Tag Archives: military

The Murder of August Provost: A Little Too Convenient?


Remember August Provost?

The admittedly gay soldier killed on duty by one of his peers? The one who admitted to his family members that he’d been harrassed on post and wasprovost concerned? The one who had nowhere other than his family to turn because of the archaic DADT?

On July 23rd, Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Campos was arrested in the murder of Provost.

From San Diego.com:

A sailor has been charged with fatally shooting and burning a gay serviceman last month at Camp Pendleton, but Navy officials said Thursday it was part of a crime spree not related to the victim’s sexual orientation.Prosecutors accuse Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Campos of killing Seaman August Provost during an arson attack against the compound of Assault Craft Unit 5 on June 30, said Capt. Matt Brown, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest.

Brown again stressed that there’s no evidence of a hate crime or gang-related activity.

So. Did the Navy even conduct an investigation? Or did they determine it wasn’t (according to the Navy) necessary because the gun used to kill Provost was conveniently tied to another case?). The Navy conveniently arrested someone (Campos) suspected of 16 charges, including murder, arson, unlawful entry, theft of military property and wrongful possession of a firearm. Someone who conveniently also  attempted to hire a civilian to murder another soldier the day after Provost’s death.

Yet, the Navy spokesperson (Brown) states there’s no evidence of a “hateevil crime”?

On August 1st, Jonathan Campos, the accused murderer of August Provost – while under SUICIDE WATCH – in the brig, conveniently committed suicide by stuffing enough toilet paper into his mouth to asphyxiate himself.

Don’t all these circumstances seem, ummm….a little too convenient?

Of course they do!

Even the military admits they don’t want the issue of DADT tied into the murder of Provost. From the Navy Times:

…Navy officials said they don’t believe the shooting was gang-or terror-related. They also continued to dispute rumors that Provost was killed because he was gay, despite contentions raised by several relatives and gay advocacy groups who claim the sailor had been harassed at the unit because he was open about his homosexuality.

While Navy officials have denied that the shooting was a hate crime, Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has asked Navy and Marine Corps officials for additional investigations into Provost’s death. Provost “made the selfless and courageous decision to serve his country, regardless of his sexual orientation; he should be treated with honor and respect,” Filner wrote in letters to Defense Secretary Robert Gates; Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway; Col. Nicholas F. Marano, who is Camp Pendleton’s base commander; and Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., who chairs the House Armed Services Committee.

Filner said he was frustrated with a lack of information from the Navy and the Marine Corps, particularly over the suspicion that Provost’s sexuality might be connected to his death, which would raise questions about consequences of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

“They don’t want that discussion to take place,” he said.

Thankfully, Provost’s family, gay rights groups, Rep. Filner, the NAACP, and others concerned with the course of this investigation won’t let it conveniently end without the truth:

The Navy says it will continue investigating a seaman’s killing even though the suspect apparently committed suicide in San Diego County.Navy spokesman Brian O’Rourke says the military owes answers to the family of 29-year-old Seaman August Provost of Houston, who was shot in a Camp Pendleton guard shack on June 30. The shack also was set on fire.

The family says Provost may have been killed because he was gay, though the Navy has said there is no evidence to support that claim.

Petty Officer Jonathan Campos was charged last month with killing Provost, but the 32-year-old Lancaster man suffocated Friday at Camp Pendleton after toilet paper was stuffed in his mouth.

The Navy says Campos did not target Provost for being gay and planned to commit several crimes on base.

Wait. I thought Campos stuffed the toilet paper in his own mouth? I thought Campos committed “several crimes on base” before Provost was killed?

All the more reason for a complete congressional investigation into the murder of August Provost.

Please! Call or write your Congressman and demand this investigation continues! Before it conveniently goes away.

Advertisements

The Bottom of the Barrel


For nearly three years, I participated in a little forum populated by a lot of good people, but a few die-hard Republicans who had little need for a gay, ex-Air Force guy around them. Particularly the guy who ran the forum, affectionately known as The Despot, who was a straight ex-Navy guy who thought I, as a gay ex-Air Force guy, was a criminal because I lied to the recruiter when I joined the military and was nothing but a fraud because of it. Really!

Of course, it didn’t help that I frequently and loudly pointed out the blatant (or thinly disguised) homophobia and racism sometimes voiced on said forum either…which finally led to my being banned. The good news is that little bit of censorship resulted in this blog and now I have thousands of people reading my rants instead of twenty. And thankfully, you, my readers, seem to appreciate my words and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

Being the only gay guy on the forum amongst a lot of chest-pumping, heterosexual, (mostly) God-fearing, sometimes racist bunch of guys and gals wasn’t always fun but I actually made one or two lasting friends over there, especially Kelly, who caught a whole hell of a lot of grief for coming to my defense time and time again as I posted my words and thoughts time and time again. Probably even to this day and especially after this post.

