Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., criticized a political commentator’s characterization of sexual assault in the military as a “pseudo-crisis.”
William Kristol of The Weekly Standard and Fox News used the phrase in a July 16 blog criticizing two Republican lawmakers who have signed on to a proposal by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to give independent military prosecutors rather than commanders the authority to send cases to courts-martial.
McCaskill has actually stopped short of endorsing plans that would take the chain of command out of the decision-making process, a stance that has drawn some criticism from some victims and their advocates who say that’s the only way to ensure justice.
One advocacy group, Protect Our Defenders, recently accused McCaskill of minimizing a Defense Department study that showed 26,000 military members said they experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012.
Today, the influential senator who has backed several bipartisan reforms to address sex assault in the ranks issued the following statement:
“Thousands of reported sexual assaults, and many thousands more sex-related crimes that go unreported—combined with a decades-long inability to seriously address the epidemic—constitutes a crisis. It’s a crisis for our military, their morale, and ultimately our national security,” McCaskill said.
“For someone who’s constantly pushing for additional U.S. involvement in conflicts around the world, you’d think Mr. Kristol would share our goal of ensuring justice for those who are doing the fighting. Instead, his comments illustrate that while there’s growing support for our historic reforms, all of us fighting for significant change must continue our effort.”