“You have got a wealth of people in the Air Force who understand what this job has to be, and if the allegations in this case are true this was not someone who understood what his job was about,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a news release I received from her office via email today. “I will be watching very closely who is selected to replace him, because I think this will be one of those times you can send a message.”
The senator was, of course, referring to the job held by Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, until he was arrested during the wee morning hours of May 5, according to a police report published the next day (shown below):
SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/05/13, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond.
If Colonel Krusinski is guilty, he should suffer the appropriate punishment. Until that is determined, however, people like Senator McCaskill — who knows better as a former prosecutor in Jackson County, Mo.– should shut their mouths and remember the presumption that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.”
Unfortunately, Senator McCaskill has a track record of struggling to keep her mouth shut, especially while serving as a mouthpiece in DoD’s War on Men.
As I reported in my April 11 piece, Senator McCaskill Continues Reckless Effort to Undermine Military Justice System, the senator publicly smeared Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin.
“Rape is the crime of a coward—and rapists in the ranks are masquerading as real members of our military,” Senator McCaskill explained in a March 13 news release, adding, “The focus of our efforts should be on effective prosecution. There’s no reason a General who’s never heard the testimony of factual witnesses should be able to wipe out a verdict with the stroke of a pen.”
Even more unfortunately, she’s been joined in her latest effort by news organizations — see here, here and here as examples — who’ve gone the extra mile to convey a mugshot image of the 41-year-old officer as “already guilty” while making no mentions of important facts about the man.
Neither the senator nor the media outlets mention that, according to this commentary, Colonel Krusinski deployed to Iraq in 2009 to serve as Deputy Expeditionary Mission Support Group Commander at Joint Base Balad.
Likewise, neither mentioned the colonel had been named Air Mobility Command’s Force Support Field Grade Officer of the Year and described as one of AMC’s “superstars” while stationed at MacDill AFB, Fla.
And who cares that he served honorably for more than 21 years! He might <emphasis added> have committed a misdemeanor sexual assault and, at a minimum, deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.
All that aside, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to replace Colonel Krusinski as chief of SAPRO and a co-conspirator with Senator McCaskill in destroying the military from within.
This is ugly folks.
UPDATE: A few minutes before publishing this piece, I heard a radio report featuring President Barack Obama stating, “I have directly spoken directly to Secretary Hagel already today, indicating to him that we’re going to have to not just step up our game – we have to exponentially step up our game to go at this thing hard.” Reuters confirms the quote.