Wired Strategies Press Release

McVeigh Wins Again - Navy Threatens Retaliation
Email Press Release January 29, 1998  

Thursday, January 29, 1998, 2:30 PM       
Contacts: John Aravosis, 202/328-5707

Navy Threatens Retaliation, Sailor Fears For Safety

In an unusual and surprising move, Judge Stanley Sporkin today made final
his decision to re-instate Senior Chief Timothy McVeigh to the US Navy.
Earlier this week, Judge Sporkin had issued a preliminary injunction
pending the final outcome of the case in court -- today the judge decided
the case is over, and McVeigh wins.  The judge's decision means that the
Navy has been found guilty of violating both the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,
Don't Pursue policy," and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
wire-tap law, in investigating McVeigh.  In an ominous development, the
Navy responded by threatening to move against McVeigh again "tomorrow" if
they can find enough evidence, and McVeigh expressed public concerns for
his safety.

While the final decision in the McVeigh case is welcome news -- the Navy's
only judicial recourse is to appeal the entire case to the court of
appeals, a process that could take several years -- the Navy's warnings
against McVeigh are part of a larger pattern of retaliation the Navy has
launched against the decorated veteran since his case began.

Before the Navy began its illegal investigation, McVeigh was "chief of the
boat," a position that put him in charge of the entire crew of the nuclear
attack submarine USS Chicago.  Since last Fall, the 17-year veteran,
described as an "outstanding role model" in his last performance review,
has been moved to a series of menial jobs -- including "supervising two
individuals carting trash" according to his attorney, Christopher Wolf.
In addition, the Navy cut McVeigh's salary by $745 per month, and that
salary reduction will remain in place, the Navy says.  In 1993, Senior
Chief McVeigh asked his mother to move to Hawaii from Florida, so
that he could care for her after she suffered a heart attack.  Mrs. McVeigh
to this day lives with her son, and he is her sole means of support.

Of even greater concern, is McVeigh's Navy co-workers' open hostility
towards him since the judge's intervention.  McVeigh's lawyer told the
judge that McVeigh is "legitimately concerned about his safety," to the
point of fearing for his life.  "We are very concerned that a situation
like that in (the film) 'A Few Good Men' does not develop," said McVeigh's
lawyer, refering to the film in which the Marines "inadvertently" kill a
fellow sailor while improperly administering corporal punishment.

According to today's Associated Press wire story, the government's lawyer,
David Glass, told Judge Sporkin that "today's ruling will not prelude the
service from acting against McVeigh...should new evidence arise, 'What if
we were to get some completely separate evidence tomorrow?' Glass said."

"The Navy has lost its marbles," said John Aravosis, a lawyer and Internet
consultant helping McVeigh on the case.  "It wasn't enough for them to
break federal law and disobey the Commander-in-Chief -- now they're
threatening Senior Chief McVeigh's safety because the judge caught them
red-handed.  If they touch one hair on this guy, I promise them the biggest
congressional investigation they've ever seen," said Aravosis, a former US
Senate staffer. 

"The policy is called 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' not 'Don't Listen, Don't
Obey,'" said Bob Hattoy, a senior Clinton Administration appointee.
Online privacy and civil rights advocates are urging the public and Members
of Congress to intervene in this case.


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