Dem veteran: Military 'incapable' of fixing sexual assault problem

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq war, said Sunday that the Pentagon has shown it can't be trusted to handle the problem of sexual assault in the military.

Duckworth (D-Ill.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" that military leaders haven't done enough to prevent or punish sexual assault.

"The military leadership at this point have shown they're incapable of fixing this problem," Duckworth said.


Some lawmakers want to remove sexual assault cases from the military's judicial system, which allows high-ranking officers to essentially overrule military courts' findings.

Duckworth, who lost both of her legs in Iraq, said she supports the military judicial system, "but I think at this point, in this instance ... the military has shown it's not capable of fixing this problem."

An Air Force general recently reinstated an officer who had been convicted of sexual assault, bringing the issue to the forefront and raising questions about whether the military takes sexual assault seriously.

Reports of sexual assault in the military have jumped in the past two years, and many observers believe it is still under-reported.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who is also a veteran of the Iraq war, said she was aware of widespread sexual assault while she was stationed in Iraq and was told not to walk alone, even on the base.