Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Harassment Charges Are No Surprise

Is is difficult to fathom why Army brass could not have anticipated the rash of sexual assault and harassment charges as reported in "New Army Sex-Abuse Charges Highlight Counseling Needs," Feb. 5. Any command and control organization with a vertical hierarchy of rank should realize the potential for abuse, particularly when those in command are male and those being trained are female.

It now turns out that the Veterans Affairs Department has already counseled 15,000 victims over the past three years. This should have raised a red flag. If senior officers ignored these warning signs or dismissed them as insignificant, they should be reprimanded or retired. Counseling and hot lines should be set up before there is a scandal, and results of such efforts should be monitored by those in command. The answer is not to separate women from men in their combat training but to anticipate problems and act accordingly. George A. Dean Southport, Conn. Conscientious objectors Thank you for the coverage in "Hazing Rituals in Military are Common - and Abusive," Feb 11. The article incorrectly says the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO) is based in San Francisco. CCCO was founded in 1948 in Philadelphia. The San Francisco office was founded in 1967. In 1995, CCCO in Philadelphia and CCCO-Western Region in San Francisco merged to form one group with two regional offices. The GI Advocacy program is based in Philadelphia. Many CCCO supporters are still confused by the merge. Many of them also read the Monitor and might be dismayed to see our San Francisco office credited with founding CCCO. Susan C. King San Francisco CCCO Slavery in Mauritania exists The article, "Where African Slavery Still Exists in the Eyes of Many," Feb. 13, confirms - and yet trivializes - the existence of human bondage there. The Africans interviewed say that thousands of slaves work for Arabo-Berber masters, and that masters forbid slave children to go to school, decide who slaves may marry, and inherit slaves's belongings. …

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