Dispatching a carrier task force to the Taiwan Straits in 1996 was a classic example of effective gunboat diplomacy: a long-term strategic commitment was backed up by a sizable show of force. The military officer’s authority to choose whether to investigate and prosecute felony crimes and how continues to go unchecked. Breaking Ranks Instead, Michael Needham won this battle and John was flown to Germany. Military Fails to Protect Service Members from Rape— Class Action Lawsuit filed against the Pentagon By Ann Wright Why Won’t Congress Investigate the Sex Abuse Scandal at Lackland AFB A Review of Sexual Misconduct by Basic Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base, House Hearing, 113 Congress Soldier who died in Bell County Jail identified If they made it out of the war zone alive, the return home didn’t fair well for them. His team was assigned to the Quarter Cav which was known for having some of the deadliest fights in the Iraq war. Spouse Abuse Includes assault, battery, threat to injure or kill, other acts of force or violence, or emotional maltreatment inflicted on a partner in a lawful marriage when one of the partners is a military member or is employed by the Department of Defense and is eligible for treatment in an MTF. Such an action raises serious questions about the use of punitive attacks; in that instance, it would have been far better to have conducted a compellent attack that was not only open-ended and massive in scope but tied to Iraq’s agreeing to accept unconditional international inspections of Iraqi facilities suspected of producing or storing weapons of mass destruction. The problem goes beyond the danger of hostage-taking, which is all too real. It’s just like pouring gasoline onto a fire.” -Robert D. Shadley, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senate Armed Services Committee, Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults (May 16, 2013) by Kery Murakami, Honolulu Civil Beat. Tyrants throughout history have been responsible for some of the most shocking acts of cruelty towards their own people and to those they perceive to be enemies. Fort Hood soldier dies while in pretrial confinement Sixteen years ago, Robert Shadley, then a major general in the Army, uncovered disturbing news from an important Army training facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Air Force chief: Scope of the Lackland sex scandal is ‘stunning’ Changes driven by Lackland scandal not complete It would be this incident that would break John’s spirit. A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal Overall, what is most noteworthy about America’s principal military interventions over the past decade is their number and variety. The investigation comes after NBC 5 Investigates partnered with The Dallas Morning News for a six-month investigation that revealed hundreds of complaints from injured soldiers who said commanders harassed, belittled them and ordered them to do things that made their conditions worse at three Warrior Transition Units in Texas: Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Fort Sam Houston.”, Related Links: And individuals were railroaded with collateral charges which forced them to take plea deals to avoid excessive punishments. § 11.448 Abuse of office. The dash cam was mounted just below the police cruiser’s roof, in perfect position to capture the 26-year patrolman’s transformation from concerned father to authority-abusing police officer. The abuse of power that seems to create the most unhappiness is when a person uses personal power to get ahead without regards to the welfare of others, or when power is used to go into the lower dimensional planes. The accused has the right to remain silent, right to be represented by an attorney, right to the opportunity to plead “not guilty” or “guilty”, and the right to request a jury trial. Lackland sex scandal continues to roil Air Force Honoring Jacqwelyn Villagomez who Died at the Hands of Retired Army Private John Needham (2008). He managed to only close it for 120 days in 2009 to get accounts on all the detainees and the conditions of the camp, he was forced to reopen it later that year. “WASHINGTON, D.C. — A burgeoning scandal over sexual assaults in the military is fueling calls from congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support a bill that gives victims greater confidence that they’ll get justice. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present), Allegations of mistreatment persist inside units designed to heal wounded soldiers. – Sexual Assault on Military Members – 2/5 I have taken some time to sit with and to reflect on how best to comment on a growing trend of an abuse of power in military justice that deeply troubles me. By contrast, U.S. threats against Serbia over Kosovo failed, suggesting that deterrence requires credibility—which was markedly absent in the latter case, given the history of threats that were not backed up by action. America’s experience in Bosnia revealed that arbitrary deadlines for getting out are more likely to cause political problems than provide solutions. Press Conf. The first is an unwillingness to allow the military to do its job even when U.S. interests warrant it and the military tool is judged the most appropriate. