The Virginian Pilot, the largest newspaper in the conservative Virginia Beach-Hampton Roads area which is dominated by the U.S. Navy, publishes a spot-on editorial on Jene Newsome, the decorated Air Force sergeant discharged in January under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and outed by a third policy. The outing was motivated by spite and shows yet another reason why DADT must go, argue the editors.
In November, Rapid City, S.D., police officers came to Newsome's house searching for her partner, who was wanted on a warrant for theft charges in Fairbanks, Alaska. Newsome was at work at the nearby Ellsworth Air Force Base. When contacted, she refused to come home immediately and help police find [Cheryl Hutson]. Police say they later noticed, through the window of Newsome's home, a marriage certificate on the kitchen table. The certificate, bearing the couple's names, was about 2-1/2 feet from an officer. A few hours later, Hutson came outside and was arrested. The department routinely shares information with the base about arrests of Air Force members. But Newsome wasn't the object of the warrant. She wasn't arrested. A detective who is an Air Force veteran forwarded the police report to the base, knowing full well the consequences.
The Rapid City Police Dept. claims the officer was not being spiteful and followed department protocol.
Newsome told KOTA-TV the detective told her "he knew how the military worked" and would forward the information to the Air Force's Office of Special Investigations. Newsome was eventually discharged. ACLU South Dakota filed a complaint with the Rapid City Police Department. The organization is now preparing to file a lawsuit.
Last week Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced changes in the enforcement of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", including limiting outings and third parties and venegful ex's. We'll see how that works out.