Sign the Petition to President Barack Obama, Commander-In-Chief of the United States Armed Forces & Chuck Hagel, United States Secretary of Defense

This petition closed 4 months ago

Please join us: Tell President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to protect our service members from rape and sexual assault! Remove Lt. Gen. Franklin and Lt. Col. Wilkerson from the United States Air Force. The only way to end the epidemic of sexual assault in the military is to hold leaders, like Franklin, who cover up and condone these crimes and those who commit the crimes, like Wilkerson, accountable. Our service members deserve better. Our country deserves better.

The crisis of rape and sexual abuse in the military threatens good order and discipline within the ranks of the armed services. It threatens the safety and livelihood of our men and women in uniform, and their families. And it threatens the national security of the United States.

Franklin's subsequent explanation showed no valid basis to overturn the conviction, decided by a jury comprised of senior military officers, that he selected.  What mattered to Franklin was that Wilkerson like himself was a senior officer and fighter pilot. They served together in Iraq and had many mutual friends. What mattered was the "good ol' boys" network.

Leaders who fail to prosecute and punish the sexual predators in our military services must face consequences, or the culture that fosters this epidemic will never end.  Survivors of military sexual assault are calling on President Obama and Defense Sec. Hagel to discharge Lt. Gen. Franklin and Lt. Col. Wilkerson. Please help Protect Our Defenders and sign their petition!

Members of Congress, from both parties, have condemned Franklin's egregious action.  "Franklin clearly substituted his own independent judgment for that of the convened fact-finding panel," said Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

"This [Franklin's explanation] letter, is filled with selective reasoning and assumptions from someone with no legal training, and it's appalling that the reasoning spelled out in the letter served as the basis to overturn a jury verdict in this case," said Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) – Wall Street Journal.  The Senator went on to say, according to the Washington Post, parts of Franklin's letter explaining his actions, "just set my teeth on edge." 

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