Graham Defends Hagel on Steps to Prevent Military Sexual Harassment

Graham Defends Hagel on Steps to Prevent Military Sexual Harassment

On CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) endorsed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s new directives regarding sexual harassment in the military. 

Graham defended the proposals against charges that Hagel has not gone far enough, saying to host Bob Schieffer:

Bob, I’ve been a military lawyer for thirty years, and the idea of taking the power away from the commander to regulate the unit and impose discipline and give it to a military lawyer is not the right move. You can’t solve any problem in the military without commander involvement. The steps that we’re taking in the military are unprecedented. I wish we had a system like this in South Carolina, where every victim had a lawyer.

The culture in the military needs to change; it’s unacceptable. Women are going through way too much harassment; our commanders need to be held more accountable, not less. But these steps of improving how you report a sexual assault, providing a lawyer for the victim to make sure they feel they can go through the system, having systems outside the command reporting chain to report a sexual assault, I think are corrective actions that need to be made. Taking this out of the military justice system, I think, is the wrong move.

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