Sexual assault case against United States Army general


This video from the USA says about itself:

USA Army General Sodomizes USA Soldier

22 Dec 2012

‘My husband has been home just five years out of the last 11′: Wife of general accused of multiple sexual misconduct charges blames war for adultery in the military

The wife of a U.S. Army general facing adultery and sex charges said military marriages have suffered from the extended U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and described infidelity as an emotional war wound that gets overlooked.

Rebecca Sinclair said she was hurt to learn of her husband Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair’s affair with a subordinate, which led to charges against him for more than two dozen military law violations.

But as the conduct of other U.S. generals is called into question – including that of retired Army General David Petraeus, who on November 9 quit his CIA director’s post over an affair – Rebecca Sinclair said she felt compelled to speak out.

Her husband has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere five times since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, spending a total of six of the past 11 years away from his wife and two children — the eldest, a sixth-grader, has attended six schools so far, Rebecca Sinclair said.

Many military wives know their husbands are unfaithful but stay silent to preserve their families or their financial security, especially because their spouses’ own careers can be hampered by frequent moves, said Rebecca Sinclair, who has taught business at various community colleges during her 27-year marriage.

Her husband’s affair and the fallout ‘is very painful for me, very hurtful, but I just really feel that this is something I need to talk about,’ she said. ‘Because it’s not an isolated case.’

The wife of an Army general facing sexual misconduct charges in North Carolina has written an opinion piece in support of her husband, claiming that the stresses of a decade of war contributed to recent high-profile military scandals.

Rebecca Sinclair’s husband, Fort Bragg-based Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, faces a long list of charges including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, violating orders, engaging in inappropriate relationships and adultery.

Sinclair is accused of forcing women to have sex with him during combat tours and threatening at least one victim’s life, as well as her career and the lives of her relatives if she told anyone about his actions.

Prosecutors allege that the married general committed sex crimes against five women including four military subordinates and [a] civilian between 2007 and 2012 in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany.

The 27-year Army veteran was deputy commander in charge of logistics and support for the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan before being abruptly relieved in May.

Rebecca Sinclair’s piece was published just days after retired Gen. David Petraeus admitted having an affair with his biographer and resigned as director of the CIA. Rebecca Sinclair has spoken out about what she sees as the toll of a decade of war on military couples, many of whom have found themselves in a repeated pattern of deployments, homecomings and moves. Her husband – Jeffrey Sinclair is accused of sodomy, forcing women to send him naked photos and threatening violence against a subordinate. Prosecutors say Sinclair threatened one victim’s life, as well as her career and the lives of her relatives if she exposed him.

By Gabriel Black in the USA:

Sexual assault case against US Army general begins

8 March 2014

Opening arguments began in a court martial case Friday in which a US Army general is accused of sexually assaulting a female US Army captain. The case comes as a procedural vote in the US Senate killed a bill, deeply opposed by the Pentagon, which would have removed the prosecution of sexual assault cases from the military commanders of the accused and put them in the hands of independent military prosecutors.

The Army prosecution has charged General Jeffrey Sinclair with sexual assault in addition to five other crimes. Sinclair is the highest-ranking military officer in the United States ever to be court-martialed on sexual assault charges.

According to AP News, prosecutors argued that Sinclair “used his authority to intimidate and coerce a female officer nearly 20 years his junior into sex.” Sinclair and the alleged victim, who, per AP News rules, remains unknown, had an affair for three years while she served under his command in Afghanistan.

The US Army Captain took the stand and described being forced to perform oral sex on the General after heated arguments they had in his office, and, another time, her own. “He grabbed me by the back of the neck and pushed me down. I tried to pull back, and he put his other hand on my shoulder… It felt disgusting. It felt like I had no control over my body.”

The captain broke into tears as she told the court that, after a discussion with the General about his wife and how the captain would like to meet her, “he told me that if I ever told her or anyone else about he and I, he would kill me and then he would kill my family.” She added, “and he would do it in a way no one would ever know.”

