Ret. general apologizes for blaming gay soldiers for Srebrenica massacre

Sheehan LGBTQ Nation


A retired U.S. general has apologized for saying that Dutch troops failed to prevent the Srebrenica massacre because openly gay soldiers were included in their UN peace-keeping force.

In testimony at a Senate hearing on March 18 on the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, Ret. Gen. John J. Sheehan said that the liberalization of the Dutch military and subsequent enlistment of openly gay soldiers combined with poor military leadership contributed to its failure to hold off Serb forces in Srebrenica.

In a letter sent Monday to a Dutch military general, Ret. Gen. John J. Sheehan apologized for inaccurately reflecting their conversations.

“I am sorry that my recent public recollection of those discussions 15 years ago inaccurately reflected your thinking on some specific social issues in the military,” Sheehan wrote.

Sheehan was referring to the 1995 attack on Srebrenica by Bosnian Serbs, who killed approximately 8,000 people while Srebrenica was under protection from Dutch forces.

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