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Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assaults in the military took a drastic turn Tuesday when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) asked military leaders about her proposed legislation that would take sexual assault reporting out of the chain of command.

Military leaders completely rejected any measures that would insert non-uniformed personnel into assault investigations.

“It is imperative that the chain of command is fully engaged and part of the solution. … Removing commanders, making commanders less responsible, less accountable, will not work,” General Ray Ordierno, the Army’s Chief of Staff, responded.

“Not all commanders are objective,” Gillibrand said.  “Not every single commander necessarily wants women on the force, not every commander believes what a sexual assault is, not every single commander can distinguish between a slap on the ass and a rape because they merge all of these crimes together.”

“You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you,” she added.

Following numerous high-profile sexual assault scandals, a DOD report revealing 3,000 reported cases of sexual assault in the past year alone, and a Pentagon survey’s estimate of a total of 26,000 troops who experienced “unwanted sexual assault” in 2012, Armed Services Committee chairman Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) moved the hearing up from its initial June 11 date. It was the first full committee hearing on military sexual assault in a decade.

Levin said that the number of sexual assaults is “of such scope and magnitude that it has become a stain on our military.”

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) used the hearing to push a very different agenda. He attributed rape in the military to a “hormone level created by nature” and suggested the Pentagon not allow women in combat roles.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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Marchers at January 22 anti-vaccination demonstration in Washington, D.C>

Back when it was first gaining traction in the 1990s, the anti-vaccination movement was largely considered a far-left thing, attracting believers ranging from barter-fair hippies to New Age gurus and their followers to “holistic medicine” practitioners. And it largely remained that way … until 2020 and the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As this Sunday’s “Defeat the Mandates” march in Washington, D.C., however, showed us, there’s no longer anything even remotely left-wing about the movement. Populated with Proud Boys and “Patriot” militiamen, QAnoners and other Alex Jones-style conspiracists who blithely indulge in Holocaust relativism and other barely disguised antisemitism, and ex-hippies who now spout right-wing propaganda—many of them, including speakers, encouraging and threatening violence—the crowd at the National Mall manifested the reality that “anti-vaxxers” now constitute a full-fledged far-right movement, and a potentially violent one at that.

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