Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lackland Hearing - Ass Backwards Again!

I'm gonna start out by saying that Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Cindy McNally of Service Women's Action Network; and Jennifer Norris of Protect Our Defenders did a AWESOME job of representing us MST Survivors today in their testimony about the sexual misconduct of Lackland!!!

 I loved the comment by Senator Duckworth that she would have preferred that they had gone first in the testimony so that the Generals who were not there for the 2nd part of the testimony could have heard what they had to say.  I fully agree!! Next time, put the survivors first and then the higher up mucky mucks A) Are FORCED to listen to in their face testimony about it.. and B) Then have  to answer some questions that come up during their testimony.  Wow.. how different today could have been if just that had been reversed.  

But...on with what I thought.  The two generals... Bha... nice shiny medals a glistening as they talk about the downfalls and how MORE training would make it all better.  Although I did hear one comment that did make sense.  All the training in the world won't change someone's set moral guide, or lack of it.   Then it comes down to Command.  And all vets know that Command sets the tone for the Division. The point was made however by Senator Tsongas I belive, that with over 7,000 hours of 'talks' about Lackland - to this date, NO ONE has spoken either to the VICTIMS OR THE WHISTEL BLOWERS!!!   How can you possibly go about fixing anything if you don't talk to the folks who had it happen to them??????    

Senator Jackie Spears made the point that they had notified a certain AF base 30 days in advance that they were coming through for an 'inappropriate materials' inspection.  THIRTY DAYS... and ya know what they found?  A few things here and there that they didn't manage to get ship shape?  No.. they found OVER 32,000 ITEMS.    As was so well pointed out.. that just shows the contempt that the service has for that sort of 'oversight'.   They had 30 days to clear out and clean up.. but instead.. 32,000 items were confiscated.  WFT does that say?    In what civilian workplace could you have 32,000 items of offensive material????   And because if you live in the barracks, that's still a work place, cuz even asleep, your on duty. 


Some of the best points came on the subject of why military personnel don't report. Because of the shame and riducule. And the scary thing that was testified about today, is that its getting WORSE.  The attacks and reprisals especially are getting more and more vicious.  

And then they got on how to fix it.  Both Ms. McNalley and Ms. Norris spoke of how hard it is to get a fair hearing, even just to file a case by going up your chain of command.  Something like 23% of attacks were done by someone in their chain of command.  A big problem is that a Commander can completely shut down such a case at any time.  So they agree as do I with Sen. Spears bill to take this out of the chain of command and give it to an independent investigation and prosecution division. The military has shown repeatedly that it simply can't do this its self.

 A case was used to demonstrate a good reason to take this out of the Commander's hand as judge, jury and executioner.  One of the ladies was asked to stand up, and this was her story as read by Sen. Spear - to approximate.  That there had been a complete investigation and a trial for court martial was set up.  Two days before that trial a new Commander came on base, and he shut it all down.  Refused to allow  it to go through.  And he can do that.  There is no appeal, no way around that final decree by the Commander. Done. No appeal, nothing to do, just done.  No justice for you.  How can someone on a base TWO DAYS come in and just shut it down with no explanation other then he doesn't think there is merit to the case?  Could that ever happen in any civilian world?  ONE person decides it ALL. 

I am glad to see the light beginning to shine.  But it may be Tailhook all over again.   How many years ago was that, and still, nothing has changed.  35 years ago since my attacks and assults and NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!   I say, take it out of Commands hands until they can fix the attitude about this from the bottom up.  What I do see differently this time is lady senators who have looked into this seriously and know the right questions to grill these generals with, and to illicit the best testimony from the survivors.

And for the record, I didn't much care for that Lisak fellow.  Saying the military is doing better then the civilians.  Not with the conditions that exist in prosecutions in the military at this time.  In fact, filings, court martials and convictions were all DOWN about 23% from last year. And yet, we know things are worse????  What does that say about the systems  ability to be NEUTRAL???

Funny... I was supposed to go to the movies with a friend earlier today.. but she is home sick. So I decided to change up my schedule and watch the hearings and then go to a later showing of Le Miserables.  It's again one of those being where I was supposed to be seeing what I was.  It helped to watch the hearing and see Jennifer especially not taking their shit and spitting it back at them in a emotional but civil manner.  

Over and out,

No comments:

Post a Comment