This pledge closed almost 3 years ago
United States Navy Undersecretary nominee, Dr. Jo Ann Rooney in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, stated that if proposed changes to remove prosecution decisions for sexual assault from the often biased chain of command were made, the result would be "decisions based on evidence rather than the interest in preserving good order and discipline."
Dr. Rooney's comment represents a moment of candor from a top military leader and reflects the prevalent attitude of the U.S. military's top brass. It is astounding to hear our military leaders proclaim that service members are not deserving of a system of justice based on the evidence in their case.
Our elected leaders should place a hold on her nomination – these comments do not reflect the attitude of a person who deserves to be in a position of leadership. The military leadership's persistent lack of regard for victims and absence of a genuine effort to reform the system is reprehensible. While our military leaders testify that they are finally getting serious about 'zero tolerance,' their actions and testimony suggest the opposite.
Military readiness is adversely affected by the ongoing epidemic of sexual assaults in our armed forces. Arbitrary justice by a commander has not enhanced our military's readiness – it has undermined it. Morale suffers and trust, the essential ingredient to an effective, functioning military, is destroyed. If victims come forward their reputations and careers are damaged. Comments like these from Dr. Rooney sends exactly the wrong message to victims thinking of coming forward. It is difficult to imagine how a climate of silence and fear, where victims cannot rely on a fair and impartial justice system, promotes good order and discipline.
Protect Our Defenders is calling on Senators leaders to place a hold on her nomination for these outrageous comments that fuel a completely broken system of military justice.
Please tweet: I pledge to Ask @SenateDems, @Senate_GOPs place hold on nomination of Dr. Jo Ann Rooney #MilitarySexualAssault
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