Lawmakers Grill Officials Over Sex Assaults, Nukes

Lawmakers Grill Officials Over Sex Assaults, Nukes

U.S. lawmakers grilled the Air Force’s top leaders over rising sexual assaults in the military and the recent removal of more than a dozen officers from overseeing the country’s most powerful nuclear missiles.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., cited new Defense Department statistics that showed the number of sexual assaults and related crimes increased 35 percent to 26,000 in the last two years, based on surveys of active-duty personnel.

“I’m just fed up with this,” she said during a May 8 hearing of the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee. “This seems to be a systemic, persistent problem.”

The subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said a news report that 17 junior officers at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., were temporarily stripped of their authority to control and launch Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles due to inspection failings “could not be more troubling.”

The issues dominated a hearing at which Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh sought to highlight the harmful effects of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

“I’ve been working with you for 25 years and it didn’t seem to do one damn bit of good,” Mikulski, the committee’s chairwoman, fumed to Donley in her opening remarks. “I’m pretty frustrated. I want change. I want action.”

The hearing came the same week Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, chief of the service’s sexual assault prevention and response branch, was arrested and charged with sexual battery after allegedly touching a woman outside a strip club near the Pentagon. It was the latest in a series of high-profile sex cases that have drawn congressional scrutiny.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month proposed limiting the authority of commanders in court-martial cases after Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin overturned the sexual assault conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, who was accused of fondling a woman’s breasts and genitalia while she slept. Wilkerson remains in the service after the charges were cleared.

An estimated 26,000 active-duty troops had unwanted sexual contact in fiscal 2012, up from about 19,300 in 2010, according to a report the Pentagon released May 7. By comparison, 3,374 troops reported sexual assaults last year, an increase of 5.7 percent from the previous year, according to the report.

Advocates say the discrepancy in the figures shows the degree to which victims are reluctant to come forward.

Welsh said sexual assault in the military “is a cancer,” reiterating previous comments he’s made on the subject. “No one is more frustrated than I am,” he said. “We need your help.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she introduced legislation yesterday with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., in part to mandate more sexual-assault prevention programs in the service. Murray said the Pentagon report showed 62 percent of sexual assault victims were retaliated against by superiors after reporting an incident, a response she called “really disconcerting.”

“When they said something, their chain of command officer made sure they paid the price,” she said. “That’s just wrong.”

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said sexual assault has become such a problem that it may begin to impact military recruitment. She also questioned why convicted personnel are allowed to remain in the service.

“Why isn’t there a policy where they automatically receive a dishonorable discharge and are kicked out?” she asked. “If we really are going to send a signal of zero tolerance, then we shouldn’t be keeping individuals convicted of sexual assault in the military in any of our branches.”

A bill in the House sponsored by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would create an independent office within the military to investigate sexual-assault claims and remove cases from the chain of command.

Durbin said the incident at Minot Air Force Base “strikes at the core of our responsibility of our chain of command.”

The inspection shortcomings are the latest setbacks for the service’s nuclear units. In 2007, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly loaded with six nuclear warheads and flew from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., triggering a widespread investigation and reorganization within the service.

“Heads rolled as a result of that and there were dramatic changes made,” Durbin said. “Can you explain to me how we could possibly reach the point with this critical assignment within the U.S. Air Force where there would be such a lack of professionalism and readiness at this high level?”

The Air Force over the past several years has significantly strengthened the inspection process, Donley said. “I am confident in the Air Force’s ability to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent,” he said.

The officers involved were mostly lieutenants and some may have been new to the service, Donley said. They received satisfactory ratings in other areas of the inspection, but needed retraining so the commander “took them offline to do that,” he said. “That is an appropriate command response.”

Durbin questioned whether there was a breakdown of supervision. “It is cold comfort to hear these are lieutenants and they may have been new to the job,” he said. “When I consider this responsibility, that is as troubling as the disclosures that we’ve found.”

