September 27th, 2007 10:23 EST
Senate Defense Bill Accuses Military of Being Rife with Bigots
The Senate passed an amendment today accusing the U.S. military of committing a significant number of "hate crimes." Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) introduced the "hate crimes" amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill.
"Senators humiliate our brave men and women in uniform by alleging that America's military is a haven for bigots committing 'hate crimes.' The Defense Authorization bill has been twisted to shamelessly smear our military. Alleged crimes by military members are already prosecuted, so the point of an amendment accusing military members of committing 'hate crimes' is to create the perception that America's military is rife with violent bigots," stated Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA).
"It's extremely telling that Sens. Kennedy and Smith had to go back to 1992 to find an example to exploit (the already-prosecuted case of Navy seaman Allan Schindler) to claim that a federal law must be passed to address rampant bigotry in the military," said Shari Rendall, Director of Legislation and Public Policy for CWA.
"Senators Kennedy and Smith are shamelessly impugning the character of our brave soldiers in an effort to push their agenda, forcing President Bush to veto legislation that is crucial to America's national security," said Rendall.
Sen. Gordon Smith stated on the Senate floor, "As I have said in the past, the military is not immune to the scourge of hate crimes in our country. In 1992, Navy seaman Allen Schindler was brutally murdered by his shipmate Terry Helvey in Okinawa, Japan." Senator Smith failed to mention that Helvey was convicted and is serving a life sentence.
Sen. Edward Kennedy also mentioned a case in which the accused are being prosecuted and held to account, yet claimed that, "We cannot let another day, really hours, go by without this legislation."
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
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