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The solution to help both the accused and accuser get a fair investigation and trial is to have a justice system that more closely resembles that of the civilian court systems or to simply use the civilian court systems. Hirono Joins Colleagues To Announce Bill To Stop Sexual Assault In The Military (September 25, 2013) A Review of Sexual Misconduct by Basic Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base But not before the Battalion Commander would put up one more roadblock. Buddhism, Abuse, Welfare. The former effort must be ended before the latter can be effective. The Abu Ghraib prisoner torture and abuse scandal erupted under the Bush administration in 2003 but no war crimes have been investigated under President Barack Obama’s administration. In addition, it is difficult, if not impossible, to carry out an operation that requires consent at the same time one is threatening (or actually carrying out) a compellent or otherwise hostile operation. Related Links: Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016) Even a stealth aircraft can be shot down. One night John was sent out on a mission with a Lieutenant (who did not commit war crimes yet remained silent). Moreover, the lesson of several such interventions, including those in Haiti and Bosnia, seems to be that prolonged commitments do not stir controversy at home so long as casualties are kept to a minimum, which is more likely to be the case when the purpose of an intervention is defined modestly. Commander Says He Was Fired for Helping Airmen Michael Needham feared that if John got sent back to Fort Carson that he would not return. Kirsten Gillibrand And Claire McCaskill Begin To Take On College Sexual Assault (April 4, 2014) He was discharged honorably from the Army. Still, it is important to draw a distinction between what proved in the end to be the successful application of coercive force in Kosovo and the failure of it in Iraq in 1998. Of course, no system is better than the intelligence fed into it; accuracy is no virtue if the target is misidentified, as was the case with the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, or if the intelligence assessment is in itself flawed, as may have been the case in the U.S. attack on an alleged chemical plant in Sudan. Deterrence can work on occasion. Michael Needham takes us through the series of events that occurred in the course of John’s short Army career. Hawaii delegation supports bill on military sexual assault (May 17, 2013) Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act (November 14, 2013) This can be summarized into a … Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2012), Army Spc. Military misconduct Abuse of military power. They not only had to fight a credible threat on the battlefields but some were betrayed by the very team they depended on for their lives. Force protection to avoid casualties can and should be a consideration—but not the only one. Trump’s most consequential abuses of power have been met with the full approval of the majority in Congress, the mainstream media, and the Deep State. Sara Rich, Mother of Suzanne Swift speaking at the Veterans for Peace 2006 National Convention. Both Iraq and Kosovo suggest that short of occupation, military force is not a very good tool for changing regimes, although a successful use of military force that weakens or humiliates an adversary can help bring about a political environment in which domestic opponents of the regime in question may be encouraged to act. Ann Wright: U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’? Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. John Needham was charged with the murder of Jacqwelyn Villagomez and jailed for ten months until his family raised enough money to get him out on bail. Report finds sexual assault, drug use at Air Force Academy 31 female victims identified so far in sex scandal, Air Force says After awhile John felt that he was forced into committing war atrocities that were illegal but feared if he didn’t do it, he would become a liability to the team and ultimately a casualty of his own people. …They are really vulnerable to just reacting, overreacting, particularly maybe doing something that they had done when they’d been in combat.” –The Wounded Platoon. Six weeks of intense bombing of Iraq and Iraqi forces could not liberate Kuwait during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf conflict; it also took 100 hours of ground warfare. Hirono Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues to Call for Fair Military Justice System for Sexual Assault Survivors (November 6, 2013) The documentary ‘On the Dark Side in Al Doura’ concludes with the reminder that since the Patriot Act was passed and Dick Cheney declared that we needed to go into the shadows, the definition of torture has been blurred. Abuse of power in the military is a very stressful and confusing situation. Retaliation Against Victims of Military Sexual Assault Still Persists (December 4, 2014) Where interests do not warrant peacemaking or nation-building operations that are costly in both financial and human terms, there may be less demanding options for doing good, such as establishing one or more safe havens in an affected country or designing operations to keep opposing factions apart. John’s father Michael learned through John’s friends in Afghanistan that John was being held captive by the Battalion Commander. Interventions shaped more by politics than by strategy are unlikely to succeed. 