I was a bit hesitant to write down this "Gem of Opportunity" as a very militant conceptualization for a potential Watchdog group. I may have a streak of fierceness in me, but I don't do militant concepts in general. However when I recently saw a re-run of the PBS channel of "Independent Lens" episode titled "The Invisible War" which first aired on May 13th, 2013. It got my blood boiling and thus this hard nosed militant concept was born as a form of advocacy against rape within our military armed branches.
Here's a link to the "Independent Lens" documentary episode running at 1 hour 46 minutes long.
"The Invisible War Episode" (Video Link) on PBS
Basically what this blood boiling documentary portrayed was something far more sinister and endemic. Than what we typically all hear that goes on in the Catholic Church via the Vatican State. This is the bastard problem neglected for perhaps a generation or more in all of our honorable armed service military branches. We have serial sexual predators that often have high ranking collusion as accomplices to cover-up the act. The good old boy friendships that often victimize twice over both men and woman that report the incident within their chain of command. A chain of command that more often than not lacks the Honor and humane respect of their own soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen. For nearly half of all reported rapes and sexual assaults are against men themselves. This is something we come to expect from Prisons among inmates, but from our own troops this is a vicious societal disease within such ranks.
Here is a Department of Defense contracted advocacy group called RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). That works as an intake confidential humane organization with an anonymous hotline by phone and/or internet chat rooms. Regarding how Male Survivors of Rape are affected overall within the U.S. Armed Forces.
"Can Men Be Sexually Assaulted?" (Link)
Gladly there is some recent good news since sometime in May of 2013 two elected veterans to our U.S. House of Representatives. Spearheaded an initiative to reform the military judicial code regarding on how they treat the growing incidents of rape within the Armed Services. They are Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) of the State of Hawaii as a female veteran having served 2 tours in the Middle East and the 1st Hindu elected to Congress. And, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) of the State of Illinois a recipient of the Purple Heart as a double amputee from the legs down. She was Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs and holds a M.A. in International Affairs.Yes. The term “sexual assault” refers to a number of different crimes, ranging from unwanted sexual touching to forced penetration.Men and boys are often survivors of sexual assault. In fact, according to national statistics, about 8% of all victims are male1.In the Department of Defense (DoD), 10% of the approximately 2,600 Service member victims in sexual assault investigations completed during fiscal year 2010 were male.2 However, an anonymous survey found that about one (1) percent of all men serving on active duty in 2010 were victims of some form of sexual assault.3Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline staff are trained to help men who have been sexually assaulted. For support, or to learn about your options for reporting, please contact Safe Helpline online or call 877-995-5247.
Here are these dynamic duo on CNN's Candy Crowley show of "State of the Union" on May 16th, 2013. This is an 8 minute 23 second video for those interested.
"Military Rape Prosecutions" (Video Link)
Fast forward to Dec. 19th 2013 and it seems they were successful in our American Congress. As reported by the "Washington Post" by: Ed O'Keefe.
"Congress approves reforms to address sexual assault, rape in military" (Link)
“I think the bill is a significant step forward,” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday before the vote.
Such crimes have surged in recent years; the Pentagon estimates that 26,000 troops were assaulted or raped last year. But only a fraction of them, about 3,300, filed reports with military police or prosecutors in that time period.
Angered by the increase in cases and the lack of reporting them, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and a bipartisan coalition in the House drafted proposals to address the problem. There was particular outrage when an Air Force general stepped in to overturn the sexual-assault conviction of a star fighter pilot.
Their proposals are part of the annual defense policy bill that was passed 84 to 15 late Thursday in the Senate. The legislation would end the statute of limitations for cases of sexual assault or rape; bar military commanders from overturning jury convictions in sexual assault and rape cases; make it a crime to retaliate against people who report such crimes; mandate the dishonorable discharge or dismissal of anyone convicted of such crimes; and give civilian defense officials more control over prosecutions.
This is the good news. However we can't count our eggs before they've fully hatched. Thus the Raison d'etre to offer up a conclusive Watch Dog group to ensure none of these sexual predators and especially serial rapists. Escapes justice within the military courts or civilian judicial system if at all possible. For the previous barrier was a legal doctrine in 1950 called the "Feres Doctrine" that in short provides Sovereign Immunity to the United States government. From any liability of physical harm or death from negligence or incompetence done to a person serving in the military at that time.
Now that the Congress has done a overhaul of the Military Judicial code in regards to the burgeoning incidents of rape in the military branches. The "Feres Doctrine" has become amended in short to bring to justice those prior criminals that never made it to prosecution in the military courts. Including those that did and just received a very weak punishment be it a misdemeanor charge or other bureaucratic slap on the wrist.
