April 2012


U.S.-Japan Deal Withdraws 9,000 Marines from Okinawa

 

Bob Kovach and Chelsea J. Carter
CNN
April 27, 2012

 

Roughly half the U.S. Marines on Okinawa will be transferred under an agreement announced Thursday that will reduce the military footprint in Japan, easing local resentments over the amount of land being used by American forces.

Some 9,000 Marines along with their family members will be transferred under the agreement, with about 5,000 being sent to Guam as part of a military buildup on the U.S. territory in the Pacific, according to a joint statement released by the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee.

“I am very pleased that, after many years, we have reached this important agreement and plan of action,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said.

To read the full story at the CNN web site, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee, U.S. Department of Defense, April 26, 2012

US, Japan Reach Agreement to Move 9,000 Marines, Voice of America, April 27, 2012

U.S., Japan Agree on Okinawa Troop Relocation, American Forces Press Service, April 27, 2012

US to Move Marines Out of Japan, The Guardian, April 27, 2012

Advertisements

Marine Pleads Not Guilty in the Killing of Another Marine’s Wife

 

Tony Perry
The Los Angeles Times
April 27, 2012

 

A Marine staff sergeant pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of murdering the 22-year-old wife of a fellow Marine as the prosecutor announced that the victim’s blood and a possible murder weapon were found in the defendant’s car.

A judge ordered Staff Sgt. Louis Perez, 45, held in jail on $3-million bail in the killing of Brittany Dawn Killgore, whose body was found dumped near Lake Skinner in Riverside County.

Killgore had been set to attend a dinner cruise in San Diego with Perez and his girlfriend on April 13 but instead sent a text message to a friend saying she was in “distress” and needed help, Deputy Dist. Atty. Patrick Espinoza said during an arraignment in San Diego County Superior Court. The friend was not identified.

To read the full story in the Los Angeles Times, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Marine Pleads Not Guilty In Death Of Fellow Marine’s Estranged Wife, CBS Los Angeles, April 26, 2012

Obama Addresses Sex Violence at Holocaust Museum

 

Rochelle G. Saidel
WeNews
April 27, 2012

 

On April 23, President Barack Obama delivered an address at a ceremony at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., intended both to commemorate the Holocaust and to outline his administration’s efforts to honor the pledge of “never again” by developing a comprehensive strategy to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.

Regarding sexual violence and genocide, he said: “We’re doing more to protect women and girls from the horror of wartime sexual violence.” He added that, “for the first time, we explicitly barred entry into the United States of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Such crimes now include rape and sexual violence, according to the United Nations.

Remember the Women Institute, which has been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness about sexual violence against women during the Holocaust, believes it’s significant that Obama chose this occasion and this location to make his statement about “the horror of wartime sexual violence.”

To read the full article at the WeNews web site, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Obama at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington,  The Washington Post, April 23, 2012

Watch President Obama Speak at the Museum,  US Holocaust Memorial Museum, April 23, 2012

Remarks by the President at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The White House, April 23, 2012

 

Despite Election-Year Wrangling, Senate Renews Domestic Violence Law

 

Laurie Kellman
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2012

The Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act; it is the first time since the law was passed in 1994 that there has been opposition to a renewal, and renewing the law in the House may be more difficult.

The Senate overcame election-year gender politics Thursday to pass a bill renewing the government’s main domestic violence program. The 68-31 vote marked the first time since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994 that its renewal has drawn opposition in the Senate, reflecting the increasing polarization of the chamber and hair-trigger political sensitivities over women’s issues in this presidential and congressional election year.

“In 2012, we should be beyond questioning the need for the Violence Against Women Act,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. He urged the House to act quickly so President Barack Obama can sign the renewal into law.

To read the full story at the Christian Science Monitor, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, Roll Call, April 26, 2012

Senate OKs Violence Against Women Act, Talk Radio News Service, April 26, 2012

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, Think Progress, April 26, 2012

Violence Against Women Act, The Obamacrat™, April 26, 2012

Military Rape Speech 19 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier

 

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
April 25, 2012

 

 

I rise for the 19th time to highlight the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military. By the military’s own figures, 19,000 sexual assaults and rapes occur each year, but only 13% of the members of the military actually report them.

Last week I met with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, along with my colleagues to discuss DOD’s new report of data on rape and sexual assault in the military. The report shows a slight increase in reports of rape and assault, but a startling decrease in the number of charges brought against purported perpetrators. With the decrease in charges came significant decrease in prosecution, punishment, and convictions.

The numbers, frankly, are discouraging. I was only pleased about one thing, Secretary Panetta and I agree the only way to solve this problem is with an increase in prosecution. We agree on the result to be achieved but for right now we do not agree on the steps to achieve it. After our meeting, Secretary Panetta announced new initiatives, but DOD’s three major proposals will not increase prosecutions, convictions, or punishments.

 

Click the link to view or read Congresswoman Speier’s 19th speech on military rape.

 

To view Congresswoman Speier’s speeches on military rape, click this usmvaw page link.

 

For additional information:

Rep. Jackie Speier | Rape and Sexual Assault in the Military

Protect Our Defenders

Letter to STOP Act Co-Sponsors (call to action)

 

“H.R. 3435, the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act – or STOP Act which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.”  (Rep. Jackie Speier)

 

To see the current status of “The STOP Act” click the links below:

STOP Act Summary

The Stop Act: The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (H.R. 3435)

Violence Against Women Act Prompts Partisan Debate Among Female Lawmakers

 

Jennifer Bendery
Huffington Post
April 25, 2012

The so-called “war on women” raged on in Congress Wednesday as female lawmakers in opposing parties clashed with each other in defense of the Violence Against Women Act, an otherwise bipartisan issue that has fallen prey to election-year fodder.

With the law’s expiration looming in September, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told reporters at a press event that the best way to ensure its reauthorization is to pass the Senate Democratic plan. The proposal has 61 cosponsors — eight Republicans signed on, which means the bill has enough votes to overcome a Senate filibuster — and has previously passed the Senate with unanimous support. Since 1994, VAWA has provided funds to fight domestic violence and sexual assault, and has increased criminal penalties against perpetrators.

“There is no reason that it should be any different this time,” Murray said of the need for all lawmakers to get behind the Democratic bill.

To read the full article on the Huffington Post, click here.

 

Additional Reporting:

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Violence Against Women Act Cannot Be a Victim to Politics, National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women,  April 25, 2012

Why We Must Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act Now, Huffington Post, April 26, 2012

Congress Focuses on Violence Against Women Act, The Washington Post, April 25, 2012

On Renewal of Violence Against Women Act, Senate Democrats Have Upper Hand, Christian Science Monitor, April 25, 2012

House GOP Comes Up With Election-Year Bill to Renew Violence Against Women Act, The Washington Post, April 25, 2012

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)

US Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women

 

click the boots to view

In this episode of In Their Boots, Angie Peacock, an Iraq veteran, drives halfway across the country to confront her PTSD — a painful combination of military sexual trauma and combat stress.

In Their Boots is a documentary series about the impact the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having on people here at home. The series is funded by a generous grant from the Iraq Afghanistan Deployment Impact Fund (IADIF) of The California Community Foundation and is produced by Brave New Foundation.”

Next Page »