Quotes December 10, 2021

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Military Justice Improvement Act

Military Brass
Secretary of Defense, DICK CHENEY – 1992:
“Well, we’ve got a major effort under way to try to educate everybody, to let them know we have a zero tolerance policy where sexual assault is involved.”
Secretary of Defense, CHUCK HAGEL – October 14, 2013:

“And this — this board was — was empanelled in 1951. And it’s gone through ups and downs in how the secretaries have used it. But I have put a premium on that advisory board.” (regarding DOD’s DACOWITS panel that voted in favor of Gillibrand approach)

“(The) chain of command has failed over the years, obviously, for a lot of reasons.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General MARTIN DEMPSEY admits bias in system that is “a little too forgiving” – May, 17 2013:
“You might argue that we have become a little too forgiving because, if a perpetrator shows up at a court-martial with a rack of ribbons and has four deployments and a Purple Heart, there is certainly the risk that we might be a little too forgiving of that particular crime.” (in response to a question regarding sexual assault crimes)
Commandant of the Marine Corps, General JAMES F. AMOS admits “they don’t trust us” and “become so soft” – April 2013:
Statement from April 19, 2013 speech at Parris Island, “Why wouldn’t female Marines come forward? Because they don’t trust us. They don’t trust the command. They don’t trust the leadership.” And then went on to lament a climate in which leaders have “become so soft” on holding wrongdoers accountable.
Secretary of the Army, JOHN MCHUGH Admits Failure – June 2013:

Secretary of the Army John McHugh conceded, “We have failed” when it comes to dealing with sexual assault.

Army Chief of Staff, General RAYMOND ODIERNO Agrees Trust Has Been Violated – June 4, 2013:
“Our profession is built on the bedrock of trust – the trust that must inherently exist among Soldiers, and between Soldiers and their leaders to accomplish their mission in the chaos of war. Recent incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment demonstrate that we have violated that trust.”
Former Defense Secretary LEON PANETTA says most important thing is increasing prosecutions – April 2012:
“The most important thing we can do is prosecute the offenders, deal with those that have broken the law and committed this crime. And if we can do that then we can begin to deal with this issue and send a signal this is not a problem that we are going to ignore in the United States military.”
FORMER PENTAGON GENERAL COUNSEL JEH JOHNSON on need for “fundamental change”:
Former Pentagon General Counsel, Jeh Johnson, who served from 2009 until the end of 2012, was recently asked, “Are there short comings in the military’s justice system that make it so [sexual assault] isn’t being treated seriously enough and victims don’t trust the system?” His reply was, “I have recently come to the conclusion that the answer to that question is, yes.” He went on to say, “Last year Secretary Panetta raised the initial disposition authority for how these cases should be handled to the 06 colonel captain level, and the problem, I believe, has become so pervasive, the bad behavior is so pervasive, we need to look at fundamental change in the military justice system itself.”