The Military Justice Improvement Act – created to combat the epidemic of sexual assault and rape in the military, was inspired by the disturbing disclosers of the documentary The Invisible War. It was unfortunately defeated in the American Senate. Why? – I don’t know the details, except for the numbers – five more votes were needed to reach the required 60. There was a mammoth effort involving human rights activists, senators and congressmen, but sadly, it appears that certain loyalties trumped justice for these – and future victims of a system that does not work. Can’t totally blame the Republicans since the Senate has a majority of Democrats. Republican-dominated Congress was also against the bill, and so it would have been defeated there even if it passed The Senate.
The ‘battle-mentality’ lack-of-compromise from American right-wing politicians is another type of war – a filibustering war – with little consideration for, and much shunning of the issues presented by the other side.
Night-time talk show host Jimmy Fallon recently put this now commonly-held opinion in a humorous context: ‘Did you hear about the Democrats’ latest bill? The Republicans said they’re defeating it – as soon as they have a chance to read it’. (Not exactly verbatim, but close by my recollection.)
The expense involved in transferring litigation control from the military to a more open and impartial review system was likely the reason for the defeat. The American military is the largest defence organization in the world, with a great deal of support and involvement of right-wing interests. It doesn’t pay to create bad press for a ‘business’ that involves not only the employment of so many, but also involves a large part of the economy. So instead of ‘cleaning it up’, the preference is to continue to sweep their ‘dirty, not-so-little secret’ under the rug. But with docs such as The Invisible War, the problem is not such a secret anymore.
I would love to hear your thoughts:
What was your response to the doc, The Invisible War?
Why do you think the bill addressing the issue of sexual assault in the military was defeated?