Tags: , ,

Join the Conversation

I was in S A C from 1982–1988 and I am amazed at the issues our nuclear force has been having since S A C was abolished in 1991. Can anyone currently on active duty or who has served after 1991 comment. I cant recall even a single incident like these during the time I was in. Sure there were accidents, but not incidents like this that I was ever aware of.

First, let me say that militarycorruption is /full/ of stuff like this, and what does it have to do with procurement and acquisition?

Now, waiting for someone to do the following:

1) State that “women have no place in combat, because men cannot control themselves” (ironically, this is what many Salafi countries say about why women must be kept illiterate and at home, and are sadly validated when women are groped in riots in Egypt)

2) Men “need to cool off after combat” (though not without a trace of irony, since an AF LTC in charge of Pentagon stuff has seen combat when…?).

3) State that “women should not be in the combat arms”, though women getting assaulted by a guy in charge of ensuring women in the AF aren’t assaulted…?

4) State that “men have always done this”, making it okay.

5) State that “what a soldier does in his free time does not reflect his professional performance”: Do you want him working sex assault prevention at the college your daughter/sister goes to?

6) State that “woman in the bar was asking for it”; since men who are going to bars want it and clearly that is why women go to bars?

Like the Catholic church, they’ll find a nice new place to hide him. Head of logistics at Minot AFB? Missile silo control center deliveryman? Another government functionary to assign to the Joint Strike Fighter or KC-46? I can’t wait to see where he goes!

The DOD’s continued failing on problem of sexual assault is sickening and perplexing.

I posted this elsewhere, but I’ll repeat here. USAF needs Navy nuke experience to change their culture. The USN culture tolerates ZERO MISTAKES with regard nuclear weapons and is absolutely draconian and brutal in enforcement of their standards. It will require some humility on the Air Force’s part, but they could bring a couple of these strat nuke admirals or captains out of retirement and give them a wide berth to clean house and rebuild the culture. Remember SAC? This s### would NEVER have happened. Considering this is occurring after the Barksdale B-52 incident, this tells me that the USAF is incapable of getting a handle on this. The credibility of the nuclear deterrent of the United States of American is at stake in getting this right.

Start a the top and either reassign these “leaders” or “nudge” them into retirement. They are ineffectual. Get some people in a position who delivered results during their careers.

Following the logic trail about these two seemingly unrelated items seems to suggest that since the American men (and especially those in uniform) can’t be relied upon to “restrain themselves” sexually, and that impulse permeates a man’s entire character, we’ll obviously be ones to launch a first strike nuclear attack.

If I were the President, I’d announce that all sexual predators currently in uniform are to immediately resign or retire. If caught after that announcement, they will be sent to GITMO as a “clear and present danger” to the health of our military and the nation. No trial, no discussion, no appeal. Time to stop all the B.S. talking and take action.

Aurora, you make a good point. The Navy seems to be much better equip both culturally and technical to handle nukes. I would even go so far to suggest that the Navy take over all strategic nukes. The air force doesn’t seem to have the culture nor the skills to manage nukes any more.

Constant, consistent and thorough pressure from outside of the military will slowly correct this problem. This is not an Air Force problem alone. I am sure it represents a change in the social expectations of our nation, the same as the integration of African Americans in the military forces. Not many individuals left that remember that time. Please remember nothing is the same, however social changes of this level of importance take time and patients. While it is correct to get excited and demand action, when you are talking about over 20,000 incidents a year, some solution has to be found other than mass discharges and imprisonment. I never used this phrase before in my life, however I believe this requires a change in the social mores of this nation! People talk about what is right; however they act out in a different manner! Does anyone watch TV these days?

Ok Brendan McGarry, WHAT did the Generals say? You mention what the Liberal Feminists Senators said but NOT what the Generals said. What did they say??? What did LTG FRanklin say about WHY he saw the claim as having NO value? As the so called victim contradicting herself?? WHAT did LTG Franklin said???? You LACK to mention what the Generals answered and what LTG General Franklin explained!! You just quote the political appointee LIBERAL SecDef and the feminists Liberal (FeminNazis) Congressperson! That is WRONG! You must quote BOTH sides!!!

