<\body> Stories in America: Suzanne Swift Update

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Suzanne Swift Update

Iraq Vets Force Congressional Investigation of Suzanne Swift Case
Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace, and Oregon constituents achieved a victory on the road to ending military sexual violence today with a pledge from Congressman Peter DeFazio's (D-Ore.) office that he will be initiating a congressional investigation into the case of Army Specialist Suzanne Swift.

The group from Camp Democracy delivered a letter containing the phone numbers of Swift's chain of command and refused to leave the office until the Congressman acted appropriately on behalf of his constituent and all women in uniform. In unison with the direct action in Washington, constituents in Oregon and Rep. DeFazio's district flooded his offices with phone calls, emails and faxes in support of SPC Swift. Rep. DeFazio also scheduled a personal meeting with Sara Rich, Suzanne's mother, and members of IVAW for September 21, 2006.

Suzanne Swift is a veteran of the Iraq war who is now held in custody at Fort Lewis, Washington. Swift had completed a tour of duty in Iraq, where she was sexually harassed and assaulted at the hands of three of her commanding officers - continuing over the course of her entire deployment. Her efforts to report her treatment were met with disrespect and dismissed. Finally, Swift suffered a breakdown due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and went absent without leave. She was apprehended in Eugene, Oregon, in June 2006, and instead of seeing her rapists investigated, Swift herself is facing court martial and prison time.

Organizers of the action released the following statement: "Congressman DeFazio has taken an important step toward ending military sexual violence despite the military's unwillingness to follow its own procedures and regulations. This a good first step toward making sure there is never again another Suzanne Swift."


At 9/12/2006 8:11 PM, Anonymous timmy said...

As I read this post, I couldn't help but notice that the word "alleged" and "allegedly" seem to have been ommited.


"seeing her rapists investigated"

"where she was sexually harassed and assaulted"

Susanne Swift should be innocent until proven guily of the crimes she is charged with...and so should the men she is accusing of sexual harrassment and assualt.

At 9/16/2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to thousands of survivors of military sexual abuse, the military has proven itself unfit to judge in these cases. Military has a history of 'waiting' the survivors out for years and years - how many years would you want to wait for an 'alleged' sexual predator to be found guilty? Actually, the years of waiting allow them to be transferred, promoted and honorably discharged back into our communities. How nice for the predator.


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