On Friday night, CNN's Aaron Briwn interviewed John Ferrugia, a Colorado reporter who's been investigation the rash of sexual assault allegations at the Air Force Academy. Ferrugia said this:
The culture of the Air Force Academy, according to the women we've been talking to, and even women who have been there and are now officers -- we've even talked to many who have called us, e-mailed us. And they talk about the culture where sexual assault is accepted. It's within the culture. It just happens there.
We've been told that, from the second or third week that women are there, they have upper-class trainers, juniors and seniors. Some of those are women. Women tell them and warn them, in the time you're here, this is going to happen to you. It's going to happen to many of you. Don't report it, because, if you do, your career is over.
And yet The New York Times now reports this:
Early last year, a panel created in part to help address the problem of sexual assault within the military found itself under fire.
Five former chairwomen of the panel urged Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resist pressure to disband it from conservative administration advisers, who said they thought the panel was fostering what one called "radical feminism" and was no longer needed because women had been fully integrated into the military.
The former chairwomen of the embattled panel — which since 1951 had been weighing in on women's issues — emphasized the importance of its independent role in overseeing the military's handling of sex crimes....
The Pentagon responded by letting the panel's charter expire in February 2002, replacing its members and changing its agenda. Though still known as the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, it no longer advises the military on sexual assault....
Just a little more compassionate conservatism from the Bush administration.