July 19th, 2012
Employers Gone Wild: Sex Offenders in Charge of Air Force Training
We are nation of zero tolerance toward sex abusers. They are scorned. Their addresses are published so neighbors can ostracize them. They must register as criminals. They are branded outcasts.
The U.S. military policy toward sexual abuse of subordinates by ranking officers is officially, on paper, also demands zero tolerance. The reality seems to be much different.
From The Nation on July 17 reports about the pattern of rape, molestation and sexual abuse at Lackland Air Force Base where all AF recruits go through basic training:
At a hearing last month, two female former trainees told a courtroom that they were pressured to have sex with two of their male instructors. The men called them over the intercom under false pretense and asked them to leave their dorm rooms, then led them to a supply closet where one of the men had sexual intercourse with one of the women, while the other woman performed oral sex on the other male instructor.
In that incident, the sexual abusers were Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio and Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc. Another man, Staff Sgt. Luis A. Walker, is accused of molesting 10 women on base. Four men are facing hearings on charges. An internal investigation that most likely uncovered a smaller number of once-secret incidents than actually occur found 30 cases on the one AFB. Of course the defense accuses the women of having consensual sex. Thus, complaints can be treated dismissively.
In all cases, the men were superiors to the women in basic training. In the military context, being ordered to appear, even to a supply closet, and ordered to have sex left the subordinate women no choice. Their lives were probably not in danger (though the violence potential of each man is not addressed in press coverage of their trials), their careers in the Air Force most certainly were. When military officers choose to abuse their power, subordinates have few options. One has to walk in these women’s shoes to fully understand the horrific pressure they face.
The employer is the U.S. Air Force. Congressional hearings would shed light on this problem. However, even military rape is politicized in this country. Democrat Rep. Jackie Spiers (a longtime advocate for women’s rights and domestic violence laws) called for hearings. But Republican Representatives Mike Conoway, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Mac Thornberry said congressional “theater” wouldn’t help, we don’t want to interfere with the Air Force’s internal investigations, and “there is no evidence of a widespread problem,” respectively.
The disgraceful conduct of the venerated U.S. military continues with no public outrage because, like bullying, sexual misconduct is shrouded in silence sustained by employers who deploy unlimited resources to keep the story from public scrutiny.
See the shocking documentary — The Invisible War
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 8:56 am and is filed under Documentaries, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.