Voltaire Network: Saudi Arabia Building Embassy in Tel Aviv

Voltaire Network

PARIS, (ST)-In preparation for bringing the Saudi-Israeli secret relations to light, Saudi Arabia has begun the construction of a huge embassy in “Israel”, probably the most important in Tel-Aviv, according to Voltaire Network.

The Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz has nominated Prince Walid Ben Talal (5th world fortune with Citigroup, Movenpick, Four Seasons) as the Kingdom’s next ambassador in “Israel”, the network said in a report on Sunday.

 Meetings between Saudi intelligence officers and Israeli officials have recently become open, reflecting the two sides’ insistence to boost mutual relations.

Shedding more light on the Saudi-Israeli cooperation, the network said that the two sides do not maintain official diplomatic relations, however, the Quincy Pact, signed between US President Franklin Roosevelt and Saudi King Abdelaziz in 1945, and renewed by President Bush and King Fahd in 2005, stipulates amongst other things that the kingdom of Al Saud would not oppose a “Jewish” homeland in Palestine.

The network pointed out it was not the United States, but former Saudi King Abdallah bin Abdul Azizi who financed the Israeli aggression called “Cast Lead” against the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 in which thousands of Palestinians were martyred and wounded.

Currently, the network said, Israel and Saudi Arabia are fighting a war together in Yemen, from a command centre in the non-recognized state of Somaliland. They are planning several operations for the exploitation of oil reserves in Yemen and the Horn of Africa.

It is worth mentioning that the recent meeting between the Israeli and Saudi spy chiefs over expanding cooperation indicates that Saudi Arabia gives no heed to the Israeli occupation crimes against the Palestinians and against other  peoples of the region.

Hamda Mustafa

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Jewish mentality: israel’s Forces shoot at family harvesting crops on their land

Israeli Forces shoot at family harvesting crops on their land

After more than six months risking their lives while ploughing, planting seeds and weeding their land, and after investing a large amount of money on seeds and on renting a tractor, the Qudaih family from the village of Khuzaa were finally ready to start harvesting their barley and the wheat two days ago.

We arrived at the fields, located around 100 metres from the fence, at 7am. Around 9am one jeep from the Israeli occupation forces stopped in front of the farmers and a group of soldiers emerged. After a few minutes they fired several shots in the air, then returned to the jeep and left.

A family member working on the land in Khuzaa

A family member working on the land in Khuzaa

45 minutes later another jeep arrived. This time the soldiers fired shots on the ground next to the farmers and the ISM activists that were with them. The shots were near misses, just a few centimetres from their feet. As if this was not terrifying enough, next they fired shots close to the farmers’ and activists’ heads. At that moment most of the farmers started to run away from their fields terrified by the whistling sounds of the bullets flying around them:  One Bedouin man that was picking herbs for his animals laid down on the ground hiding behind his donkey, while the soldiers fired shot more than five times just a few centimetres from him. The shooting didn’t even stop when everyone started to run away, preventing the farmers to secure their horse cart holding what little harvest they had collected until they were attacked.

IMG_1099

The Qudaih family harvesting their barley on their land.

These families now have to choose between losing all the money invested as well as their main sustenance for the year, or continue trying to harvest the crops on their land – despite the risk of someone getting killed or disabled.

 

Terrorists Surrender in Maadamiya in Damascus Countryside

Local Editor

SyriaThe locals in Maadamiya in Damascus countryside conclude an agreement with the Syrian army that will enter the town according the terms.

The agreement also stipulates that the terrorists surrender to the Syrian army in order to settle their situations.

The Syrian army managed on Monday to control the hills of al-Raqm and Mizaala in Latakia northern countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists.

The Syrian warplanes also targeted a group of terrorists in east of Rankous plain in western Qalamoun in Damascus countryside, injuring a number of terrorists.

An Army unit targeted a gathering of ISIL terrorists in al-Qasr village in the northeastern countryside of Sweida province, a military source told SANA on Monday.

