Thursday, September 8, 2016

Military justice and the candidates

Donald J. Trump
Republican Nominee for
President of the United States
The following is an excerpt from the transcript of last night's NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum, held aboard USS Intrepid:
JACKSON: Donald Day (ph) here, who served as a radio operator in the Marine Corps in the Vietnam era. He had tours of duty in Southeast Asia and in Europe. He's also a Democrat and has this question for you. 
QUESTION: Mr. [Donald J.] Trump, I have a daughter who is interested in joining the service, but when she researched the military, she saw the stats on sexual assault and decided not to go. I have a concern about the rape of women in our armed forces. As president, what specifically would you do to support all victims of sexual assault in the military? 
TRUMP: It's a great question. And it's a massive problem. The numbers are staggering, hard to believe, even. But we're going to have to run it very tight. I at the same time want to keep the court system within the military. I don't think it should be outside of the military. But we have to come down very, very hard on that. 
And your daughter is absolutely right, it is a massive problem. But we have to do something about that problem. And the best thing we can do is set up a court system within the military. Right now, the court system practically doesn't exist. It takes too long. 
[MATT] LAUER: In 2013, on this subject, you tweeted this, quote, "26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military, only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?" 
TRUMP: Well, it is -- it is -- it is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that that's absolutely correct. And we need to have a... 
LAUER: So this should have been expected? And does that mean the only way to fix it is to take women out of the military? 
TRUMP: Well, it's happening, right? And, by the way, since then, it's gotten worse. No, not to take them out, but something has to be happen. Right now, part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted. You have reported and -- the gentleman can tell you, you have the report of rape and nobody gets prosecuted. There are no consequence. 
When you have somebody that does something so evil, so bad as that, there has to be consequence for that person. You have to go after that person. Right now, nobody's doing anything. Look at the small number of results. I mean, that's part of the problem.
The above issues did not come up during Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's portion of the Forum.

Postscript: The New York Times is on the case.

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