Monday, February 10, 2014


OMNI: WOMEN IN THE US MILITARY, NEWSLETTER #1.  February 10, 2014.   Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.  

Nick Anderson, The Houston Chronicle
Nick Anderson, The Houston Chronicle

“Number of sexual assaults estimated to have occurred in the U.S. military in 2012: 26,000.
Number reported: 3,374
Number of reports that resulted in military court prosecution:  594.  Yes! (Fall 2013).

Recent Related Newsletters:
Afghanistan and Pakistan Wars

Contents Pentagon, Women, Rape #1
Credo Action, Contact Senator Boozman to Support Senator Gillibrand’s Bill
Mark Thompson, Military Sexual-Assault Cases Boiling
The Invisible War Documentary Film, Google Search
Herdy and Brents, Betrayal in the Ranks: Diary of a Predator, Google Search
Helen Benedict, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, Google Search
Service: When Women Come Marching Home Documentary Film
Helping Organizations

CREDO action
URGENT: Tell Senator Boozman to vote for Senator Gillibrand’s bill to bring military rapists to justice
Senator Gillibrand’s sensible solution to bring rapists to justice and stop military commanders from overturning sexual assault convictions could get a vote as soon as tomorrow in the Senate. Already, 53 senators, including nine Republicans, are publicly supporting the bill, but your senator, John Boozman, is not among them. Call him now and ask him to support the bill.
Click below for a sample script and the number to call:
Dear Dick,
Prevent rape in the military
There were 26,000 cases of sexual assault, rape, and unwanted sexual contact in the military in 2012. It’s an epidemic of sexual assault that is made even worse because the assaults are under-reported and under-prosecuted, with victims often facing devastating retaliation.
It’s clear that the military is failing to protect victims of sexual assault and punish perpetrators. Now the Senate finally has a chance step in.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act would remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command.1 But the Pentagon and some pro-Pentagon senators — like Senator Claire McCaskill — are fighting to kill it, and the bill will likely have to overcome a 60-vote filibuster to pass.
Of the 26,000 instances of self-reported sexual assault in 2012, only 302 went to trial.2 This is partly because of a rule that gives commanding officers the final say over prosecution of service members under their command. The rule suppresses reporting of assault because victims fear retaliation and don’t trust that their cases will be handled fairly.
It also encourages ill-trained commanders to avoid prosecuting people under their command -- protecting careers instead of victims. In 2012, a commander in the Air Force used her power to overturn the conviction of an officer under her command who was found guilty of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault.3 And when military hearings do occur, victims are often subject to a degrading and antagonistic process.4
The Military Justice Improvement Act will remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command and put military prosecutors in charge of deciding which sexual assault crimes to try. Democratic Senator Carl Levin, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said that the bill is “too controversial” to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to defeat it.5
Senator Gillibrand has worked tirelessly to advance this bill in the face of pressure from the Pentagon and high-ranking members of her own party. She has organized 53 senators, including nine Republicans, who are ready to vote to protect victims of sexual assault in the military. With 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, we need to do everything we can to pressure more senators to do the right thing.
Thank you for standing up for victims of sexual assault in the military.
Heidi Hess, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Click below for a sample script and the number to call:
2.       Gillibrand’s Drive Challenges Senate Power Brokers on Military Sexual Assault Remedy,” Adele M. Stan, RH Reality Check, September 19, 2013.
4.       Rape in the Ranks," Dorothy Samuels, The New York Times, November 7, 2013.
5.       Kirsten Gillibrand faces 60-vote bar on sex-assault reform," Darren Samuelsohn and Anna Palmer, Politico, November 4, 2013.
© 2013 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Investigations Bring Military Sex-Assault Issues to a Boil 
Mark Thompson, TIME Magazine 
Thompson writes: "Sexual assaults in the military, long simmering on the Pentagon's back burner, moved to a roiling boil 10 days ago." 
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Investigations Bring Military Sex-Assault Issues to a Boil   Posted on  by dailyqueernews