The AF needs to dust off the old AFMs. I was assigned to Barksdale during the late 70’s and the 2nd BMW shined during a DNA because it was a way of life on the base. We knew even the slightest wrinkle could leave your career in jeapordy.

Easy on the caps there Ron. The article wasn’t written to debate what happened with LTG Franklin. It’s a collection of recent events somewhat related. Wilkerson was court martialed. He was convicted. LTG Franklin overturned it. The issue at hand with that court martial is whether or not any GO should have the power to overturn a felony conviction based on his or her own say-so. LTC Wilkerson had his day in a courtroom with a judge and jury. There’s an appeals process in the military court system just like on the civilian side. In the civilian world the only person capable of doing something similar is the President.

Regardless, there are serious sexual assault problems in the DoD now. The training they give us is a joke and the overall system doesn’t seem to be taking the problem seriously. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Task Force being arrested for getting drunk and stupid is just icing on the cake.

Great! When do ‘we’ grill our civilian lawmakers (law breakers) for their lies, cheating, and for their obvious sexual perversions?

So true… they are the worst and they sit and pass judgement.

Well, what can we expect when a previous Pres pulled the “cigar trick” and came away unscathed. If your “head guy” can get away with it, why not the lower ranks? ZERO tolerance should occur at every level. Seems it is always the Dems that think this is okay to do. JMO

All this hype about increased reporting of assault is just political posturing. There are no increases in assult in the military and it is far worse in civilian society. Tell the politicians to get a grip and stop blaming the military for the society they have allowed to develop by reducing sentences and not prosecuting more than 20 million crimes in the US. Tell them to get their own houses in order before passing judgement!

Willy (the zipper) Clinton got away with incidents like this numerous times. It was Hillery’s main function to run damage control in the White House. Not the mention the Clinton body counts. And now having a congressional investigation is like the fox looing in to the hen house. Political prostitutes investigating wrong doing? They should clean up their own house first.

“In 2007, a B-52 bomber was mistakenly loaded with six nuclear warheads and flew from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., triggering a widespread investigation and reorganization within the service.“_________________________________________________________________When I heard about this one, the first thing went through my mind, “That was no mistake”, nobody is that stupid. You don’t mistakenly load six nuclear warheads on it’s delivery platform, and fly it halfway across the country, we have deterents against that sort of thing, we should have redundancies upon redundancies to prevent it, if we don’t, then we should. That was done deliberately.

“Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said sexual assault has become such a problem that it may begin to impact military recruitment._______________________Only part of that is true. Sexual assault impact moral. And as for the removal of the officers that lack trainning, that has happened many times in the military, you pull the troops off line, retrain them, and make a decision if you’re going to put them back in the job. I personally don’t think that awsome responsibility should be put in the hands of Lt’s, that job should be reserved for field grade officers, at least an 04.….thats just my opinion. I honestly don’t think a lot of people actually realize how dangerous all these incidents was, especially in terms of nuclear warheads.

Thats a good question, but they are suppose to check themselves, but as you can see, thats not going to happen, and yet, we keep voting them into office. So we the people, are part of he problem.

These DoD leaders will talk intil it snows in hell and the sexual problems will only grow..,.Quick and severe punishment is a good start…STOP this pussy footing around the problems.…when I say quick and severe, I also mean the females contributing part, not just the man.…if the female are immune then it will never stop, and rightfully so??? No barginning with the defense, and eliminate ALL these self created DELAYS.…

So you justify tens of thousands of rapes by equating them with consensual adultery by politicians? Politicians screw around, so it’s ok to rape a woman (not that they are all female victims) and have her superiors destroy her career if she reports — over and over and over again? Taxpayers are supposed to provide the pay, medical care, feeding and training of sex criminals and call them heroes, that’s ok with you?

