Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rape, a Military and Police US Institution?

Many police officers are drawn out of the ranks of returning military veterans. If rape, and worse, is covered up over there, what do you think is going to happen over here?

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Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within

By Ann Wright (about the author) Page 1 of 1 page(s) Permalink

For OpEdNews: Ann Wright - Writer

Journalists Pascale Bourgaux and Mercedes Gallego in their trips to Iraq as war correspondents were stunned to hear from military women in Iraq that they should be very careful working in military units due to sexual assault and rape.

When they left Iraq they decided to investigate the issue of rape in the U.S. military. In 2007, they filmed the stories of four military women who had been raped and made a documentary, “Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within.” The documentary was shown for the first time in the United States on October 26 at the New York Independent Film Festival.

Tina Priest was raped in Iraq and then found dead of a gunshot in her dormitory room. The U.S. Army claims Tina committed suicide 11 days after she was raped. The mother and sister of Tina Priest don't believe Tina committed suicide. The documentary captures remarkable interactions with them and military officers from Fort Hood who arrive at their doorstep. Tina's rapist was never prosecuted.

Jessica Kenyon was raped twice during her one year career in the US Army, once in basic training and once in Korea. She is now a counselor ( for other veterans who have been raped—women and men. Jessica's rapists were never prosecuted.

Suzanne Swift was raped repeatedly by her squad leader while they were in Iraq. She was court-martialed for refusing to go back to Iraq with the unit in which the rapist still served. The rapist was never prosecuted, returned to Iraq as a private security contractor and later fired from a position with a law enforcement agency in the Seattle area. Suzanne is now out of the military and in college.

Stephanie (last name not disclosed), was raped at Fort Lewis, Washington. Like the majority of women who have been raped in the military, she never reported it as she thought no one would believe her as the rapist was a senior officer. Stephanie and her husband both served in Iraq. Her husband committed suicide after his return from Iraq. Stephanie speaks frequently on the issue of military suicides.

The 29 minute documentary “Rape in the Ranks: The Enemy Within” has been shown in Europe. One day after the screening in the New York Independent Film Festival, onOctober 27, 2009, clips of the documentary were shown on Democracy Now as a part of an interview with director Pascal Bourgaux.

We hope the film production company will make the documentary available by DVD or on their website.

In a related event, Veterans for Peace launched a Military Rape Awareness campaign in early October, 2009 with a press conference at the Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square, New York City. Violence against women activist Eve Ensler and military rape survivor Sandra Lee spoke of their traumas from rape.

Note to the Editors: The video statement by Staff Sgt. Sandra Lee is really powerful (Elaine Brower made the video):

Veterans for Peace suggests that a warning to women about rape in the military be placed on recruiting station doors. Bumper stickers that state “Warning: 1 in 3 women are Raped in the Military” are available from Veterans for Peace.

Ann Wright is a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves veteran who retired as a Colonel and a former US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, (more...)

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Comments posted so far:

The Machismo Domination Head-set

Let's "support those wonderful troops", y'all.....
Bring them HOME. Prosecute the rapists.
Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the rest of the scoundrels, too.

by Alexandra Bonifield (10 articles, 0 quicklinks, 2 diaries, 6 comments [3 recommended, 0 rejected]) on Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 at 11:45:18 AM

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The Rape of America

How ironic that the people who believe they're bringing 'freedom and democracy' to Iraq and Afghanistan (of course it's mayhem and torture and murder) can't resist raping their own women.

Why doesn't America just go home and STFU?

by John S. Hatch (14 articles, 12 quicklinks, 0 diaries, 205 comments [275 recommended, 2 rejected]) on Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 at 2:11:32 PM

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A man named Hoh

Once a military officer and now with the State Department has turned in his resignation. Ann Wright may be wondering how things have changed since she resigned.

by Margaret Bassett (51 articles, 3646 quicklinks, 61 diaries, 2425 comments [180 recommended, 0 rejected]) on Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 at 2:41:12 PM

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The same wrong in military is wrong with police

Many military personnel become police officers. Military rapes and police officer rapes of women are probably a hugely under-reported crime, we must make the necessary changes to end this.

