Buchanan Challenges Army’s Discharge of War Hero
Florida Rep. Calls for Reinstatement, and Congressional Investigation
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, called for the immediate reinstatement of a decorated war hero who blew the whistle on child rape by U.S. military allies in Afghanistan:
“Driving Sgt. Martland out of the Army is a national disgrace,” Buchanan said. “He stood up for American values and should be commended, not punished.”
The Army this month rejected Sgt. Martland’s appeal of his dismissal. The discharge is set to take effect Nov. 1. Buchanan said the Army Board for Correction of Military Records should rescind the decision and reinstate Sgt. Martland. But if that doesn’t happen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey or the commander in chief, President Obama, should intervene.
“The only people who should be punished and discharged from the service are the ones who created and condoned the immoral practice of ignoring child rape on a U.S. military base,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan’s call comes in light of a recent New York Times article that described a chilling policy instructing American soldiers to look the other way when Afghan forces sexually abused young boys, sometimes on an American military base. According to the Times, one soldier stationed in Afghanistan said, “at night we can hear them screaming but we’re not allowed to do anything about it.”
Earlier this week, Buchanan called on Gen. Dempsey to reverse the Pentagon’s policy and the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to launch a full investigation into how this policy came to be and which individuals were responsible for its implementation.