Congress, our Armed Forces and the many arms of the Federal Government (as a whole) are representative of the state of our country today. When you snub, belittle, ignore, trash, and raise “the finger” to our Creator and the laws that He established for “a reason”…then you “reap what you sow”. I am a proud card carrying enlistee of the U.S. Air Force of the early ’70’s. Whats new? I could write a book on all of the above. I have never been so perplexed by and ashamed of “my service” as I am today…but, the 20% +- of our Armed Forces who persist in and perpetuate “evil” and who cannot control their lust and sinful nature, ultimately lead to the “loss of control” of our lives and our obligations to the nation we swore to protect, in all of it’s facets. There is no position…either in leadership or in the “lowly” worker bee-enlisted ranks where corruption or “the sin nature” of humanity, does not show its ugly face . It started with Adam and Eve and the consequences of their decisions and actions have progressively led to our situation and explosive sin of this day. Now you read the sad commentary on not just the USAF, but a nation and world as a whole. Kiss off Biblical principles and Godly direction and mankind has ALWAYS paid the high price. Enough said. Sad Day!

While I am in no way trying to water down the seriousness of sexual assault, the implication that the military is full of sex criminals being called heros is asinine and ignorant. The DoD mirrorx society, and society as a whole needs a culture change.

“The Pentagon has determined that the rate of female victims…went to 1-in-16 between the 2010 study and the most recent report.” That is 6.25% per year, or 25% over 4 years. Those numbers are very close to the numbers cited below for women on college campuses.

“In a (1997) study by the U.S. Centers for Disease control of 5,000 college students at over 100 colleges…one in five college women has been raped at some point in her lifetime.” (Note that the study stats are for rape, not including sexual assault).

“Between 20% and 25% of women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career” U.S. Department of Justice

I say all Men need to be taken out of the military since they can not control them selves appropriatly!
Why punish the wome for the men’s misdeeds!

I was a SAC missilier from 81–85 and it is obvious what is going on. Commanders have to show their ‘strength’ and ‘leadership’ by overreacting.….17 people could not have possibly failed their written tests or simulated testing and the squadron and wing still get a ‘SAT.’ These poor slobs got the minimum passing scores and/or major errors and they are being crucified to show someone else’s ‘leadership.’ What a bunch of bull. WIth 17 people off crew shifts, others have to pick up the slack and there goes morale and efficiency and this will just cause more and different problems. Idiots. The Air Force should be reamed by Congress.

Have we reached the point where any claim of sexual abuse by a female against a male will be accepted without investigation? Is an unsupported sexual abuse allegation made by a female against a male a death sentence for a male? What about female on female or male on male abuse claims? Have we reached the point when males and females cannot work together without witnesses present? Have we reached the point where mere allegations are proof?

Soon as Skynet can fight our wars for us, we won’t need men or women alive! All resources for the machines!

Exactly. America is a troubled country, morally. It has nothing to do with religion, but if there is a God, some housecleaning, or even another Great Flood would be nice.

up the administrator

militarycorruption is now reporting the “woman” might’ve been a guy in drag, and free on 5k bail.

Please, by all means elaborate.

Has anyone actually read articles on this incident with the General overriding the conviction? This person is NOT in the Air Force anymore. She just determined that the alleged offender was a more credible witness in the accusations than the alleged ‘victim’ regarding it being a case of sexual assault. I had plenty of experience in my 23 years in the Navy, which included several years working with the Air Force at an Air Force base, where women were found to have flat out lied about rape. The problem? The command covered up both cases and allowed the females who were proven by OSI investigations to have lied to remain on active duty.

The issue here is he’s been dismissed from the service and that is appropriate because no matter how you slice it, this guy had ZERO business carrying on sexual liaisons with junior personnel. In one case, it was a female lieutenant. In the other, even worse, it was an enlisted woman. The mere face that a more senior officer is messing around with the juniors means he’s guilty of fraternization and that’s grounds enough for dismissal. His conviction for sexual assault has been set aside, but that doesn’t mean he’s allowed to stay in the Air Force. He was stripped of his rank and ordered dismissed from the service anyway. That’s enough for me, if this flag officer’s decision pan out. AND, the fact that this is a female general who made this decision tells me alot. I doubt she’s favoring men.

