Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Former General Apologizes

Mike Corder of the Associated Press is reporting that John Sheehan, the retired American general who suggested that gay Dutch soldiers were partly to blame for the Srebrenica massacre by Serb soldiers in Bosnia, has apologized.

The Defense Ministry released an e-mail Tuesday from Sheehan to retired Dutch Gen. Henk van den Breemen saying he is sorry for his statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 18.

Gen. Sheehan had cited Gen. Hank van den Breeman as saying that allowing gay soldiers to openly serve in the Dutch military was one reason why the Srebrenica massacre occurred.

"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," Sheehan wrote to Van den Breemen.

Dutch Defense Minister Eimert van Middelkoop welcomed the apology.

"The minister is satisfied with the apologies and very pleased that the case is closed," Van Middelkoop's spokesman Otto Beeksma said.

A group calling itself Pink Army said it will likely drop plans to sue Sheehan in a U.S. court.

"The reactions and publicity in the Netherlands and United States have clearly put him under so much pressure that he had to retract his words," said Peter Schouten, who set up Pink Army.

"Now that he has expressed regret, the need to start legal proceedings has vanished," he added.

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