An armored vehicle was destroyed in the operation.

Source: Al-Manar Website

30-05-2016 – 18:23 Last updated 30-05-2016 – 18:23

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The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator: Erdogan

The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator

The US and the EU Support a Savage Dictator

On May 6 a court in Istanbul, acting on the orders of Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan, sentenced the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper to five years and ten months in prison for publishing a report about illegal provision of weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria by Turkey’s secret service. His bureau chief got five years.

Two weeks later Istanbul was host to the World Humanitarian Summit, which was held «to stand up for our common humanity and take action to prevent and reduce human suffering». Attendance included 65 heads of state. It was the usual total waste of time (Oxfam called it «an expensive talking shop» and those who refused to be there included President Putin and the global medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières), but the point is that a humanitarian conference should never have been held in Turkey, which is being transformed into a dictatorship by a president who is well-described by Professor Alan Sked of the London School of Economics as «a volatile, unstable, highly authoritarian personality».

The professor went on to observe that Erdogan «has pursued a civil war in his own country and has clamped down on the opposition and social media at will. Thousands have been imprisoned for merely criticising him. He has ordered the shooting down of a Russian warplane, and his country has been accused by Russia of trafficking secretly in oil with Isis. He cannot be trusted…»

Erdogan is a bigoted thug, yet the international community rushed to his country to hold a humanitarian conference and foreign heads of state flock to press his hand in friendship. He is treated with deference around the world and there can be no public criticism of him in the many countries that have laws prohibiting disparagement of heads of state and holding defamation and insult of their leaders to be a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment.

In January over 1,100 Turkish academics signed a letter asking Erdogan to cease his merciless blitz on Kurdish centres in the south east of the country. Thousands of Kurds had been (and continue to be) killed and crippled by ground and air assaults of merciless savagery. Erdogan’s response to the petition was to declare that these compassionate scholars «spit out hatred of our nation’s values and history on every occasion. The petition has made this clearer… In a state of law like Turkey, so-called academics who target the unity of our nation have no right to commit crimes. They don’t have immunity for this».

Some thirty of the humanitarian signatories were arrested and fifteen were dismissed from their university posts. They live under constant threat, as do all who attempt to disagree with the imperial president.

Yet Erdogan’s Turkey is strongly supported by the United States and by the European Union, albeit for very different reasons.

The US backs him because he supports Washington’s efforts to destroy President Assad of Syria and is a strident and aggressive opponent of Russia, while the EU is behind him because if he chose he could control the influx of Syrian refugees to Europe. So Erdogan can persecute and jail as many journalists and academics as he likes, while continuing to slaughter Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and although there may be a few murmurs of disapproval in Brussels and Washington there will be no action whatever taken by either the US or the EU to stop the President of Turkey wielding absolute power over his people.

In March, while Erdogan was attending the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (yet another total waste of time and money, except for the travel industry) he met separately with the US president and vice-president, neither of whom had the moral courage to take him to task for his blatant oppression of those of his citizens who dare to have ideas and opinions contrary to his own.

As the Voice of America reported on March 31, «President Barack Obama assured his Turkish counterpart of American commitment to the security of Turkey, a critical ally in the fight against the Islamic State group», while the White House “readout” of the Erdogan-Biden meeting recorded that «the Vice President reiterated the United States’ unwavering commitment to Turkey’s national security as a NATO Ally». They discussed «ways to further deepen our military cooperation» which was no doubt heartening to a bellicose thug whose aim is to persecute and preferably kill Kurds wherever they may be.

In spite of all the evidence, the United States refuses to acknowledge that Erdogan’s Turkey has sent massive quantities of weaponry to Islamic terrorist groups who are prepared to kill Kurds. It does not appear to matter to Washington that «Not only has Erdoğan done almost everything he can to cripple the forces actually fighting ISIS; there is considerable evidence that his government has been at least tacitly aiding ISIS itself».

