I was doing my morning perusal of headlines when I found this: “Sexuality bias seen at Justice Department”. Curious, I look into it. I find the thee main characters are a Monica Goodling (ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s Aide), Margaret M. Chiara (a US Attorney fired on Goodling’s recommendation), and Leslie Hagan (Chiara’s long-time friend and alleged girlfriend).
The facts are: Ms Chiara and Ms Hagan were friends and commuted together. Ms Chiara hired Ms Hagan to work on crimes affecting Native Americans, and because of her work Ms Hagan won an award from the director of the administrative office in Washington. In 2006, Chiara was one of the nine US Attorneys who was mysteriously fired by Attorney General Gonzales.
Lisa Banks, Hagan’s attorney says:
“Leslie was a stellar performer. She earned a coveted award. It engineered some jealously. Because she was doing well, and because she was a colleague and friend of the U.S. attorney, I think that is probably where these rumors started,” Banks said. “Once they were heard by Monica Goodling . . . that was the end of Ms. Hagen and her career.”
And here’s how Goodling ended it:
After working in Grand Rapids, Hagen was reassigned in 2005 to the Justice Department in Washington to work on Native American issues and was offered a customary extension by her supervisors after a year on the job.
Goodling intervened and blocked the extension. The report said that several witnesses told investigators that her opposition was based on the “alleged sexual orientation.”
One official told investigators about a conversation in which he told Goodling that he had heard the rumors that the women were lesbians. He said Goodling responded to that news “by putting her head in her hands and asking why no one had told her about this information before.”
Monday’s report also said that Goodling used an Internet search that included the words “gay” and “homosexual” to screen candidates and their backgrounds.
Shame. That’s all there is to say about this. Shame on Goodling, shame on Gonzales, and most of all, shame on the Bush Administration for making this culture permissible. For allowing sexual orientation to become a litmus test, a job qualification. In an Orwellian twist, both women were punished for perceived sexual orientation–a perception which has no basis in fact and appears to have been a fabrication of jealous colleagues. Shame.
Count Hermann Keyserling once said truly that the greatest American superstition was belief in facts. – John Gunther