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19 Veterans Sue Government Leaders For Failing To


": Monday, October 1, 2012, 5:27 AM

19 veterans sue government leaders for failing to protect them against rape, sexual assaults

'Victims are put on trial and told they have asked to be raped,' San Mateo congresswoman charges

Lawyers for 19 veterans of the U.S. Army and Air Force filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco yesterday alleging that top government officials failed to protect them against rape and sexual assaults while they were on active duty.

"The military system is inherently biased," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, who attended the morning news conference announcing the suit at UC Hastings College of the Law at 200 McAllister St.

"Victims are put on trial and told they have asked to be raped," she said.

The victims bringing the suit, from a dozen states, allege that by failing to protect them from assaults, the defendants, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the secretaries of the U.S. Army and Navy, violated their constitutional rights to due process of law and equal protection.

Two of the plaintiffs, Daniele Hoffman and Kole Welsh, both Army veterans, became emotional during the news conference when they described their feelings as victims of rape while in the service.

"I've been alone and silenced, but I won't be silenced any more," said Hoffman, who had attempted suicide after she was sexually assaulted nine years ago while in the Illinois National Guard and then suffered "continually" from harassment while serving in Iraq from 2007 to 2008.

"Let me be clear -- the federal judiciary is actively condoning" the rapes of members of military, said Welsh, who claimed that Army officials avoided prosecuting a sergeant who was "raping other male soldiers in order to give them HIV."

Full Article : http://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/show_story.php?id=10165

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the plaintiffs have a good mouthpiece with jackie speier. she has a background i dealing with rapes and atrocities as she was on the investigation team of the rev.jones cool aid party in ghiana and was severely injured trying to flee the country that last day.

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