Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why Is Boehner Allowing Buck McKeon And Todd Akin To Cover Up Rapes Of American Servicewomen On Military Bases?


Neither McKeon nor Akin believe in rape. They believe in "she was asking for it... now let her feel the joy of raising the child." They both backed the deranged legislation that would have allowed a convicted, imprisoned rapist to sue his victim to prevent the abortion of the fetus. Buck McKeon and Todd Akin are two of the sickest men in Congress-- and they run the House Armed Services Committee, McKeon as Chairman and Akin as his handpicked chairman of the Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee. Despite pressure to fire both of them-- particularly because they both take immense bribes from armaments makers and military contractors in return for special favors-- Boehner has steadfastly refused. Well now the two of them are dragging Boehner down into the Lackland Airforce Base rape scandals with them.

Dr. Lee Rogers-- without any help whatsoever from the DCCC, which, on orders from Wall Street shill Steve Israel never takes on powerful GOP committee chairs-- has been waging a brave battle against McKeon all year. Yesterday he was astounded by Akin's bizarre comments about "legitimate rape" not leading to pregnancies. "These statements," said Rogers, "are horribly insensitive and biologically inaccurate. But it shows a deep-seeded, unsympathetic feeling toward women who are victims of rape. That belief is further expressed by the inaction of the House Armed Services Committee to investigate the high rate of sexual assaults in the military... It’s complete nonsense and disrespectful that McKeon’s committee won’t hold an open hearing on rape in the military. McKeon joined Akin in voting for the 2010 bill that tried to redefine a rape only as forcible. There is no need to classify rapes as ‘forcible’ or ‘legitimate.’ This is a continuation of policies and statements that are demeaning to victims of sexual assault.” Rogers is demanding that McKeon convene open hearings on the spate of military rapes. And he isn't alone.

Protect Our Defenders supports survivors-- both women and men-- who have been raped in the military. They are the ones who have brought to public attention that at least 38 trainees at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland-- the Air Force's sole recruit training center-- have been raped or sexually assaulted by 15 instructors. And they are the ones demanding McKeon stop covering it up and open a congressional investigation. Here's the letter I got from them yesterday:
News has been breaking almost daily this summer about the Lackland Air Force Base sexual abuse scandal, and to help get you up to date we've put a news roundup together so you can quickly see the full story in one place. Once you've had a chance to read our news digest below, please help us spread the word about this scandal by forwarding this email to your friends.

What is Lackland? Everyone who enters the Air Force goes through basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, located outside San Antonio, Texas.

The story: On July 1, 2012, news broke that 31 trainees said they were sexually assaulted while serving at Lackland Air Force Base. We announced that this was just the tip of the iceberg.

The scandal widens: 3 weeks later, the number of victims climbed to 38 and the number of instructors being investigated internally rose to 15. Based on emails and calls we receive daily from survivors, we know that this problem is long standing and that 38 victims is sadly a fraction of the number of trainees sexually assaulted at Lackland.

The military’s response: 2 instructors have received sentences so far. One received sentencing for 20 years, potentially shorter for good behavior. A second instructor received 30 days of military lock up, after which he will be permitted to remain in the military-– a travesty of justice that infuriated survivors.

Major General Edward Rice at Lackland questioned whether Lackland is indicative of widespread assaults throughout the military, but then backed off, claiming rape in the military is a "localized" problem. The newspaper which broke the scandal just published our op-ed about why Rice's contradictions indicate that we need an external investigation.

Demands for a congressional investigation: Paula-Coughlin-Puopolo, the whistleblower from the Tailhook scandal of 1991, decided she wanted to start a petition with us to get to the bottom of the military's broken justice system. Paula's petition asks Rep. Buck McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, to hold a congressional investigation on the Lackland criminal scandal to protect our Lackland trainees...

Why an open investigation? The military’s previous internal efforts to investigate military sexual assaults have failed. Lackland is only the latest high-profile case of military sexual assaults. It’s time for Congress to do its job of military oversight and hold an open investigation. Along with a petition, hundreds of people have also participated in our Twitter campaign to “#AskBuck” for an investigation.

After 10,000 citizens signed Paula’s petition, Paula and four other survivors of military sexual assault went to Washington to participate in a Protect Our Defenders press conference and deliver the petitions to Congress demanding for an open hearing ahead of a closed-door briefing...

Media Response News outlets published powerful op-eds echoing our sentiments. The Nation asked, Why Won't Congress Investigate Lackland? while The San Francisco Chronicle asked, Can the Military Solve Its Rape Problem?  The San Antonio Express said Abuses Call for Inquiry by Congress, and the St Louis Post-Dispatch wrote "Military Justice is an oxymoron when it comes to women in the armed services."

Yet so far Congress has only held an inadequate closed-door briefing.
Lackland is not an isolated incident. For decades servicemen and women have suffered from widespread sexual assaults and continue to do so at bases and ships all over the world. A congressional hearing could investigate for signs of widespread sexual abuse. Our elected officials must now act to get to the bottom of the military's rape crisis.

If you haven't signed Paula's petition yet demanding an investigation, please click here to take action today.

We'll continue to keep you updated as more details unfold.

Nancy Parrish

Founder, Protect Our Defenders

McKeon won't do anything about Akin or about these rapes. Boehner won't do anything about Boehner. And neither will Steve Israel or the DCCC. The system stinks of corruption. If we want a better government-- one that isn't run by human garbage like McKeon, Boehner, Akin and Steve Israel, we need to elect honest and dedicated leaders to Congress-- like Lee Rogers. You can help do that here.

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At 5:21 PM, Anonymous me said...

Why Is Boehner Allowing Buck McKeon And Todd Akin To Cover Up Rapes Of American Servicewomen On Military Bases?

I can assume only that that is a rhetorical question. The answer of course is perfectly obvious: They are republicans.

Can you imagine the scumpublican outcry if Obama had done anything like that?

At 1:10 AM, Blogger John said...

Not to "put too fine a point on it" but Obama IS the commander and chief of the military.

What, exactly, has he said (much less, done) about the well-reported "phenomenon" of compulsory rape of approximately one-third of American servicewomen?

John Puma


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