LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Navy captain is a scapegoat

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Capt. Honors was relieved of his command. Navy brass want all of us to believe they can point an honest finger at their guy and judge his behavior as "unacceptable." They can't. He's a scapegoat.

If the video skits were lewd and offensive, that's bad. Worse, he repeated his offense and was promoted. Navy brass probably considered the skits proof that Capt. Honors took all his duties seriously, including happily delegated jobs like morale officer. Admirals probably thought the skits were raunchy and hilarious.

It let them revisit their first crossing of the equator back in the day. Back then, tough old-timers made the pollywogs prove they were worthy. As they advanced in their careers, they repeated their participation in the crossing ceremony as shellbacks.

As time went on, they lamented the passing of the days when kissing the filth-smeared belly (or worse) of a 50-year old fat guy dressed as a scantily clad sea queen was tradition. All the officers in the Navy O-9 and above are hypocrites who've participated in, or been responsible for, the same kind of raunchy, lewd, "unacceptable" behavior shown in the skits - repeatedly. The few who aren't hypocrites are slimy pollywogs.

Any of the brass who claim their hands are clean are lying liars of a different sort. I'll bet the skits were bitterly offensive to gay men and lesbians on the ship. But all that offense, the sad, Benny Hill ridicule of a person's being, the disconfirmation of the inner self, was intentional.

It was also entirely in keeping with long- standing Navy policy: If the Navy finds out you are homosexual, you get processed out of the military. An environment where gay men and lesbians are verbally antagonized and unwelcome was well-established on the Enterprise long before DADT.

The current batch of admirals is responsible for refining and encouraging that environment. Their hands are not clean.

Adm. Mullen spoke out in favor of repealing DADT. Obviously, homophobic skits aren't consistent with the direction Adm. Mullen is leading. Has Capt. Honors' career been sacrificed to politics?

That's sad, because it's bad form to wreck a good man's career for doing what you did. As it stands, the ideal of highest values of moral leadership is a chapter in an unread book left in the office while admirals play golf and chat about who gets a promotion.

Michael Schaffer

Walla Walla

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