I believe that the art of investigative journalism is dead in this country. If it’s not out right dead at this point in time, then it’s pretty well on death’s doorstep.
I believe that “media consolidation” and the move towards infotainment is responsible for the sad state of our media.
Editors now direct their teams based upon a calculation of “eyeballs / dollar”. The more eyeballs a story can bring in, the more advertising dollars the network can enjoy.
The number of investigative journalists is at such an all time low that simple things like an election throw most news room into chaos.
As a result of this chronic under staffing, journalism in this country seems to be able to handle only one thing at a time.
But it never used to be like this.
We used to have a media that asked the though questions and demanded the answers.
Nowadays reporters are afraid to ask questions because it might hurt the feelings of the person they’re asking the question of.
In the matter of child sexual abuse in the Canadian Armed Forces, all the news media has to do in this matter is to ask the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence some very simple and straight forward questions.
10 simple little questions.
No direct allegations against anyone.
No accusations of wrongdoing.
Just some simple little questions.
First question: Who investigates child sexual abuse cases in which a child is sexually abused on a Defence Establishment either by a civilian or by a person subject to the Code of Service Discipline.
Second question: Do either the base Military Police or the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service have specially trained sections that deal with victims of child sexual abuse.
Third question: In light of the findings of the External Review conducted by retired Supreme Court justice Madame Marie Deschamps, how can the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence ensure that investigations of childhood sexual abuse didn’t fail due to the very same shortcomings highlighted by the External Review.
Fourth question: What is the unfounded rate for childhood sexual assault investigations within the Canadian Forces Military Police Group.
Fifth question: How many investigations are there undertaken every year that look at the following crimes committed against children:
“Invitation to Sexual Touching”;
You would have to ask for these very specific Criminal Code offences as DND and the CF have a very sneaky manner of using sleight of hand to substitute “Sexual Assault” for the specific Criminal Code offences listed above. Sexual Assault is a Criminal Code offence all on it’s own and it is separate from the charges listed above.
Sixth question: On July 6th, 2010 Canadian Forces Provost Marshal Colonel Tim Grubb released a report that stated “the DND community has a noticeably and disturbingly higher per capita rate of sexual violations against children, including child pornography, firearms offences and other assaults when compared to the rest of the Canadian population”. Where are the military police investigations that correspond with these “violations against children” and were these matters successfully prosecuted. Were these matters prosecuted in the military justice system or were these matters transferred into the civilian justice system.
Seventh question: Prior to 1998 there existed a flaw in the National Defence Act that placed a three-year-time-bar on all Service Offences. Service offences include “Indecent assault”, “Gross Indecency”, “Buggery”, “Sexual Interference”, “Invitation to Sexual Touching”, “Sexual Exploitation”, and “Sexual Assault”. Indictable offences have no statute of limitations in the civilian justice system. How does the Canadian Forces work around this legal hurdle to ensure that persons who were sexually abused on defence establishments as children have the same legal rights as persons who didn’t live on defence establishments as children and who were abused by persons with no connection to the Canadian Armed Forces?
Eighth question: Prior to November 1997 the National Defence Act required that a commanding officer conduct a summary investigation AFTER the military police had laid charges against the commanding officer’s subordinate. Prior to November 1997 the commanding officer had the full authority of the National Defence Act to dismiss any charge, military or civilian, that had been brought against their subordinate. The charges that a commanding officer could dismiss included, but were not limited to:
“Indecent assault”, “Gross Indecency”, “Buggery”, “Sexual Interference”, “Invitation to Sexual Touching”, “Sexual Exploitation”, and “Sexual Assault”. As LS-311E explained, once these charges were dismissed by the commanding officer, these charges or similar charges arising out of the same facts could never be brought against the accused at a later date be either a civilian or military authority. How does the Canadian Armed Forces deal with these matters where a commanding officer may have dismissed the charge prior to 1998, and the victim, now as an adult, desires to press charges unaware that the military has already once dismissed the charges brought against their abuser?
Ninth Question: Are members of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and their superiors exempted from Section 83 of the National Defence Act? How does the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence ensure that Section 83 is not utilized in such a manner by the chain of command to limit and control the scope of a CFNIS investigation.
Tenth Question: In 2015, just after General Jonathan Vance became the new Chief of Defence Staff, he told Canadian Armed Forces military personnel that they could call 9-1-1 (civilian police) to report sexual assaults if they didn’t feel confident in the military system. Why wasn’t that same allowance made to civilian victims of military sexual assault? Why do civilian victims still have to deal with the military police and the CFNIS to report the crimes committed against them.
These are all simple question. Nothing too hard to ask. These are questions that I can’t ask though as I’m a nobody so far as the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are concerned.
The news media? They have powers that mere members of the public don’t have.
They have access to the eyeballs.
Let’s be honest. Nobody reads my blog. The only time it gets any type of traffic is when I make a post to one of the brat groups. Other than that, there’s no traffic.
The TV news media, they have an audience.