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This agenda seeks to bash military, lawmakers

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: June 24, 2013

RAPE is a horrible, violent crime that should be aggressively prosecuted. At least that's how most people view it. But to the liberal Agenda Project Action Fund, rape is mostly a rhetorical weapon to bash the military and lawmakers who support the armed forces.

A recent Pentagon report showed a disturbing 35 percent increase, from 2010 to 2012, in the estimated number of sexual abuse incidents in the military. Understandably, the report prompted a U.S. Senate hearing. It also led to a proposal to remove oversight of those prosecutions from the military chain of command. Critics noted military commanders have the ability to grant clemency to those convicted of rape. U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, was among a bipartisan group of senators opposing the proposal.

Now the Agenda Project Action Fund has released a video flatly declaring that Inhofe and 16 other senators “voted to protect rapists.” Common sense alone suggests this claim is nonsense: There's not much future for an elected politician running on a pro-rape platform.

Instead, Inhofe's stance was based on preserving military order and granting appropriate flexibility to high-ranking commanders. At the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the military rape issue, Inhofe stressed that lawmakers “must be deliberate in making fundamental changes” to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“There is a risk of unintended consequences if we act in haste without thorough and thoughtful review,” Inhofe said.

He noted that commanders have set aside findings of guilt in just 1 percent of cases overall. From 2010 to 2012, Marine commanders set aside findings in only seven of 1,768 cases, or 0.4 percent. In the Air Force, the rate was 1.1 percent over five years. In the Army, commanders have set aside findings in 1.4 percent of cases since 2008. In the Navy, commanders set aside just four of 16,056 cases tried from 2002 to 2012, a rate of 0.0001 percent.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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