 Mark Thompson | TIME Magazine | Reader Supported News | May 18, 2013
Sexual assaults in the military, long simmering on the Pentagon‘s back burner, moved to a roiling boil 10 days ago – and threatened to explode with the announcement Tuesday night of yet another probe into sexual assault by a uniformed member of the U.S. military charged with preventing that very crime.
It was less than two weeks ago that local police near the Pentagon arrested Lieut. Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force’s sexual-assault prevention chief, for drunkenly groping a woman in a parking lot. Now, with the Army investigating an unnamed sergeant charged with preventing sexual abuse at Fort Hood, the pot is rattling atop the stove and threatening to blow up.
There is growing concern inside the Pentagon that the two latest cases make clear the fact that the military cannot be counted on to defend those in its ranks against sexual predators. Followed to its logical conclusion, that means some elements of combating sexual assault may have to be pulled out of the military’s treasured chain of command.
That’s what a growing number of lawmakers want. Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the armed services committee, said his panel will begin studying such changes next month. “Tragically, the depth of the sexual-assault problem in our military was already overwhelmingly clear,” he said late Tuesday, “before this latest highly disturbing report.”



1.                             The Invisible War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Invisible War uses these examples to argue that the military has consistently made empty ... to screen the film and discuss the problem of rape in the military.

2.                             'The Invisible War' Changing the Conversation on Rape in the ... - PBS
Feb 18, 2013 – Kori Cioca, a former member of the U.S. Coast Guard featured in the film "The Invisible War," was denied veteran's health benefits to cover ...

3.                             'The Invisible War' Spurs Action Against Military Rape - The Daily ...
Feb 23, 2013 – The documentary helped inspire lawmakers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand to fight against rape in the armed forces. By Eleanor Clift.

4.                             The Invisible War: New Film Exposes Rape, Sexual Assault ...
Jan 30, 2012
It's called The Invisible War. It's a groundbreaking documentary that examines the epidemic of rape of ...
5.                              More videos for Invisible War military rape »
6.                              News for Invisible War military rape
National Catholic Reporter (blog) ‎- 20 hours ago
The reports of rapes and assaults at the prestigious Marine Corps ... My conclusion after seeing “The Invisible War” is that the film should be a ...
CBS News‎ - 2 days ago

7.                             Military Rape Documentary The Invisible War Does Not Win Oscar ...
Feb 25, 2013 – Last night, The Invisible War, a documentary on rape in the United States military, was considered for the 2013 Oscar for “Best Documentary ...

8.                             'Invisible War' Reveals Hidden Rape Crisis in the Military - ABC News › ABC News Blogs  Entertainment  Oscars
Feb 22, 2013 – Women have reached some of the highest echelons in the military. They command fighter pilot wings and fly the president on Marine One.

9.                             The Invisible War | Facebook
The Invisible War. 33,022 likes · 5,324 talking about this. Movie. A GROUNDBREAKING INVESTIGATION INTO THE EPIDEMIC OF RAPE IN THE U.S.MILITARY ...

10.                        'It Happens At All Bases, All Branches': An Interview with the Makers ...
Apr 10, 2013 – Marine Ariana Klay, who brought a lawsuit against the US Military after she was raped. (The Invisible War). On Monday, Secretary of Defense ...

11.                         The Makers of Military-Rape Documentary The Invisible War on How ...
Feb 15, 2013 – When director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering started filming The Invisible War, a documentary about sexual assault in the military, they ...

12.                        The Movie - The Invisible War
Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, The Invisible War is a moving indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling ...

