Chair Jackie Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization (July 2, 2020)

Rep Speier NDAA.jpg

“Nearly two dozen major provisions offered by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, were adopted during consideration of the annual defense policy bill by the Armed Services Committee this week.”

  • Authorize a System of Military Court Protective Orders: Allowing military judges and magistrates to issue court protective orders compliant with the Violence Against Women Act. The new judicial orders provide better protection and enforceability for servicemembers and family members experiencing intimate partner violence.
  • Initiate a Sexual Assault Prosecution Pilot Program at the Military Service Academies: A 4-year test of a new Chief Prosecutor would demonstrate whether assigning charging decisions for sexual assault and other special victims’ crimes to an independent expert outside of the chain of command would increase the willingness of survivors to report and the ability of the military justice system to hold perpetrators accountable.
  • Establish a Special Inspector General for Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Armed Forces: A dedicated office to investigate underrepresentation of people of color among military officers and high-ranking enlisted servicemembers, racial disparities within the military justice system, and white supremacy among servicemembers.
  • Increase Representation of Women and People of Color in the Armed Services: The military would be required to establish specific goals to increase recruiting, accessions, and promotion of minorities and women, and to report to Congress on a plan to achieve these goals and their progress.
  • Address Bias by Anonymizing Candidates Before Military Promotion Boards: Redact all personally identifiable information, such as names and photographs, of servicemembers before promotion boards to remove the potential for conscious or unconscious bias.
  • Make Violent Extremism a Military Crime: A new article within the Uniform Code of Military Justice would bring greater consequences to servicemembers who perpetrate, plan, threaten, or conspire to commit violent acts with intent to intimidate or coerce a person or class of people, or the intent to impact government action or policy.
  • Track White Supremacy among Servicemembers: The military services would be required to improve tracking of white-supremacist and other extremist activity by servicemembers.
  • Establish a Military-Civilian Task Force on Domestic Violence: The task force would report to Congress with findings and recommendations to address intimate partner violence among servicemembers and military families, and DoD would be required to collect data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence.
  • Establish a Military-wide Safe-to-Report Policy: Clarify that servicemembers may report sexual assault without fear of being disciplined for related minor collateral misconduct such as drinking in the barracks.
  • Improve Coordination for Survivors of Sexual Trauma: Ensure a warm handoff for survivors when relocating between stations within the military or when separating from the military and transferring from service providers within DoD to resources within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Improve Oversight of Military Sexual Assault Investigations: Require DoD to report to Congress all military sexual assault investigations that remain open more than 6 months along with the reasons for the delay.
  • Improve Oversight of Next Generation Body Armor: Require DoD to report on barriers to fielding next generation body armor that will provide better, gender-specific protection for military servicemembers.
  • Expand Child Care Options for Military Families: Address waiting lists, establish competitive pay for providers in high-cost areas, provide housing priority for military spouses that operate Family Care Centers, and expand the Financial Assistance Program to pay for in-home child care, such as by a nanny or au pair. Additionally, it requires 24-hour child care be provided on bases where servicemembers are required to work night shifts.
  • Improve Oversight of the Next Generation Interceptor Missile Defense Program: Require an independent cost estimate and two successful flight tests before buying.
  • Transparency of Contractor Ownership: Expand reporting requirements to identify the beneficial owner of contractors.
  • Strengthen Whistleblower Protections: Clarify that nondisclosure agreements do not prevent employees of government contractors and subcontractors from filing a whistleblower complaint.
  • Examine Equal Employment Opportunity: Require the Department of Defense to report on ways to improve the EEO process for DoD civilians.
  • Enact the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act: Strengthen EEO protections and increase accountability for federal employees who are found to be responsible for discrimination.
  • Authorize Incentive Pay for Programming Proficiency: Develop a system to track coding language aptitude and proficiency by military servicemembers and DoD civilians and offer financial incentives for needed programming skills.
  • Investigate Suicide at Remote Military Installations: Require a Comptroller General report covering unique challenges of preventing suicide by military servicemembers and military family members at remote bases outside of the contiguous United States.
  • Examine Access to Contraception and Family Planning Education. Require DoD to issue a report on barriers experienced by servicemembers in accessing contraception and the status of implementation of new DoD requirements on reproductive health care, such as ensuring access to contraception for the full length of deployment.

Read more here.

Related Links:
Chair Speier NDAA Provisions Address Military Sexual Assault, Intimate Partner Violence, Racial Justice, Ethics, Military Families, and DoD Oversight and Modernization
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Senators Cruz, Gillibrand, Grassley Offer Bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act as Amendment to Defense Bill (July 2, 2020)

Raheel Siddiqui, US Marine Corps (2016)

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Raheel Siddiqui, US Marine Corps

Marine Corps recruit Raheel Siddiqui died while attending boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina on March 18, 2016.

