HRC Blog

Gen. Sheehan Apologizes for Blaming Srebrenica Genocide on Gay Service Members

News reports indicate that Retired Gen. John Sheehan has apologized for his remarks during a Senate hearing earlier this month where he blamed open service by lesbians and gays in the Dutch army for the massacre at Srebrenica in 1995.  His testimony indicated that Dutch General Henk Van den Breemen had said the social policies of their military were at least partly to blame. Following his remarks the Dutch Ambassador to the United States said: “I couldn’t disagree more. I take pride in the fact that lesbians and gays have served openly and with distinction in the Dutch military forces for decades, including in leading operational positions, such as in Afghanistan at the moment.” Added a spokesperson for the Dutch military: “It is astonishing that a man of his stature can utter such complete nonsense.” The AP reports that Sheehan wrote Van den Breeman saying: "I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions of 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military." The current Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop's spokesperson said: "The minister is satisfied with the apologies and very pleased that the case is closed."

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