37 Copy quote. Is the U.S. Army covering up the rape and murder of women soldiers? In 2010 the Department of Defense (DoD) conducted a survey of active duty members which revealed that only a small percentage of the more than 19,000 incidents of rapes and sexual assaults involving service members was actually reported. Army closing 10 WTUs as need subsides; 15 to remain (2015) 78 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 71 Stateside Deaths, 37 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018) S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 Is the U.S. Army covering up the rape and murder of women soldiers? The intention of this policy brief is to summarize the lessons that should have been learned from these experiences. Related Links: The PBS documentary  ‘The Wounded Platoon’ released in 2010 reveals the impacts the wars overseas had on Fort Carson soldiers. John was sent back to Fort Carson and the harassment he endured in Iraq continued with the 212th in Colorado. Women in Congress Leading the Charge on Changing the Culture of Sexual Assault in the Military (May 18, 2013) As a result of this announcement, the media’s focus was distracted from the hearing on sexual assault in the military to the celebration of equality for women in the military. John went in front of the medical board and was medically retired for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and back injuries. ‘Dangerous’ law changes prompt concerns over military abuse of power Experts fear Australia will face possible abuse of power, similar to that in France, if it increases military … ), a former top military psychiatrist who until recently was a consultant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told us: “[TBI ]most sensitively affects executive functioning, that part of the brain that we use for judgment and we use for decision making … when we are in situations of intense emotion. Pentagon IG opens evaluation of Air Force Academy sexual assault prevention office (March 1, 2018) Some of the problems encountered in Kosovo were tied directly to the decision to use air power alone rather than in conjunction with ground forces. Senators Hirono, Gillibrand Reintroduce Legislation to Bring Justice to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military (June 14, 2019) That said, America does not have the luxury of maintaining a military tailored only to traditional battlefields, or even to one kind of traditional battlefield. SSgt Luis Walker Commits Suicide at Leavenworth Where He Was Serving A 20 Year Sentence for Sexual Assault Our military personnel have a responsibility to abide by the rules established by the Geneva Conventions. Air Force Sexual Assault Scandal Even Worse Than We Thought Helping Those Affected by Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Still, even an ideal military cannot succeed if it is undermined by either of two constraints. But during the course of John’s deployment, he witnessed war crimes and other atrocities committed by leadership and his fellow soldiers that affected his morale. They have clearly illustrated what toxic leadership in the Army looks like and how whistleblowers in the US military have nowhere to turn. Air power can accomplish many things, but not everything. Domestic opposition to such a commitment can be reduced and overcome by concerted presidential effort and by designing interventions that justify an American casualty level by the interests at stake. Posts about Abuse of Power written by Administrator. -Mazie Hirono (November 14, 2013), With Vote Looming, Hirono Urges Support For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (November 20, 2013), Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014), PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014), Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault -Mazie Hirono (May 24, 2016), Senator Hirono Presses Marine Corps Commandant for Commitment to Address Military Sexual Assualt -Mazie Hirono (March 14, 2017), Related Links: Why don’t they take care of the soldiers? And it was at this time Michael learned that he had third party rights and could intervene and act on John’s behalf. This was also the same day that then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the military was lifting the ban on women in combat. Norris…said she’d been reluctant to report the rape because, “in the Air Force, I witnessed first hand what happens to those who stepped forward to report their assaults. Passing military justice reform that guarantees due process rights for the accused and accuser and overturning the Feres Doctrine should be our highest priority. The clearest example is Rwanda, where nonintervention against horrific violence almost surely forfeited an opportunity to accomplish much good with limited costs. Abuse of power is often seen as a result of absolute power. Hirono, Gillibrand Re-Introduce Legislation to Address Crisis of Military Sexual Assault (November 16, 2017) In some instances, such as where high-value targets are sparse or the adversary is exploiting its advantage on the ground, only ground forces will be able to protect the interests involved. He felt that committing suicide was his only way out. Pentagon data on child sex crimes in the military doesn’t show full picture (January 4, 2016) Abuse of the Patriot Act— Several