#DPRK army officer quoted by KCNA saying Feb/Mar tests of rockets hit their targets "with highest level of accuracy." Doesn't specify type.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) March 5, 2014
Associated Press Reporter Passing Off More Military Sexual Assault Misinformation As Senate Bill Fails
The AP’s Donna Cassata is at again passing off more misinformation on the military sexual assault issue. ROK Heads may remember that Cassata might as well be Senator Gillibrand’s press secretary working the for the AP. This time she is passing off misinformation in regards to how the bill to handover legal responsibility for military sexual assault cases from commanders to prosecutors has failed to pass:
Bowing to the Pentagon, the Senate agreed after impassioned debate Thursday to leave the authority to prosecute rapes and other serious crimes with military commanders in a struggle that highlighted the growing role of women in Congress.
The vote was 55-45 in favor of stripping commanders of that authority, but that was short of the 60 necessary to move ahead on the legislation sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Her bill would have given the decision to take serious crimes to courts-martial to seasoned military trial lawyers, independent of the chain of command.
The debate and vote were the culmination of a nearly yearlong campaign to curb sexual assault in the ranks, led by female senators who have questioned whether the military’s mostly male leadership understands differences between relatively minor sexual offenses and serious crimes that deserve swift and decisive justice. [Associated Press]
Is Cassata implying in the sentence above that someone accused of sexual assault should not be given time to receive a fair trial and should just be automatically found guilty? The legal process takes time to play out especially in these sexual assault cases with little to no evidence. A rape case that actually has evidence and witnesses is actually one of the easiest and fastest cases to prosecute. However, when dealing with a he said, she said case with no evidence and both people having been drinking with changing stories the case is going to take more time to find potential witnesses and gather evidence or decide whether it should even go to trial.
Also noticed that she used the phrasing that the special interests like to use “seasoned military trial lawyers”. So what makes these lawyers more infallible than a commander? I wonder what Cassata and her special interest allies have to say about this latest news?
Now here is where Cassata either just blatantly lies or is so misinformed she should not be a reporter for the AP:
Backers of the measure insisted that piecemeal reforms have had only a limited impact on a problem that even the military has called an epidemic. Survey results have suggested that some 26,000 people, mostly women, may have been sexually assaulted in the most recent accounting with thousands unwilling to come forward for fear of inaction or retribution.
The 26,000 number Cassata refers to in the article are not sexual assaults. Cassata has just passed on to who knows how many people who will read her article a complete fabrication. I have pointed out repeatedly all the problems with the 26,000 number and anyone that describes the number as sexual assaults as the AP did in this article is not telling the truth. That number did not represent sexual assaults, it represented an expanded definition of sexual assaults that the survey defined as “unwanted sexual contact” (USC) that could range from someone putting their arm around you without your permission to violent rape. In fact if one looks at the survey results there was in fact very little rape at all. On Page 14 of the survey results it shows that 42% of the female respondents and 85% of males listed touching or unspecified as the USC committed against them. So clearly broadening the definition of sexual assault has inflated the statistics for this survey.
Then Cassata’s claim that the majority of this number was females was another complete fabrication. The majority of the 26,000 USC number was reported by males with unwanted touching being the top complaint which is something most in the media like Cassata will not mention.
Additionally the media has also been real good at sensationalizing how the 26,000 number is up from 19,000 in 2010. However, what they will not tell you is that this number is down significantly from 2006:
The WGRA is designed so that the results accurately represent the Active Duty force. The design allows the Department to use weighted counts of survey respondents and Military Service end strength on record with DMDC to roughly estimate the number of victims of sexual assault in the years for which data is available. Estimates derived from the rates of USC in the 2012 WGRA suggest that there may have been approximately 26,000 Service members who experienced some form of USC in the year prior to being surveyed. This estimate suggests that there may have been approximately 7,000 more Service members who experienced some kind of USC in 2012 than in 2010, but also suggests that there may have been approximately 11,000 fewer Service members who experienced some form of USC in 2012 than there were in 2006. [Page 12]
So all those sensational headlines that people are reading today in the media could easily have said “Military Sexual Assaults Decline by 30% in the Past 6 Years”. Good luck getting anyone in the media to print that though.
Cassata goes on to pass even more misinformation:
The Pentagon came under pressure last month to disclose more information about how sexual assault cases are adjudicated following an Associated Press investigation that found a pattern of inconsistent judgments and light penalties for sexual assaults at U.S. bases in Japan.
And of course I already debunked their supposed investigation of sexual assaults in USFJ which was just more media sensationalism on this topic. I am still waiting for the AP to post their documents on-line for unbiased review on this topic.
