UPI: Sexual assault in U.S. military reflects culture of bullying (2014)

Stop the Bully

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 19 (UPI) — The acceptance of bullying in U.S. culture contributes to sexual assault in the armed forces, experts say.

Mary Ellen O’Toole, editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender and retired FBI profiler and criminal investigator analyst led a roundtable discussion with Christopher Kilmartin of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Col. Jeffery Peterson of Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Va., discussed specific factors that likely contribute to the sexual assault problem.

“The evidence is that the population of people who come into the U.S. military have more experience with sexual assault than the general population, both as offenders and as survivors. Survivors are at statistically increased risk of being revictimized, and offenders are at an increased risk for reoffending,” Kilmartin said at the roundtable.

Read more here.

VOR America: Jennifer Norris Discusses Sexual Misconduct in the Military (2014)

The Real News: Senate Unanimously Passes Sexual Assault Bill, But What Will it Change? (2014)

Jennifer Norris: Senate bill will still keep military sexual abuse cases within the chain of command of the military, leaving victims vulnerable to retaliation

Clear Pattern of the Army Tossing Soldiers Who Have PTSD

The Wounded Platoon

The Wounded Platoon (PBS)

Day after day I hear first hand accounts of not only the Army but all of the Armed Forces forcing troops out for PTSD or some trumped up misconduct charge. And what really gets my goat is that these are people who have been in the military for a long time, have deployed overseas, and now suffer from some kind of war injury. Is this the way that you envisioned the military would treat our troops after all that they have sacrificed.

I find it ironic that Officers who get caught with felony charges can quietly retire after the media blows it up to hold them accountable. Yet a soldier who has been in 19 years, did four rotations overseas, and snapped on the fourth rotation because you sent them there knowing they had PTSD, gets the bad conduct discharge. This is criminal. How dare you Army do this to someone with 19 years of dedicated service. What happened to the whole person concept? Why is it that a fight or flight response is now being used against a soldier when the symptoms include disassociation, irritability, distrust, fear, etc. Why is it that you act like people are faking when they just did four tours of duty.

Continue reading

Deadly Sins Premiered ‘Killers on the Run’ on Investigation Discovery: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murder Two Ocean City Tourists (March 8, 2014)

A seemingly perfect young couple is concealing a sinful life of crime and sexual depravity. Then later, a threesome of lovers ends in a bizarre homicide and cover-up. -Killers on the Run, Deadly Sins (S3,E9)

In 2002, Erika and BJ Sifrit’s vacation in Ocean City, MD ended with them in the back of a squad car arrested for armed robbery. When two dismembered bodies were later unearthed, the connection between the two crimes would reveal a grisly murder. -Ocean City, Sins and Secrets (S2,E8)

Forensic Files:

Full Episode: The couple spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, and then they simply vanished. Their clothes and personal items were still in the rented condo, their car was parked outside, and there were no signs of forced entry or foul play. A week later, police would get an unexpected lead from a robbery in progress, and the evidence they found helped them to solve a crime of unparalleled violence and brutality. -Dirty Little Seacret, Forensic Files (S13, E46)

Oxygen:

A young woman’s scrapbook offers insight into a shocking crime. -Erika Sifrit, Snapped (S8,E11)

A vacationing couple’s disappearance exposes the horrific crimes of a murderous husband and wife. -Erika and BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (S11,E2)

Podcast:

Once Upon A Crime – Episode 112: Listener Suggestions: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit – Killer Couple (December 22, 2018)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Cruel Death by M. William Phelps (Book)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E8)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Dirty Little Seacret | Forensic Files | Full Episode (S13, E47)
Erika Sifrit | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E11)
Erika and BJ Sifrit | Killer Couples | Oxygen (S11,E2)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Once Upon A Crime – Episode 112: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit – Killer Couple
Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Murdered in Maryland; Erika Sifrit Sentenced to Life, Benjamin Sifrit Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison (May 25, 2002)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Lethal Lovers’ on ID: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Maryland Tourists Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley (October 15, 2009)
Forensic Files Premiered ‘Dirty Little Seacret’: Thrill Killers Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Two Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (May 28, 2010)
Snapped Premiered ‘Erika Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Woman’s Arrest Leads to Shocking Homicides of Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (June 16, 2011)
Sins and Secrets Premiered ‘Ocean City’ on ID: Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Reported Missing in Maryland (March 1, 2012)
Killer Couples Premiered ‘Erika and BJ Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Lethal Lovers Murder Ocean City, Maryland Tourists for the Thrill (January 28, 2019)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Military Justice Improvement Act Falls Short of Votes & Substance

xl_deptofdefenselogoThe MJIA fell short of the votes it needed to pass in Congress. But it’s really nothing to get upset about because the bill falls short of substance.