The countries of the European Union, in similar blinkered mode, ignore Erdogan’s transformation of Turkey from democracy to dictatorship because they are prepared to make almost any sacrifice to reduce the flood of refugees now threatening their countries. Their leaders are terrified that behaving in a humanitarian manner will damage their domestic electoral chances and have set up an extraordinary deal with Erdogan who has agreed to «do more to prevent refugees from traveling to Europe via its territory and take back all migrants and refugees who manage to cross into Europe from Turkey … In return, the European Union has doubled the financial aid it promised Turkey from 3 billion to 6 billion euros, has agreed to take in more Syrian refugees from Turkey, and will move to provide visa-free travel to Turks and reopen EU accession talks».

Little wonder that Erdogan is on the crest of a wave and can persecute dissenters and slaughter Kurds with hardly a word of international criticism. In March, when he took over Turkey’s largest newspaper, the independent Zaman, and replaced the entire staff with his supporters, US State Department spokesman John Kirby called the seizure «troubling». And it was reported on 25 May that, «the EU wants Ankara to narrow its definition of terror to stop prosecuting academics and journalists for publishing ‘terror propaganda’, but Turkey has refused to do so».

Unless the US and the EU bring pressure to bear on Erdogan to restore democracy in his country, he will continue to suppress and persecute his critics and continue his killing spree. But he is too valuable to them for that to happen. All they will do is hold more humanitarian conferences.

PLEASE SUPPORT MY SYRIAN VOICES BOOK PROJECT

Eva Bartlett


*photo: Resilience of Syrians, Old City of Homs, December 2015.

As many readers will know, I have visited Syria four times, between April 2014 and December 2015—independently on a journalist’s visa and as part of two peace delegations. When in Syria as a writer, I visited key places—including liberated Homs and Ma’loula, terror-bombed regions of Homs, and the Yarmouk district, which has been focus of slick propaganda by anti-Syria corporate media and so-called human rights groups—and have conducted numerous interviews, with Syrian political and religious leaders, as well as Syrian civilians.

I have taken many photographs and videos, collected numerous personal testimonies, undertaken my own research and investigations, visited hospitals and refugee centres, and—in every area that I visited—have conversed with Syrians about what they feel is the cause of the problems in Syria, the solution, and on their insistence for Syria’s sovereignty, and on their support for the Syrian Arab Army and their president.

In the months since my last trip, I have been transcribing interviews and testimonies and writing articles based on them, writing about my personal impressions based on my visits to Syria, and challenging the latest corporate media lies and propaganda campaigns.

I will be returning to Syria, as soon as possible, and for that I must ask for financial assistance to make this trip possible. [see:  Syrian Voices Book Project on GoFundMe ]

Why am I compelled to go to Syria?

In order to write a book that prioritizes Syrian voices from Syria: truths from some of the most highly-misrepresented, lied about or plainly ignored areas of Syria.

To do justice to the full spectrum of the stories of Syrians as told by them, it is essential that I visit areas I not previously been to, areas that have been liberated since I was last there and areas that are enduring especially egregious suffering—such as in Aleppo under terrorist bombs.

To be able to meet costs associated with overseas flights, as well as travel and related expenses in Syria, it is necessary for me to fund-raise, because my current work as a writer and related advocacy work is either unpaid or paid very little.

If this book project, as well as my ability to write additional articles from Syria, is something you wish to and are able to support financially, I would gratefully appreciate any and all contributions.

If you would like to support my work, but are not in a position to do so financially, I would be grateful if you could share this fundraising appeal with others, as this will give a tremendous boost to my appeal.

Full details of my work and plans can be accessed on my gofundme page.

*NOTE: For those wish to donate but prefer to use Paypal, follow this link

For those who prefer to avoid Payal transaction fees, e-transfers are an option. Canadian banks only however.

