Opposing her are Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and several senators traditionally viewed as military establishment backers. McCaskill and Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee, offer a compromise that would strip commanders of their ability to overturn jury verdicts and order dishonorable discharge or dismissal for anyone convicted of sexual assault.
Intense lobbying from the Pentagon backs the McCaskill-Levin effort. It remains to be seen how influential Reid’s support for Gillibrand’s proposal will be.
The bottom line for this newspaper: The U.S. military has a sexual assault problem, and potential victims — mostly women but some men — must believe that their coming forward will receive the serious, impartial attention it deserves. Half measures and promises to study the matter no longer suffice.
Sexual assault is an allegation not to be taken lightly. In many cases, complainants put their careers, or more, on the line. They deserve nothing less than even-handed treatment, and that’s what the Gillibrand proposal provides.
— The Dallas
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