The general has pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault. …

While denying having sexually assaulted the Captain, a charge that could lead to life-imprisonment, the General has pled guilty to “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman,” “inappropriate relationships,” adultery, impeding an investigation, and possession of pornography.

He admits asking two women, one civilian one not, for nude photos of themselves, having sexual relations with three women and attempting to have one with another. These are military crimes that could put him in prison for 15 years.

The Associated Press reports that the General’s “lawyers are hoping the plea will limit some of the salacious evidence and reduce the case to his word against hers.”

Whatever the outcome of the case the incidence of sexual assaults in the military are endemic. In the 2012 fiscal year, 2,434 cases were reported, in 2013, 3,553 were. It is estimated that only one in ten cases are reported due to fear of demotion, intimidation and violence. The last 12 years of unending wars, military occupations and colonial-style subjugation has encouraged the most brutal and backward sentiments in the military as witnessed by the sadistic sexual abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In late February, in response to reports of sexual assault and alcohol abuse, the Army removed 588 soldiers from “positions of trust,” including posts as recruiters and sexual assault response coordinators.

In 2010, the Department of Defense estimated that 19,300 sexual assaults occurred, with more than half of the estimated victims being men. While combat trauma is the leading cause of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in male veterans, rape and sexual violence is the leading cause among female veterans.

In an expression of its general disdain for the constitutional principle of civilian control over the military the Pentagon brass—and its supporters in the US Senate–have steadfastly opposed any measures concerning sexual abuse that would interfere with the military’s “chain of command.” On Thursday, a bill by Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, that would put the prosecution of such cases in the jurisdiction of independent military prosecutors failed by five votes.

Both the Pentagon and the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee opposed the measure. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who has the closest ties to the military, warned any fellow Republicans considering a run for the 2016 presidential race that a vote for the Gillibrand proposal would wreck their chances.

“People wanting to run for president on our side, I will remind you of this vote. You want to be commander in chief? You told me a lot today about who you are as commander in chief,” Graham said. “You were willing to fire every commander in the military for reasons I don’t quite understand. So we will have a good conversation as to whether or not you understand how the military actually works.”

Opposition to the bill ran across party lines. Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin—Democrat of Michigan—claimed there would be more sexual abuse if “we undermine the authority of the very commanders who must be at the heart of the solution. Powerful evidence should lead us to the conclusion that we should not remove the authority of commanders to prosecute these cases.”

The vote coincided with a damning exposure of the military’s in-house treatment of abuse with revelations that a Lieutenant Colonel, responsible for training military prosecutors working on sexual abuse cases in the Army, is, himself, being investigated for sexually assaulting a female Army lawyer.

On Thursday an anonymous officer told the Stars and Stripes that it was investigating allegations that Lt. Col. Joseph Morse attempted to kiss and grope a female Army lawyer against her will at a training conference. Lt. Col. Morse’s job is to train lawyers in the military who handle sexual and physical abuse cases.

Military judge won’t dismiss sexual assault charges against Army general: here.

UK military allowed to investigate sexual assaults without involving police: here.

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United States military rape, film


This video from the USA is called The Invisible War (Rape In The US Army) Part 1.

By Maria Duarte in Britain:

Film: The Invisible War

Friday 7th March 2014

MARIA DUARTE recommends a hard-hitting documentary on rape in the US armed forces

The Invisible War

Directed by Kirby Dick

5 Stars

Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick exposes one of the US’s most disgraceful and well-guarded secrets in this powerful and shocking documentary about the rape of soldiers within its military ranks, which is of epidemic proportions.

It makes such sobering viewing that two days after US Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta saw it in April last year he made changes to the way sexual assaults are investigated in the military. Unfortunately they didn’t go far enough as they are still being looked into by military personnel.

The problem lies in the fact that victims have to report any case of rape to their commanding officers which often results in a conflict of interest.

The documentary reveals how a third of servicemen did not report their attack because the person they had to report it to was friends of the rapist. A quarter failed to do so because the person they had to divulge it to was the rapist himself.

