Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Alleged Rape in the Military

This is from CNN on 26 February regarding rape in the military: “To say zero tolerance for 25 years, and have 26,000 sexual assaults and rapes last year alone, and only one out of ten reporting, and only have one out of 100 going to trial and conviction – those are horrible, horrible rates for survivors to know that justice is possible,” [Senator] Gillibrand told CNN's “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” And this: “Of the one out of 10 victims that did report, 62% were retaliated against, says the senator,” in connection with a Senate hearing.

This works out to 2600 reporting rape, 1612 of whom suffered retaliation of some kind, with 260 actually convicted. This appeared in this space in June 2013: “The subject of the hearing: rape in the military and the lack of effort to do anything about it. The big news recently has to do with rape in the military (3,374 rapes reported in 2012, with 238 convictions) but perhaps 26,000 (includes groping, etc.) that were not reported. This, reportedly, was an increase of 37% from 2011.”

Even discounting the coincidental figure of 26,000 unreported rapes/assaults for both years, the military did better in 2013 than 2012—23% better regarding reports and a 10% increase in convictions. Actually, no one takes seriously the 26,000 figure of unreported assaults simply because something unreported can't be counted. Wild estimates, 500 unreported assaults per week, do not signify.

The lady senators are justifiably upset at the alleged problem but hopelessly naive in attempting to understand it, which essentially is that it would be greatly resolved by the common sense method of not mixing hormone-driven young people in areas or by methods wherein they are in close quarters, such as on ships in the navy. On a modern aircraft carrier (about three football fields long) at sea, there about 6,000 crew-persons, a small city, with people literally piled on each other.

I pushed planes around on smaller carriers back in the 1940s, so I can see the problem. People sleep in racks four or five high. All kinds of detritus winds up on the bottom rack, including the vomit of sailors who have just ingested huge amounts of pizza and beer while on liberty in port. Sailors passing each other in narrow passageways or on ladders often make body contact. There were no women on ships then, so the head (bathroom facility) was not a problem. There was just a long trough with water swirling through it and planks on top for seating (or not). Inside outhouses.

There was no privacy on that trough, in showers or anywhere else. I could stretch out my arm and touch the guy sleeping in the adjacent rack. Is it any wonder that homosexuals are not welcome in the military? Integrated boot camps have been tried in response to political correctness, with the predictable result that male soldiers did not become battle-ready because training-activities (called torture by recruits) had to be designed not to kill 115-lb. girls, who were hopelessly out of place.

Nor does it help that a woman can scream rape and the guy is automatically considered guilty. In civilian life, she isn't named but his name is in the media even before an investigation, much less a charge.. The same is true in the military. The most recent example is that of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, accused by an unnamed female captain with whom he was having a three-year affair. The woman even kept a diary made available to the military court trying him in which she made unbelievably stupid statements such as that she was afraid Sinclair might still love his wife and that she loved him “almost unconditionally.” No judge will believe there was a rape/assault...unless the lady senators must be mollified at all costs (and the president, of course).

Sinclair will suffer anyway because army regulations disallow adultery by officers. It's noteworthy in this regard that General Petraeus, Iraq War headman, made sure his hanky-panky with “another woman” happened AFTER he resigned from the army. His behavior cost him the job as head of the CIA but at least he didn't lose his pension or part thereof.

The lady senators are demanding that military trials concerning rape/assault/groping be abandoned and that the accused be tried in civil courts. Imagine transferring an accused from Guam or South Korea all the way back to some court in the continental U.S. The Senate voted “no” 55-45. General Odierno, army chief-of-staff, commented last November that this could cost $113 million per year and involve 600 lawyers, not to mention whacko judges and the inordinate time involved for appeals ad infinitum – lawyering fees, in other words.

The answer is a no-brainer. Let naval ships be manned by either women or men but not by both, for instance. Keep the genders separated everywhere possible; otherwise, the military designed to break things and kill people will grow weaker and weaker.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

1 Comments:

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