Supporters’ Comments on Facebook and GoFundMe:

“The Syrian people need more voices telling their story and combating the lying war propaganda that fuels the war.Independent journalist and activist for Palestine and Syria Eva Bartlett has visited Syria during this war, spoken to Syrians, and seen first-hand the effects of this foreign led war for regime-change. She means to travel there again and see the situation as it is after recent developments.

Her book would help give Syrians a voice among the torrent of western propaganda, and raise awareness about the causes and the devastating effects of the terrorist invasion of Syria.

If you’re able to donate, please do. Please also share this as much as possible. Thank you.”
– Angelis Dania

“you are an example for what a real journalist should be you do it all yourself, take all the hardships and offer truth to those who are thirsty for it you are of a different nationality, different language, different culture, yet you turn up to be loyal to Syria more than many of its children..
Great work Eva”

-Jamila and Shababeek شبابيك are with you

“Please support this in any way you can. Eva Bartlett is a truly brilliant journalist and activist for justice & truth, and we all know who rare that sort of stuff is.”
-Hayat Islam

“The best money you will ever spend! Give some. Trust me. Canada’s Rachel Corrie needs your help. Fund the amazing journalism of Eva Bartlett. Help truth and justice rise to the top.”
-Denis Rancourt

“In a just world, a brilliant and courageous person like Eva Bartlett would have all of the funding and support necessary to carry on her work. But it is not a just world. It is only through the efforts of people like Eva to bring truth to this world of lies that it may become more so. Please read her full description of the proposed project and give if you can or share the fundraising appeal so that others may become aware of it.” – David Lorig

“Supporting Eva Bartlett will support the people of ‪#‎Syria in their struggle for ‪#‎Peace & ‪#‎sovereignty!”
-Nino Pagliccia

“I couldn’t think of someone more worthy than Eva Bartlett to receive support. Her work on Syria has been absolutely astounding from day 1.”
-Valentina Capurri

“Dear friends … please read and whatever contribution you can make for this brave journalist is highly appreciated … Thanks”
-Waseem Abbas

“Please support the wonderful independent journalist Eva Bartlett, someone who’s doing an priceless work on Syria. A true fighter for justice and truth for THE SYRIAN PEOPLE”
-Julia Kaya

 

From my GoFundMe Book Project Campaign:

In early 2011, after years of covert US funding to instigate a Western-supported “opposition” in Syria (“Between 2006 to 2010, the US spent 12 million dollars in order to support and instigate demonstrations and propaganda against the Syrian government. WikiLeaks released over 7000 secret diplomatic cables that document that funding.” source), the corporate media began telling the fairytale of “revolution” in Syria and of “unarmed protesters” being killed by the Syrian government.

Initially, there was confusion about the events that took place in Syria in early 2011. But since then, it has been well established that these events were an integral part of the NATO alliance’s attempt to impose a puppet government on Syria.

Various journalists, reporters, and analysts have documented the violence and sectarianism of the so-called unarmed protesters, including the many massacres that they and the many terrorist factions have committed. I referenced many of these journalists, reporters, and analysts in my own analysis, Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

Journalists, reporters, and analysts, be they Syrians on the ground or non-Syrians who travel to witness events and listen to Syrian voices, have clearly and consistently outlined how the global war on Syria came about. They have also documented the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by Western/Turkish/Gulf and Zionist-backed terrorists in Syria.

Nonetheless, false narratives and blatant lies continue to be put forth by the corporate media and lying “Human Rights” groups with ties to the CIA, US State Department and/or colour-revolution schemer George Soros.

In recent years, many books have been written on Syria, and with the exception of a few, they have been war-promoting books based on false allegations; unnamed activists; the fraudulent one-man Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, located in Coventry in the UK—who himself gleans his data from “unnamed activists”; and the above-mentioned human rights groups complex.

What has been sorely missing, aside from a few honest books on Syria like this detailed and insightful one by Professor Tim Anderson, are accounts of Syrians living in Syria.

I propose to fill the gap with my own book project, Syrian Voices.