It also shows how more than a fifth of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving and that a female soldier is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed in combat.

Once they report their attack the women are the ones who are blamed and court martialled, with some being charged with adultery because their attacker was married while the perpetrators face no reprisals and are free to rape again and again.

The US military seems to be a haven for serial rapists, with 15 per cent of incoming recruits having attempted or committed rapes before joining up, according to a navy study.

Through a series of compelling and harrowing interviews with female victims and their families, followed by unflinching head-to-heads with politicians and members of the military hierarchy, Dick paints a disturbing picture of systematic abuse and its cover-up.

To add insult to injury, in 2011 rape was deemed an occupational hazard of military service in an unsuccessful court case brought by 16 male and female rape survivors against former secretaries of defence Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld.

And even though significant reforms were passed by Congress last year to tackle the issue, what this film demonstrates is that until rapes in the military are investigated by an independent body instead of in-house nothing will change.

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Dutch parents fear daughters forced into prostitution in Syria


This video from the USA is called Washington Post: CIA Delivering Weapons To Rebels In Syria.

Translated from Janny Groen, in Dutch daily De Volkskrant:

Parents of Muslim girls fear ‘jihad prostitution’

03/06/14, 07:01

“These girls going to Syria will end up in prostitution.” Without hesitation Rachma el Hamdaoui (over 50) of the The Hague Mother and Daughter Foundation explains the greatest fear of parents of prospective jihad brides.

El Hamdaoui has in the The Hague Schilderswijk neighbourhood a discussion group with girls who walk around with jihad plans; and now, she speaks at a meeting of Muslim women in Gouda.

According to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) twenty Dutch Muslim women are in Syria. Five of them come from Gouda. They marry without parental consent. Not in the mosque, but for example in an apartment, a Gouda district police officer knows. Such marriages are invalid according to Islamic rules which their parents use.

The young women travel after their man, the mujahid (warrior). Or they are persuaded via WhatsApp messages from the front area to come to Syria to marry their hero. They have most often met him through jihadi social media. …

Sex with twenty, thirty, a hundred rebels

But there are also other views. In September last year the Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Bin Jeddo sounded the alarm. He wanted to put an end to the jihad al-nikah, also described as sex jihad. Young women traveling to the Chaimbi Mountains in Tunisia, where Al Qaeda fighters are fighting against the Tunisian regime; and especially to Syria to satisfy warriors. Some girls, according to the minister, have sex with twenty, thirty or even a hundred rebels. …

Pubescent girls traveling

In Dutch Muslim communities there is fear that their daughters landed in Syria in a very different world than the one they were dreaming about. El Hamdaoui: “They are often teenagers who want to travel. They know nothing, they cannot estimate the consequences of their actions.”

Muslim parents read disturbing stories on Arabic sites. They read about young women who are married (briefly) before sexual activity, and then divorce immediately afterwards. There are indications that the sex jihad is not entirely a figment of the imiginations of evil spirits. Thus, the prominent Tunisian Muslim scholar Sheikh Farred Elba stated (to the BBC and others) that he knew young women who had got trapped in this. He said there was medical evidence of that as well.

There are no signals that Dutch girls are in sexual jihad in Syria and go from hand to hand, according to the Gouda police district officer. However, what does happen is that, if it does not click between the “lovers” , the girl is married off to another mujahid. And if that man is killed, another warrior is quickly brought in.

In the eyes of the Muslim women who were gathered in Gouda, that smells like prostitution. As one of them says: “Our prophet has never meant that.”

Turkey and war in Syria: here. And here.

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United States Army sexual assault prosecutor accused of sexual assault


This video from the USA says about itself:

Pentagon Study Finds 26,000 Military Sexual Assaults Last Year, Over 70 Sex Crimes Per Day

8 May 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – A shocking new report by the Pentagon has found that 70 sexual assaults may be taking place within the U.S. military every day. The report estimates there were 26,000 sex crimes committed in 2012, a jump of 37 percent since 2010. Most of the incidents were never reported.