provisions of the Patriot Act were set to expire at the end of 2005 … Rep. Susan Davis, Col. Ann Wright, DoD’s Kaye Whitley on Military Rape John recognized how PTSD and TBI did in fact play a role in his fight or flight response mechanisms and that it may be because these conditions went untreated that he disocciated, snapped and beat his girlfriend to death. This accounting makes clear that military force was either used or contemplated by the United States in myriad settings and for various aims. In June 2015, Nelson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. In the civilian legal system, victims of crimes report to the police where the name of the individual they are reporting is entered into a national crime database. Rice described the military's basic training environment as "highly susceptible to the abuse of power," and ordered the establishment of a Military Training Oversight Council, chaired by a three-star general. In Kosovo today, the United States should content itself with keeping ethnic Serbs and Albanians safe in their own separate areas rather than undertaking the far more costly and possibly futile effort to recreate an integrated, multiethnic society. Sexual Assault in the Military: A DoD Cover-Up? After watching the 2011 documentary ‘On the Dark Side in Al Doura’ which profiles the case of Army Private John Needham, one can clearly observe the similarities to ‘The Kill Team’ PBS documentary released in 2014. Lackland Sex Scandal, Huffington Post We can learn a lot from John Needham and Adam Winfield; they have experienced what it’s like to be a whistleblower in the US Army. The Battalion Commander informed Michael that John committed crimes and was being sent to prison in Kuwait. Consequences for Defense and Foreign Policy. In Kosovo, using air power earlier, after the wholesale violation of the October 1998 agreement—in which Serbia agreed to a cease-fire, limits on its forces in Kosovo, and international monitoring—certainly would have proven more efficient. House Orders Sweeping Investigation of Army Warrior Care (2015) Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act (March 6, 2014) His story is tragic. March 15, 2014, mason, Leave a comment. Abuse of power in the military is a very stressful and confusing situation. But delay also exacts a price by squandering the opportunity to act preventively and with less force. US Air Force Academy chiefs removed over rape scandal Luckily another team was nearby who did answer him and was able to extract the soldiers from the situation and save their lives. -Mazie Hirono (November 6, 2013), Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act. The House Armed Services Committee hears testimony on Lackland Air Force Base’s sexual misconduct problem. He could not function in public and suffered with what is known as flashbacks. Warrantless Wiretapping — In December 2005, the New York Times reported the National Security Agency was tapping into telephone calls of Americans without a warrant, in violation of federal statutes and the Constitution. This is true of air campaigns—the contrast between the Kosovo intervention and the opening days of Operation Desert Storm could hardly be greater—as well as with ground or combined efforts. He had significant back injuries from the multiple explosions and blasts, shrapnel in his body, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Senate set for battle over military sexual assault (June 12, 2013) Sexual Assault in the Military: A DoD Cover-Up? John put a handgun to his head but just as he got ready to pull the trigger, his roommate dove and pushed the gun away from his head. United States Air Force Basic Training scandal Military force continues to be relevant to a wide range of tasks, which indicates a continuing need for a large and flexible U.S. military. The US must now repair democracy at home and abroad, 2020 appears to be a good year for counterterrorism, Russia, China, and the risks of war: My conversation with General Mark Milley. The size, cost, and impact of these interventions ranged no less widely. In the meantime Johns father spoke candidly with one of the Navy doctors about the treatment John received both in Iraq and at Fort Carson. Fort Hood soldier dies while confined in Texas jail Suzanne Swift was sexually assaulted while serving in Iraq by members of her own unit. The latter instance, along with the raid on suspected terrorist installations in Afghanistan, underscores the difficulty of carrying out successful preventive and preemptive interventions when critical, time-sensitive information is difficult to obtain. Air Force Admits at Least 54 Cases of Rape and Sexual Assault at Air Force Academy–Scandal Called Bigger Than Tailhook: We’ll Talk to Two Survivors The United States simply cannot commit its military might everywhere all the time. John was a good soldier. The dismal showing of the Apache helicopters in Kosovo—the difficulties in getting them there and up and running—sounds a warning that the U.S. military needs greater flexibility, which means a force that is easily moved and capable of coping with a wide range of missions in a wide range of environments. According to John, the soldiers that didn’t fair so well in the fights were ‘smoked’ by leadership and peers, which ultimately forced them to leave, quit, or commit suicide. 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