Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thought for the day...

Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant found guilty of sex assaults

Staff Sgt. Angel Sanchez
Army Times reports -- A Missouri drill sergeant is guilty of sexually assaulting and harassing eight female soldiers, a military judge ruled Wednesday.

Army Staff Sgt. Angel M. Sanchez, 30, was accused of using his supervisory position with the 14th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood to threaten some of the women he was tasked with training. His accusers said the incidents took place in the bathroom of the female barracks as well as in an office shared by drill sergeants.
Sanchez was found guilty of charges including four counts of sexual assault and six counts of abusive sexual contact.

At the outset of the military judicial hearing, Sanchez pleaded guilty Monday to three charges of disobeying orders by having sexual contact with three female trainees. Several additional accusations against Sanchez were dismissed after a pretrial hearing in the spring.

His accusers said the incidents took place in the bathroom of the women’s barracks as well as an office shared by drill sergeants at Fort Leonard Wood. Other allegations were brought by a medic in Afghanistan and a soldier in Fort Richardson, Alaska.
Sanchez, who is married, also served one tour in Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star and two other combat medals before arriving at the Missouri post in August 2013. He did not take the stand.

Sanchez’s attorney Ernesto Gapasin questioned the accusers’ credibility, noting that some of the initial accusers were either facing disciplinary action of their own or forced separation from the military at the time complaints against Sanchez were raised. He suggested that three privates who accused Sanchez of forcing them to perform oral sex on him had consented to sex.

On Tuesday, an Army National Guard private testified that a brigade commander had warned her company of soldiers during training that the entire group wouldn’t graduate if any additional sexual assault complaints were made. An installation spokeswoman declined to discuss the allegation….

Read more:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wendell Pierce & Bill Maher on Race, Image and the NFL

Thought for the day...

        What Does Justice Mean to Me?

            Is it freedom?
            Is it equality?
            Is it liberation of my soul?

            Is it non-conformity?
            Is it bondage?
            Is it escaping the wrath of being sold?

            Captivity of the mind
            is worse than being shackled in chains;
            tormented by lucid thoughts of freedom
            seduces the chemistry in my brain.

            When forced to accept lies,
            after witnessing the truth,
            barely escaping this spiritual warfare,
            what else is the soul to do?

            Justice is not a favored ruling
            in man’s courts of law,
            within each layer of his judicial system
            lies disobedience of the Divine Law.

            Guided by his evil thoughts,
            carried out by his deceptive actions,
            that his way is the only way,
            thus suppressing the spirit from reacting.

            His passion is fueled by greed,
            hate, power and control;
            submitting to his demonic possession
            that has eaten away at his soul.

            His moral compass is broken;
            His soul lacks compassion;
            His spirit yearns for freedom;
            And his body lives for action.

            Yet, God seeks to calibrate man’s soul
            to rescue him from pain;
            to cleanse his spirit of hate
            so he can learn to love again.

            Justice is not the answer
            to cure the soul of hate,
            Love is the only anecdote
            that exists in ALL that God creates.

            Call upon our Heavenly Creator
            to erase away the stain,
            left behind by man’s hate,
            to heal your heart from pain.

            Within the Divine Laws
            of our Heavenly Universe,
            on Earth it shall always be,
            saved by the Powers of God,
            is what Justice means to me!

            © 2014  Syneeda Penland

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Justice is as the rulers make it... And as the people allow it...

It is extremely important for the voices of survived victims to be heard; be it military rape, assault, sexual harassment, reprisal, etc.  Not only does it allow us to heal, it prevents the perpetrator from committing the crime again.  In the private sector, employees can seek resolution through the EEOC for violations of their civil/human rights and can even sue their employer.  Furthermore, a convicted rapist is required to register as a known sex offender, after he's served his prison sentence. 

Meanwhile, the military will continue to be governed under a different set of rules, which in my view causes more harm than good!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Alaskan Governor Takes a Positive Stand Against Sexual Assault and Retaliation Against Female Guard Members.

Alaska recently reported – “An investigation released Thursday details a long list of failures in how the Alaska National Guard handles reports of sexual assault and other matters.

In response to the findings, Governor Sean Parnell asked for the resignation of National Guard Major General Thomas Katkus, effective immediately.

“This culture of mistrust and failed leadership in the Guard, it ends now,” Parnell said.

Governor Parnell requested that the National Guard Bureau Office of Complex Investigations look into allegations in February, after receiving complaints about how guard leadership addressed reports of sexual assault. At a press conference in Anchorage this afternoon, Parnell summarized the findings of the 230-page report. 

