of the military while their attacker kept his job.

The joint chiefs fell back on a military code of conduct that has made this problem not just possible but prevalent; they say we must preserve the chain of command.

An obvious question: Precisely what kind of control does this exalted chain of command exert if it allows soldiers to rape women without fear of reprisal?

Legislation proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would take control for prosecuting military sexual assaults away from commanding officers who too frequently look the other way in the name of “unit cohesion” and instead put it where it should be — under the authority of military prosecutors.

Military members are justifiably entitled to any number of perks and protections by the nature of their service. But a rapist is a rapist no matter what kind of uniform they’re wearing. 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage