March 09, 2017

Senator Gillibrand Requests Senate Armed Services Committee Hold A Hearing To Investigate Recent Allegations Of Current And Former United States Marines Circulated Illicit Images Of Female Service Members And Veterans

Gillibrand: This unacceptable behavior spotlights a culture of disrespect for female service members that undermines good order and discipline in the military and weakens military readiness

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today sent a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and Ranking Member Jack Reed requesting that the Committee hold a hearing to further investigate the alleged network of United States Marines, former Marines, and civilians who circulated illicit images of female service members and veterans.

The full text of the letter from Senator Gillibrand is included here and below:

March 8, 2017

The Honorable John McCain

Chairman

Armed Services Committee

218 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jack Reed

Ranking Member

Armed Services Committee

728 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

 

Dear Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed:

 

I respectfully request that the Committee on Armed Services hold a hearing to further investigate the alleged network of United States Marines, former Marines, and civilians who circulated illicit images of service members and veterans. According to news reports, the invitation-only group, called Marines United is made up of more than 30,000 people, including active duty Marines and veterans. Members of this community built online dossiers on Marine women, and potentially others, without their knowledge or consent, listing dozens of women’s names, ranks, social media handles and where they are stationed. Media report that in one photograph, taken surreptitiously, a female corporal is shown bent over from behind, picking up her gear. Once posted online, the image was flooded with derogatory comments, including suggestions that she should be raped. This unacceptable behavior spotlights a culture of disrespect for female service members that undermines good order and discipline in the military and weakens military readiness.

 

I request that the Committee hold a hearing to assess current information available about the case, whether this is part of a larger pattern of misconduct, the underlying environment that allowed something like this to happen, jurisdictional issues the military may face in addressing this behavior and whether the military justice system is equipped to hold perpetrators accountable.

 

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

 

Sincerely,

 

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator