Democrat New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is on a mission and she is using the specter of sexual assault in the military to mask her true intent: the decimation of the time-tested military justice system.
There is no doubt that sexual assault is unacceptable, but when you analyze these new broad definitions, just about anything can now be described as sexual assault.
However, Gillibrand has introduced legislation that goes beyond the concept of a tougher legal stance on sexual assault. In effect she wants to strip commanders of all military justice jurisdiction. Her bill, which would ensure “justice” by taking the military justice system out of the chain of command, may soon be voted on in the Senate due to Senator Harry Reid’s action to redefine the filibuster threshold.
Senator Gillibrand’s idea of social justice for the military would create an independent legal system, outside the purview of the military commanders. As my friend Jed Babbin, a former Air Force officer writes in American Spectator:
So imagine, the Nidal Hasan case at Ft Hood would not have been within the purview of the convening authority military commander, it would fall to some independent civilian prosecutor by way of the administration — and we know this administration still defines Ft. Hood as an act of workplace violence.
One of the basic truths that makes our military function as well as it does is that if you have the responsibility for something, you pretty much are guaranteed the authority to accomplish it.Kirsten Gillibrand wants to take that authority away. She’s going where no social experimenter has gone before. Gillibrand’s idea comes from several high-profile sexual assault cases which, she claims, prove that victims can’t get justice within the military chain of command.
Her proposed legislation takes away commanders’ authority to investigate and prosecute not just sexual assaults but all major crimes under the Uniform Code of Military justice and puts those crimes in the hands of “independent” civilian prosecutors.” Gillibrand’s proposal leaves only those crimes that would be misdemeanors in civilian life — and in the military are offenses such as being absent without leave — subject to the chain of command.
This is not just some liberal progressive fantasy, because Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have both signed on as co-sponsors of this legislation, something for which Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard took them to task this past summer.
I have been a commander in the US military and know the importance of discipline and order that a commander must maintain, that is his or her responsibility. And yes – for those of you who know my story — I have been on the receiving end of the military justice system. I can only imagine what would have happened if some “independent civilian prosecutors” had been brought in and not a system comprised of fellow combat commanders, superiors and peers.
I ask you to please call your senators and tell them not to support Gillibrand in this usurpation of military command and control.
And as a final note…to those who repeatedly seek to denigrate my service and refer to me as a war criminal, know that I retired with full rank, title, and honors. Know that I never lied about my actions and took full responsibility, and that I would never leave the lives of my men to chance or peril — unlike the charlatan who now masquerades as our so-called commander-in-chief. Go ahead. Call me a racist.