06 June 2010

Know the real enemy.

UPDATE: Received the following anonymous email since I originally posted:
I am one of the victims in this case.

a. the JAG did not agree with this deal. 
b. That was a follow up e-mail to notify the victims of the sentence the judge gave. The JAG had already called me to break the bad news about the plea deal. I believe she called the others too, since it said as much in her e-mail. it was clear it was a follow up. Too bad no one printed the whole thing.

This is an outrage, but the anger needs to be focused on the right area...namely, the people who agreed to this deal.
__________________________________

ORIGINAL POST:

Twenty-three different soldiers on two continents had accused the Navy physician of manually raping them during routine medical examinations.

Last month, his victims received the following email from the Judge Advocate General's office after it secured the doctor's guilty plea:
...the judge awarded a sentence of 24 months, a $28,000 fine to be paid right away or else an additional 6 months would be imposed, total forfeitures of pay, and most iportantly [sic], a DISMISSAL from the Navy.
However, the JAG cagily omitted the details of its plea agreement with Lieutenant Commander Anthony L. Velasquez, M.D.

The deal allowed the doctor to avoid both the prison sentence and the fine as long as he can avoid being convicted for raping anyone else within the next 730 days. Twenty-nine counts of sexual misconduct and related charges were dropped in consideration for a guilty plea on 2 counts of wrongful sexual contact and 2 counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. Ultimately Lt. Cmdr. Velasquez served a whopping 7 days in the brig — less than 7 1/2 hours incarceration, per rape. Even the astonishingly misogynistic government of Afghanistan demands that rapists pay a fine.

Had Dr. Velasquez's victims been male soldiers instead of females, I'm sure that would be used as evidence during the upcoming DADT hearings that gay soldiers clearly have no place within our outstanding, honorable military. The homophobic hate group The Family Research Council (co-founded by George "Rentboy" Rekers) has already helpfully invented some statistics regarding homosexual military rape and then released a "study" of their imaginary data. Conclusion: gays rape about 3X as much as straight ones, and repeal of DADT will inevitably turn the military into a homosexual-rape free-for-all.

The reality is, according to 2006 Defense Department study, that 3.5% of male servicemembers experienced military sexual assault, compared to 23% of females, and 1.2% of male servicemembers filed a complaint alleging rape, compared to 11% of females.

Last year, Chair the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence Jane Harman (D-CA), pointed to more recent DOD statics that demonstrate that "Military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq." Those more recent statistics include 2,280 solid cases where there was both physical evidence and a victim willing to testify. Only 317 of those cases went to courts-martial, such as the case of Lt. Cmdr. Velasquez. Another 247 received some type of unspecific "nonjudicial" discipline.

There's a pretty serious problem with "unit cohesion" in the armed services that deserves to be confronted.

And it isn't gays.

2 chimed in:

PFL0W said...

holy cow.

I can hardly get over how sexist, disgusting, ugly and frustrating (I can't think of another, better word than frustrating here--usually I can) this is.

That is nearly unbelievable.

The women in this must rightly be outraged. What a travesty, in so many ways, but in justice, for starters.

thanks for bringing this to our attention. Great job. terrific post.

Mo Rage
the blog

Anonymous said...

I am one of the victims in this case.

a. the JAG did not agree with this deal.
b. That was a follow up e-mail to notify the victims of the sentence the judge gave. The JAG had already called me to break the bad news about the plea deal. I believe she called the others too, since it said as much in her e-mail. it was clear it was a follow up. Too bad no one printed the whole thing.

This is an outrage, but the anger needs to be focused on the right area...namely, the people who agreed to this deal.