•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Gillibrand, bipartisan lawmakers push to keep military justice overhaul in NDAA

23:45  30 november  2021
23:45  30 november  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Tunisian trial shines light on use of military courts

  Tunisian trial shines light on use of military courts TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A few days after Tunisia’s president froze parliament and took on sweeping powers in July, a dozen men in unmarked vehicles and civilian clothes barged into politician Yassine Ayari’s family home overnight and took him away in his pajamas. “These men weren’t wearing uniforms and they didn’t have a warrant,” Ayari told The Associated Press. “It was violent. My 4-year-old son still has nightmares about it.” A 40-year-old computer engineer turned corruption fighter, Ayari will stand trial again in a military court on Monday, accused of insulting the presidency and defaming the army.

The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act , unveiled April 29, comes as the Pentagon is reviewing how it handles sexual assault. The legislation would “take critical steps to create a more professional and transparent military justice system for serious crimes—including rape and sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, child endangerment, child pornography, and negligent For eight years, Sen. Gillibrand and I have pushed for real change in the military justice system to ensure there can be real accountability. I hope this is finally the year we can deliver that change.”

Gillibrand has for years pushed taking the decision to prosecute serious crimes out of the chain of command as part of her efforts to combat military sexual assault. An independent commission ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin Lloyd Austin A dangerously distracted Pentagon Biden remembers Gen. Odierno: 'Part of some of our most poignant memories' Overnight Defense & National Security — China tells US to keep troops out of Taiwan MORE to study how to improve the military ’s response to sexual assault has recommended a similar change to the military justice system.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday led dozens of bipartisan lawmakers in a push to ensure that a military justice overhaul measure stays in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) arrives to the Capitol for a vote to end debate regarding the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sunday, August 8, 2021. © Greg Nash Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) arrives to the Capitol for a vote to end debate regarding the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

In a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, the lawmakers asked that the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act stays in the final version of the bill.

"Sexual assault in the military is a serious concern and demands a real solution, not a watered-down provision slipped in the final bill behind closed doors," reads the letter.

Senators chart next steps on infrastructure after clearing key hurdle

  Senators chart next steps on infrastructure after clearing key hurdle Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate is on track to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion budget resolution before leaving for the August recess.Following the Senate's 67-to-32 vote to take up the measure, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that senators should prepare for a flurry of legislative activity in the coming days as part of his effort for the chamber to approve the roughly $1 trillion infrastructure deal and a budget resolution to serve as the blueprint for a broader, $3.5 trillion second infrastructure measure.

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has successfully included her proposal to overhaul the military justice system in this year's annual defense policy bill. On Tuesday, Gillibrand acknowledged Reed is the “first chairman of this committee to support at least moving sexual assault and related crimes from the chain of command.” “That is an important piece of the puzzle, but we must resist the urge to isolate sex crimes and create a separate but unequal system of justice within the military for survivors,” she continued.

Gillibrand noted Pentagon data showing the military justice system was not just failing women but minority service members. The data shows minorities are far more likely to face charges than their white peers. Democratic Representative Anthony Brown, a retired Army Reserve colonel and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, voiced strong support for the broader overhaul in companion legislation moving through the House of Representatives. "The current military justice system is not serving our country's higher values of justice , equity and fairness," Brown wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington

"This provision is the only reform that will provide true independence for prosecutors in the military justice system and is essential to ensure that victims, accused, and the public all have full faith and confidence in the military justice process," the letter continues.

The letter - which was signed by 44 senators and 22 representatives - comes as the upper chamber scrambles to pass the NDAA amid a stalemate over allowing votes on amendments in the bill.

Gillibrand's measure was included in the version of the NDAA that the Senate Armed Services Committee passed earlier this year unsuccessfully trying to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. It seeks to remove the prosecution of all major crimes like sexual assault and murder from the chain of command to independent prosecutors.

Overnight Defense: House Armed Services starts defense bill markups | Two Navy sailors die of COVID-19 | Pentagon reimposes mask mandate in some places

  Overnight Defense: House Armed Services starts defense bill markups | Two Navy sailors die of COVID-19 | Pentagon reimposes mask mandate in some places Happy Wednesday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Rebecca Kheel, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter.THE TOPLINE: The House Armed Services Committee began work on its annual defense policy bill in earnest Wednesday, as subcommittees started considering their portions of the bill.The committee's cyber, strategic forces, seapower and personnel subcommittees all advanced their portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with voice votes.As is typical for Armed Services subcommittees, there was little to no drama Wednesday.

Gillibrand noted Pentagon data showing the military justice system was not just failing women but minority service members. The data shows minorities are far more likely to face charges than their white peers. Democratic Representative Anthony Brown, a retired Army Reserve colonel and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, voiced strong support for the broader overhaul in companion legislation moving through the House of Representatives. "The current military justice system is not serving our country's higher values of justice , equity and fairness," Brown wrote in an opinion piece in

Gillibrand noted Pentagon data showing the military justice system was not just failing women but minority service members. The data shows minorities are far more likely to face charges than their white peers. "In the Marines, for example, you are 2.61 times more likely to be given a general court-martial, which Democratic Representative Anthony Brown, a retired Army Reserve colonel and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, voiced strong support for the broader overhaul in companion legislation moving through the House of Representatives. "The current military justice system is not serving our

The House version of the bill passed in September similarly includes a measure removing the decision to prosecute sexual assault and related crimes to special victims prosecutors, though it doesn't go as far as Gillibrand's measure.

Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he supports removing decisions on prosecuting sexual assault cases from military commanders.

In their letter, the lawmakers noted that military justice has been "plaguing the military for decades, despite countless congressional mandates, $1 billion of funding, and promises from leadership that they would address it."

"Our service members do not have years or decades more to wait for the DoD to solve this problem," the lawmakers said. "We must act with an urgency that meets this moment and urge you to ensure the NDAA provides true independence for prosecutors in the military justice system and covers all major offenses in the [Unified Code of Military Justice]."

Overnight Defense & National Security — Austin mandates vaccine for Guardsmen .
It's Tuesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated on Tuesday that all members of the National Guard get vaccinated against the coronavirus.We'll have more on that today, details on the bills President signed for veterans and the United States' warningDefense Secretary Lloyd Austin mandated on Tuesday that all members of the National Guard get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

usr: 1
This is interesting!