The MJIA had good intentions. It gave the victim a different place to report other then an immediate supervisor or the Commander. It would have allowed victims to report to a military prosecutor instead. The bill also included all violent crimes, ie sexual assault, domestic violence, and murder.

But in reality, how is that going to work? There aren’t enough military prosecutors to report to. There was one, maybe two in the State of Maine JAG office and they were located hours if not days away from some of the places we trained and deployed.

Continue reading

S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)

MJIA.jpeg

Military Justice Improvement Act #PassMJIA

S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

NOTE: THIS LEGISLATION NEEDED A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE TO PASS.

Date: March 6, 2014
Issues: Crime, Military Personnel, Women
Bill: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
Roll Number: 59
Yea: 55
Nay: 45
Cloture Not Invoked (Senate)

Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice -U.S.Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (March 6, 2014)

Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014)

Sen. Paul joined Senate colleagues to urge passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act. This piece of bipartisan legislation will combat sexual assault and other violent crimes in the military by restructuring the way in which they are reported and prosecuted. -Senator Rand Paul (March 6, 2014)

Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act -Senator Chuck Grassley (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went to the Senate floor to reiterate her support for the Military Justice Improvement Act of which she is an original co-sponsor and call for its immediate passage. -Senator Jeanne Shaheen (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military. -Senator Susan Collins (March 6, 2014)

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) spoke in support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 1752). -[Former] Senator Dean Heller (March 6, 2014)

The Senate came within five votes of passing a major change to the military’s command structure. An amendment by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would have stripped commanders of authority over sexual assault cases and put everything in the hands of seasoned military trial lawyers. -CBS Evening News (March 6, 2014)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks out in support of a military sexual assault bill that was blocked in the Senate. -CNN (March 6, 2014)

PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014)

Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage -Hawaii247.com (March 7, 2014)

Editors Note: The Senator’s name with a link is a Senator still serving in the U.S. Senate (as of June 24, 2019). You can click on the link and it will take you to their official Senate page. The Senators without a link have been voted out, left, retired, or died. If you click on the Vote link Yea or Nay, it will take you to the Senator’s twitter page. You can thank them for supporting the MJIA or remind those who voted Nay why the MJIA is so important.

