Cenk Uygur and journalist Karisa King discuss how the military has historically handled sexual assault cases: by diagnosing the victim with a ‘personality disorder’ and then discharging them from the service.
As one victim said: “I was officially diagnosed with an ‘adjustment disorder’ that meant that I had failed to adjust to rape conditions.”
Hey, Republicans – I have a little bit of advice for you guys ’cause this is Current and I know y’all watch. Congratulations on all the mileage you’ve gotten from those scandals you’re using against President Obama.
But here’s the thing — it’s not working for you. Obama’s poll numbers keep going up the more you keep talking about Benghazi and the IRS. So allow me to suggest that you start screeching about one of the many real, actual scandals in America today.
You see, a recent Department of Defense report revealed the estimated number of sexual assaults in the U.S. military increased last year, to 26,000. That’s in one year. Pentagon estimates break that down to 12,100 of the women on active duty being the victims of sexual assaults and 13,900 men in uniform. That’s 38 men, 33 women per day being sexually assaulted in the military. The DOD acknowledges that male survivors do report their assaults at a much lower rate.
You still with me, Republicans? ’Cause it gets worse.
Ya see, less than 10 percent of victims actually reported their assaults last year, and less than 1 percent of sex abuse perpetrators were convicted last year under the Pentagon’s current system of “justice.” And less than 10 percent of victims ever even report it.
Sixty-two percent of those who reported assaults felt they got retaliated against — revictimized — after they reported these attacks to their superiors. That’s why most cases are never even reported.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, Republicans: “This really is a disgusting scandal, but how do we blame Obama?” Well, hang on. It gets worse.
In our VA system, one in five women and one in 100 men screen positive for military sexual trauma. Men made up almost 40 percent of patients treated for conditions like PTSD related to military sexual trauma. In 2012, 334 veterans per month filed for disability benefits related to sexual trauma and almost a third were men.
All told, 85,000 vets were treated last year for abuse; 4,000 sought disability benefits. This is costing us valuable tax dollars that could, of course, be spent on your next 37 attempts to repeal Obamacare.
Our service men and women deserve better. But there has been no congressional hearings about this, my Benghazi-crazed Republican friends. So if you want to find a way to appeal to those who dwell outside of your bubble — like women voters — the obscenity of military sexual assaults needs to be on your front burner. If this doesn’t make you angry, you don’t take rape seriously, you don’t respect the military and you’re not a patriot.
Now, you could follow your usual playbook and just find a way to convince your base that it’s all Obama’s fault. Or take a page out of my book and declare that any soldier who sexually assaults another soldier needs to be tried for treason.
Treason is, after all, an act of disloyalty against a nation by one of that nation’s citizens. Under Article 3, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution, any person who levies war against the U.S. has committed treason. Soldiers who rape other soldiers — and the officers who protect them — make our military less effective, compromise readiness and endanger our national security.
Start putting these star-spangled sex crimes on trial in civilian courts where the CO’s can’t overturn a verdict. Then find out how many officers ignored reports of assault under their commands and put them on trial too.
Now, I realize this involves you guys doing something that doesn’t allow you to exploit Obama hate for cash or votes, but you can do it. You can take the lead on this, Republicans, and you’d get results.
The only disadvantage — the donations you’d lose from the vast pro-military rape lobby.
But you gotta act fast, ’cause Democratic senators are already leading the fight here. The Military Justice Improvement Act allows independent prosecutors to go after military sex offenders and takes away a CO’s right to overturn a military court verdict.
Are you gonna let Democrats lead the fight on this, Republicans? You have a chance to do something at your job that doesn’t involve Obama hate — besides naming more buildings after Reagan.
Or, you know what? Just be like Pope Benedict and blame all the sexual abuse because someone let the gays in.
In honor of Harvey Milk Day, here’s our quote of the day.
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Here are the 20,000 shipwrecks in US waters. Some of them are still leaking oil, because of Hitler. (No, really, they were sunk by German U-Boats—it’s a serious environmental problem.)
From our show: A look at the alarming increase in student loan debt from 2004 to 2013.
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Nancy Giles, Sam Seder and Crystal Wright join “Say Anything” host Joy Behar to discuss whether former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner might have a chance of gaining traction in the 2013 New York mayoral race, given his history of indecent Twitter exposure.
L. Joy Williams
Williams (host of “TWiB! in the Morning”) and comedian Elayne Boosler came on Viewpoint to talk to John Fugelsang about whether it’s OK to compare the fight for LGBT equality to the civil rights movement.
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