Current Affairs

US general avoids punishment for criticising repeal of military gay ban

Jessica Geen April 1, 2010
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A US general who publicly criticised President Barack Obama’s plans to repeal the ban on out gay soldiers will not be reprimanded.

Lt Gen Benjamin Mixon, who is based at Fort Shafter in Hawaii, wrote to military newspaper Stars and Stripes to ask troops to lobby their superiors and state representatives to oppose repeal.

Gen Mixon wrote in the newspaper: “Now is the time to write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views. If those of us who are in favour of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy.”

His action could be considered insubordination as it is an active attempt to go against the President Barack Obama’s wishes.

Army Secretary John McHugh said that Gen Mixon had been told the letter was “inappropriate” but the matter was now considered closed.

Gen Mixon was publicly criticised by both defence secretary Robert Gates and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.

This week, a retired US general had to backtrack after suggesting that gay soldiers were partly responsible for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Gen John Sheehan, a former NATO commander and senior Marine officer, told a Senate hearing earlier this month that Dutch military officials told him that allowing gay soldiers the Dutch army had led to poor morale, which led to a failure to prevent the genocide of 8,000 Muslims.

He wrote to Dutch officials to apologise for “inaccurately ” remembering discussions.

More: Americas

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