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Sexual assaults are acts of depravity that scars victims for life. To hear the President and the media tell it there is an epidemic of such assaults sweeping through the United States Military. A “scourge” the President called it and one he is going to do something about. No one seems to notice the convenient timing or are researching to see if the statistics are as “terrifying” as they are claimed to be.
There are two general rules in politics on how to deal with scandals: !. Get out in front so it looks like you are leading the posse and not the subject of it. 2. Change the subject by creating a diversionary crisis, one that can make you seem in charge and shove other news off the front pages. Given President Obama has already been working rule number one, it would seem it is about time for a manifestation of rule number two. As if by magic, the administration now has a sexual assault crisis within the military to contend with. A crisis that is spilling across front pages everywhere.
Rape and sexual assault are terrifying and emotional subjects. Like the word Nazi or torture they tend to shut down the mind and rev up emotions. While it is true there can be no tolerance of such actions it is also loathsome to exploit such words for political gain. In the case of President Obama’s sexual assault crisis, it seems like that is what he is doing. While there is no doubt real rapes and serious assaults are taking place in the military it is not a crisis. Something most would realize if they took a moment to set their emotions aside and look closely at the facts.
There were 3000 sexual assaults reported in the military last year of which 2,560 resulted in complaints being filed with only 1,987 involving members of the military. Of those that filed a complaint 55% (1,100) fell into the categories of rape, aggravated sexual assault or sexual assault. When compared to the 1.4 million enlisted personnel in the military that comes out to .2% reported some form of sexual misconduct, .14% involved complaints against military personnel and .08% had charges that fell into the most serious categories. Now the real question is how that compares to the rest of the population.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey there were 2.1 rapes, attempted rapes or sexual assaults per 1000 women in 2010. That comes out to a .21% rate in the general population. That figure is based on the entire population of the united states; if you only included people of military age that percentage would almost double. While one could claim that is a shameful number for the United States, it also proves the military is not the bastion of sexual deviants and psychopaths that is being claimed.
Despite what has been ballyhooed in the press the military is actually a safer place to be female than hanging out in the civilian world. The whole contrived crisis is just that, contrived. The liberal press has had a field day bashing the military, something they love to do anyway. In so doing they are falling in line with exactly what President Obama wants. They have willing taken much of the spotlight off the IRS, Benghazi and the AP stories and given the President a chance to look in charge of something.
The truth is the military is serving as the liberal whipping boy once again. That is not to say that assaults are not up, that would be expected in the more integrated force President Obama has pushed for. It is also not saying bad things do not happen, they do. It is just the military numbers being cited are not totally out of whack with the general populous. The only news here might be that the more you shove young men and women together under stressful situations the more things are going to happen. It is also true the only crisis here are the ones being shoved off the front page to cover this tripe.
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