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.
- 2 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 3 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 4 University student in court for allegedly covering housemates' food in window cleaner and spit
- 5 Ryan Gosling posts tribute to 'Ryan Gosling Won't Eat His Cereal' creator Ryan McHenry
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Garland shooting: Isis claims attack on Prophet Mohamed cartoon contest in Texas as its first action on US soil
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian combined with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...
£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...