Anyway do not bother to read the rest of the article because it is just more of Cassata acting as Senator Gillibrand’s press secretary with glowing coverage of her efforts to supposedly reform the military justice system. Should anyone trust her glowing coverage when she cannot even report basic facts on this issue correctly? I am all for honest debate on this issue and some of the measures passed actually make sense, but so much of the debate is based off of misinformation that the media should filter through and present legitimate facts to the public. When you just regurgitate special interest talking points that makes you a press secretary not a journalist.
Much like with the LTC Krusinski case which the media jumped on him after the first reports, but he was ultimately exonerated we should let more information come out:
WASHINGTON — The top Army prosecutor for sexual assault cases has been suspended after a lawyer who worked for him recently reported he’d groped her and tried to kiss her at a sexual-assault legal conference more than two years ago.
Two separate sources with knowledge of the situation told Stars and Stripes that the Army is investigating the allegations levied against Lt. Col. Joseph “Jay” Morse, who supervised the Army’s nearly two dozen special victim prosecutors — who are in charge of prosecuting sexual assault, domestic abuse and crimes against children.
Attempts to reach Morse via phone and email for comment have thus far been unsuccessful. [Stars and Stripes]
You can read more at the link, but I would not be surprised if there is more to this story. What I would like to know why did a trained lawyer in sex crimes wait two years to report it? Also according to the article it says Morse attempted to kiss and grope her; so did he even touch her? Like I said before more information needs to come out to really make any informed opinion on this.
Anyway what is ironic about this is that the special interests and some in Congress want to take UCMJ authority from commanders and give them to lawyers like LTC Morse.
I cannot remember of a time when a brigade commander was relieved right before a deployment like this:
A Fort Carson brigade is leaving for Afghanistan without its boss, who is being investigated for unspecified violations of Army policy.
The 4th Brigade Combat Team bid farewell to the post in a Wednesday event where commanders ceremonially packed up the unit’s flag for the trip. But missing from the rites was brigade commander Col. Brian Pearl, who has been temporarily relieved of his duties during an Army investigation.
“There is an investigation underway within the 4th Brigade Combat Team,” Fort Carson said in a statement. “An investigating officer is presently reviewing allegations that violate Army policy, and the actions of everyone involved to include the commanding officer. Until that investigation is complete, no further information will be released.” [The Gazette]
You can read more at the link, but according to the article the investigation is about something he said. Whatever he said had to be bad to get relieved of command days before a combat deployment.
Can the US Afford the Asia Pivot? http://t.co/oYLTCHSHno
— The Diplomat (@Diplomat_APAC) March 5, 2014
Who knows where this building is located?
2014 Korea Finder Standings:
1. Bobby Ray – 3
2. Setnaffa – 1
2. Bob – 1
2. Coryah – 1
2. 2ID Doc – 1
2. Comfortable Chairs – 1
The person with the most points at the end of the year of the weekly Korea Finder contest will win a book or DVD of their choice from Amazon.com. Also note that if you have a picture you think would make for a great Korea Finder feel free to send it in to me.
Via a reader tip from the frontlines of Virgina’s Sea of Japan dispute comes this latest updated:
An obscure textbook bill that has drawn fierce opposition from Japan and created a dilemma for Gov. Terry McAuliffe appears to have hit a new snag related to African American history.
The Virginia House and Senate passed bills this year requiring that new public school textbooks note that the Sea of Japan is also known as the East Sea, but both are awaiting action by the other chamber.
Korean Americans in Northern Virginia, who consider the “Sea of Japan” designation a painful relic of Japanese occupation, have pushed for the measure. Japan strongly opposes the change, suggesting in a letter from its ambassador that the legislation could threaten business relations with the commonwealth.
McAuliffe, who offered Korean American activists a written promise to back the measure during last year’s campaign, has found himself caught between a vital voting bloc and one of the state’s biggest trading partners.
Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) said Sunday that she intends to let the House version die in the committee she leads. Monday is the last day for such legislation to get out of committee before the session’s scheduled conclusion Saturday.
Lucas sees the bill as an attempt to cater to the concerns of Korean Americans and opposes it because she thinks the legislature has not shown a similar sensitivity to African Americans. [Washington Post]
You can read more at the link, but let me first point out the lazy journalism of the Washington Post. The term Sea of Japan has been used long before Japan’s colonization of Korea along with other names for the sea. That name did not come about because of the colonization. If someone wanted to make an argument that it became more popularly used because the colonization than that would be an honest debate, but to claim that it came about because of the colonization is dishonest.
Anyway according to the article Governor McAuliffe is covering himself politically by publicly claiming he will sign the bill if it comes to his desk, but behind the scenes he has been working to kill the bill which he seems to have found a good excuse for with Senator Lucas stalling it in committee because she wants more African-American history in the books.