Critics push reforms for Pentagon

December 30, 1992|By Orange County Register

Pentagon critics and their allies in Congress are planning t push for sweeping reforms next year to wipe away the "the old boy network" they say has blocked changes in the way the military handles sex-crime allegations within its ranks.

"Obviously there has to be change, otherwise we'll just be back to the same old disaster," said Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colo., a leading Pentagon critic. "We have to get to the core of the problem and that problem is that the military is out of sync with the rest of society."

Women's rights advocates have huddled with the Clinton transition team over the past few weeks, advocating a reform agenda.

The agenda would put civilians, especially women, in control of the investigating and prosecuting of sex crimes. The women's advocates also want to make it easier for women to report harassment and assaults.

On the critics' wish list:

* Better records.

* More civilian oversight.

* New policies covering counseling and medical tests for all alleged victims.

"I'm hopeful we'll see some real movement," said Diana Danis, executive director of the Denver-based National Womens Veterans' Conference.

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