I know that rapes, murders, assaults by police officers, officers acting as lookout for burglars, officers protecting drug turf going after rivals, running prostitutes etc, when complaints are made they aren't even investigated, and it only has gotten worse. [This video] shows a public hearing in Connecticut on the matter where there are telephone book stacks of misconduct complaints against police, where officers help husbands beat their wives then arrest the wife, where police terrorize a mayor vandalize his house and abduct citizens wearing ski masks to beat them in abandoned waterfront warehouses. If police officers can pay $10,000 in taxpayer dollars to kill citizens for making police misconduct complaints, even for a US Marine returning home [story], are any of us safe without a major change in policies?

An Ellington, Connecticut, officer broke up a bar argument between two sisters. His solution was to bring one of them to a motel room, where he came back when she was asleep, stripper naked, to only her socks, and then had sex with her while she slept. The debate in Connecticut was not whether or not the officer would be prosecuted for rape, there was only a debate on whether he could keep his job. I could go on, and on. Some stories are older, more and more citizens are more and more afraid to lodge complaints as police get even more power, and less oversight.

There needs to be a civilian force to oversee the military, and there needs to be civiliain oversight of police, state side. Cases involving the monarchy system of judges, can be rigged. Judges owe favors to be judges and as time goes on, just start rigging cases, because they can. Grand Juries with defined terms for military trials and for civiliain trials and police, judicial, and attorney misconduct complaints would bring justice back to the inside, and Americans acting outside America in wars.

If we had an effective Grand Jury System, Bush and Cheney could have been prosecuted for War and other crimes even before their terms had ended.

by Steven G. Erickson (8 articles, 0 quicklinks, 79 diaries, 309 comments [26 recommended, 0 rejected]) on Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 at 6:14:54 PM

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Why do government agents getting away with rape?

If you want to see the Congressional admissions about rape and torture of Americans and learn why government agents and those who can influence them get away with horrible crimes like this, see Why does the U.S. government torture people?

For more about how those in the government get away with violating our rights and committing horrible crimes, see Why Does the Government Ignore Our Wishes? and don't miss my 18 minute speech.

If you take a look, you'll learn why they get away with horrible crimes. My article on torture includes a link to the U.S. Supreme Court case which explains how one of our stolen rights makes the difference between justice and injustice, between freedom and slavery.

by Mark Adams (21 articles, 0 quicklinks, 0 diaries, 384 comments [73 recommended, 0 rejected]) on Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009 at 9:57:15 PM


Reply: The "List" is stronger than quality control

There has always been "The List". Anyone in power, has a list of people, either on top of their heads, on paper, or listed on a computer. Some lists are actually distributed. A rape victim can be placed on the list because he or she can interupt the integrety of the system.

Police officers who are mainly military will tell you that their number one job is protecting the integrity of the system. Protecting you and investigating crimes is not even a close second. The military has an objective and it is not the rights of soldiers or anything about about justice.

When there is not a light shining in, cretins do all they want in the dark. Without civilian oversight of police, independent grand juries, and a military controled by civilians, not the war corporations and the politicians they pay for, we the people are headed for more, and more, darkness.

Picture meat being ground in a blender. That is all that is thought of the soldiers fighting in wars by the war corporation heads. They can sit with their families and enjoy comfort all over the world at everyone else's expense.

Rape is just a perk. Having you killed, beaten, up or worse just for lodging a complaint is the current reality. It is time to shine a light on the lists and those who are compiling them.

by Steven G. Erickson (8 articles, 0 quicklinks, 79 diaries, 309 comments [26 recommended, 0 rejected]) on Wednesday, Oct 28, 2009 at 8:23:24 AM