In a striking showdown between Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and a member of his own party, Mr. Levin said on Tuesday that he would remove a measure aimed at curbing sexual assault in the military from a defense spending bill. [New York Times]
SENATOR CARL LEVIN is leading Senate Democrats to betray military sexual assault victims by striking the part of the bill that would strip the power of soldiers to hold their attacker accountable outside the chain of command. The good old boys club wins over women, yet again.
Secretary Hagel is allowing it to happen and is complicit in continuing a policy that has been proven not to work, except for those who commit the assault and continue to be excused for their brutality.
There is no excuse for this action by Sen. Carl Levin, except for cowardice to lead.
Soldiers who are accused of attacking, raping and brutality harming fellow soldiers must be held accountable, which is not being done inside the chain of command, a clubby boys club that makes it dangerous for women who want to make their career in the U.S. Armed Forces.
When a soldier is accused of a crime, the sexual assault victim deserves her or his day in court, without the threat of retribution or that someone higher up in the chain of command will nonchalantly erase the punishment and the crime.
Sen. Levin is covering for the U.S. military who has failed to protect soldiers, with Republicans and even other Democrats joining him.
An effort to place military sex assault cases in the hands of an independent prosecutor was thwarted late Tuesday when Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin sided with the top brass – and against a fellow Democrat.
Levin (D-Mich.) will strip a proposal by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) from the policy-setting Defense Authorization Act and replace it with a measure that instead requires senior military officers to review decisions when commanders refuse to prosecute a case.
Gillibrand’s proposal – which had 27 co-sponsors, including 4 Republicans – came in response to complaints that the U.S. military has repeatedly failed to deal with the issue of sex assaults. The military has resisted efforts to involve outsiders in its handling of such cases.