· I  will be using information and accounts gathered during my previous four trips to Syria over the last two years.

· It is essential for me to return to Syria to obtain more material, in order to write a book that prioritizes Syrian voices from Syria: truths from some of the most highly-misrepresented, lied about or simply ignored areas of the country.

· This book will give Syrian voices a platform to address readers who want to understand what is really happening in Syria.

·  Having made multiple visits to Homs—the liberated Old City, the entrance to al-Waer where terrorists remain, al-Zahra’a car-bombed neighbourhood—as
well as Lattakia, liberated ancient Ma’loula , Sweida, the Yarmouk district & centres for displaced persons from Yarmouk , and the Old City of Damascus, I have already collected many Syrian stories—voices and realities which contradict the corporate media’s account of events.

· This book will also include stories and information obtained specifically from:
-Syrians living in areas subjected to terrorist bombs, missiles, and mortars— attacks that I experienced repeatedly while in Damascus in 2014, and
-Syrians in areas which have been liberated from foreign-backed terrorists.

· In addition to highlighting the sordid realities Syrians have been facing over the past five plus years, I also wish to highlight other realities, and indeed, the positives:
Victories and liberation of terrorist-occupied areas, such as Nubl, Zahra’a, and Palmyra.
Syrian resilience: After over five years of the global war on Syria, as well as criminal sanctions that have devastated the Syrian people, Syrians, miraculously, remain resilient. They have bravely adjusted to the continuous hardship, stress and anxiety of the war on their country and cherish their dignity and their resolve. They are devoted to peace and security for their country and proudly wait and work for full peace and security to return. In spite of the war, they continue to celebrate, to marry, to study, to participate in everyday human life to the fullest extent possible. For this alone, but not only for this, they deserve our greatest respect.
Support for internally-displaced persons (IDPs), by both civil society and the government, in Lattakia, Tartous, Damascus and Sweida—to name the main centres that have absorbed millions of IDPs, although there are others as well.
Volunteerism: Many groups have been established within Syrian civil society to assist their compatriots during this horrific crisis—groups to provide food and meals for Syrians impoverished by the war, groups to visit and feed Syrian soldiers on the front lines, and so many more.
Syrian culture: Syrians have a rich cultural heritage–music, dance, theatre, painting, sculpture, writing, handicrafts and more. Even in times of war, cultural activities continue. Syrians defiantly refuse to be cowed by war and choose to partake in, enjoy and nurture the many aspects of their deep cultural lives.

…campaign continues with my BIO (Gaza, Palestine, Syria solidarity work and writings)

 

Breaking: US Soldier in Syria – ‘Kill ’em All!’

After continued Pentagon denials that US Special Forces in Syria equals “boots on the ground” in Syria, new video has just emerged of a US soldier standing next to what looks like an armored personnel carrier with Kurdish militia “YPG” spray-painted on it. It appears he is asked some kind of question and he turns to the camera with a menacing smirk and says:

“Let me tell you something. I”m from the United States of America and I say kill ’em all!”

Watch the video here:

While US Special Forces troops may number far higher than the 300 admitted by the White House, they have no legal authority to operate inside of Syria. As the US government continues to maintain that the current Syrian government must be overthrown and that Syrian president Assad “must go,” there is no reason to expect that the “kill ’em all” mission statement of this US Special Forces soldier will end once Raqqa is liberated from ISIS control. That US troops will participate in the removal of ISIS from Raqqa and then pack up and go home is extremely unlikely, as the original motivation for US action in Syria was the removal of Assad.

In short, this is a tip-of-the-spear US invasion of Syria whose end-game is the physical removal of Assad. You read it here first.