I don’t miss those who hated me and continue to have a great friendship with those that miss me…so I guess it’s obvious now who came out on top.

All that leads up the this, the latest edition of The Howey Truth Squad.

Back in May, I started a thread on the forum celebrating those whom I feel are true American Heroes: folks like Daniel Choi and Victor Fehrenbach and thousands upon thousands of other gays in the military who are forced to live a lie in order to serve their country and fight for your freedom.

Somehow, in the course of the conversation, I found an interesting article from the SF Gate, reporting on the suspect recruiting tactics of the Armed Forces and the  lax, very lax, standards the military is using to recruit soldiers to the point that, today, gang members and members of racist hate groups, are working alongside the young men and women of our military while honorable, nee honored, gay soldiers are being discharged from the military under DADT for no reason other than they are gay! From the article:

Last month, the Sun-Times reported that a gang member facing federal charges of murder and robbery enlisted in the Marine Corps “while he was free on bond — and was preparing to ship out to boot camp when Marine officials recently discovered he was under indictment.” While this recruit was eventually booted from the Corps, a Milwaukee police detective and Army veteran, who serves on the federal drug and gang task force that arrested the would-be Marine, noted that other “gang-bangers are going over to Iraq and sending weapons back … gang members are getting access to military training and weapons.”

This weekend, the Stars and Stripes, not a liberal rag, underscores my point:

But there’s one other thing that dozens of members of newsaxon.org, a white supremacist social networking website, have in common:63650_79133349b They proudly identify themselves as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery, Ala.-based watchdog group that tracks extremist hate groups, has compiled a book containing the online user profiles of at least 40 newsaxon.org users who say they are serving in the military, in apparent violation of Pentagon regulations prohibiting racist extremism in the ranks.

On Friday, the SPLC will present its findings to key members of Congress who chair the House and Senate committees overseeing the armed forces and urge them to pressure the Pentagon to crack down.

“In the wake of several high-profile murders by extremists of the radical right, we urge your committees to investigate the threat posed by racial extremists who may be serving in the military to ensure that our armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists,” Morris Dees, SPLC co-founder and chief trial counsel, wrote to the legislators.

“Evidence continues to mount that current Pentagon policies are inadequate to prevent racial extremists from joining and serving in the armed forces.”

Can I make a suggestion to the President, Congress and the American people? Can we at least get an Executive Order suspending DADT? Especially when the majority of Americans, Democrat and Republican, support it?

Perhaps then the President, Congress, and the American people can be assured that at least our tax dollars are being used to ensure our military’s not training future terrorists on our dime.

And keep the real liars, frauds, and criminals out of our military.

Remembering Stonewall


Fourty years ago today, police stormed a Mafia-owned bar in Greenwich Village known to have been frequented by gays. The subsequent riots that occurred over the next day following the brutal treatment of American citizens at the Stonewall Inn are credited with the birth of the modern LGBT movement.

This one event solidified in the minds of homosexual men and women that our government and our society treat us as second-class citizens, denying it’s citizens the right to equality and protection from hate.

Today, despite advances in the movement, we are still second-class citizens. We are denied the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to serve openly and honorably in our military, and the right to share medical, insurance, hospital visitation, and internment rights enjoyed by mainstream Americans of every race, creed, and religion.

Our government, the one based upon the simple principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” has failed a segment of it’s population larger than most minorities. Think for a moment…according to the US Census, blacks account for 14% and hispanics make up 15% of the minority culture in this nation.

How many Americans are gay? 2%? 10%. We really don’t know. The stigma of homosexuality in our society still, to this day, forces millions of Americans to live their life in a lie – closeted in fear of their neighbor, their government, their family. Right now, the number could arguably surpass the populace of Asians, American Indians, and other minority groups.

Even as the majority of the American public now approve of gay unions, the repeal of DADT and other rights denied to the LGBT citizen, our government continues to fail to recognize such a right to equality.

Our President, Congress, and senior military are still living twenty years in the past and cast a myopic eye on what the people of this country want for the LGBT community – equality.

But the problems of the community do not specifically lie with the government. We are our own problem.

TIME magazine, in 1966, three years prior to the Stonewall Riots, said this about gays:

Beset by inner conflicts, the homosexual is unsure of his position in society, ambivalent about his attitudes and identity—but he gains a certain amount of security through the fact that society is equally ambivalent about him.

We haven’t changed much, have we? Whether the gay male or female merely consigns themselves to defeat, or is complacent with his or her own personal situation,  the activism that arose from the riots of the Stonewall Inn forty years ago has subsided. Instead the community has allowed itself to be splintered into factions so numerous, fractile, and divisive we’ve lost sight of the goal.

It’s not about the G, L, B, or T…it’s about Equality!

