US army mired in race scandal
Thursday 13 March 1997
It has been four months since what appeared one of the gravest scandals in army history erupted, with allegations of systematic sexual harassment at the Aberdeen training base in Maryland. From army installations in the US and around the world, thousands of women soldiers used a special hot line set up by the Pentagon to complain of molestation and persecution by male colleagues.
Now, however, it seems a good measure of the original case may be fiction. Five women from Aberdeen, where eight supervisors have been charged with sex crimes, say that despite intense pressure from investigators, they would not make accusations of rape. Whatever took place, therefore, was consensual - "fraternisation" in army parlance.
But such relations between a soldier and a superior are forbidden, and, as Kathryn Leming, one of the women, told a press conference, "They told me that under army rules it was considered rape. They pushed me and pushed me and tried to make me say rape, but I wouldn't do it because it wasn't the truth."
As a result, the army now has two controversies on its hands: one of sexual harassment and the other race.
The press conference was organised by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, and Kweise Mfume, the chairman, is demanding an independent investigation of how the army conducted the inquiry.
The Pentagon dismisses any suggestion of racial motivation, while its investigators deny they ever dangled incentives before the women to secure their co-operation. But in terms of muddying the investigation and embarrassing the army hierarchy, the damage has been done.
- 1 2015 General Election: Green party will not appear in TV debate alongside Ukip – says BBC
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
Elizabeth Norment dead: House of Cards actress honoured by Kevin Spacey after she dies aged 61
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Nigel Farage and Frankie Boyle clash over Andrew Lawrence's 'Mock the Week' criticism
£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...
£45 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Bris...
£45 - £60 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply SEN Support Jobs in Glou...
£18000 - £20400 per annum + Accommodation, Flights, Medical Cover: Randstad Ed...