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imperialism & war

rape of women in the military, by their fellow soldiers and officers, continues to rise

the u.s. military ENCOURAGES a culture of rape, often giving medals and promotions to known rapists. the biggest problem for developing this culture of rape within the military is that rapists WILL rape again. soldiers who are allowed to rape - even encouraged to rape - are later unleashed on the civilian population when they return home.

the u.s. press won't touch this story, but i found this on a british newspaper's website -
Sexual assault in the military: Congress pressures Pentagon to fix the system

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Brian Lewis's career in the US navy ground to a halt after he was raped on board ship by a superior. Navy commanders made clear they regarded Lewis as the problem for demanding his attacker be brought to justice, and he was discharged as mentally unfit.

Olga Ferrer was in the air force when she was raped in a shower by an American serviceman during the Gulf war against Iraq two decades ago. Again, the military turned against the victim.

"The security police told me: just go back to your tent and go back to work tomorrow. I went back to my tent and I thought: how can I go back to work? I don't know who is my rapist. He could work with me every day. He could be talking to me," she said.

"They tell you that as a victim, you're the one who is disturbing the unit, you are the one doing wrong by the unit - so you're the one who needs to go."

Then there was the former army nurse who told a member of Congress that during her tours in Iraq and Afghanistan she was more afraid of being attacked by her fellow soldiers than she was of the enemy.

All are are among what veterans' groups say are thousands of former service members who have been sexually assaulted by their own colleagues only to discover that the military was more interested in preventing public embarrassment than disciplining the attackers.

Now, under pressure from Congress, the Pentagon is promising to "fundamentally change" a system that, among other things, allows junior commanders with no legal training to act as investigator, jury and judge in alleged rape cases.

Last year, nearly 3,200 rapes and sexual assaults were reported in the US military, slightly up on the year before. The defence department estimates that a further 19,000 go unreported.

Veterans' groups, such as the Service Women's Action Network (Swan), say that is in part because of a system in which rape allegations are not investigated by sexual crimes specialists, the military police or prosecutors, but by commanders frequently more interested in preventing a stain on their unit's reputation. Even if an officer regards an offender as guilty, he or she is free to impose a relatively minor punishment instead of referring the case to a court martial, particularly if the service member is regarded as essential to the outfit.

Swan says sexual assault is treated with such disregard in the military that one in ten of those accused are simply allowed to resign from the service before charges can be brought, and they cannot be touched by civilian courts.

Where it does come to trial, about one third of those convicted are permitted to remain in the forces.

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Report: Sex assaults rise in military

Reports of sexual assaults in the military rose slightly in fiscal 2011, compared to the previous year, according to an annual Defense Department study.

A total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault involving service members as victims or perpetrators were filed in fiscal 2011, a 1 percent increase over the previous year, according to the study.

"Sexual assault has no place in this department," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a written statement. "It is an affront to the basic American values we defend, and to the good honor of our service members and their families."

"Since taking this office, I've made it one of my top priorities to do everything we can to reduce and prevent sexual assault, to make victims of sexual assault feel secure enough to report this crime without fear of retribution or harm to their career, and to hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable," he said.

His statement said next steps would be announced next week during consultations with Congress.

Mr. Panetta will meet Monday with members of the women in the military congressional caucus, led by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, California Democrat.

there's more, including the trailer from The Invisible War, about servicewomen and their experiences in the military; from end times news:

 link to endtimesnews.wordpress.com