Politico published an October 7 article on Indiana Congressional candidate Jennifer-Ruth Green (R-IN), a U.S. Air Force and Iraq War veteran. The article revealed Green’s private personnel records, including details of a sexual assault that occurred while she was serving overseas.
According to the piece authored by Adam Wren, the congressional hopeful was sexually assaulted by an Iraqi serviceman while they were left alone in a guard tower.
There’s a limited amount of military personnel files the general public has access to, such as a veteran’s name, a branch of service, or final rank. The release of other information must be authorized by the veteran, or next of kin if he or she is deceased.
Publishing an article containing intimate details of Green’s history as a victim of sexual abuse is not only immoral but against the law.
Within days of the story breaking, Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN) wrote a letter voicing their concern to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Denis R. McDonough.
“Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer-Ruth Green risked her life overseas to defend our country,” said Banks. “To see her military record illegally leaked for political gain is disturbing and sends a chilling message to every man and woman in uniform that the same thing could happen to them.”
Congressman Buscshon also had sharp words to offer on the subject.
“I expect the Biden Administration to swiftly and thoroughly investigate this situation and hold the person(s) who illegally obtained Jennifer-Ruth Green’s records accountable,” he told the military brass.
Yesterday, the two representatives had a productive phone call with the Air Force Inspector General, Lt. Gen. Stephen Davis, who informed the congressman that the Air Force takes full responsibility for the privacy breach and that an investigation into the possible motive is currently underway.
The Inspector General also revealed that the culprit has been identified as an “opposition research firm.”
That’s interesting considering Politico initially stated in the article that they obtained Green’s records via a “public records request.”
Politico reported against the wishes of Republican candidate @JenRuthGreen that she was a survivor of sexual assault.
They said they obtained her records via a “public records request.”
Here is the Air Force saying today they were leaked to “an opposition research firm” pic.twitter.com/CuqWcWUH6r
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 26, 2022
It’s not uncommon for research firms to do public records requests for stories like this. They’re paid not to acquire public records, but rather to take the brunt of the public backlash when the story is published.
Let’s all hope an adequate amount of blame gets rerouted back to Adam Wren, and anyone else responsible for this story, which was almost certainly created for political reasons.
We can also keep our fingers crossed that Jennifer-Ruth Green claims victory on November 8 against the incumbent Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-IN).