Protect Our Defenders News Blog


Oakland Tribune editorial: Military justice on assault needs major overhaul

The Oakland Tribune opines:

The U.S. military justice system has been rightly pilloried in recent years for its horrendous record in handling sexual-assault cases. In the wake of those criticisms some strides finally have been made toward improving the system for assault victims, but events this week clearly show much more needs to be done.

The U.S. Air Force decided to admonish, albeit lightly, one of the military lawyers it had assigned as part of a new program to represent victims of sexual assault. The program is one of those new reforms that the Defense Department showcases as a shining success, proof that it is a new day and that such atrocities will not be tolerated.

Capt. Maribel Jarzabek was in the last month of her five-year service to the Air Force when she wrote a post on the Facebook page of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., encouraging the senator to continue her efforts to push specific reforms for the system through Congress.

In the Dec. 2 post Jarzabek also wrote, “Changes are needed, and it’s time that the public knew about the military’s true dirty little secrets!”

A while later Jarzabek was informed via email from a high-ranking officer that she was under criminal investigation. Yes, criminal investigation for advocating “a partisan political cause” and expressing opinions that could undermine public confidence in the Air Force.

Read the full editorial on their website.