Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Female Soldier arrested: Refuses to Go Back to Iraq due to Sexual Coercion
1st we learn of females soldiers dropping dead from dehydration b/c they were afraid to drink fluids past early evening b/c it might require them to go pee in the middle of the night, b/c when they did go to pee, they were being raped by their fellow US soldiers. Now we have this: Suzanne Swift, a specialist with the 54th Military Police Co was arrested at her mother's house in Eugene, OR and held at the county jail before being escorted by military police to Ft Lewis. In a phone interview from the base, Swift said 3 sergeants directly in her chain of command began propositioning her for sex almost from the min she arrived overseas. She was in Iraq from Feb 04 until Feb 05. When her unit was redeployed to Iraq in Jan 06, she refused to go and remained in OR. When Swift complained to the appropriate Army authorities, her complaints were ignored. For rejecting the advances of 2 of the noncommissioned officers, Swift said she was publicly humiliated and forced to do extra work. Swift said she had a sexual relationship w/ her immediate supervisor in Iraq, but that it was a coerced relationship based on his power over her: "In a combat situation, your squad leader is deciding whether you live or die. If he wants you to run across a minefield, you run across a minefield," she said. Swift drove a Humvee in Karbala, a city SW of Baghdad. On combat patrol, she was frequently assigned to visit Iraqi police stations, often the targets of insurgents." This is repulsive and criminal. She didn't want to have coerced sex, but she was afraid her refusal would cause her to lose her life. Maybe someone ought to seriously buy her fellow soldier rapists one of these for their next deployment.