Sexual Assault Problem in Military Exaggerated by Journalists

Read Jill Filipovic’s latest Esquire article about sexual assault in the U.S. military, and you might conclude that a woman in uniform can’t take two steps on a military installation without being sexually assaulted. And, of course, you would be wrong.

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Michael Waddington, a military defense lawyer and former judge advocate in the Army, told Military.com two years ago he estimated that ninety percent of the sexual assault cases taken to court-martial would be thrown out of civilian courts due to lack of evidence. And he’s not the only person to offer views that run counter to those being pushed on the American public by journalists like Filipovic and left-leaning politicians like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Washington Times’ journalist Rowan Scarborough offered several noteworthy findings in his April 6 article, Doubts on military’s sex assault stats as numbers far exceed those for the U.S. Among them are those shown in the paragraph below:

Critics of the Pentagon survey say its 20 percent response rate for 2012 may include a disproportionate number of those who are motivated to participate. This might produce a higher number because the response did not capture a true scientific sample of the total female active-duty force, they say.

Likewise, Lindsay L. Rodman authored a well-written piece, Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault, that was published in Joint Force Quarterly 69 by National Defense University Press. The abstract appears below:

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Click image to link to article.

Unrealistically high estimates by DOD officials of sexual assaults in the military, along with hazy definitions and methodologies, have fueled the public discourse on this emotional issue, making it unnecessarily hysterical and obscuring the military’s search for solutions. While the military is expected to maintain a higher standard than society at large, the experience of colleges and universities, whose demographic is roughly the same age as the military’s, should be drawn on. Moreover, an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of criminal law will help draw the debate about the military sexual assault problem away from blaming commanders because they are not always obtaining convictions. The educational and military communities should combine their efforts to find a more holistic solution.

Is sexual assault a real problem in the Armed Forces? Of course, it is, just like it is in society at large. And those actually guilty of these crimes must be punished. Unfortunately, it is not only the guilty who are being swept up by the Defense Department’s out-of-control dragnet.

The mere mention of a man’s name in the same breath as a sexual assault allegation — whether or not a shred of evidence exists — seems enough to convict a serviceman of a sex crime these days. During “He said, she said” court-martial trials, everyone involved — convening authorities, judges and members of the court-martial panel — faces extreme pressure to convict, regardless of whether any physical evidence or eyewitnesses exist to prove guilt. Those who don’t follow the party line face dire consequences. For proof, see this article and this article.

To learn about a military justice case which resulted in an elite Green Beret being convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison based solely on the testimony of his accuser, read Three Days In August.

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New York Times best selling author Richard Miniter described this way:

“Well-written and thoroughly researched, Three Days In August paints a convincing portrait of a military justice process that appears to have lacked one essential element – justice.”

Click here to order a copy of my book, Three Days in August.

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