TO SERVE BUT NOT PROTECT: THE ABUSE OF WOMEN IN THE MILITARY
Colonel Janis Karpinski, best known for her role as commander of the Abu Ghraib prison, has also spoken out on the treatment of female soldiers in Iraq. Last year, she testified:
Because the women, in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the portoilets or the latrines, were not drinking liquids after 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon. And in 120-degree heat or warmer, because there was no air conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep. And rather than make everybody aware of that, because that’s shocking -- and as a leader, if that’s not shocking to you, then you’re not much of a leader -- so what they told the surgeon to do was, “Don’t brief those details anymore. And don’t say specifically that they’re women. You can provide that in a written report, but don’t brief it in the open anymore.”
The fear of assault was so high that women have died of dehydration. And the army simply directed for it to be covered up.
One woman veteran described how she carried a knife at night.