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Intro: "A landmark lawsuit filed Tuesday against Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, alleges that the military's repeated failures to take action in rape cases created a culture where violence against women was tolerated, violating the plaintiffs' Constitutional rights."

Former US Army Sergeant, rape victim and lawsuit plaintif, Rebecca Havrilla. (image: Rebecca Havrilla)
Former US Army Sergeant, rape victim and lawsuit plaintif, Rebecca Havrilla. (image: Rebecca Havrilla) your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+7 # hms 2011-02-16 00:20
Am I surprised? Hell no. But I would classify these as cases of terrorism, the objective being simply to "keep women in their place". We have seen such behavior carried out for racial reasons in South Africa and in (especially) the American South.

Those benefiting from the status quo have an invested interest in not seeing changes, especially in their own world view. It's much easier and less painful to abuse another group than to change yourself!
+6 # giraffe 2011-02-16 01:34
The domestic terrorists in the USA are the Supremes, Military Mafia, Banks/Wall Street, and stupids like Boner (who was told he lied to the Press last week by GOP & Dems - after he claimed Obama created 200,000 fed jobs last year and if some get pink slips with the cut backs "oh well"
+9 # granny 2011-02-16 08:09
And where is the outrage? Rumsfeld, Gates, AND their commanders=in-c hief, have a lot to answer for. Women of America, stand and demand "We're tired as hell and we won't take it any more."
-1 # genierae 2011-02-16 08:34
There's no easy answer to this horrific problem. I am a woman who cares very much about the rights of all women, but I do not believe that we should be in combat positions alongside men. This world is so very sexist, and men are conditioned by this society almost from birth, to think that women were put on earth for their pleasure alone. They are taught in basic training to override their inhibitions against harming others, and along with the military's longstanding policy of ignoring sexual crimes, this has created a permissive atmosphere, where sexual predators are not held accountable. Introducing women into this dangerous environment is just asking for trouble. No, I am NOT excusing men, I am simply facing facts. War is dehumanizing, turning human beings into killing machines. No woman should have to be the target of their uncontrolled violence. Segregate the military by gender, and don't send women to combat zones. Women's liberation was a good thing for many reasons, but it had its negative side. It was wrongly understood by many to be a mandate to become like men, and this has caused a lot of tragedy. We were never meant to be like men, we were meant to express ourselves fully and uniquely as women. And that doesn't include becoming a killing machine.
+4 # Glen 2011-02-16 17:49
Genierae, I understand your sentiments. Folks very often think in terms of what should be, not what is. No matter how many excuses are made for men and their behavior, the reality is that men continue to be encouraged to be violent and to place women's issues into a secondary position. Any military is guilty of that right along with teaching young men to hate people they don't even know.

Not only should women not be suckered into the U.S. war machine, young men should also be educated in questioning the need for war and the U.S. war machine. Sadly, in the U.S., it has become a critical part of the culture.
+1 # genierae 2011-02-17 18:57
Glen: I was dealing with what is, not what should be. If women want to serve in the military they should at least be kept away from combat zones. Anyone who knows me, can tell you that I DON'T support wars of any kind, they are an abomination upon the earth. I protested both of Bush's wars, vehemently, BEFORE they started. They could also tell you that I have NEVER excused men, in fact I firmly believe that white men are a plague upon the earth, and they have destroyed it maybe beyond recovery. They care nothing about the common good, they care only about satisfying their own egos. The truth is that women are the only hope to save this abused planet, and yet they have been conditioned to think that they must let men tell them what to do. Never mind. A new world is dawning, one where justice and compassion will rule, and women will take their rightful place as equals in every part of society. When that day comes, and intelligent, enlightened women hold sway, there will be no wars.
+1 # ArmyVet 2011-07-07 12:19
Rapes happen in other places besides combat zones. Keeping women out of combat zones help perpetuate the idea that they are inferior.
+1 # Sukumar 2011-02-17 19:14
Take that just one step further and you have the argument that the mullahs offer to keep women veiled from head to toe: It is for your own protection.
+1 # genierae 2011-02-18 12:29
Sukumar: We must take the mullahs out of the discussion and allow women to protect themselves. I agree that women should not be forced to dress in any certain way, but I also believe that women must take into consideration the fact that the top priority of most men is sexual gratification. In an ideal world women would be able to walk around naked without being lusted after, but unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world. This society increasingly encourages women, and even little girls, to wear sexually suggestive clothing. They sell black bras at Walmart for pre-teens, for crying out loud! In a man's world women are treated as sex objects and they are only playing into this mindset when they dress the part. A woman is more than a sexual plaything, and when she is spiritually expressing her total being, she becomes attractive and intelligent in her own unique way. Men need to be liberated from their addiction to the sexual, so they can see the world in the spiritual way. Then they can appreciate women's whole being, not just her potential as a sexual partner. Sexuality is an important part of the human make-up, but it was not meant to be the top priority. Our spirituality must lead, and all the rest will follow.
+6 # Jean Louise 2011-02-16 10:21
What do you want to bet they'll skate on this? The bush morons have managed to escape any accountability for any wrongdoing that they perpetuated on the American public in their eight sick, twisted years.
+5 # Uppity Woman 2011-02-16 16:56
The bigger issue is that rape is a tool of war. It is not surprising that men who will rape local women will also rape their own comrades in arms who are female. It is embedded in the military culture. This is why war is such a horrible thing for women, and other vulnerable populations, in the communities where war is waged. This is why any woman in her right mind is categorically against war; there are much better, safer ways to resolve conflicts. War is no longer necessary on Earth, and women need to rise up and put an end to war, like we put an end to slavery.
-3 # Jandy Hassan 2011-02-21 05:07
I'm trying to get information on who I contact to add my story to the stack they already have. Does any one have any idea where I can start? In the end I have a much better job now that I'm a civilian, but none of it should have ever happened in the first place.
+1 # jones 2011-05-14 14:07
i need help with the contact info as well i am active and has been unfound and said to be counseled for the mis-use of the EO policy i have 3 months lefts till ETS and still work with my offenders

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