As many as 19,000 service members are sexually assaulted each year. A small fraction of those cases -- around 2,500 a year -- are actually reported, and a much smaller fraction are prosecuted.
The Senate Armed Services held a hearing on sexual assaults in the military, following a high profile case in which Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was convicted by a military jury of "abusive sexual contact." After the trial and conviction, a Lieutenant General dismissed the charges, without having to provide an explanation.
From the start, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) has been critical of the Obama administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last September that resulted in the death of an ambassador and three other Americans. And on Thursday, Blunt had the opportunity to question departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the attack.
Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in what will likely be his final appearance before Congress.