The gay community will never achieve our goal of equality until such time as we organize with a singular purpose – to effect the changes needed within our government through community activism, financial contributions to our supporters, and yes, withdrawal of financial support to those who are fearful of voicing their support, up to and including the President of this country.

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order abolishing slavery, thus freeing and providing a path to equality for the black man of America. In in 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which ended brought up the end to racism in the Armed Forces.

I implore you, my friends, to contact your Congressman, your Senator, your Governor, your President, and ask that the road to equality begin.

Iran Update


As I’m following news from Iran, I continue to be amazed by the idiocy of the comments regarding blogging in yesterday’s post, Wanna be Blogs as I search and find breaking news on Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube, as well as various other sources.

The impact of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in reporting the violence and suppression of freedom in Iran is historic and lends legitimacy to each and every blogger out there.

The level of breaking news reported through these sources is incredible. Just in the past few minutes, the following has been reported, long before you’ll see it on the mainstream media:

midnightsangel: Canadian Embassy NOT treating wounded. Confirmed by FA source. please continue 2 sign petition http://bit.ly/Rge4j (expand) #canadafail #iranelection

Arminhr: Public strike from tomorrow (Monday) at 5 pm ,in central region of every city in Iran – please update #IranElection #Tehran

Cole2026: RT @StopAhmadi Ppl now chanting “Death to Khamanei (supreme leader)” #iranelection

RevolutionNo2: Many gov agents on twitter now. Look at their profiles, have few supporters and been tweeting for 2/3 days at most #iranelection

#RT @jranck: arrest of Rafsanjani kin shows split within cleric ranks #iranelection

@hoquqzan Iranian Government Media Declares Mousavi a ‘Criminal’ #iranelection

-23 journalists jailed by Iranian authorities..says journalists are primary targets #iranelection

life.com
RT @renesugar LIFE Magazine Iran pics @LIFE
We are saddened to report LIFE’s photojournalist is missing – #iranelection

MeUnAvail: RT from Iran the police / forces etc. of tehran have announced that in clashes on saturday, 475 people have been arrested #iranelection

————————————————

Yesterday I posted a video of a young woman shot by the Iranian police. Today, that video has served as a launchpad for and further moved the movement in Iran away from a mere election protest. The woman’s name is now known, Neda Salehi. Within the last few minutes her photo has been released:

nedasalehi

Here’s a new video from about ten minutes ago:

Next. I probably should file this under Stupid People, but…South Carolina State Sen. David Thomas (R) has tweeted a comparison of the Iran protests to the failed Tea Parties. Really? I mean, really??

irantea33

Finally, a picture tells a thousand words:

13106801

Iran Update


Breaking…rioters are clashing with government troops in the area surrounding Tehran University. Numbers estimated at 3000+.

From MSNBC:

Eyewitnesses described fierce clashes near Revolution Square in central Tehran after some 3,000 protesters chanted “Death to the dictator!” and “Death to dictatorship!”

Video of today’s uprising which, as I predicted, has grown to be much more than just support for Mousavi…it’s much bigger than that…it’s the birth of a new country at the hands of it’s people.

Note: Video is graphic. It shows a young woman being shot by the police in the streets of Tehran:

Here’s some home video on Facebook from Iran from a student:

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1180763437741&ref=nf

Finally, from @Mousavi1388 on Twitter:

I am prepared For martyrdom, go on strike if I am arrested

Iran Update


Note: Twitter is now silent for maintenance and should be back up by 6pm Eastern Time. Beware of false twitter posts coming both from Iran and from immature Americans.

A powerful video:

Physicians and nurses, still in scrobs and whites, protesting:

The blog of former VP Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who has now been arrested:

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:UeSLADGLKR4J:www.webneveshteha.com/en/+mohammad+ali+abtahi&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

From his final post before his arrest entitled: “It was a huge swindling”:

There was a lot of difference between yesterday and last night. Yesterday Iran was joyful because of changing the fate. Every body participated in. But last night was a shocking and bitter night. Like 4 years ago, Fars news agency and Keyhan announced news. It was unbelievable. Little by little news became as heavy as a mountain in front of every body that had seen it was not real. At the same time Mr. Mosavi announced his victory in election. But information was formal and it was announced around the world and nation was anxious. It was more important than cheating. Some ones call it a white coup.

Iran Update


Update: 6:30pm

The Boston Globe has outstanding photo coverage

Latest videos from various sources:

As I stated in my original post, the public reaction to this fraud is impressive. I’ve often espoused the fact that increasingly in today’s world, we need to view the world situation from the eyes of our youth and not from our own.

Only then will the importance of decisions made by our current President be taken in full context. And only now can we see how horribly this situation would have been handled by a Republican administration.

May I also note that similar protests shaped the future of this country in the 1960’s?