Wired Strategies Email Update

Gephardt Writes Cohen Re: McVeigh Email Update - January 29, 1998


January 28, 1998

The Honorable William S. Cohen
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301
Dear Mr. Secretary:

Last November, I wrote to you to express my concern about the findings of a report, issued in February 1977 by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) that indicated discharges from military service on the basis of homosexuality had increased since the adoption of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy, and to urge completion of the review of this report you ordered in May.  I understand that review has still not been completed.

Meanwhile, a very troubling case has occurred in which the Navy has moved to discharge a sailor, Timothy McVeigh, who has been frequently commended during his 17 years of service, for violating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy on the basis of information obtained under apparently highly questionable circumstances from an internet computer service provider.  Although a United States District Court judge this week has ordered a Preliminary Injunction in Mr. McVeigh's legal proceeding that temporarily enjoins the Navy from discharging Mr. McVeigh, I remain concerned not only that this case be properly resolved but that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" policy be properly enforced.

Therefore, I again respectfully request that the review of the SLDN's report be expeditiously completed and that both the letter as well as the intent of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue" regulations be complied with in all cases that may arise under this policy, including Mr. McVeigh's.

Richard Gephardt, M.C.
House Democratic Leader


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