New military assault rules just "repackaging," Rep. Speier says

The Pentagon last week issued a number of new policies designed to prevent sexual assault within the military, but Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the new rules don't go far enough.

"They're good, but they're not best practices," she said, adding they amount to "really repackaging what has been wrong in the system for all these years."

The military has been grappling with the crisis in the military, after a Pentagon report found that there were 26,000 sexual assaults last year, and the vast majority went unreported. Meanwhile, for only the third time in 50 years, the Army is preparing a court-martial against one of its generals -- Brigadier-General Jeffrey Sinclair is accused of sexually assaulting a female captain.

"When you have a general now being court-martialed... you're speaking about the heart of the system not working properly," Speier said.

The congresswoman maintains that military commanders should not be the ones in charge of deciding whether or not to bring forward charges against accused assailants.

"We have a code... rigged in favor of the assailant," she said, noting that the United Kingdom, Israel and Australia already let military prosecutors decide whether to bring forward such charges.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on "Face the Nation" that "the culture in the military needs to change." However, he added, "you can't solve any problem in the military without commander involvement."

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