A retired Marine general told senators on Thursday that the Dutch Army failed to protect the city of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war partly because of the presence of gay soldiers in its armed forces.
John J. Sheehan, a former NATO commander who retired in 1997, made his comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans gay people from openly serving in uniform.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led European militaries, including the Netherlands, to believe there was no longer a need for active combat capabilities, Sheehan said.
"As a result, they declared a peace dividend and made a conscious effort to socialize their military," he said, noting that the Dutch allowed troops to join unions and enlisted openly gay soldiers. Dutch forces were poorly led and unable to hold off Serb forces in 1995, leading to the execution of Bosnian Muslims and one of the largest European massacres since World War II, Sheehan said.
Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked Sheehan whether Dutch leaders blamed the presence of gay troops in later conversations.
"They included that as part of the problem," Sheehan said.
Pressed by Levin to name names, Sheehan cited Dutch Army Chief of Staff Hankman Berman, who was fired by the Dutch Parliament for failing to protect Srebrenica.
Levin called Sheehan's assertions "off target," but agreed that Dutch forces were poorly trained for the fight.
"But to slip over -- or slide over from that into a suggestion that it's something to do with the fact that homosexuals were allowed in the -- in the Dutch army suggests that, somehow or other, homosexuals are not great fighters," Levin said.
Sheehan later clarified that the general liberalization of the Dutch military contributed to the Srebenica debacle.
A military watchdog group is asking the Defense Department to investigate whether seven Army and Air Force officers violated regulations by appearing in uniform in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization.
The U.S. Air Force said Tuesday it will appoint a task force to investigate allegations of religious intolerance at the Air Force Academy.
Being liberal also scares the bejeezus out of these people. Why? It must be tied into some deep seeded need to blame someone or something for the troubles they see in the world and the clanking sounds they hear in their brains.
And Sheehan's assertions were refuted at the same hearing.
In a statement, Dutch Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos said, "I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces for decades, such as in Afghanistan at the moment."
"The military mission of Dutch U.N. soldiers at Srebrenica has been exhaustively studied and evaluated, nationally and internationally," Jones-Bos said. "There is nothing in these reports that suggests any relationship between gays serving in the military and the mass murder of Bosnian Muslims."
Rachel Maddow covers the story well, and we see how Carl Levin twisted this asshole into a knot over his disgusting views in the above video.