Betrayal in the Ranks BY AMY HERDY | MAY 22, 2012 ·

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·                                 AMY HERDY
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·                                 THE STORY

A Mother Who Lost Her Daughter to Rape Searches for Answers

How awful to know that your daughter was raped, and that her attacker was someone she was supposed to trust.
Now imagine being told that after all she had endured, your daughter killed herself, and you’ll know what Suzie is going through.
Suzie contacted me after reading a blog I posted to this website about The Invisible War,  a gripping documentary about the crisis of sexual assaults within the U.S. military. I’m interviewed in the film because of my work covering the issue, primarily the series I coauthored at the Denver Post about sexual assault and domestic violence in the U.S. military called “Betrayal in the Ranks.”
But back to Suzie–here’s part of what she said:
“My daughter was sexually assaulted 3 times in her 3 and a half years in the Army. Twice on American soil, once during her year being deployed in Afghanistan. It culminated in her taking her own life after being told she was bi-polar or borderline personality disorder… She said they wanted to get rid of her and not the rapist. Please help me find truth for all of these men and women whom have had to endure what our own HOMELAND SECURITY could have prevented!!!! God Bless!! I AM NOT FINISHED WITH THIS!”
Her tragic story drives home this point: Whether a rapist is stalking women on the streets of Denver or within his own military unit, we’re enabling him as long as we allow our systems to put victims through hell for reporting their assaults.

·                                 Warning

This site contains graphic material, including accounts of rape, child abuse and sexual violence.

·                                 If you need help, See organizations at end


Brent Brents' story brings to light issues of rape and child abuse, as well as domestic violence. As he became a perpetrator, most of his victims were prostitutes.

Buy the book

Many of Brent Brents' victims were prostitutes, women who are especially vulnerable to violence. Therefore, part of the proceeds from the sale of every edition ofDiary of a Predator: A Memoir will go to Street's Hope, a Denver non-profit organization dedicated to helping women leave the sex-for-sale industry.

"Amy Herdy and Brent Brents wrote the book together (Brents wrote through letters from prison) in the hope that no one else will endure such suffering again at the hands of another human being. But the message here is that when one person hurts another, both are hurt. And it's so unnecessary." -Tattered Cover 

"Weeks after finishing this book, it is as powerful as it was after finishing the final page. "Diary" and the story of Brent Brents challenge readers to face themselves and their core conflicts... of crime and humanity, justice and redemption. However small might be the glimmer of hope, this hope challenges a reader all the more because the crimes are not excused, the man not glorified. Brilliant!" -Merrimon Crawford, Book Illuminations 

"This is a thought provoking book that forces the reader to examine his own life, our sometimes harsh judgement of others, and what really creates the monsters in our midst." -Amazon review 

"It's a fast-paced read with surprising twists and a message that will make you think hard about trying to be a better human being." -Nook review 

"This book is truly a "page turner" you cannot put down. I found myself struggling with heartbreaking emotion and conflicting opinions while reading." -Amazon review
Twitter Button

1.                             Betrayal in the Ranks | Diary of a Predator
May 22, 2012 – Posts about Betrayal in the Ranks written by Amy Herdy. ... "Amy Herdy and Brent Brents wrote the book together (Brents wrote through letters ...

2.                             Diary of a Predator: A Memoir: Amy Herdy: Kindle Store › ... › Specific Groups  Crime & Criminals
Subscribe and Get a Free Kindle Book .... an award-winning investigative series for the Denver Post, "Betrayal in the Ranks," a series about sexual assault in the ...
1.                              [PDF] 

Betrayal in the Ranks - The Denver Post
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
BETRAYAL IN THE RANKS. INTRODUCTION 2. About the series. Thousands of women have been sexually assaulted in the United. States military. Thousands ...

2.                             Betrayal in the ranks -
Nov 24, 2003 – Betrayal in the ranks. The Denver Post recently published a very, very impressive investigation of sexual assault and domestic abuse in the ...

Helen Benedict, The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, Google Search 

1.                    The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women ... › ... › Politics & Social Sciences  Sociology  Abuse
 Rating: 3.3 - 23 reviews - $12.71
Book Description. Release date: April 1, 2010 | ISBN-10: 0807061492 | ISBN-13: 978-0807061497 | Edition: 1. The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for the ...

