Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy William K. Lietzau emphasized that the U.S. “played a leadership role in the safe and humane custody of detainees in wartime.”
Arlington County prosecutor Theo Stamos said Wednesday that her office has taken cases against the military in the past and sees no reason to turn over the latest simply because it is a more high profile legal matter.
“Sexual assault is a despicable crime and one of the most serious issues facing this department. It is a threat and safety to the welfare of our people,” Hagel said.
The President’s remarks come just days after the officer tasked with overseeing the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program was arrested for allegedly committing sexual battery.
Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski was removed from his post and taken into custody just after midnight on Saturday in Arlington, Virginia after being accused of grabbing a woman’s breast and buttocks.
“This is the first time that both the sitting Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense are Vietnam War combat veterans,” Pentagon Press Secretary George Little noted.
Hagel said that he is in favor of “exploring options and seeing what is the best.”
Petraeus announced last month that he would also be assuming the role of visiting professor at City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College.
The DoD is currently faced with cutting $41 billion from its current budget.
President Obama has repeatedly said that the use of chemical weapons would be a “game changer” for the United States.