imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Those Women That Serve Us

by Sudhama Ranganathan Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM

When engaged in combat situations it only makes sense to say that the armed forces is a dangerous place to be. It only follows; people go in knowing this danger exists, though it is unlikely any person can be fully prepared for the horrors of war. The realities of bombs going off around them and the cries of the men and women fighting alongside them can't be prepared for with anything like even the most purposefully random drill or intensely real movie or video game. There are bullets, grenades and other devices being targeted at you with malicious intent, and there are no outcomes the enemy of the United States of America desires at that moment, but to see you dead.

Those Women That Ser...
thosewomenthatserveus.jpg, image/jpeg, 460x276

During peacetime, however, barring any training mishaps, an American military base should be the safest place on earth for those serving this great nation. It should be as secure as the US Mint, after all, what people would there be to pose a threat to our servicemen and women? What force on earth, save exceptions like the the man responsible for the Ft. Hood Shootings or Timothy McVeigh, could pose a threat to those soldiers?

Even during moments in our history when we are at war, back home and on bases located overseas, but in stable relatively peaceful regions, our men and women ought to be able to go about their day sans the worry of attack, as what place could be better for them than the base they are stationed at? Guarded by their own, policed by their own and trained to always watch each other’s backs, that is what they continuously prepare for in squads, platoons and any other sized units they may train in. The mentality is to always be there for the people you serve with, to always protect them like a brother or a sister. After all, that's what they are as a part of the US Military.

The greater the person's rank, the greater the responsibility to protect and look out for the welfare of each and every soldier that falls under that person's command. The greater the rank, the more they should be ready to fight for the safety and security of every person that falls under their purview, with the kind of dogged toughness and focus befitting a US military officer. All soldiers must be protected regardless of considerations like religion, race or gender.

And this is the image many people have as civilians. We know nothing is perfect of course, but we view the military as being far more disciplined than the civilian world, and therefore, when a member is attacked or harmed in any way in 2013 by another military service person, we expect it is just not tolerated. We expect there are measures in place to deal with the problems, and bring about the kind of moral and honorable justice befitting the world's most powerful armed forces.

As such, it typically comes as quite a surprise when we find things out that prove, at times, just the opposite can be true of our military in terms of law, order and discipline. It's the kind of thing we don't often want to look at, it's the sort of thing we often turn away from when we hear it, because it hurts, and as such it is usually not considered polite conversation. However, facts prove there are times when military justice has huge holes and there are no higher-ups, and few outsiders in the world of politics, with the courage to step up and do a thing about it.

Perhaps the best and simultaneously saddest example can be seen in the victims of military rape. Our armed services have an atrocious record of rape, and when it comes to prosecuting the rapists, it's even worse. In fact, rather than protecting and making secure and safe the victim, the victim often gets blamed, and charged with things like adultery (because the rapist was married) etc.

Here are some startling numbers, “in FY 2010, there were 19,000 sexual assaults among Active Duty personnel […] In 2010, 1,025 actions were taken by commanders on the grounds of sexual assault, in 2011 there [were] 791 [actions taken] -- a decrease of 23%. The number of initiated court-martials fell 8%, from 529 in 2010 to 489 in 2011. The number of perpetrators convicted of committing a sexual assault decreased 22%, from 245 in 2010 to 191 in 2011.” (

This has been a growing problem and that can also be seen in the numbers just going back a couple of years. “The Pentagon said it received 2,923 reports of sexual assault across the military in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 2008. That’s about a 9 percent increase over the totals reported the year before, but only a fraction of the crimes presumably being committed.

“Among the cases reported, only a small number went to military courts, officials acknowledged. The Pentagon office that collects the data estimates that only 10 percent to 20 percent of sexual assaults among members of the active duty military are reported, a figure similar to estimates of reported cases in the civilian sphere.’ [. . .] That increase includes a jump in cases from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, to 165 from 131 the year before.

“Congresswoman Jane Harman, a congressional critic of the military’s handling of sexual violence, said the statistics show the problem is still rampant. […] the California Democrat said in a statement. 'Military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.'” (

The military is in fact much more lenient when it comes to rapists and the like and does not protect the women that help protect us. As CNN put it, “If you serve in the U.S. military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member, chances are you won't be punished. In fact, you have an estimated 86.5% chance of keeping your crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding a court-martial. […] Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado, admitted in a plea bargain to having sex with one woman. His punishment is 90 days in jail, 30 days of hard labor, reduction in rank and forfeiture of $500 a month in pay for four months. He will be forced to leave the Air Force but without a bad-conduct discharge.

