Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing back on a subcommittee report released Thursday that recommended commanders keep their authority in sexual assault cases.
A majority of the Role of the Commander subcommittee said they didn’t believe removing commanders’ authority in military sexual-assault cases would boost sexual-assault reporting or reduce the number of sexual assaults.
“There is nothing surprising about a Pentagon sub-panel working mostly behind closed doors supporting stated Pentagon policy and encouraging more time to wait and see if the problem gets better. We have waited for too long, because under any metric, the system is broken and our servicemembers deserve better,” James Rahm, a spokesperson for the New York Democrat, said.
The subcommittee, which has nine members, was created as part of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, established by the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
And Protect Our Defenders, a military sexual-assault victims advocacy group, quickly hit back at the report.
“The idea that professional, independent, justice is good enough for American citizens, but not for those who risk their lives to protect our values is un-American,” said Protect Our Defenders President Nancy Parrish, in a statement.”… This panel has so far decided to stand with the status quo and the hollow Pentagon promises of ‘zero tolerance.’”
Only one of the nine, Elizabeth Hillman, a law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, disagreed with the subcommittee’s report, noting that commanders “are neither essential nor well-suited for their current role in the legal process of criminal prosecution.”
Members of Congress have changed how the military deals with sexual-assault cases in the past few National Defense Authorization Acts, including removing a commander’s ability to overturn jury convictions and requiring a civilian review if a commander decides against prosecuting.
The subcommittee’s report suggests that more time is needed to see if such changes can create “meaningful improvements” before making a “systemic” change.
What We're Following See More »
If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."
"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."
Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."
The Clintons will retain their Secret Service "code names from the last time they lived in the White House. Hillary Clinton is EVERGREEN and Bill ClintonEAGLE. Donald Trump is MOGUL, according to reports, and Melania Trump MUSE. The vice presidents get code names, too: Mike Pence is HOOSIER—a little on the nose—and his wife HUMMINGBIRD. Tim Kaine is DAREDEVIL, somewhat ambitiously. His wife's? To be determined."