The findings were released two days after the head of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention unit, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested for sexual assault. We air highlights from Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on military sexual assault and speak with Anu Bhagwati, executive director and co-founder of Service Women’s Action Network. “The numbers are outrageous and I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” Bhagwati says. “The American public is furious.”

From Stars and Stripes in the USA:

Army’s top sex assault prosecutor suspended after assault allegation

By Chris Carroll and John Vandiver

March 6, 2014

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.

Morse was removed from his job when the allegations came to light, one source said. To date, no charges have been filed in the case.

The suspension comes at a time the military is dealing with rising reports of sexual assault.

Morse, chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program at Fort Belvoir, Va., was responsible for Army prosecutorial training and assistance worldwide. He also was lead prosecutor in the case against Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, who pleaded guilty to the mass murder of 16 Afghan civilians in 2012.

Sources told Stars and Stripes that the female Army lawyer alleged that Morse attempted to kiss and grope her against her will. The alleged assault reportedly took place in a hotel room at a 2011 sexual assault legal conference attended by special victims prosecutors in Alexandria, Va., before he was appointed as chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program.

An Army official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter confirmed an investigation was under way.

“We can confirm that this matter is currently under investigation and that the individual in question has been suspended from duties pending the outcome of the investigation,” the official said. “Given that this is still an open case, we are precluded from providing any additional information at this point.”

The suspension follows on the heels of a late February announcement by the Army it had suspended 588 troops and employees in “positions of trust” — including sexual assault response personnel — for suspected offenses including sexual crimes and alcohol abuse.

According to an Army biography, Morse was commissioned as an aviation officer in 1993 and became a judge advocate in 2001. Among his assignments, he has been a trial counsel, senior defense counsel and staff judge advocate. He received his law degree from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, and is a graduate of Army’s Air Assault, Airborne and Ranger schools.

Stars and Stripes reporter Jennifer Hlad contributed to this report.

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Saudis fight for women’s rights


This video says about itself:

Manal al-Sharif: A Saudi woman who dared to drive

14 June 2013

There’s no actual law against women driving in Saudi Arabia. But it’s forbidden. Two years ago, Manal al-Sharif decided to encourage women to drive by doing so — and filming herself for YouTube. Hear her story of what happened next.

From AFP news agency:

Saudi activists demand end to men’s ‘absolute authority’ over women

Sunday, March 2, 2014 14:47 EST

Saudi women activists have petitioned the country’s consultative council to back a demand to curb the “absolute authority” of male guardians over women in the ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom, a signatory said.

Saudi Arabia imposes a strict interpretation of Islamic law, forbidding women to work or travel without the authorisation of their male guardians.

It is also the only country in the world that bans women from driving, and a woman cannot obtain an identification card without the consent of her guardian.

Activist Aziza Yousef told AFP that “rights activists have petitioned the Shura (consultative) Council on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (on March 8) demanding an end to the absolute authority of men over women”.

They demanded “measures to protect (women’s) rights,” in their petition to the Shura Council, she said.

Laws in the kingdom enforcing such restrictions on women “are not based on religious” teachings, said Yousef.

The petition, signed by 10 female activists, also calls for allowing women to drive.

Women in Saudi must obtain permission from a male guardian to perform “certain surgeries” and to “leave the university campus during study hours,” she added.

She cited a recent case in which a pregnant student had to give birth on campus after a women-only university in Riyadh denied access to paramedics.

And a university student died in February after paramedics were prevented from entering her campus because they were not accompanied by a male guardian, a must according to the strict segregation rules in the Muslim kingdom.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia suspended a notification programme that had been running since 2012, which alerted male guardians once women under their custody left the country, even if they were travelling together.

Three female members of the Shura Council presented a recommendation that women be given the right to drive in October, but the male-dominated 150-member assembly blocked the proposal.

The Shura Council is appointed by the king and advises the monarch on policy, but cannot legislate.

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