Why are you “waiting for someone to do the following” when you just said it all (in your opinion). Your
hatred of your fellow man and blaming all men for the acts of a few, and generalizing about life will go
a long way for you in the future. You fuel the debate for the sake of it. I am a Vietnam combat veteran
and respected the women that I served with. I resent your attitude and those of the rest of the men haters
in this debate. I am sorry for the malicious acts of the few that taint the many. You have the same mentality
that the miscreants had toward us when we came home! HATE! We have a son and a daughter in the Air
Force, both officers and they do not like some of the crap that goes on either. However, they choose to
implement change through positive actions not hateful free speech. Think about it. By the way our government will continue to fail us. It’s a forgone conclusion at this point.

You can read into it whatever you like. Poke into any discussion about women in the military and see what comes out. You can even try it on the rest of the internet, like Reddit and Newsvine, or even’s other forums.

Ah, the Female Illuminati out to cripple America’s military before the PLA comes in…

Nothing to read into, your attitude is very evident. You can find whatever you want on the internet.
Especially HATE. You can also write what you want when you don’t have to face anybody! Talk is cheap! Most people don’t pay much attention to cheap internet talk, but this bothered me because I see so much judgment being handed out by a few. You think that the millions of people feel the way a few bigots feel and act? You should get a real life if you do. The internet is a great place for people to speak their mind with no responsibility.

2007 Minot-Barksdale incident was a failed attempt to bomb Iran and start WWIII. A whistleblower reported the following in 2006 to S.O.D., JCS at the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, WH, ect. http://​www​.freerepublic​.com/​f​o​c​u​s​/​f​-​n​e​w​s​/​1​5​5​2​2​986… (note p.1,5,6,13,15)
search: 2007 Minot Barksdale nuke incident insider trading
This and other corruption was reported by the Whistleblower regarding media corruption linked to terrorism and insider trading. The Whistleblower/their family was systematically terrorized/tortured and their lives made into a living hell and no one had the Honor, Integrity or Courage to do anything about it. This is what our soldiers died and lost life/limb over?

In August of 2004 there was also a bizarre article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal regarding the transport of a 500 ton piece of machinery on the Russian Antonov 225 to Taiwan that was allegedly to save production time for flat screen TV’s. Nose cone assembly’s/nuclear missile fuses were also “mistakenly” sent to Taiwan in 2006 by USAF. (search: nuke parts to Taiwan)

Friday, January 08, 2010
China-Taiwan-Iran Nuke Parts Connection http://​michaelturton​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​1​0​/​0​1​/​c​h​i​n​a-t

Note Seattle and Barksdale AFB in freerepublic​.com article. Interestingly, Seattle, Washington and Shrevesport, LA. (Barksdale AFB) were implicated in the recent ricin letters mailed to government officials. Shreveport, LA. was also noted as a target on a map allegedly confused by North Korea with Colorado Springs, CO. home of NORAD, preceding the Boston Bombings on 4–15-13 and slain M.I.T. security officer. M.I.T. of symbolic nature for previous university prank involving stolen cow . Prank was relevant to “Where’s the BEEF” as in a fight. Interesting interview on 4–12-13 Piers Morgan with Paul Anka (Song DUETS) . University of Phoenix black guy with Red Socks (opening of Red Socks Game on 4–15-13), GEICO commercial with Patriot Paul Revere on cell phone (Bombing occurred on Patriots Day, use of cell phones). North Korea 101st Birthday of Founder of North Korea (SONG) threatened to launch TWO missiles then two bombs used at Boston Bombing at symbolic location. Nothing mentioned about North Korea after that. It appears those who are involved are playing both sides. Who watches the watchers?


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.