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UPDATE: Obama Appointee To Board Of West Point Slams Military Academy On Latest Sex Scandal



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Sue Fulton was a member of the first class of women to graduate from West Point and was appointed to its Board of Visitors by President Obama. This week Fulton issued a scathing open letter to the Academy’s leadership for its mediocre handling of an infamous sex scandal involving the rugby team.

In 1980, Brenda Sue Fulton became a member of the first class of women graduating from the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York. Fulton, now a former Army Captain, is a founder of Knights Out, the West Point LGBT affinity group, and OutServe (now OutServe-SLDN), a newly established organization for active duty LGBT service members. This week, Fulton carried out a highly moral action, issuing an open, scathing letter to West Point’s leadership, leveraging her political power as an Obama appointee to West Point’s Board of Visitors (akin to a university’s Board of Trustees), condeming their abysmal handling of a recent and infamous sex scandal involving members of the USMA rugby team.

This scandal involved photographs of fellow team mates, including women members and a massive number of emails that contained salacious and inappropriate comments about other cadets, according to Stars and Stripes, in a story published on June 3rd.

Fulton’s letter speaks loudly for itself. It was first published on June 19 by Charles Clymer, a former Army soldier and West Point cadet and an active blogger.

An Open Letter to the Leadership of the United States Military Academy at West Point:

It was hard to attend graduation this year. I knew that almost a dozen rugby players would be walking across the stage – rugby players who had participated in pornographic, misogynistic, sometimes racist weekly emails, targeting their own fellow cadets. Emails that included language like “the only thing  can call out is her own name as she f–ks in the a– with an 8″ black strap-on” and “ needs to be raped by like twenty big black dudes.” Emails that included photos taken of women cadets without their knowledge, captioned with sexually suggestive and/or violent comments.You could tell when the rugby players accepted their diplomas, because their sleeves were bare of rank – part of that “maximum punishment” West Point claimed they received: loss of cadet rank, 120 hours on the area (60 suspended), and 8 hours of “intensive Respect training.” I suppose I should be grateful that the underclass rugby players will be given the full six months of Respect mentorship, though they received fewer hours on the area. “Maximum” indeed.

So I watched these new 2nd Lieutenants, walking across the same stage as one of the women they tormented. I was assured that they had a rough week. Well, so did that woman, who spent the last few months before her graduation being relentlessly harassed for turning over one of the emails to West Point leadership. I wondered what it would be like to be a woman soldier in a platoon led by one of those creeps.

I understand the punishment was solely the decision of the new Commandant, an officer who has managed to serve for 29 years and yet commanded women for a grand total of maybe ten months.

He’s not the first general to be placed in a command for which he wasn’t qualified, but one would hope he would have gotten better advice. Instead – fully backed by the Superintendent – he was impressed by the fact that the men stood together, taking their punishment as a team, and decided that they would make fine officers, thank you very much.

That idea of “standing together as a team” is less impressive when you realize that it’s about a group of men standing together over their rejection of women as part of their team, as classmates, as equals. That was the message sent to the Corps, as replayed to me by a couple of male cadets: what matters is that the men closed ranks – and they “got over.”

I also heard how “remorseful” the boys were. Yes, so “remorseful” that, after graduation, one of them sent a photo of his friend “flipping the bird” to the woman who turned over the email.

A year ago, I attended a Sexual Assault Prevention workshop for the second class, in Thayer Hall’s South Auditorium. Prompted to come up with a typical “pick-up line,” one of the cows stood up and made a rape joke. The “trainers” joined the rest of the class in laughing, and made no comment about the appropriateness of his comment.

This fall, cadets will come back from summer training to a West Point leadership leaflet on their desks that tells them, “You are joining a brotherhood.” A brotherhood. Seriously??

I am deeply troubled. I have seen no evidence that West Point’s senior leadership has a clue about the current command climate and its utter contempt for women. Meanwhile, I have seen plenty of evidence that women cadets and officers remain second-class citizens at the Academy.

I love the Army, and I love West Point. I believe in the values that are supposed to define the Academy, and I know dozens of officers at West Point who share those values, and hundreds of graduates  - male and female – who have upheld those values, on the battlefield and beyond. And because I love West Point, because I live these values, I am speaking out. Our cadets and officers deserve better leadership.

Please give me some reassurance that the motto of West Point is still “Duty, Honor, Country,” and not – as it appears to be – “Bros before Hos.”


Brenda Sue Fulton

West Point Class of 1980

Member, US Military Academy Board of Visitors

All the military services are on notice from Congress to the White House–that the women and men of the miltiary services, are to be treated with respect and dignity, not to be shamefully tossed aside like last night’s garbage left overs. These cadets, who eventually will serve as commissioned officers, are expected to conduct themselves with honor and fidelity.

If they cannot pass these critical tests while at West Point, they certainly don’t belong in the military.  Without question, they have violated the sacred “honor code” and all that entails for every member of the Corps of Cadets.

It is shameful these young men got a pass from the higher ups. Heads should roll and people should be sacked. The seriousness of this misconduct is not to be minimized. Indeed, it is deleterious to good order and discipline and begins with the commandant. Let’s hope that Fulton’s letter not only gets a serious review by members of Congress, but also by the commander-in chief who wisely chose to appoint Fulton in the first place.

Update:  Since Sue Fulton released her open letter about the failures of the West Point leadership to address gross misconduct by 15 male cadets, who had been members of the Rugby team, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, also a member of the Academy’s Board of Visitors, has taken West Point’s Superintendant Lt. Gen. David H. Huntoon, Jr. to task and questioned his judgement in failure to preventing most of these cadets from becoming commissioned officers. The New Civil Rights Movement will bring original reporting to this developing story in the coming days.

Image of Sue Fulton provided by Charles Clymer.  Hat tip to Charles Clymer for his reporting on transcript of the West Point Board of Visitor’s meeting.

Tanya domi 1.2010Tanya L. Domi is the Deputy Editor of the New Civil Rights Movement.  She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and teaches human rights in East Central Europe and former Yugoslavia. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi was a nationally recognized LGBT civil rights activist who worked for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force during the campaign to lift the military ban in the early 1990s. Domi has also worked internationally in a dozen countries on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights and gender issues. She is chair of the board of directors for GetEQUAL. Domi is currently writing a book about the emerging LGBT human rights movement in the Western Balkans.

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‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

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Prosecutors Tell Trump They Have a Recording of Him and a Witness: Report



Prosecutors in Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have notified the ex-president’s attorneys they have a recording of him and a witness. The notification comes in the form of an automatic discovery form, CBS News reports, which “describes the nature of the charges against a defendant and a broad overview of the evidence that prosecutors will present at Trump’s preliminary hearing or at trial.”

CBS reports prosecutors have handed the recording over to Trump’s legal team.

It’s not known who the witness is, nor are any details known publicly about what the conversation entails, or even if it is just audio or if it includes video.

READ MORE: ‘Likely to Be Indicted Soon’: Trump Might Face Seven Different Felonies, Government Watchdog Says

According to the article’s author, CBS News’ Graham Kates, via Twitter, prosecutors say they also have recordings between two witnesses, a recording between a witness and a third party, and various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.

Trump is facing 34 felony counts in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case related to his allegedly unlawful attempt to hide hush money payoffs to a well-known porn star by falsifying business records to protect his 2016 presidential campaign.

See the discovery form above or at this link.

Image via Shutterstock


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