Tuesday, January 24, 2006

If He Weighs The Same As A Duck...

An update on the crucible of LT Bryan Black: Instructor’s lawyer decries ‘witch hunt atmosphere’
The attorney for Lt. Bryan Black said in a military court hearing Friday that pressure from Congress and the military on the Naval Academy superintendent to root out sexual harassment has led to a trumped up case against his client for an incident that doesn’t warrant court martial.
I stand by my opinion of this case. A friend of mine here has been contacted by the defense as a character witness for LT Black. It's a small Navy, and the Naval Academy is even smaller. Everyone knows everyone. Though I've never met the man, he is, by all accounts, undeserving of being figuratively burned at the stake. I sincerely hope this incident doesn't adversely impact his career, but it would be naive to believe it won't.

The military has suffered plenty from bad PR and this is the exact sort of attention that we don't need. LCDR Whisenhunt, the "senior officer [who] learned of the comment" deserves some serious disciplinary action in my opinion. It's as though she thought that the other service academies have had sex scandals, so the USNA should too! I'm sure it'll happen eventually, why rush?

Also, notice further down in the story:
Another midshipman, Brian Crosby, testified that Black made similar comments throughout the training mission that lasted several weeks, including statements about strippers in Guam and derogatory comments about his ex-wife.
Heck, I've been to Guam! That's about all there was to do, if you're not into diving and stuff! There was this one called the G-Spot... (Safe For Work as of 24 January, 2006). I've even got a bumper sticker on my guitar case!

I've also been a Navy instructor and part of getting the midshipmen and young officers excited is talking about your Navy experiences. Now, I'm not condoning how LT Black allegedy went about it, and he should've kept his private life out of the classroom. I would hope that this Midshipman Crosby didn't file a complaint, but was only called because he witnessed the conversation. I mean, what kind of guy does that, anyway? I've been sexually harrassed by a shipmate and, believe me, it takes more than using colorful metaphors to describe an ex to establish a hostile work environment.

More publicty the Naval Academy could do without is this stupid Annapolis movie. OK, I haven't seen it, but the trailers make it look like a poor attempt at "An Officer and a Gentleman", which I also didn't like. I don't like most modern movies depicting the military as a general rule; even if the military is depicted positively, it's usually portrayed inaccurately. The last one I really enjoyed was "A Few Good Men," but all I really know about the JAG Corps is that JAGs don't go around flying jets and filling the same billet for ten years (etc). The Naval Academy refused to allow the movie to be shot on the ground and the film makers just went with a school in Philapelphia instead. I doubt it'll take anything away from the realism, which looks like it's already at about 0%.

Maybe the Navy's still upset about "The Pacifier"? Funny story: when I was the Public Affairs Officer for my office at the Surface Warfare Officers School, I received a call from Spyglass Entertainment. They wanted to ask some questions about the Navy for background in an upcoming film in which Vin Diesel would portray a frigate captain. I have no idea why they called my office, but I directed them to CHINFO in New York. I also have no idea how that movie turned into "The Pacifier".

But I digress.

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