Saturday, July 04, 2009

Gay Sailor's Family Blames Military After His Death 
From the A.P.

BEAUMONT — Relatives of a slain sailor are calling the 29-year-old’s death a hate crime.
Rose Roy of Beaumont said her nephew, Navy Seaman August Provost III, had complained a year before about being harassed for being gay.
Roy said she advised Provost to report and document the incidents, but she said the military did little to help.
“He went to the Navy to serve and protect,” she said in an interview with Beaumont’s KFDM News, “he didn’t get protected at all.”
Roy told The Associated Press that the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy discouraged her nephew from asking for help.

What did I tell you? What the fuck did I tell you five years ago? Yeah, I called it. And for calling it exactly like it was, I got accused, at the time, of penning "homophobic rant."*

At any rate, the conclusion that the DADT policy is to blame is utter hogwash. That's not the military's policy that discouraged her nephew from asking for help. It is the UCMJ, which is the law of the land. The military has zero choice in the matter, and absent a change in the law, approved by Congress, Provost would have been in the exact same predicament had DADT never been enacted.

I get pretty tired of dumbass reporters getting led around by their noses.

The 29-year-old Houston native was found dead Tuesday at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. Roy said the family was told that Provost was shot three times, had his hands and feet bound, his mouth gagged, and body burned.

Just terrible. But that problem is a hell of a lot bigger than DADT. Indeed, had the military still had a blanket ban on gays serving, August Provost would probably still be alive today.

Democratic Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego said Thursday he wants a Defense Department investigation into the death, after leaders of the city’s gay community asked him to intervene.
Investigators have called the sailor’s death a random act unrelated to his sexuality and have taken a “person of interest” into custody. Inside sources describe possible suspects as a construction worker, a police officer, a cowboy, and an Indian chief. No charges have been filed.

I'm taking some liberties with the last part.

Incidentally, although the Navy Department has long had a 'witch-hunt' culture, to my eye, there is no reason why a commander needs to take a complaint over sexual harrassment as an admission of homosexuality, leading to a discharge. It is entirely possible to investigate the harrassment without looking into homosexual conduct itself.

I haven't been directly confronted with the issue. I've had troops who I'm reasonably sure were gay, but I didn't care, had no reason to look into it, had other things to worry about, and it wasn't a problem in the unit. I suppose had I heard the first rumblings of any kind of harrassment problem, I could have let the word out through my First Sergeant that I would not condone or permit a hostile work environment for ANY reason, and that furthermore I would consider any male on male harrassment of any soldier on the basis of homosexuality to be a tacet admission of homosexual interest on the part of the harrasser, and simply proceed with discharge papers.

**See also this reaction by Bill Cameron

Splash, out


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The part that's commonly forgotten but still in DADT is "don't pursue." In the sub force we famously forgot that once. We had a master chief hounded by an ombudsman and a commodore--the master chief put his more entertaining email address on something by mistake and they got information illegally about it to link him to Teh Ghey--and the result was not optimal to all parties. So the witch hunt is frowned upon and actionable.

Leadership matters.
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