Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is “Very Frustrated”

I am not sure which makes me more angry: that I am supposed to give a rat’s patootie that Chuck Hagel is experiencing discomfort or that all he can muster is “frustration”.

Every day 70 women serving our country in the armed forces is sexually assaulted. Every week another REAL scandal comes to light suggesting that men in command positions are being protected from prosecution by a culture of … what exactly?  

From Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) this week:

“This is sickening. Twice now, in a matter of as many weeks, we’ve seen the very people charged with protecting victims of sexual assault being charged as perpetrators,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said. “It’s an astonishing reminder that the Pentagon has both a major problem on its hands and a tremendous amount of work to do to assure victims – who already only report a small fraction of sexual assaults – that they are changing the culture around these heinous crimes.

That’s more like it: “sickening” with a dash of “heinous crimes”.

As a reminder, last week’s episode of “how hard it is to understand that it is NOT okay to rape women just because they are handy?” was this :

The officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s response to sexual assault was himself arrested for sexual battery this weekend, drawing attention yet again to the extent of rape culture in the armed services.

Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski is accused of assaulting a woman in an Arlington, VA, parking lot early Sunday morning. According to the police report of the incident, Krusinski approached the woman in question after a night of drinking

This week’s installment is this report:

… the Department of Defense revealed on Tuesday a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army stationed at the Ft. Hood, TX military base is under investigation for sexual assault. Along with allegedly sexually assaulting two of his peers, the the sergeant is being investigated for possibly forcing a subordinate into prostitution. Making matters even worse, the soldier under investigation was assigned as the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator for an eight-hundred person battalion stationed at the base.

So while Congress is getting in a froth over a non-scandal involving an embassy attack in Benghazi and the IRS targeting real tax cheaters (and possibly cutting corners by noticing that there was a pattern of abuse by organizations with the words “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names and selecting those organizations for scrutiny), we have a real scandal.

Women service members, like women in any occupation, deserve to have an abuse-free work environment. They deserve to be able to go to work without worrying about being raped by their bosses.

In a shocking example that some Republicans are paying attention, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said he is “outraged and disgusted by the reports out of Fort Hood.”:

McKeon, noting he has a granddaughter in the Army, said he saw “no meaningful distinction between complacency or complicity in the military’s latest failure to uphold their own standards of conduct. Nor do I see a distinction between the service member who orchestrated this offense and the chain of command that was either oblivious to or tolerant of criminal behavior. Both are accountable for this appalling breach of trust with their subordinates.”.

Exactly. It happened and continues to happen. Whether it is a culture of looking the other way or a culture of protecting long time service members makes no difference. It is wrong and it needs to be stopped.

Psst! Rep. McKeon!! Expect a call from Rush Limbaugh. You are not toeing the company line. Here, let me help get you back on track: BENGHAZIIIIIIIIIII!!!


  1. From the Kansas City Star: Sexual assaults stain the U.S. military

    Pronouncements about better training won’t suffice. Victims need to know that reporting assaults won’t derail careers, that punishments including prison and ouster from the military await offenders, and that arcane rules will be amended to prevent commanders from tossing aside military jury convictions. […]

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday condemned the injustice, labeling the assaults an “outrage.”

  2. slksfca

    …has been really strong on this issue for quite awhile. Last November (from her website):

    On November 16, 2011 Congresswoman Speier introduced H.R. 3435, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act – or STOP Act which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.

    And then last week:

    Speier, the author of three recent bills intended to reform the military’s handling of rape and sexual assault, took members of the legislature to task for their role in what she called “a broken system.”

    “Congress is as culpable as the military in not addressing it, because we’ve known about this issue for 25 years,” Spier said on the House floor Tuesday. “We are big on holding hearings and beating our chests and saying, ‘This has got to stop.’ And the big brass comes up to the Hill, and they say all the right words. They say, ‘We have a zero tolerance.’ And then our chief prevention officer is charged with sexual assault.”

    Speier referred to the arrest over the weekend of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, who has been charged with sexual assault, accused of drunkenly grabbing a woman’s “breast and buttocks” in a parking lot.

    And now again today:

    “Another sex scandal rocks the military,” Rep. Jackie Speier said Wednesday.  “Is Congress really going to stand by and let the military handle this?  “Congress has been an enabler of sexual assault by not demanding that these cases be taken out of the chain of command.”

    Rep. Speier has a bill pending in Congress that would do precisely that, called the STOP Act. Staff for Speier said the U.S. Capitol Police are  investigating threats against the congresswoman.

    I doubt she’ll let threats stop her from speaking out, given her history.

  3. jlms qkw

    they are discussing whether this is a “training” program.

    i think it is a criminal problem.  they need prosecutions.  for the crime and for the coverups.  

  4. General Dempsey On Military Sex Assaults:

    Changing the culture of a male-dominated, change-resistant military that for years has tolerated sexism and sexist behavior is proving to be a challenging task.

    “We’re losing the confidence of the women who serve that we can solve this problem,” the top U.S. military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said in unusually strong terms Wednesday. “That’s a crisis.”

    Dempsey, whose comments during a flight from Europe to Washington were reported by the Pentagon’s internal news service, suggested that a deepening of the sexual assault problem may be linked to the strains of war.

    Yes, on losing confidence of women … but NO on “can’t be helped! war strains blah blah blah men have needs blah blah blah”.

    President Obama on Thursday:

    [The president says] there’s no silver bullet to solve the problem. He says it will take a sustained effort, but he wants to leave no stone unturned.

    Obama says victims shouldn’t face stigma or fear of retaliation. He says the sexual assault problem makes the military less effective.

    Yes, on this making the military less effective … but NO on blaming it on a lack of a “silver bullet”. Very few problems have a silver bullet remedy but that does not mean there is no fix.

    I have a fix: zero tolerance and civilian prosecution. Period. There is no place in the armed forces for those who sexually abuse military personnel. And the punishment needs to come from civilian courts isolated from the “culture of a male-dominated, change-resistant military”.

  5. The Daily Caller Accuses Obama Of Breaching ‘Marine Umbrella Protocol’

    From The Daily Caller article:


    According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.

    The Marine Corps Manual, the guidebook that defines protocol for officers and enlisted Marines, in section 2806 paragraph 2, specifically states: “The Marine Corps Uniform Regulations, published by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shall be binding on all Marines. No officer or official shall issue instructions which conflict with, alter, or amend any provision without the approval of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.”

    So there, President Obama, you scofflaw!! Go ask the Commandant of the Marine Corps if one of the military personnel assigned to the White House could please hold your umbrella. And while you are chatting with him, ask him what he is doing about sexual abuse of female Marines.

    p.s. Does this mean that female marines can hold umbrellas? And why is that allowed?

  6. Lawmakers Urge Obama To Bypass Congress To Confront Sexual Assault In The Military

    Sen. John Tester (D-MT) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced the Ruth Moore Act of 2013 earlier this year to help the victims of sexual assault receive benefits once they leave the military. At present, the burden of proof for victims of rape and sexual assault to qualify for disability benefits for conditions related to their trauma, including treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, is shockingly high, leaving many men and women unable to receive the care they need. A scheduled hearing on the bill was meant to take place on Wednesday, but has instead been delayed until June 3.

    Rather than waiting for the Ruth Moore Act to pass, the bill’s sponsors sent Obama a letter on Thursday calling on him to use his authority as president to act now.

    The do-nothing Congress will do nothing because they only know how to not do.

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