calls for Congressional investigations mount
The firing of two Colonels and the conviction of two Military Training Instructors at Lackland Air Force Base on sex related charges are not quieting calls for a full, top to bottom Congressional investigation into problems facing women in the armed forces, 1200 WOAI news reports.
A group called Protect Our Defenders is demanding that the House Armed Services Committee hold public hearings about how the military handles sexual assault and sexual harassment complaints n the military, and to recommend changes in policy.
The Committee has held closed door hearings, but Brian Purchia of Protect Our Defenders says that doesn't go far enough.
"As the scope of the Lackland scandal began to unfold, and the combined lack of action from the House Armed Services Committee, we decided it was time to do something," Purchia said.
Also joining the fight for greater accountability is Paula Coughlin-Puopolo. A former Navy helicopter pilot, Coughlin-Puopolo broke the 1991 'Tailhook' scandal, as one of the victims of a large sexual assault scandal at a Navy aviators convention in 1991.
"Paula went through this more than twenty years ago and I asked her if she would be willing to start a campaign calling for a Lackland hearing," Purchia said. "She said she was 'all in'."
House Armed Services Committee chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif) has promised open and public hearings.
"It is time for our elected officials that have been put in charge of oversight of our armed services do their job," Purchia said. "Lackland is just the tip of the iceberg--the most current example of a much larger problem. Of course, the Air Force must investigate and prosecute the few cases that have actually been reported, but that won't fix the broken system."