2.                             'The Lonely Soldier' by Helen Benedict - Los Angeles Times
May 13, 2009 – Yet as Helen Benedict documents in her important, finely drawn book, "The Lonely Soldier," many find out they're fighting two wars: the one ...

3.                             The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women ... - Google Books › History  Military  Iraq War (2003-2011)
 Rating: 4 - 30 reviews
As one female soldier said, “I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine.” In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the ...

4.                             ABOUT - HELEN BENEDICT
Helen Benedict is the author of Sand Queen and The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq, two books about women in the Iraq War.

5.                             The Lonely Soldier - The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
Browse this book. The double war of military women before, during, and after Iraq.   Winner of the 2010 Ken Book Award. The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for ...

6.                             BARNES & NOBLE | The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women ...
 Rating: 3.5 - 3 votes
Apr 1, 2010 – The Lonely Soldier is an important book, a crucial accounting of the shameful war on women who gave their bodies, lives, and souls for their ...

7.                             The Lonely Soldier - Citizen Soldier
In “The Lonely Soldier” (Beacon Press), she writes about women serving in the US military in Iraq. The book was originally published in 2009, but it is an even ...

8.                             Military - Book TV at Columbia University: Helen Benedict, "The ...
Jul 23, 2012 – Book TV at Columbia University: Helen Benedict, "The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq" ...

9.                             Book Discussion on [The Lonely Soldier] - C-SPAN Video Library
Jul 22, 2012
Helen Benedict talked about her book, [The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq]. The ...
10.                         More videos for The Lonely Soldier book »The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by › War  Military Rating: 4.0 - 113 votesApr 1, 2009 – The Lonely Soldier has 113 ratings and 30 reviews. Jcothron said: Benedict, Helen. The lonely soldier: the private war of women serving in Iraq ...

Mon May 27, 2013 7:56 am (PDT) . Posted by:
"David Culver" mplsstreetrwy, Veterans for Peace
Ø                                                    “Service: When Women Come Marching Home,” a new documentary, chronicles the stories of eight military women, including their struggles with sexual assaults and serious wounds and the challenges of returning from war to family life.
> Film shows challenges of female veterans
> Military Sexual Assaults Spike Despite Efforts To Combat Epidemic
> Hal Bernton, Seattle (WA) Times
> In 1992, Angela Arellano, then a 19-year-old Marine based in Okinawa, told military police that a noncommissioned officer had raped her after an evening spent watching a football game on television.
> The investigation did not result in a prosecution. Instead, Arellano was accused of lying and disciplined for an after-hours violation.
> “They said he was an outstanding Marine and I was trying to smear his good reputation,” recalls Arellano of Tumwater, Thurston County. “I was given two weeks of restrictions, two weeks of extra duty and two months of reduced pay.”
> Full story…
> Related:
> Film shows challenges of female veterans, Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean 
> Sue Downes, who served as a driver and gunner in Afghanistan, had both legs amputated below the knee after her Humvee hit landmines in 2005.
> Stand with anti-war veteran Mike Prysner against right-wing attacks!
> Military Sexual Assaults Spike Despite Efforts To Combat Epidemic, Molly O'Toole, Huffington Post
> The report released Tuesday by Defense's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) follows the Sunday arrest of Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, head of the Air Force SAPRO program, under allegations of sexual assault of a woman.
> Film shows challenges of female veterans

The following organizations are available to those who need help.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
"At any given moment, more than 1,100 trained volunteers are on duty and available to help victims at RAINN-affiliated crisis centers across the country."
Street's Hope
"A faith-based non-profit organization created to assist women desiring to leave sexually oriented businesses. Our clients include women working in prostitution, escort services, exotic dancing and pornography."
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
"The leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide."
National Domestic Violence Hotline
"Hotline advocates are available for victims and anyone calling on their behalf to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, information and referrals."
National Institute of Mental Health
"Transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illness through research."


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)