 “Alaska Guard members lack trust and confidence in the Alaska national Guard’s leadership to handle sexual assault cases, or to administer justice for other misconduct in a fair, evenhanded manner without reprisal,” Parnell said.

The Guard Bureau looked at 37 cases of sexual assault. The Bureau found that many of the cases were reviewed by people who weren’t trained to conduct sexual assault investigations. Some victims also told the Guard Bureau they were ostracized and abused by fellow guard members after reporting sexual assault.

Confidentiality was also a problem. One victim of sexual assault reported to the Bureau that she had overheard a fellow service member discussing the details of her own assault while at work.

Parnell first heard of issues in the Guard in 2010 and he has been criticized for not acting sooner to correct the problem. Parnell says when he looked into concerns in the past, he heard from Guard members and leadership that the cases were being handled properly. He says the complaints persisted and that led him to call for this outside investigation.

“I’m extremely frustrated and I’m angry it’s taken so long to get to the bottom of these issues,” Parnell said. “The Alaska Guard members deserve better.”

“The victims who have been hurt and those who have brought complaints forward deserve better. In hindsight is clearly shouldn’t have taken this long.”

The report details several other problems in the Alaska Guard including sexual harassment, discrimination based on race, and fraud committed by guard members and leadership.

The report makes dozens of recommendations for changes and describes a plan to make those changes. Parnell says he will establish a project team to implement the recommendations. 

Full article:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

“Son, Men Don’t Get Raped”

GQ reports – “Sexual assault is alarmingly common in the U.S. military, and more than half of the victims are men. According to the Pentagon, thirty-eight military men are sexually assaulted every single day. These are the stories you never hear—because the culprits almost always go free, the survivors rarely speak, and no one in the military or Congress has done enough to stop it…”


The moment a man enlists in the United States armed forces, his chances of being sexually assaulted increase by a factor of ten. Women, of course, are much more likely to be victims of military sexual trauma (MST), but far fewer of them enlist. In fact, more military men are assaulted than women—nearly 14,000 in 2012 alone. Prior to the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" in 2011, male-on-male-rape victims could actually be discharged for having engaged in homosexual conduct. That's no longer the case—but the numbers show that men are still afraid to report being sexually assaulted.

Military culture is built upon a tenuous balance of aggression and obedience.  The potential for sexual violence exists whenever there is too much of either.  New recruits, stripped of their free will, cannot question authority.  A certain kind of officer demands sex from underlings in the same way he demands they pick up his laundry. A certain kind of recruit rapes his peer in a sick mimicry of the power structure: I own you totally."One of the myths is that the perpetrators identify as gay, which is by and large not the case," says James Asbrand, a psychologist with the Salt Lake City VA's PTSD clinical team. "It's not about the sex. It's about power and control."

To understand this problem and why it persists twenty-two years after the Tailhook scandal, GQ interviewed military officials, mental-health professionals, and policy-makers, as well as twenty-three men who are survivors not only of MST but also of a bureaucracy that has failed to protect them. 

Full article:

Monday, September 8, 2014

A tragic truth about the history of slavery, courtesy of the Ancestral Essence community

“I recognise the Sun in the sky, but this a different world. I cannot hear the whispering of the trees, I do not understand the language the land is speaking. The water is not at peace, it tastes of anger and confusion. The air is filled with death, absolute fear and organised violence. The fact I survived I thank my Ancestors. 

Not everyone made it; I still hear the screams inside my mind. When I close my eyes, I see death, human mess and people descending into madness. I had to disconnect from my feelings to survive in my own head. No one is the same after you witness the suffering and pain, you start to realise when a man or woman is taken, that they probably will not be returned back.

I do not understand what the group of thieves are saying; I look at their expressions on their faces. They make sounds; I check their gestures to avoid the violence. I understand the universal language of fear. This is not the place that you look for someone`s better nature. This is an organised operation, they are trying to break our will to fight, I am a warrior, and I choose my battles and await my chance.

I am a prisoner of war. I have been stolen from my homeland. I am the property of no one; they chain me to restrain me. Our village was not prepared, we were outnumbered, and we had no disagreement with them. Our nature is not to start a battle without any reason. We are a tribe; we describe what we see in our own language. We are a kingdom of hundreds, not thousands we had to face in war. When I spoke to others on the journey, I realised our lands was conquered one tribe at a time. 

