|Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand|
Roll Call reports here that Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D.-NY) has lifted her anonymous hold on the nomination of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC, to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The bone of contention had to do with access to records relating to sexual assault at each service's largest base and at four training commands. Excerpt:
“I’m very grateful for Secretary [Ashton B.] Carter’s leadership and his determination to root out sexual violence,” said Gillibrand, who has publicly argued with military leaders and defense officials over her efforts to take the decision for prosecuting sexual assault and other major crimes out of the chain of command.
Gillibrand’s 2014 report involved a review of 107 case files that shed further light on the “true scope of sexual violence in military communities, including two large but overlooked segments of the military population — military spouses, and civilian women living near military bases,” according to that report.
Those documents, she said in her report, suggest spouses and other civilians are particularly vulnerable. The military justice system, she wrote, “continues to struggle to provide justice.”
The updated report will also include information on training bases.
“This is an issue that we continue to fail at and we need more information to understand the whole depth and expanse of the problem,” she said Wednesday. “Reviewing documents and actually understanding what happens in these cases is an excellent first step to understanding how to solve the problem.”Sen. Gillibrand will be supporting Gen. Dunford's confirmation.