- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

In a response to the case of a Green Beret whom the Army wants to boot for confronting an accused child abuser in Afghanistan, a House war veteran lawmaker is introducing a bill that would make such rape illegal on a military base.

The move by Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, comes as the Army put off a final decision on the career of Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland.

Now a hero to pro-defense and social conservatives, Sgt. Martland and his supervising officer roughed up an Afghan police officer immediately after they learned he was accused of raping a boy.

“Some how the Department of defense doesn’t have a policy that forbids pedophilia and child rape on U.S. installations,” said Mr. Hunter, explaining why his bill is needed. “They refuse to do the right thing in this case.”

“My bill makes it illegal to have child rape on a military base,” said Mr. Hunter, a former Marine Corps officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “You’re no allowed to rape children on U.S. installations. It’s that simple.”

An Army human relations board voted to discharge Sgt. Martland. He remains on active duty as is seeking a favorable ruling from the Army’s Board for Correction of Military Records. He is seeking to have his performance evaluation thrown out because of irregularities. If that happens, he could remain in the Army since the poor evaluation led to his pending discharge.

The board has delayed a decision until May.

“Kicking me out of the Army is morally wrong, and the entire country knows it,” Sgt. Martland said in a signed statement last year. “While I understand that a military lawyer can say that I was legally wrong, we felt a moral obligation to act.”

Sgt. Martland’s stellar career did not seem endangered when the Army allowed him to reenlist. But the Army is downsizing and any blemish can lead to a discharge.

The 32-year-old married father of two sons had completed three war deployments and earned the Bronze Star for valor, among other decorations.

Mr. Hunter named his bill “The Martland Act.”

It says in part, “It is the policy of the United States that human rights violations, including child abuse, shall not be conducted or condoned on any United States military installation, whether located in the United States or overseas, by either citizens or nationals of the United States or foreign nationals. “

The New York Times reported that child rape is part of the culture in Afghanistan and that U.S. personnel were told to look the other way.

The Pentagon inspector general is investigating whether such a police existed in name or practice.

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