CREDO Action

Tell the Senate: Stand with survivors. Block John Hyten.

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The petition to the Senate reads:

"Stand with survivors. Block sexual predator John Hyten's confirmation as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."

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    Tell the Senate: Stand with survivors. Block John Hyten.

    We believe Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser.

    Last year, the Senate confirmed a known sexual predator to the Supreme Court. Now, another one, hand-picked by the misogynist in chief, could become the second-highest ranking military officer in the country if we don't act now.

    Donald Trump's pick for vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sexually assaulted an officer under his command. Col. Spletstoser courageously revealed her identity and publicly told her story for the first time.1 We believe her. And we need to block Hyten's senate confirmation before it is too late.

    Tell the Senate: Stand with survivors. Block John Hyten.

    We have the power to hold sexual predators accountable even when the odds are stacked against us. Last year, we had some big wins and big loses. Mitch McConnell's Republican Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but our activism and the powerful #MeToo movement successfully exposed many entertainment industry moguls and chronic abusers. Harvey Weinstein and R. Kelly are finally suffering financial and social consequences after years of getting away with abusing women and girls. We need to harness that power again.

    Air Force Gen. John Hyten assaulted Army Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser multiple times. Her account of his abuse is disturbing.2 It's clear that Hyten, like many powerful men, preyed on Spletstoser, one of his many subordinates. When Spletstoser reported his abuse, Hyten assigned an officer under his command to lead the investigation. It's no wonder that investigators found zero corroborating evidence to support Spletstoser's claims. Now, Hyten is up for one of the most powerful military positions in the country, and Trump Republicans are doing everything they can to move his confirmation forward.

    Republican Sen. Martha McSally, who recently revealed that she was raped by a commanding officer during her time in the Air Force, is playing the role of apologist for her Party. She is defending Hyten and calling Spletstoser's testimony false. It's important to remember the distinction between McSally's and Spletstoser's experiences. McSally came forward with her story without naming names or even the date of her assault. She received an official apology from the Air Force. Spletstoser not only named her assailant, but also publicly shared details about her abuse. The military and the Trump administration are desperately trying to silence and discredit her.

    Tell the Senate: Stand with survivors. Block John Hyten.

    There's no denying that both women were abused by commanding officers. There's also no denying that by attempting to control survivors' narratives and rewarding those who shield assailants, the military and federal government still care more about protecting powerful men than stopping the crisis of sexual assault. We cannot let this stand.

    During his recent confirmation hearing, Hyten denied Spletstoser's claims.3 The military also recently leaked Spletstoser's past performance reviews to paint a picture of a "toxic" woman who often collided with co-workers. Sen. McSally continues to discredit her. Now more than ever, we must join together to stand with Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser like we stood with Christine Blasey Ford. We must show her that we have her back and demand that the Senate block John Hyten's confirmation.

    Tell the Senate: Stand with survivors. Block John Hyten.

    Thanks for standing in solidarity with survivors.

    References:

    1. Helene Cooper, "'I Have a Moral Responsibility to Come Forward': Colonel Accuses Top Military Nominee of Assault," The New York Times, July 26, 2019.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Lolita C. Baldor, "Pentagon nominee denies sexual misconduct allegations," The Washington Post, July 30, 2019.

    Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images