Related Links:
Parris Island recruit jumped to death while in boot camp training
U.S. Marine from Taylor dies at Parris Island recruit training facility
Death of Marine recruit at Parris Island under investigation
Death of Marine at South Carolina boot camp under investigation
Marines instructors under investigation after death of Muslim recruit
Marines Expand Hazing Probe Following Recruit Raheel Siddiqui’s Death
A Marine Recruit’s Death Spurred An Important Investigation
Marine Corps Officials Recommend Charges in Death of Muslim Recruit
Marine Corps Completed Three Command-Level Investigations at Parris Island
Marines: Recruit committed suicide amid culture of hazing, abuse
Following a Marine recruit’s death, a culture of hazing is exposed on a storied base
Siddiqui family: USMC investigation leaves ‘unanswered’ questions
Documents disclose alleged Marine hazing at Parris Island
Marine recruit’s death didn’t stop hazing, abuse in his platoon, USMC finds
20 Marines Face Discipline After Muslim Recruit’s Death Is Ruled a Suicide
Up to 20 marines could face disciplinary action over Muslim recruit’s death
Timeline of recruit Raheel Siddiqui at Parris Island Marine base before suicide
Marine recruit’s death uncovers pattern of abuse by some drill instructors
USMC: Before Recruit Died, Platoon Mates Ordered to Beat One Another
Day before Parris Island recruit died, platoon mates ordered to beat one another, USMC found
Muslim marine says he was called a ‘terrorist’ and thrown in an industrial dryer at scandal-plagued South Carolina boot camp
Muslim Marine Placed in Clothes Dryer by Instructor, Asked if He Was ‘Terrorist’
“They put us through hell”: A Marine abused at boot camp explains why he spoke out
911 audio reveals new details about morning of USMC recruit’s death
Marine Corps drill instructors will be watched more closely after Parris Island scandal
The Mysterious Death of a Muslim Marine Recruit
Muslim Marine Trainee Killed Himself … or Did He?
Marine recruits testify about drill instructor at hearing
Marine Corps Holding Hearing To Determine If Charges Will Move Forward In Recruit’s Death
Corps names 2 Parris Island DIs for courts-martial; one linked to Muslim recruit’s death
Marines to court-martial drill instructor after Muslim recruit’s death
Marine drill instuctor to face court martial after Michigan recruit’s death
Marine drill instructor faces court martial in connection with death of Muslim recruit ‘who killed himself after he was called a terrorist and was physically abused at boot camp’
Dingell Statement on Referral of Charges Related to Raheel Siddiqui Case
One NCIS investigation at Parris Island is over, but another continues
Hearing set for USMC drill instructor linked to Siddiqui’s death
USMC Recruit Had To Get Skin Grafts After Hazing Incident
Official fired after Taylor Marine Raheel Siddiqui’s death faces hearing
Official fired after Marine recruit’s death at Parris Island faces hearing
How the Death of a Muslim Recruit Revealed a Culture of Brutality in the Marines
Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon, US Marine Corps (Military Corruption)


Why did a 20-year-old recruit jump to his death at the Marine Corps training facility at Parris Island? That question spurred an internal investigation, which uncovered a larger pattern of hazing and abuse. William Brangham joins Judy Woodruff to offer a closer look at the investigation. -PBS NewsHour

United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, US Air Force (2016)

Retaliation

On March 10, 2016 the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals upheld United States v. Jane Neubauer, United States Air Force. Is this another case of federal government overreach and denial of due process rights? I think John Q Public‘s assessment of this case speaks volumes of the real issues behind the Command directed prosecution of an airman who blew the whistle after being recruited as an Office of Special Investigations (OSI) confidential informant. The same OSI office she exposed ended up investigating and assisting with her prosecution. This is yet another example of the importance of letting an impartial law enforcement official and prosecutor make decisions about whether to investigate, who should investigate, who to investigate, and whether or not they have the evidence to move forward with a case. The moment a military member asks for an attorney, all criminal justice communications with Commanders and their investigators must cease. Every accused military member should be represented by counsel and afforded their due process rights throughout the entire investigation including collection of evidence. Learn more about your due process rights here.

“There have been many sexual assault accusations far less credible than the accusation made by this Airman. Many that were enthusiastically pursued by prosecutors despite their frailty … many that did not result in disciplinary actions when they were revealed to have been false.

So, what was so special about this accusation?

Well, she was an OSI informant, and the situation cast OSI in an extremely negative light at a time when the OSI informant program was already under fire. The same organization that recruited her right out of BMT to help investigate drug activity at Keesler AFB conducted the investigation that eventually resulted in her prosecution.

If she’s wrong … if she’s bad … if she’s a liar … then obviously she’s the problem. She’ll absorb the negative attention and culpability … leaving OSI and its shady actions in this debacle comfortably out of the limelight.

Another example of prosecutorial inconsistency and arbitrariness in the USAF … demonstrating that it’s not operating an impartial justice system, but a score-settling control device on behalf of the chain of command.” ~John Q Public

Related Links:
United States v. Airman Basic Jane M. Neubauer, United States Air Force
Spies, Lies, and Rape in the Air Force: An Undercover Agent’s Story
Undercover Agent Says the Air Force Is Retaliating Against Her After She Was Raped
Air Force undercover informant claims she is being hounded out of the service after being raped while trying to root out drug rings
Gillibrand Reacts to Air Force Rape Case First Reported by The Daily Beast
The Pentagon’s shameful culture of sexual assault can still be uprooted
Air Force Charges Ex-Informant With Lying About Her Rape
Keesler Air Force Base ex-informant loses appeal
Former Air Force informant who made false rape charge loses appeal
Former Air Force Informant Who Made False Rape Charge Loses Appeal
Honor and deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
Air Force Cadet’s Secret Story: I Blew the Whistle on Football Players and Sex Assaults
Hearing testimony reveals subterfuge of Air Force Academy informant program
Informant Debate Renewed as Air Force Revisits Cadet Misconduct
Air Force Academy: Please Reinstate Cadet Eric Thomas and Reform the Confidential Informant Program!