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Military chiefs oppose removing commanders from sexual assault probes

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 (CNN) — Chiefs of every military branch told a Senate committee Tuesday they opposed letting prosecutors, rather than commanders, handle sexual assault investigations, as one senator has introduced legislation aimed at doing just that.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said there may be public confusion about the military’s reporting process. Referring to media reports that there is only one way to report sexual assault, the Michigan Democrat asked each of the military heads at a hearing if there currently are multiple options in addition to notifying a unit commander. They replied yes.

military sexual assault

They also told the committee that instances of commanders ignoring their judge advocate generals’ advice in sexual assault cases are extremely rare.

Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican member of the Armed Services Committee, earlier called sexual assault in the military “an enemy to morale and readiness” and urged his colleagues to tread carefully in tackling the issue.

Inhofe said he is opposed to any legislation “removing commanders from their indispensable roles” in the military justice system and noted that military and civilian courts are different animals because members of the military do not enjoy the same rights as civilians.

“There’s a risk of unintended consequences if we act with haste without thorough and thoughtful review,” the Oklahoma lawmaker said.

For the complete CNN story, go here.

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2 comments

  • Bootlegger59

    Why? These 'Soldiers' think that they're exempt from any prosecution? If they get convicted for being part of the problem, then let them suffer the consequences of poor judgement.

  • justme

    It's the same theory as the banks, too big too fail. When you invest so much power into a person or a business, it is destined to lead to corruption. The government has no problem in other areas when it comes to big brother, i.e. cameras on every corner… so why not sick the big brother dogs on some of these top commanders and have someone oversee them as well… only seems fair

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