Believe it or not many of those that reported the rape as victims were often charged for adultery just because the son of a bitch rapist was married! It goes without saying that collusion from Commanders or other high ranking officers were covering up for a colleague as accomplices. My concept today of creating a "Miltary Anti-Rape Advocacy" watch dog group otherwise known as (MARA) for short. Would create a legal defense fund for victims of rape within the military or otherwise that are now discharged within civilian life. Additionally a "Hall of Shame" publication of those brave service men and woman that seek to stand in the public limelight to stand witness to the crimes perpetrated upon them. Naming their attackers in public that have escaped justice by slipping through the military judicial cracks. The "Hall of Shame" will only be highly vetted closed cases with all the proper bells and whistles of documentation.
More over there would be a published "Watch List" given to local civilian and military law enforcement of rapists within their locality. Given from on the record vetted rape victims that have stepped forward seek anonymity in a confidential manner utilizing the common practice of "The Rape Shield Law". Wikipedia Link: Rape Shield Law
Is a law that limits a defendant's ability to cross-examine rape complainants about their past sexual behaviour. The term also refers to a law that prohibits the publication of the identity of an alleged rape victim.Both the "Hall of Shame" and the "Watch List" are akin to what local police departments provide publicly. About locally listed sexual predators living within your neighborhoods across America. In this case it will be this advocacy watchdog group providing it for local military bases and those rapists now in civilian life that have escaped justice. The publications will be put online and within printed publications as in the case of the "Hall of Shame" to the general public. The "Watch List" will be a secure database accessible by National Military Police departments, Federal law enforcement, and civilian law enforcement police departments. The "Hall of Shame" will be an annual printing per volume year resembling a hard bound encyclopedia book of rapists and their victims having disclosed their status openly. Be it a one time rapist or a serial rapist the "Hall of Shame" publication will also be sent to the rapists spouse if any and certainly their family. To the base commander and accomplices that covered-up the incident will get a very dishonorable mention in this dossier entry. Every year also the U.S. Congress elected officials and the U. S. President will receive a complimentary copy. To gauge in part how effective their overhaul of the military justice system in regards to rape is working or not.
When the rapists enter civilian life their local neighborhood and workplace will receive leaflets of whom lives amongst them.
Since if the United States Government can not be sued due to the "Feres Doctrine". Than sue in the civilian courts the now discharged veteran rapists for damages caused to the rape victims healthcare costs when the sexual assault is egregious in a physical handicap. For lost wages and overall mental / emotional suffering in a punitive manner. To basically make the veteran rapist highly radioactive. Even if it needs to go as far to sue the economically wealthy family because of a spoiled brat rapist thinking they can escape justice.
(MARA) will be compromised of veteran retired legal professionals including former veteran tribunal judges, retired veteran military law enforcement if not including active duty legal personnel and serving military police branch personnel. Including but not limited to civilian judges active or retired as veterans. Civilian and criminal justice legal professionals and active service law enforcement of whatever sector be it Federal, State, or Local. (MARA) will also upon invitation go and educate law enforcement agencies and other groups in speaking engagements and/or workshops. As to the overall current plight of military rape as a societal disease not to dissimilar to the high incidents of military suicides, divorces, mental health issues, and other assorted crimes by service personnel.
This will no doubt cause such an organization to be the target of civil lawsuits of defamation if not slander over the course of its own advocacy. Thus be it hired law firms or those of a pro bono status will be highly sought after to represent legally (MARA) and its victims of rape from within the military. Besides the formation of a legal defense fund it may be advisable to register their non-profit status internationally as well. Just in case it ever becomes threatened as being initially registered within the domicile of the United States.
NATO forces as being Commanders are restricted as a conflict of interest from meddling in cases of rape reported within their units. This should be no different with in the U.S. Armed Forces however this was a bridge too far in the recent actions of the U.S.Congress to reform the military judicial system. Perhaps there may even be a clause within the Geneva Convention since the United States is a signatory to such a human rights legal wartime declaration. To protect its own military service personal from excessive undue harm within the military armed branches. Otherwise if (MARA) ever did see the light of day an embarrassing petition to the United Nations would humiliate the United States further to a course of corrective action.
In the end the "Military Anti-Rape Advocacy" (MARA) is meant to create a Militant Shitstorm as Agitators. Seeking the Justice System to actually function on behalf of victims of rape within the Military or now having entered Civilian life as a whole.