Bush Administration Objectively Pro-Rape

9 comments August 4th, 2008at 10:19pm Posted by Eli

This is utterly disgusting, yet so true to form for the Bush administration.  Apparently “support our troops” only applies to male ones – or perhaps this is a passive-aggressive Republican strategy to get women out of the military:

There was quite a struggle in Congress this week. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) to testify in Thursday’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. Rep. John Tierney, chair of the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, angrily dismissed Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Michael Dominguez from the hearing when Dominguez said that he, the DoD chief of legislative affairs and the chief of public affairs, had ordered Dr. Kaye Whitley, chief of SAPRO, to refuse to honor the subpoena issued by the subcommittee for her appearance.

Full committee Chairman Henry Waxman called the DoD’s decision to prevent Whitley from testifying “ridiculous and indicating DoD is covering something up.” It could also place Whitley in contempt of Congress. Rep. Christopher Shays said the DoD’s decision was “foolish.”

One of the questions that would have been put to Whitley was why DoD had taken three years to name a 15-person civilian task force to look into allegations of sexual assault of military personnel. The panel was finally named early in 2008 but has yet to meet. She would have also been queried on the SAPRO program’s failure to require key information from the military in order to evaluate the effectiveness of sexual assault prevention and response programs.

(…)

Rep. Jane Harman cited Veterans Administration statistics that one in three women in the military has been sexually assaulted. She said the prosecution rate of those accused of raping fellow military service members is abysmally low. Of the 2,212 reported rapes in the military in 2007, only 8 percent of the cases ended in court-martial of the perpetrator, while the rate of prosecution in civilian courts is 40 percent.

(…)

Rep. Shays said he had no confidence in DoD or the military services and their policies of prevention of sexual assault, and asked how recruiting will fare when young women learn that one in three women is sexually assaulted and when young men find out that one in 10 men is raped while in the military.

Recruitment of rapists would certainly improve…

VetVoice wants to know where Bob Gates is:

Now, granted, Gates is a busy man with competing priorities–and two ongoing wars.  So maybe this hasn’t crossed his desk yet.  Maybe this is an issue that hasn’t risen above the Undersecretary level yet.  But if it hasn’t, it needs to.

This type of conduct by the Defense Department is despicable, and it’s indicative of a Presidential administration that has no respect for the American people or their elected Representatives.  Congressmen Tierney and Waxman should not only hold Deputy Undersecretary Dominguez in contempt, but they should subpoena Secretary Gates on this one.  As Congressman Waxman said, this is “ridiculous.”

(…)

With three female troops having been murdered this year stateside, and with the long list of rapes and suspected murders in theater, it’s clear that something needs to be done.  And what the Defense Department is doing now is far worse than simply ignoring the problem: They’re actively attempting to obstruct Congress from investigating it.

Many of us have been pleased with the moderate (non-neo-con) stances Secretary Gates has taken since he assumed the role from Rumsfeld over a year and a half ago.  But now he must step up and show the leadership that the troops and their families expect of him.  He needs to rectify this situation.  And quickly.

If he doesn’t, he will show that the Defense Department has no respect for its female troops, and, more importantly, that he’s going to allow murderers and rapists to sully the name and reputation of America’s Armed Forces. And no one wants to join an organization like that.

Here’s what I said about Gates during his confirmation hearing:

The thing is, while yes, Rummy was incompetent and awful, most of what went wrong with Iraq was dictated from above. If we venture for a moment into Magical Sugarplum Fantasyland and imagine that The Donald was the smartest, most competent SecDef in the history of all the universes, and told Dubya that his plan was Teh Suck, and refused to invade without a better plan, our clueless leader would have immediately shitcanned him and replaced him with Harriet Miers, or Joe Lieberman, or Jeff “Bulldog” Gannon, or Ryan Seacrest DSV.

In other words, the Defense Secretary does not set the Iraq policy; he merely executes it (or tortures it, as the circumstances require). It really doesn’t matter whether Gates has a plan for Iraq or not. Bush will do What Bush Wants To Do, which will inevitably be the most foolhardy and disastrous course possible.

Replacing the SecDef is all well and good, but we won’t have any chance of a least-bad outcome until we replace his boss.

In other words, I’m not convinced that Gates is responsible for this disgraceful rape-and-murder-enabling coverup – I would not be at all surprised if he were just following orders from the most secretive and amoral administration in American history.  Still, Gates isn’t resigning in protest, so his hands are not exactly clean either.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Republicans,Sexism,War

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