Copyright © 2016 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

Victims of rape in the USA Military described as having “Personality Disorder”

Lives of U.S. Military Rape Victims Ruined by “Personality Disorder” Labels Given Them in Discharge Papers

 

Monday, May 30, 2016
Former Army Sgt. Rebekah Havrilla was raped by a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan (photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

By Human Rights Watch

Thousands of United States service members who lost their military careers after reporting a sexual assault live with stigmatizing discharge papers that prevent them from getting jobs and benefits, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report is the result of a 28-month investigation by Human Rights Watch, with the support of Protect Our Defenders, a human rights organization that supports and advocates for survivors of military sexual assault. Under pressure from the public and Congress, the US military has in recent years implemented some protection for service members who report sexual assault, but nothing has been done to redress the wrongs done to those who were unfairly discharged.

The 124-page report, “Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors,” found that many rape victims suffering from trauma were unfairly discharged for a “personality disorder” or other mental health condition that makes them ineligible for benefits. Others were given “Other Than Honorable” discharges for misconduct related to the assault that shut them out of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system and a broad range of educational and financial assistance. The consequences of having “bad paper” – any discharge other than “honorable” – or being labeled as having a “personality disorder” are far-reaching for veterans and their families, impacting employment, child custody, health care, disability payments, burial rights – virtually all aspects of life.

“Military rape victims with bad discharges are essentially labeled for life,” said Sara Darehshori, senior counsel in the US program at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “Not only have they lost their military careers, they have been marked with a status that may keep them from getting a job or health care, or otherwise pursuing a normal life after the military.”

“Bad paper” has been correlated with high rates of suicide, homelessness, and imprisonment among veterans. Those with “personality disorder” or other mental health discharges have to live with the additional stigma of being labeled “mentally ill.”

Despite the high stakes, there is little veterans can do to fix an unjust discharge, Human Rights Watch found. US law prohibits service members from suing the military for any harm suffered related to their service. The Boards for Correction of Military Records and Discharge Review Boards, the administrative bodies responsible for correcting injustices to service members’ records, are overwhelmed with thousands of cases.

Human Rights Watch, with assistance from Protect Our Defenders, conducted more than 270 in-person and telephone interviews, examined documents produced by US government agencies in response to numerous public record requests, and analyzed data on cases in the Boards for Correction reading room that referenced “personality disorder” or “adjustment disorder.” Researchers spoke to 163 survivors of sexual assault from the Vietnam War era to the present day.

“As I look back on the incident I have at times cursed myself for speaking up and reporting what happened,” one rape survivor said. “I cannot even begin to express how this entire ordeal has affected my life.”

In recent years, public attention has been drawn to the problem of combat veterans being given bad discharges for mental health conditions or misconduct that may in fact be symptomatic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Congress has made it harder to discharge combat veterans on mental health grounds without checking for PTSD. However, the additional protections have not been extended to sexual assault survivors even though they also suffered trauma in service and the prevalence of PTSD is higher among rape victims than combat veterans.

“We regularly hear from people who report sexual assault that they are being threatened with discharge for mental health reasons or trumped-up misconduct charges,” said Colonel Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders and a former Air Force chief prosecutor. “Traumatized young service members may be willing to take a bad discharge just to escape their perpetrator without realizing the costs of their decision. Many more buy into the myth that it will be easy to upgrade their discharge later.”

The Defense Department’s standard response to service members who suffered sexual assault and allege improper discharge is to recommend they seek review by the Boards for Correction of Military Records or Discharge Review Boards. However, well over 90 percent of those applying to the Boards are rejected with almost no opportunity to be heard or any meaningful review. Lawyers for veterans say their cases often include considerable evidence and supporting documents. Yet Board members often spend only a few minutes deciding a case and may reach a decision without reading the submitted material. Because the courts give special deference to military decisions, judicial oversight of the Boards is virtually nonexistent.

“Military lawyers and veterans see the Boards as a virtual graveyard for their cases,” Darehshori said. “Many veterans we spoke with were reluctant to put themselves through the trauma of reliving their assault to try to fix their record when they saw no hope for success.”

