Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Captain Renault goes to Annapolis

This shame is what many of us have been talking about for a long time.

I think that those who have had too much
Annapolis Koolaid should now do what they have told me to do for the last half-decade or so; shut up.
As revealed in about 3,000 pages of Navy and Naval Academy documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act covering the five-year period, female accusers - and sometimes their witnesses - generally received immunity for conduct violations uncovered during investigations of the alleged sexual abuse.

But male midshipmen accused of sexual abuse, even when the evidence against them was weak, were likely to be dismissed for the same type of offense for which a female mid received immunity, the documents show.

Forgiven offenses typically included underage drinking, drinking in the dorm, binge or "extreme" drinking, possessing a fake ID, having consensual sex in the dorm or being absent from duty without authorization.

As a result, some male midshipmen were driven from the academy for being intoxicated and foolish, while female mids who broke many of the same rules were allowed to continue with their careers.

These were mostly "he-said, she-said" cases. But in 21 of the 37 cases, or 57 percent, the male was dismissed from the military, often with the case being handled administratively and never going to a court-martial, according to documents.

When cases were slated for a trial, the male mids were always separated from the military, often before trial.

Some academy graduates have expressed outrage over the double standard of justice.

"The best defense for a woman is to claim she is a victim; it happens all the time," said defense attorney Charles W. Gittins, a military law expert from Virginia and a 1979 graduate of the Naval Academy.

Gittins said granting widespread immunity began when Rempt was superintendent, from August 2003 to June 2007.

"I am certain that the immunity was a Rempt thing," Gittins said. "There is no precedent for such a blanket grant of immunity in the Judge Advocate General Manual, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or the Manual for Courts-martial. What Rempt did was create blanket immunity in order to 'purchase' the testimony of the female."

I know most of you saw this at Lex's last week while I was off the grid - but because of the background here on this issue - I wanted to bring it up.

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