On Senator McCaskill’s Opposition to the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA)

by Jamison Koehler on March 3, 2014

When I was in government, there was something we called the “Not Invented Here” phenomenon:  You did not support something if you were not going to get credit for it.

This is the charitable view of Senator Claire McCaskill’s opposition to the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), a bill sponsored not by McCaskill but by her colleague in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand has said that she sponsored the legislation after watching The Invisible War. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Cal) has sponsored similar legislation in the House of Representatives with the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act.

The less charitable view of McCaskill’s opposition to the bill – and her threat of a filibuster –is that, in dereliction of her duty as a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, she is far too cozy with the Pentagon.  The banner on her website – “Keeping the Pentagon Accountable” – is laughable.  So too is her claim that the piece-meal measures she sponsored earlier will result in “historic reforms.”  The only effect of these measures will be to undermine support for what is truly needed; that is, taking the decision-making out of the chain of command.

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