Sex crime coverup: Senators attack lack of transparency in military justice system

Three U.S. senators have challenged the Defense Department to increase transparency in the military justice system in the wake of reports of widespread sex crimes against children in the military. The Associated Press filed 17 Freedom of Information Act requests for records on the 200 sex crimes ending in convictions and received trial records for five cases and partial records for more than 70 others. (The Salt Lake Tribune, December 8, 2015, by Richard Lardner and Eileen Sullivan of The Associated Press)

The senators, Kirsten Gillibrand( NY), Barbara Boxer (CA) and Mazie Hirono (HI), were responding to an Associated Press investigation reported in November revealing the reluctance of the military to open its records on sexual abuse cases to the public. Claiming privacy, the military has refused to release details of crimes, a claim that would not be sustained in state and federal cases. (The Roanoke Times, November 18, 2015, by Jim Gomex, Julie Waltson with contributions from Monika Mathur of The Associated Press)