Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach was accused of sexual assault by a civilian in Idaho. Idaho law enforcement interviewed him, found him to be credible and the claims to lack any merit, and they refused to act on the allegations.
Unfortunately, the military demanded to be privy to the interview record and took interest in the Colonel’s admitting to engaging in a same-sex sex act. Fehrenbach’s been under investigation ever since.
Short of his 20th year in the service, he’s not letting them try to take him out:
Officer Sues to Block His Discharge Under Gay Ban
By JAMES DAO | August 11, 2010
. . On Wednesday, Colonel Fehrenbach’s lawyers filed papers in Idaho federal court requesting a temporary order blocking his discharge. The petition contends that a discharge would violate Colonel Fehrenbach’s rights, cause him irreparable harm and fail to meet standards established in a 2008 federal court ruling on don’t ask, don’t tell.
Good for him. Nobody’s asked him, he’s never told anyone. That is, outside of Idaho police who, understandably, should be accommodated the truth given a sexual assault investigation.
Openly serving gay military people have rallied around the case because Col. Fehrenbach isn’t just hoping for the best — he’s attacking the military for their illegal and destructive behavior:
Under new regulations issued by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates this year, “don’t ask” investigations must be based on information from credible sources. Colonel Fehrenbach’s lawyers argue that the credibility of his accuser is clearly undermined by the dismissal of the sexual assault case.
His lawyers also assert that his case underscores the ways the ban hurts military readiness, the very thing it is supposed to protect. They say that Colonel Fehrenbach’s performance reviews were consistently glowing, including his most recent one, which says he was a “proven leader” who “raised morale” in his unit, according to papers filed by his lawyers.
If Fehrenbach’s case is as it seems, it’s a good one. What do the government have to fall back upon? What have they ever really had to fall back upon, other than free-floating fear? Unease?
. . During his 19 years in the service, Colonel Fehrenbach says, he deployed six times as a weapons systems officer, in charge of finding targets and guiding bombs or missiles. He flew combat missions over Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. “I would love to get back into the cockpit and deploy again,” he said.