90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Military Sex Abuse And The Chain Of Command

Solving the U.S. military’s sex abuse problem. We look at the chain of command issue and what needs to change

Senate subcommittee on Personnel Chair Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, greets members of the third panel before the subcommittee's hearing on sexual assault in the military. (AP)

Senate subcommittee on Personnel Chair Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, greets members of the third panel before the subcommittee’s hearing on sexual assault in the military. (AP)

One bad headline after another on sexual assault in the U.S. military lately.

Bad numbers.  Big growth.  Bad reports of military figures who have been key in preventing sexual assault  — themselves in trouble.  Attacking.  Pimping, for heaven’s sake, we heard last week.

Everybody’s in an uproar about it.  But we’ve been there before.  What do we actually do about it?

New legislation would take responsibility for dealing with sexual assault out of the chain of command.  The holy of holies in the military. Is that a good idea?  Is it time?

Up next On Point: U.S. military sexual assault and the chain of command.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Martin, national security correspondent for CBS News.

Elizabeth Hillman, professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and former professor of history at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She currently serves on a panel appointed by Congress to make recommendations on military sexual assault.

John Altenburg, retired Major General in the U.S. Army, where he served as a Green Beret and an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps. He served 28 years as a lawyer in the Army, where he represented the Army before Congress, state and local governments, and in court in the United States and Germany.

From Tom’s Reading List

CBS News: Military cracks down on rampant sexual abuse — “After a flood of sexual abuse cases in the military, President Obama summoned the nation’s military leadership to the White House Thursday. Before the meeting, Gen. Ray Odierno, the army chief of staff, admitted all efforts to stop the abuse have failed. In a classic Washington photo op, the commander-in-chief called in the top uniformed and civilian leaders of the military to order a crack down on sexual assault.”

Time Magazine: The Roots of Sexual Abuse in the Military – “Even before the Army confirmed a third military sexual-assault preventer had been implicated in sexual harassment in the past two weeks late Thursday – the charges ranged from sexual battery, to pandering, to stalking an ex-wife – the Army’s top general, and the commander-in chief, said they’ve had enough.”

The Hill: Gillibrand bill targets chain of command in sex assault cases — “Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and a dozen other lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday to remove sexual assault cases from the military’s chain of command. The bill would represent a major shake-up of the military’s centuries-old judicial code by removing the decision to prosecute felony-type cases from military commanders.”

Tweets From During The Show

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment