NDAA Poses Threat to Women’s Military Rights

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Military men and women are not afforded the same whistle-blowing rights as civilian men and women. Furthermore, the award-winning documentary film The Invisible War claims that a woman in the military has more likelihood of being raped by a fellow serviceman than killed by the enemy. But military women do not have the same access to justice.

There is a bill in the House, H.R. 1960, to amend the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Mike Coffman (R-CO) are offering an amendment that would give our military men and women equal rights with their civilian counterparts in both the areas of whistle blowing and justice for sexual assault. Military rights should equal civilian rights if you believe our service men and women are still citizens.

The Fourteenth Amendment provides for Equal Protection Under The Law as it pertains to the States. It has come to be applied to the Federal government through the Fifth Amendment. We now live in a duopoly which is funded by corporations‘, millionaires’, and billionaires’ campaign contributions, and “reported” on by the media which is essentially a monopoly of seven giant media companies.

Military actions are often undertaken for dubious or narrow interests. Whistle blowers remain one of the few checks to balance government power. With regard to our military women’s rights, it sends a very strange message to the rest of the world that, We, The People, are silent about not giving them the equal protection allowed to civilians. The best form of leadership is by example.

The NDAA is already deeply flawed. Of particular note is the indefinite detention of US citizens without benefit of trial. The ACLU vehemently opposes this provision. I’ve not met any reformer center-left or -right, far-left or far-right, that likes the idea of government having the right to take them away in the middle of the night never to be heard from again. It is rather a dampener on dissent.

In an aGREATER.US poll where conservatives, liberals, and independents are given an equal say, Opposition to Indefinite Detention of US Citizens, Repeal of Sections 1021/22 of the NDAA has an 83% positive approval rating.

This poll did not include restoring the rights of our servicemen and servicewomen to those of their civilian counterparts. But in a recent joint letter to Congress demanding equal treatment for military service members from POGO, the Project of Government Oversight, was signed by conservative  and progressive groups alike, showing it has strong bipartisan support.

Are these abridgment of rights really national security issues or yet more evidence of a government lost touch with the People?