Is he a rapist or a pawn in a military game to discredit the Air Force Academy sex scandal? For the first time, Douglas Meester answers the charges.
The Defense Department, the Air Force Inspector General, and the U.S. Senate subsequently all launched their own investigations. The senate's seven-member team, led by former Florida congresswoman Tillie Fowler, found that in the past decade academy officials had, in fact, received sexual-assault allegations from at least 142 cadets - more than twice the number of cases (56) that the academy had reported investigating. Fowler also discovered an entrenched institutional misogyny that has existed from the very first year women were admitted to the academy in 1977. Reading through cadet responses to the academy's internal 2002 "Social Climate Survey," Fowler found that some male cadets wrote, "Even with women in the Armed Forces they should not be at the military academies," and "Women are worthless and should be taken away from the USAFA."
As the scandal peaked this past June, the Senate Armed Services subcommittee convened a hearing. Alleged victims testified, as did the ousted academy leaders. Sen. John McCain, who chaired the hearings, called the brass' testimony "one of the most remarkable evasions of responsibility I have ever seen.... The Secretary of the Air Force has proven, to our satisfaction, that he cannot and will not address this crisis at the Air Force Academy in a mature and efficient fashion."