Congress should require the Defense Department to expedite review of cases of sexual assault victims who believe they were wrongfully discharged. The defense secretary should instruct the Boards to be more open to considering upgrade requests from sexual assault victims, bring evidentiary requirements for proving a sexual assault into line with those used by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and create a presumption in favor of changing the reason for discharge from personality disorder to “Completion of Service,” in certain cases.

To ensure that all service members receive due consideration of their claims, Congress should create a right to a hearing before the Boards for Correction of Military Records and provide greater information to the public on all decisions. A representative working group should be created to study standards for granting relief and determine best practices and procedures.

“Immediate reform is desperately needed to ensure that military sexual assault survivors can get a meaningful remedy for the wrongful discharges that darken their lives,” Darehshori said. “They deserve support, not censure.”

The following are quotes from rape survivors and advocates interviewed by Human Rights Watch or contained in documents Human Rights Watch reviewed. Starred victims’ names have been replaced with pseudonyms to protect their privacy.

“Why should I be discharged because I was raped? I did what I was supposed to do. Had I never come forward I truly believe I would still be in the Air Force.”

–A1C Juliet Simmons,* November 2012

“I carry my discharge as an official and permanent symbol of shame, on top of the trauma of the physical attack, the retaliation and its aftermath.”

–Brian Lewis, March 2013

“Although agencies exist to which you may apply to upgrade a less than Honorable Discharge, it is unlikely that such application will be successful.”

–Army Developmental Counseling Form

“I defy any of you not to have mental consequences if you were raped and harassed repeatedly and even set on fire, while management looked the other way and just laughed.”

–Testimony of Amy Quinn before the Judicial Proceedings Panel on Sexual Assault in the Military, May 19, 2015

“I was 18 years old, was a mental mess, and was terrified to be back aboard [the ship] any longer than I had to. I wasn’t protected, I wasn’t helped, I wasn’t safe from any type of harm! So how did I actually know what I was signing or even in fact what an OTH [Other Than Honorable] discharge was to mean? How was I to know that from all the sexual attacks that I had to suffer and the harassment, assaults, threats to my life and safety that for all these years [the discharge would be] a huge factor to how I lived and how my life ended up?”

–SR Heath Phillips, 2013

“It is bad enough to go through military sexual trauma, but to be discredited and labeled is difficult to overcome and causes so much damage. PD [Personality Disorder] is another level of betrayal because it is so stigmatizing.… People think there is something wrong with me and don’t realize it was a label just stuck on people.”

–PFC Eva Washington*, October 2013

“I have practiced law in Texas for 31 years now, and I’ve appeared in different state and federal courts in a variety of administrative settings and this is the only time that I’ve been before a discharge review board. It was a horrific experience … I found myself being cut off and my client being screamed at which was unlike any experience I have ever had before. My client was just completely re-victimized. They didn’t really care what we had to say. We got a decision a few months later that was erroneous in a number of different respects … and it was a 5-nothing decision not to upgrade.”

–JoAnn Merica, attorney for a veteran who was discharged for misconduct after reporting sexual harassment, March 2016

“As I look back on the incident I have at times cursed myself for speaking up and reporting what happened but … I thought I was doing the right thing … I cannot even begin to express how this entire ordeal has affected my life; it won’t go away and I still struggle with self-esteem and trust and the entire myriad of symptoms victims of sexual assault suffer … the Navy discarded me like a piece of scrap iron or less; truthfully, this ordeal continues to haunt me … I am a broken man.”

–SA Ken Nelson,* October 2012

“US: Raped in Military – Then Punished” © 2016 by Human Rights Watch

To Learn More:

Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors (Human Rights Watch)

Pentagon Misled Congress to Avoid Civilian Oversight of Sex Assault Cases (by Richard Lardner, Associated Press)

Defense Dept. Urged to Lift “Cloak of Secrecy” Surrounding Military Sex Crimes (by Richard Lardner, Eileen Sullivan and Meghan Hoyer, Associated Press)

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