which the academy’s board of visitors,rnled by Senator Barbara Mikulski (DMaryland)rnand Representative HelenrnBentley (R-Maryland), certified thernacademy’s conversion from callous disregardrnfor feminine sensitivities to ferventrnchampion of the rights of militaryrnwomen.rnAll of this happened before Tailhook,rnand before the humiliating aftermath ofrnTailhook (which forced a Secretary ofrnthe Navy and a Chief of Naval Operationsrnout of office), and before thernNavy’s abandonment of Admiral StanleyrnArthur for his alleged insensitivity to allegedrnsex discrimination, and, of course,rnbefore Admiral Mike Boorda’s shockingrnsuicide, interpreted by some as an act ofrnatonement for the Navy’s many sins andrnby others as a cowardly exit to avoid havingrnto endure his own personal disgrace.rnNow it is the Army’s turn. After initialrnattempts to downplay reports of sexualrnabuse at Maryland’s Aberdeen ProvingrnGrounds, the Army has shifted into highrngear to show that it has learned from thernNavy’s experience not to take suchrnthings lightly. Soldiers woridwide havernbeen encouraged to call the Army’s newrn24-hour harassment hotline, which in itsrnfirst 12 weeks logged nearly 7,000 callsrnand 1,074 allegations of sexual abuse.rnThe old threat to “drop a dime” onrnsomeone has taken on a new meaning.rnMilitary justice is swift. Already therernhave been convictions, but there have alsornbeen acquittals—of a staff sergeant atrnFort Leonard Wood charged with allegedrnsexual misconduct, and of a WestrnPoint cadet accused of raping anotherrn— LIBERAL ARTS —rnCULTURAL ENRICHMENTrnAn article in the Las Vegas Sun lastrnJanuary reported that a 28-year-oldrnwoman in Las Vegas had been sentencedrnto two to five years in prisonrnfor arranging the disfigurement ofrnher boyfriend’s former wife. MaritzarnMarincota paid fellow immigrantrnRudy Estevez $350 to throw sulfuricrnacid on school librarian Toni Smith,rnwho suffered permanent burns onrnher left arm, leg, buttock, and breast.rnA man who rushed to Smith’s aid inrnthe parking lot outside the school testifiedrnhow her clothes had “smolderedrnoff her body.”rnWest Point cadet after a drunken beachrnparty. In the latter case, Army investigatorsrnhad recommended against a courtrnmartial (both male and female witnessesrnsupported the defense), but the Armyrnchose to try a man for rape rather thanrnappear insufficiently sensitive to women.rnYoung and not guilty (if not entirelyrninnocent), the accused cadet may soonrnrecover from his ordeal, but the Army’srnsenior enlisted man. Sergeant Major ofrnthe Army Gene C. McKinney, will havernno such chance. McKinney has beenrnsuspended from duty following publicrnaccusations from a female sergeantrnmajor that he came on to her in a hotelrnroom in Hawaii last year. No evidencernand no witnesses, but a career ruined andrna man disgraced.rnTo top things off, five women nowrnclaim Army investigators coerced themrninto making false accusations of rape,rnthreatening them with prosecution forrnhaving consensual sex if they did not cooperate.rnThe words “witch hunt” andrn”inquisition” have not appeared in thernmany press reports on the growing scandalrn(such words now being reserved forrnthe military’s prosecution of homosexuals),rnbut what terms can better describernArmy-wide efforts to ferret out the perpetratorsrnof politically heinous crimesrnand to intimidate everyone else into cooperatingrnwith the official policy of “zerorntolerance”?rnThe poster child for this year’s inquisitionrnis a cute young recruit with babybluerneyes who, by her own admission,rnacquiesced to having sex not once butrntwice with a male sergeant because shern”thought she had to,” according to thernNew York Times. The Times quoted thernyoung woman saying, “When he gotrnthrough [the second time], he was hke:rn’Get out. Don’t get in my face.'” Onerncould view this woman as an innocentrnyoung soldier (“solidly built . . , with arnfirm jaw”) victimized by a predatory superiorrnand the Army’s sexist culture, butrnone could also see her as a young womanrnof low morals whose light regard for herrnown virtue naturally invited others torntreat her as trash.rnThere is plenty of trash in the military.rnThere always has been and probablyrnalways will be. Volunteer militaries inrnparticular tend to fill their ranks from thernlowest levels of society, “the very scum ofrnthe earth,” in the Duke of Wellington’srnwords. The only difference today is thatrnthe United States military enlists not onlyrnmale scum but female scum as well.rnand when you put the two togetherrnthings happen. Sex happens. Pregnancyrnhappens. Jealousy happens. Crueltyrnhappens. Rape happens. And it all happensrnnot just in the trailer parks off postrnbut in the barracks, in the field, aboardrnship, stateside and overseas, in wartimernas in peacetime.rnIt has been ten years since the Armyrnpublished a pamphlet on femininernhygiene in the field, advising soldiersrnat Fort Meade, Maryland:rnSex does not just happen in a garrisonrnsetting. If you are on birthcontrolrnpills, make sure that yournbring enough packs along to lastrnyou for the exercise, and an extrarnpack in case something happens tornthe one you’re currently on.rnNow, finally, some guardians of thernnation’s conscience are edging closer tornadmitting that sexual integration mayrnjust be beyond the military’s professionalrncompetence. A recent cover article ofrnthe New Republic all but endorses anrnall-male military. Other left-of-centerrnopinion-leaders like Richard Cohen atrnthe Washington Post have confessed theirrnwaning confidence in the feministrndream of military glory.rnThe Army itself is now reconsideringrnits second attempt at gender-integratedrnbasic training (the first attempt wasrndeclared a failure in 1982), but resegregatingrnbasic training would not havernspared the women at Aberdeen ProvingrnGrounds, nor will it alone solve the manyrnproblems that women cause the services,rnall now well known in Washington if notrnopenly admitted. Only a complete reversalrnof current policy, with an unprecedentedrnadmission that sexual equality,rnhowever desirable, just does not work inrnthe military, would wake the militaryrnfrom this nightmare of embarrassmentrnand deceit.rnAnything less and the assaults, accusations,rnand inquisitions will continue, likernperiodic outbreaks of a deadly diseasernslowly corrupting and destroying thernspirit, soul, and body of a once-greatrninstitution. What did not begin withrnTailhook will not end with Aberdeen.rnBrian Mitchell is the author of WeakrnLink; The Feminization of the AmericanrnMilitary. He has just finished a bookrnentitled The Scandal of Gender, a compilationrnof writings about the sexes byrnearly Christian saints.rn40/CHRONICLESrnrnrn