State District Name Party Vote
AK Jr Sen.  Mark  Begich Democratic Yea
NH Sr Sen.  Jeanne  Shaheen Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Barbara  A.  Mikulski Democratic Yea
MN Jr Sen.  Al  Franken Democratic Yea
VT Jr Sen.  Bernard  ‘Bernie’  Sanders Independent Yea
MN Sr Sen.  Amy  Klobuchar Democratic Yea
TX Jr Sen.  Rafael  Edward  ‘Ted’  Cruz  Republican Yea
NM Jr Sen.  Martin  T.  Heinrich Democratic Yea
MA Sr Sen.  Elizabeth  A.  Warren Democratic Yea
HI Sr Sen.  Brian  Emmaneul  Schatz Democratic Yea
NY Jr Sen.  Kirsten  E.  Gillibrand Democratic Yea
CA Sr Sen.  Dianne  Feinstein Democratic Yea
PA Sr Sen.  Robert  P.  ‘Bob’  Casey  Jr. Democratic Yea
IN Sr Sen.  Joe  Donnelly  Sr. Democratic Yea
CT Jr Sen.  Christopher  S.  ‘Chris’  Murphy Democratic Yea
HI Jr Sen.  Mazie  K.  Hirono Democratic Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Dean  Heller Republican Yea
KY Sr Sen.  Mitch  McConnell Republican Yea
CA Jr Sen.  Barbara  Boxer Democratic Yea
VT Sr Sen.  Patrick  J.  Leahy Democratic Yea
DE Jr Sen.  Christopher  A.  ‘Chris’  Coons Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Michael  Farrand  Bennet Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  David  B.  Vitter Republican Yea
WA Sr Sen.  Patty  Murray Democratic Yea
IA Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Grassley Republican Yea
ND Jr Sen.  Heidi  Heitkamp Democratic Yea
WV Sr Sen.  John  D.  ‘Jay’  Rockefeller  IV Democratic Yea
NJ Sr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Menendez Democratic Yea
OR Jr Sen.  Jeffery  A.  ‘Jeff’  Merkley Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  Mary  L.  Landrieu Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Mark  E.  Udall Democratic Yea
AR Sr Sen.  Mark  Lunsford  Pryor Democratic Yea
ME Sr Sen.  Susan  M.  Collins Republican Yea
IL Sr Sen.  Richard  J.  ‘Dick’  Durbin Democratic Yea
WY Sr Sen.  Michael  B.  ‘Mike’  Enzi Republican Yea
WA Jr Sen.  Maria  Cantwell Democratic Yea
MI Sr Sen.  Debbie  Ann  Stabenow Democratic Yea
NY Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Schumer Democratic Yea
OR Sr Sen.  Ron  Wyden Democratic Yea
IA Jr Sen.  Thomas  ‘Tom’  Harkin Democratic Yea
OH Sr Sen.  Sherrod  C.  Brown Democratic Yea
NJ Jr Sen.  Cory  A.  Booker Democratic Yea
NE Sr Sen.  Mike  O.  Johanns Republican Yea
NM Sr Sen.  Thomas  S.  ‘Tom’  Udall Democratic Yea
KS Jr Sen.  Jerry  W.  Moran Republican Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Harry  M.  Reid Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Benjamin  L.  ‘Ben’  Cardin Democratic Yea
KY Jr Sen.  Rand  Paul Republican Yea
SD Sr Sen.  Timothy  Peter  ‘Tim’  Johnson Democratic Yea
MA Jr Sen.  Edward  J.  ‘Ed’  Markey Democratic Yea
MT Jr Sen.  John  E.  Walsh Democratic Yea
NC Jr Sen.  Janet  R.  ‘Kay’  Hagan Democratic Yea
AK Sr Sen.  Lisa  A.  Murkowski Republican Yea
CT Sr Sen.  Richard  ‘Dick’  Blumenthal Democratic Yea
WI Jr Sen.  Tammy  Baldwin Democratic Yea
MT Sr Sen.  Jon  Tester Democratic Nay
IL Jr Sen.  Mark  Steven  Kirk Republican Nay
ID Jr Sen.  James  E.  ‘Jim’  Risch Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  Marco  Rubio Republican Nay
ND Sr Sen.  John  H.  Hoeven Republican Nay
RI Jr Sen.  Sheldon  Whitehouse Democratic Nay
WI Sr Sen.  Ron  Johnson Republican Nay
VA Sr Sen.  Mark  R.  Warner Democratic Nay
SC Jr Sen.  Timothy  E.  ‘Tim’  Scott Republican Nay
VA Jr Sen.  Timothy  M.  ‘Tim’  Kaine Democratic Nay
TN Jr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Corker Republican Nay
DE Sr Sen.  Thomas  Richard  ‘Tom’  Carper Democratic Nay
NE Sr Sen.  Deb  Fischer Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  Jeff  Flake Republican Nay
NH Jr Sen.  Kelly  A.  Ayotte Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Roger  F.  Wicker Republican Nay
ID Sr Sen.  Michael  D.  ‘Mike’  Crapo Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Orrin  G.  Hatch Republican Nay
GA Sr Sen.  Clarence  Saxby  Chambliss Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  William  Clarence  ‘Bill’  Nelson  Sr. Democratic Nay
AL Sr Sen.  Richard  C.  Shelby Republican Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Claire  McCaskill Democratic Nay
ME Jr Sen.  Angus  S.  King  Jr. Independent Nay
RI Sr Sen.  John  Francis  ‘Jack’  Reed Democratic Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Roy  Blunt Republican Nay
TN Sr Sen.  Lamar  Alexander Republican Nay
SD Sr Sen.  John  R.  Thune Republican Nay
IN Sr Sen.  Daniel  R.  ‘Dan’  Coats Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Michael  ‘Mike’  Lee Republican Nay
PA Jr Sen.  Patrick  J.  ‘Pat’  Toomey Republican Nay
OH Jr Sen.  Robert  J.  ‘Rob’  Portman Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Thad  Cochran Republican Nay
TX Sr Sen.  John  Cornyn Republican Nay
NC Sr Sen.  Richard  M.  Burr Republican Nay
SC Sr Sen.  Lindsey  O.  Graham Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  John  Sidney  McCain  III Republican Nay
OK Sr Sen.  James  M.  ‘Jim’  Inhofe Republican Nay
MI Sr Sen.  Carl  Levin Democratic Nay
NA None  Jefferson  Beauregard  ‘Jeff’  Sessions  III Republican Nay
KS Sr Sen.  Charles  Patrick  ‘Pat’  Roberts Republican Nay
WY Jr Sen.  John  Barrasso Republican Nay
WV Sr Sen.  Joseph  ‘Joe’  Manchin  III Democratic Nay
GA Sr Sen.  John  H.  ‘Johnny’  Isakson Republican Nay
OK Jr Sen.  Thomas  Allen  ‘Tom’  Coburn Republican Nay
AR Sr Sen.  John  N.  Boozman Republican Nay

Related Links:
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – National Key Vote
Comprehensive Resource Center for the Military Justice Improvement Act
Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice
Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Paul Speaks in Support of Military Justice Improvement Act
Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act
On Senate Floor Senator Shaheen Calls for Passage of Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault
Heller Speaks About Military Sexual Assault Legislation
Senate blocks change to military sexual assault cases
Sen. Cruz: They didn’t sign up to be sexually assaulted
PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act
Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)