An excerpt from Maureen Dowd’s article titled “Cut the Strings to George III:”
The brass agreed there was a “cancer” in the military, but their rigid, nonsensical response boiled down to: Trust us. We’ll fix the system, even though we don’t really believe it’s broken.
They were unanimously resistant to the shift that several of our allies have made, giving lawyers, rather than commanders, the power to take cases to court. This even though they were having a hard time coming up with examples of any commanders who had been removed from their posts for allowing a toxic climate on sexual assault.
In fact, the military honchos made it clear that, after months of public dismay, they hadn’t even gotten around to studying the systems our allies put in place to achieve objective decision making, where commanders can’t protect buddies or Top Gun criminals. “Talking to people who have managed this problem longer than we have seems to me the very easiest place to start,” chided Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri.
Eugene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, told me the arguments of the brass “boiled down to an almost mystical notion of the commanders’ responsibility. Why can’t we cut the strings to the British system we inherited from George III? The British are baffled by us. They gave control over major crimes to professional prosecutors years ago. It’s an institutional structure that has outlived its utility and credibility.”
As Sarah Plummer, a beautiful ex-Marine who served in Iraq and says she was raped by a fellow Marine who was never prosecuted, explained to NBC News’s Jim Miklaszewski: “Having someone within your direct chain of command handling the case” is like “your brother raping you and having your dad decide the case.”
The military big shots admitted that they had taken their eyes off the ball, but blamed it on a decade of two wars.
* The article by Maureen Dowd of the New York Times can be read in its entirety HERE
Other interviews with Sarah on sexual assault in the military:
– NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams — you can watch it HERE
– HuffPostLive — watch HERE
– ABC World News with Diane Sawyer – watch HERE
–> Just a side note – I didn’t even know I was going to be quoted in this article! I found out via email, an email I was humbled to have received directly from a woman who I hold in high esteem: Nell Merlino. You may know her as the woman who created “Take Your Daughter To Work Day” and many other endeavors that empower women such as “Make Mine a Million.” This is what Nell said: Good morning Sarah, Great quote in New York Times today in Maureen Dowd’s column. Brilliant, really helped people understand the absurdity of how the military handles rape and sexual assault. Believe in you. Nell
One little step at a time, one quote a time, one hearing at a time, one trial at a time, I do sincerely hope we make real progress within the military judicial system sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I hope that on a personal level, survivors find a way to move beyond the trauma, heal, and live a life they love.
With love and appreciation for all of those who have paved the path before me and made it possible to speak out,
I am a corporate and personal holistic health & lifestyle coach and yoga instructor because these practices have been CRITICAL in healing after my own traumas. Now I teach these healing arts and instruct others around the world through my “Just Roll With It“ workshops, keynote speeches, retreats, and book.
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