“After striking this deal with prosecutors, Vega testified that he actually had improper contact with 10 trainees. He is not immune to further prosecution, but his admission of guilt cannot be used against him in future procedures. Each victim will have to come forward, and the prosecution will have to start from scratch.” (

Recent numbers generated by surveys done at military academies have shown things are worsening. In fact, “Secretary Panetta expressed dismay at the figures themselves, which also showed that more than half of all women and 10 percent of men said they had been sexually harassed in the past 12 months. The response rate to the survey among the male and female students at the US military academies ranged from 67 to 88 percent.” (

These numbers are well known, and though minor lip service has been paid, neither President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder or really even Defense Secretary Panetta have had much if anything to say about this. I seriously doubt anybody will be interviewing ret. Gen. David Petraeus on the matter any time soon. But they should all be outspoken and vocal about protecting these women that have worked to carry out their orders, objectives and have risked their lives to protect theirs and every other Americans. To not do so is cowardly and shirking their responsibilities as American leaders that have the power to change this immediately.

These servicewomen have earned the right not to be raped and/or otherwise sexually assaulted on the job just as much as women do in civilian life. Recently, a judged dismissed a case regarding military women being raped and sexually assaulted, because in his words it was “an occupational hazard” inherent to the job. Really? So the message is, 'if you serve you have a really high chance of getting raped – much higher than in civilian life? Oh and, BTW, you might get killed by enemy fire but that risk is actually less.' Gonna wrap that around a Hummer, and park it outside a mall? How dignified sounding...

To read about my inspiration for this article go to

Report this post as:

Local News

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

Last of California's nuclear power plants is on its way out J30 3:44PM

Patrisse Khan-Cullors explains why Black Lives Matter J26 7:02PM

Women's March L.A., 2018 J24 4:39PM

The case for US government sanctions on Israel J23 5:36PM

 Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 4 J22 9:07PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 3 J22 8:24PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 2 J22 7:36PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 1 J22 7:14PM

Women's Political Representation & Electoral Reform J21 12:43PM

Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers J10 1:38PM

Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents J09 10:09PM

Great solidarity action today J06 10:22PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Trump - Hard as Steel M19 6:57AM

Paraphysique de l'hologramme M19 1:44AM

Fbi crimes and cover-up by local authorities M19 1:29AM

what does a mexican driver's license look like? M18 12:10PM

One Way to Respond to Foreign Ops in Our Elections M18 11:54AM

Stratégie onirique du coup du monde M17 3:03AM

Tour Announcement: Whole Milk's California Cruising Tour 2018 M16 8:41PM

50 years have passed since the Kerner & McCone Commissions M16 6:21PM

Crash on the Horizon M16 9:45AM

Caribbean Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief in Face of Disasters M16 7:28AM

America's judiciary is in collapse M15 8:53PM

Under the Gun in Ireland M15 5:37PM

The Shortwave Report 03/16/18 Listen Globally! M15 4:54PM

Travail de l'idéologie M15 12:02AM

Crisis 2.0: A Policy for the 99% M14 2:06AM

How fbi corrupts cjs M13 8:10PM

When Will the Me Too Movement Take on the New Age? M13 8:21AM

La société du plagiat compilateur M13 12:34AM

12 Step Programs Free Me From Addiction M11 1:53PM

Règlements de comptes à O.K. Corral M11 12:42AM

Video: "How Democracies Die," 1 hr 12 min M10 8:05AM

Debt, Corruption and Tax Policies Impact Poverty, Says Vatican at United Nations M09 11:13AM

Séparatisme de l'abîme M09 6:15AM

The Shortwave Report 03/09/18 Listen Globally! M08 4:15PM

Over 35 Years of Work for Individuals in California with Brain Disorders [Metal] M08 4:00PM

February 2018 Honduras Coup Again update M07 12:59PM

Authoritarian Capitalism M07 4:27AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” with Voice Artist Rob Paulsen, Fri. March 30th in Downey, CA M06 2:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy