of an unprintable nature

If your only reference for gays in the military is Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or think what happened to Bradley Manning is somehow new, then please acquaint yourself with this nugget from almost 100 years ago:

[emphasis mine]

Within days, a committee of Newport clergymen drafted a lengthy letter to President Woodrow Wilson denouncing the Navy’s activities in Newport, specifically the “deleterious and vicious methods” used, including keeping those charged confined for months without trial. Among the signers were Rev. William Safford Jones of Channing Church, Rev. J. Howard Deming, Rev. Everett P. Smith of St. Mary’s Church, Portsmouth, and Rev. Richard Arnold Greene of Newport. The Providence Journal published the letter. It put the Navy on the defensive and named Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and Roosevelt. Assistant Secretary Roosevelt angrily charged that press coverage like Rathom’s would damage the Navy’s reputation to the point that parents would not allow their sons to enlist. Also at issue, however, were the methods employed in the investigation. Rathom and Roosevelt had a “tart exchange of telegrams” disputing whether anyone in the naval hierarchy in Washington had supervised the investigation closely or authorized the actual participation of investigators in illicit acts.


While investigations dragged, Roosevelt resigned from his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in July 1920 when he accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for Vice President. He and the Presidential candidate James M. Cox were on the losing end of Warren G. Harding’s landslide victory for the Republicans.


On July 19, 1921, a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Naval Affairs denounced both Daniels and Roosevelt for the methods used in the Newport investigations. The New York Times reported that most of the details of the affair were “of an unprintable nature”, but explained that the committee believed that Daniels and Roosevelt knew that “enlisted men of the navy were used as participants in immoral practices for the purpose of obtaining evidence.” The committee report declared that using enlisted men in this way “violated the code of the American citizen and ignored the rights of every American boy who enlisted in the navy to fight for his country.” The committee report also made public the earlier determination of a naval court-martial. To that court’s assessment that Roosevelt’s behavior was “unfortunate and ill-advised”, the committee added “reprehensible”. Daniels’ rejection of the court’s judgment, the committee declared, “is to be severely condemned.”

via Newport sex scandalWikipedia.

Does it make me infantile if I tittered at “tart exchange of telegrams?” That could be the name of my new post-punk jazz quartet dont you think?