The recent news is filled with the misbehavior of several U.S. military leaders. Apparently their sexual assaults have occurred at an epidemic frequency.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York introduced legislation to change the way allegations of sexual assault are handled. By her legislation, reports would be handled not by commanding officers but by outside investigators. This legislation was soundly defeated. The opposition, led by Senator John McCain, argued that taking discretion from a commander would seriously undermine that commander’s authority.
But it is clear that large numbers of commanders not appropriately handling such allegations. The solution to this issue may lie with President Obama. The President is fond of making executive orders, a practice that goes beyond his constitutional authority.
Yet the President is commander-in-chief of the military. By ordering the military he is entirely within his constitutional authority. I would suggest that President Obama order the military to create new procedures for the handling of sexual assault allegations.
If such allegations are not thereafter appropriately and seriously handled, then the President should make a shakedown within the military.