Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bush Regime Madness Exposed Once Again : Insisting Women in the Military Pay For " Rape Kits "


Ah well rape and the military is according to far too many people either an issue to be ignored or treated in a cavalier fashion as just a matter of " Boys Being Boys " or that these are just women looking for attention.

Rape victims have to pay for "Rape Kits",Divide to Conquer WinterSoldier

Military rape victims-some testimony of what military rape vitims are put through, including having to pay personally for "Rape kits".

Anyway today is supposed to be a day to honor the military and especially veterans. The oddity of this in the United States is that those ultraconservatives who insisted since 9/11 that all citizens should show support for the troops yet time and again we have seen that the Bush Regime did not support the troops when it came to spending money on soldiers for decent equipment or for those stationed in Iraq to have safe water to drink etc or to have a decent wages and once they returned as veterans little money or resources were available to help them. We saw all this come to a head during the Walter Reid Hospital scandal but little was done in the meantime to give more medical and psychiatric help to retuning vets from Iraq. Of course there was lots of money for Private Contractors such as Blackwater but no American soldier could expect to be paid as well as these guys who were just mercenaries that is soldiers for higher at athousand dollars or so a day and the media tried to paint them as patriots . But the US Media has even transformed Blackwater into an example of patriotic fervor when it was really just a way for its CEOs to make vast amounts of money. So during the Bush years all the parades and memorial services are for the most part have been empty rhetoric and insincere sentiment a product of Propaganda Theater. The War on Terror for the American conservative business man itself was just seen as another way for corporations such as Haliburton and Kellogg , Brown & Root to make billions as they overcharged the military and the American people for work that in many cases could have been done by military personnel for a lot less and done more efficiently. For shoddy workmanship or poor or inept service these corporations were rewarded with even more contracts. But then again War Profiteering is part of the American " free-Enterprise " system. If one can con the Pentagon out of a few billion than why shouldn't one do it. With the election of Barack Obam will it send a signal to all those American business people that war is not just another entrepreneurial opportunity.

And once again we see how Bush & The Republicans failed to support America's Troops at least female troops by making them pay for Rape Kits if they were silly enough to report sexual assault or rape. But then again Republicans and Ultraconservatives and the Radical Religious Right are against having women in the military so if sexual assaults are at epidemic proportions in the military than to conservatives this just proves to them that women shouldn't be put into combat situations.

As for paying for Rape Kits this is just free-enterprise government at work. If the conservatives had their way all civilian American women who claimed to be raped would have to pay for Rape Kits and the investigation. This would possibly lower the number Rape accusations which is a big part of what conservatives want. Conservatives believe American socity is too sympatheic and tolerant of women who " Cry Rape ". They see this as all part of the Feminist Movements Propaganda and its attack on men in general. The conservaives and Republicans claim that the numbers of rape that actually take place in America or in the US Military are exaggerated by the Godless Liberal Feminists as part of their agenda to subvert the Christian American Way of Life. In a male dominated society sexual harassment , sexual assault and rape in the conservatives view should be a minor concern . They would like to return to the good old days when few women who were raped would turn to the police for help or go public with their case. As I have argued before the ultraconservative view on rape is comparable to the extremist Islamic view that rape is for the most part a woman's fault and she should be ashamed of herself for allowing the rape to take place. The woman who is raped is portrayed as guilty because she dressed provocatively or puts herself in situations where rape may occur like going out drinking & hanging out in bars or frat houses or walking alone at night through a park or alley way or by insisting on going into the military and even to insist on being sent into combat alongside her male counterparts etc.

The other part of this issue is that the military women who were raped were raped by men in the military who it appears were rarely charged or if they were got off with a slap on the wrist or the whole matter was covered up by the military. So what does this say about the American forces that rape is of minor concern and that the attitude is like that of a college Frat House that " boys will be boys " and that it is an acceptable practice to the military and to the American people.

But this is just another instance of an issue which the American people in general would prefer not to know about or to think about. Because it becomes more difficult to uncritically support the troops and hail every soldier as some kind of hero when a large segment of them have committed sexual assault or rape. In the same Americans don't want to know about the atrocities committed by US troops in Iraq or Afghanistan in which civilians are abused, tortured , raped and murdered by US Troops.