As I stand on the raised platform, I hear men with skin of many colours making patterns of different sounds. I hear people raise their voice and bidding in different languages, then the people are pulled by chains away. It is clear we are being sold, what the future holds, I do not know. I will try to escape at every opportunity. I will do what I need to do to be free, however I am not sure who is my enemy, I know those that brought me here are not the real masters. 

Everyone can see in my eyes I will run if you take off these chains. I have no way to communicate with these new people. They keep making this same sound and then looking at me to respond, with time I understand that this is the name they are going to call me. 

It is all about the pain that is used to persuade me to do whatever they say. I began to learn their language for my survival. There are not many of us here; they are watching our ways and trying to understand us. I feel like an animal that is being studied for ways to break me. 

My intelligence is not required in this place; they measure our intelligence by how well we speak their language. Where I come from it is based on the individuals understanding. We measure the control over your emotions, the wisdom you can raise from deep within our minds and the understanding we have of the energies that created our environment. 

I am forced to mate with women I do not have feelings for. It is the strongest male matched to the strongest women. They want our children to be more productive. They have given up on totally breaking us, we have seen too much, we will never trust them, the future generations they will have from birth to mold and accept they are slaves.

I have come to understand that the sound by which they call my Christian name. It comes from a book that tells story of a man who died to save the world as we have sinned by having relations with before marriage. They speak of a God that loves us all, that sees everything and if you are good you can live in his house in Heaven. If we do not follow his ways we will be punished in hell forever. This God is a vengeful god as well as merciful god to those who follow his laws. The book is the word of this God. 

As captives our traditions are now deemed of this devil we have not heard of. We as well as our children are punished from practicing our ways. They want our children to become Christian and lose the connection to us and our Ancestors ways. 

I have received many beatings to encourage me to change my ways, however no one can convince me, this God loves us in slavery. He seems to reserve his mercy for the ones who holds us captive. No matter how evil they are this God does not punished them. 

As regards to he who died to save the world, I wish he was travelling on the boat that brought us. I wished he could have saved the Ill and pregnant women as they were thrown into the sea. When it comes down to slaves, it seems this God and Jesus lets everyone have their way. I still do not understand why no women energies are mentioned. 

When it comes to heaven and hell its sounds like life on the plantation, where the more you are obedient to slave master the closer you are to the comforts of his heavenly house and further away from the hell hole in the ground.

The land owner is the lord we worship and he sees everything we are doing badly; we are regarded as evil and of the devil when we speak against him. The better you work as a slave, follow the rules, watch what you say, the better are your chances of getting into heaven on the plantation. 

If you challenge the lord of the land, the hole in the ground will be your destination, this sounds like hell to me according to that story. 

I fear for my descendent as they will have wiped out all traces of me. Our children will not know our cultures or our languages. They will be telling stories of people in the bible and not those from our village. We had no one in our village called John or Matthew. 

The connection to their Ancestors will be lost with all their understandings. They will believe Jesus is their saviour forgetting how their Ancestors were slaughtered. 

How they could be born in sin when we were forced to do this by those who introduced the religion, they have taught this type of belief to the children as a mental insurance. 

This religion puts your focus in man, whilst those from our land have a relationship with women and nature. The slave master chose this religion as it suited their purpose. 

They now have established themselves as the lords on their plantations; they can foster the love from within many of their slaves and make them willing to report on those who are non-Christians. 

Author Unknown

Monday, September 1, 2014

Joni Ernst's Role In Sex Assault Case Questioned

Politico reports -- "In recent days, Iowa Senate hopeful Joni Ernst has pitched herself as a leader-in-waiting on the hot-button issue of sexual assault in the military, telling Time that she experienced harassment firsthand while serving and calling for investigations into sexual misconduct to be removed from the chain of command.

But Ernst’s familiarity with the issue goes beyond that: A decade ago, when she was serving in the National Guard in Kuwait, a soldier under her command was accused of rape in a case that military investigators later deemed unfounded. And her role in the case is coming under scrutiny as the Republican state lawmaker is locked in an election that could tip the balance of power in the Senate.  

Ernst told the accuser in 2012 that she had nothing to do with the probe by the Criminal Investigation Command, or CID. “I was not involved with the investigation — period,” she wrote in an email to the woman. But a document obtained by POLITICO shows that Ernst took statements at the scene and provided them to CID investigators.

Read more:

Food for thought: Another classic of how female politicians uses the military's sexual assault/rape epidemic to further their selfish political agenda.  In this case, she put the victim under the bus.  The only way any of us (victims of the military's justice system) can achieve justice in our ongoing civil/criminal/human rights complaints against the military's failed leadership, is to go to law school and open up a private practice to help ourselves.