WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) responded to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon’s call for a hearing into the widespread sex abuse scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. So far, 17 training instructors have been investigated for rape, sexual assault, and misconduct with 39 trainees. Three instructors have already been convicted or pleaded guilty to the crimes.

“Seventy-seven Members of Congress joined my call for a congressional hearing of the widespread sex abuse scandal at Lackland Air Force Base because it’s our job as legislators to oversee government programs, including the military, and investigate incidents of abuse or misconduct. The Committee has an obligation to begin an arm’s length investigation of the situation that is independent of the military’s own effort to police itself.

“I am pleased that Chairman McKeon announced his intention to hold hearings and believe this is a step in the right direction. Rather than wait until the Air Force has completed its work, however, Armed Services Committee staff should immediately begin its research and investigation into the matter.

“There is no reason why this committee should handle its oversight responsibilities any differently than the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which opened a full investigation of the Fast and Furious program well before the Department of Justice had completed its internal investigation.”