Raped in the Military? You'll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. November 11, 2008.
This outrage gives "supporting the troops" a whole new meaning.

Sarah Palin's decision not to pay for rape kits when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, was an issue in the campaign for the White House. But allow me to introduce the large pink elephant that has been sitting quietly in the corner of the room: TRICARE, the Pentagon's Military Health System that covers active duty members, doesn't pay for rape kits, either.

Spec. Patricia McCann, who served in Iraq with the Illinois Army National Guard from 2003 to 2004, raised the issue at the Winter Soldier Investigation in March. McCann read a memo issued to all MEDCOM commanders clarifying that "SAD kits" -- which are forensic rape kits -- "are not included in TRICARE coverage." *

That would put Alaska and the military in a very special category.
Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. In fact, "women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq," Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., told the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in May.

Harman said, "The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Health Center where I met female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military, and 29 percent said they were raped during their military service."
In July, a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing subpoenaed Kaye Whitley, director of the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), to explain what the department is doing to stop the escalating sexual violence in the military. Her boss, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, ordered her not to appear.

Whitley was finally made available to the committee on Sept. 10, but only after having been threatened with a contempt citation.

Whitley first informed the committee that the DoD was conducting a "crusade against sexual assault."

She then sought to reassure the committee with an accounting of all the heroic measures the Pentagon is planning to implement in the very near future.
But finally, she had to admit that in 2007 there were 2,688 sexual assaults in the military, including 1,259 reports of rape. Just 8 percent (181) of those cases were referred to courts martial, compared to a civilian prosecution rate of 40 percent. And almost half of those cases were dismissed without investigation. (And I say Whitley "had to admit" the number of cases because in 2004, Congress woke up to the fact that the DoD was blowing off the issue and required the military to make yearly reports on all matters relating to sexual assault in the Armed Forces. But those reports did not indicate either prioritizing or progress -- hence the hearings.)

And for instance:

Rape in the U.S. military
How a fraternal culture and a habit of blaming the victim leave sexual violence unexamined and unpunished.
By Lucinda Marshall January 30, 2008

Anne K. Ream's recent Op-Ed sheds much needed light on how the U.S. military continues to trivialize rape and sexual assault committed by members of the armed forces. Writing about whether a man who is convicted of rape in a civilian court should still be entitled to a traditional military funeral, Ream points out that although barring full honor burials in such a situation is largely a symbolic act, "the military policy of allowing honors burials for veterans convicted of rape sends a chilling message to victims: Even the most heinous sexual violence does not trump prior military service."

The case Ream refers to is not an isolated incident of fraternal militarism being used to excuse sexual violence. In a recent court case in Lebanon, Penn., an Army Reserve sergeant was convicted of indecent assault after rape charges were dropped when fellow soldiers who were present at the incident refused to cooperate with police. Responding to the verdict, the defendant's attorney said she thought he should have been cleared of all charges. "After all, he did serve his country."

Unfortunately, this mind-set is consistent with the Pentagon's very poor record of prosecuting sexual assault and rape within the ranks while at the same time disregarding and further victimizing those who report these heinous crimes. To put these cases in perspective, there were 2,947 reports of sexual assaults in the military in 2006, an increase in reports of 24% over 2005. However, very few of these cases tend to be prosecuted. A Pentagon report [PDF] in March 2007 found that more than half of the investigations dating back to 2004 resulted in no action. When action was taken, only one third of the cases resulted in courts-martial.

Indeed, in many cases, the military seems more intent on intimidating and harassing the victims than investigating and prosecuting the charges. In 2004, after Lt. Jennifer Dyer reported being raped by a fellow officer at Camp Shelby, Miss., she said she was held in seclusion for three days, read her Miranda rights and threatened with criminal prosecution for filing a false report. After finally being given two weeks leave, she was threatened with prosecution for being AWOL when she would not report for duty to the same location where the man she had accused — who was later acquitted on assault charges — was still posted.

also see: Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR
KBR Told Victim She Could Lose Her Job If She Sought Help After Being Raped, She Says

and so it goes,

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