Air Force Maj. Margaret Witt’s jury-free DADT trial is underway in Washington State and already we’re having so much fun! Yesterday Master Sgt. James Schaffer, a longtime friend and colleague of Witt, testified that gays and lesbians in his unit had no impact on morale or whatever the Justice Department keeps dreaming up, and that Witt’s discharge “was a dishonorable act on the part of the Air Force.” Schaffer says he knew of 12 homos in the unit of more than 100 — including two couples within the unit.
Those comments came after DoJ attorney Peter Phipps made his opening remarks, insisting Witt “compromised her integrity and her ability to lead” by … BEING IN A LESBIAN RELATIONSHIP. One that she actually kept quiet. And one the Air Force was only made aware of because the husband of the woman she was dating tattled to her superiors. The same type of action that Defense Sec. Robert Gates says would no longer count as a reasonable means of information gathering for a DADT investigation.
Also taking the stand yesterday: Retired Sgt. Darren Manzella, who came out to his superiors in 2006, even offering his commanders photos of he and his boyfriend holding hands. He pinned up a photo of them together. Two years later, he was removed.
It’s too soon to tell how U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Leighton will rule on this baby, but watching Witt’s camp battle against DoJ, you almost start feeling bad for the federal government.