Saxby Chambliss apologizes for staffer’s threatening slur

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Thursday apologized to the author of a gay-oriented blog for a threatening slur posted from his office, declaring, “All [gays] must die.”

In a prepared statement, Chambliss also spoke of the immediate “removal” of a staff member – who was not identified.

The wording is important. We’re picking up that the staffer was a military liaison assigned by the Pentagon — a fact that Chambliss’ office would not confirm.

A staffer under Chambliss’ direct employ would have been fired. A staffer under another entity’s supervision would be reassigned. Or removed. (My AJC colleague Bob Keefe pinned down the fact that the computer used was located in Chambliss’s Washington office.)

The blog comment at issue was left Sept. 21 on a discussion of whether gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the military on “Joe.My.Blog,” a site operated by Joe Jervis of New York City – perhaps an hour after the U.S. Senate turned away an attempt to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Blog participants quickly tracked the Internet Protocol address to Chambliss’ office.

Chambliss last week condemned the comment, and requested an investigation by the U.S. Senate sergeant-at-arms, who acts as the chamber’s top law enforcement officer.

The statement from Chambliss’ office:

“The office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms has concluded its investigation, and I responded to that report immediately with the removal of a member of my staff. I commend the Sergeant at Arms, Terrance Gainer, and his staff for their very thorough and professional work.

“I have called Mr. Jervis, the blog’s author, and apologized to him personally, and I am sorry for the hurt this incident has caused. Regardless of one’s position on issues and policies, such comments are simply unacceptable, are not befitting those who work in the U.S. Senate, and I will not tolerate them from my staff.”

Jervis, who monitors JoeMyGod, confirmed his conversation with Chambliss and paraphrased the senator’s remarks:

”He said, ‘Joe, I don’t know if you’re Republican or Democrat, or liberal or conservative. But none of that should matter because what was said on your blog shouldn’t be said to anybody by anybody. And I want to offer my sincerest apologies.’

“He said, ‘There’s been a lot of criticism about why it’s taken so long to bring this to a resolution. But this is something that’s going to dramatically affect someone’s life, and we had to make sure we got it exactly right.’”

Jervis accepted Chambliss’ apology.

“I consider the matter closed. The gentleman is no longer in Chambliss’ office,” he said. “I’m pretty sure if he were a direct Chambliss hire, we would know his name. I don’t think he was Chambliss’ to fire.

“I was never calling for this guy’s head. I just wanted the senator himself to address the issue and say that this can’t happen in my office. He has done that.”

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116 comments Add your comment

Jon Lester

September 30th, 2010
4:59 pm

Might not change his votes but this was the right thing to do.

Miss Peach

September 30th, 2010
4:59 pm

A government employee using government equipment to make terrorist threats against US citizens. Nice.

Jill Thompson

September 30th, 2010
5:02 pm

Have to give him credit for surprisingly saying and doing the right thing in this situation.

Mario

September 30th, 2010
5:04 pm

He doesn’t get any credit. It took him this long to do something that could have been done in a very short period of time. And had the media not got on his case, he would have probably done nothing. What has chambliss done for the state of Georgia? Name 5 great accomplishments. He’s terrible.

Road Scholar

September 30th, 2010
5:07 pm

Maybe Chambliss should apologize to all gays also?

BJohnM

September 30th, 2010
5:15 pm

Reassigned means the person is still making a living of my tax dollars, and that’s not a good enough punishment.

I want to know this person was F.I.R.E.D, and no longer drawing a salary from the Treasury of the United States of America.

Miss Peach

September 30th, 2010
5:15 pm

The largest industry in GA is agriculture. The AJC recently reported that about half of farm labor is illegal. Although Chambliss talks tough on illegal immigration, he will never do anything. Who would pick the harvest on his South GA peach plantation?? I am so sick of these conflicted pols.

Halsey

September 30th, 2010
5:17 pm

Good job to Chambliss for doing…..what he basically had not choice about. What else was he gonna do? Keep the person on staff and slap him/her on the wrist?

Mya

September 30th, 2010
5:17 pm

Does the reassigned person get named? How do we know it was a liason from another department if he is not named? Could be a way to get the military guy to do as trained and take the fall based on his commander’s say so. Then again I doubt a highly placed staffer would have been dumb enough to post that comment from a senate computer.

coaltrader08

September 30th, 2010
5:21 pm

Shame on you Saxby! Shoudlnt’ apologize for a man speaking his mind about the filthy perverted practice of homosexuality. It’s so disgusting that it should be outlawed worldwide! No apologies Saxby!

Fred

September 30th, 2010
5:22 pm

Wow, nothing is ever good enough for some of you malcontents.

Good job Chambliss. It’s about damn time a republican did something, ANYTHING that is either right or moral.

I still ain’ta gonna vote for you though lol……………..

Gerald West

September 30th, 2010
5:24 pm

Now I wonder, why does a do-nothing, no accomplishments senator like Chambliss need a staff of 42 people to “advise” him? Do all politicians elected to Congress maintain similar private bureaucracies at the public expense?

Now, there’s a topic worth pursuing by the Political Insider!

SuperB

September 30th, 2010
5:25 pm

The people of Georgia need to fire Saxby Chambliss.

Dennis G. Berdanis

September 30th, 2010
5:27 pm

First thing I’ve seen come out of Chambliss’ mouth that I can support. Good for him.

SOB

September 30th, 2010
5:28 pm

This is the mind set of the Republican party. What else is new, they hate everyone.

RGB

September 30th, 2010
5:30 pm

Congratulations to both Chambliss and Jervis who acted properly and displayed maturity and class.

Others should take a page from these gentlemen’s notebooks.

Jeff Garner

September 30th, 2010
5:33 pm

Chambliss has done nothing for the people of Georgia. But, he will be elected again and again as long as the republicans are in the majority. They will elect anything…It’s disgraceful…

beaker

September 30th, 2010
5:34 pm

I don’t approve of Chambliss as a Senator and would never vote for him; but he did the right thing in this case.

Usmc Dawg

September 30th, 2010
5:37 pm

Who “Effing” Cares!
Gay people, please get over your narcissistic selves.
Nobody cares about what you do in your bedroom, but most people are tired of you parading around and shoving your like style in our faces.
Who really cares what some D’ bag staffer says?
Does that chump have that much control over you?
Vanity…

BobN

September 30th, 2010
5:39 pm

Under what other scenarios would a “all ____s must die” not result in an apology to all America’s ____s?

They’ve had a week to draft the inevitable announcement. No points to Chambliss from me.

NoDealGeorgia

September 30th, 2010
5:40 pm

How do we know he actually fired the staffer if he refuses to give a name?

Retired Soldier

September 30th, 2010
5:41 pm

John Kerry has done nothing for the state of Mass. But he will be re-elected again and again as long as the democrats are the majority.

See how dumb that comment is.

Marcos

September 30th, 2010
5:49 pm

Not a fan of Chambliss… but this was the right thing to do. I have a new found respect for the man.

Dwight

September 30th, 2010
5:50 pm

Retired Soldier
September 30th, 2010
5:41 pm

The election of Scott Brown disproves your assertion.

nonrenewedteacher

September 30th, 2010
5:52 pm

I don’t give a rats ass where your check comes from cowboy, Saxby or Sux-bi (read here the military), if you post this kinda cro-magnon crap, you are fired…. don’t ask me my sexuality and don’t tell me what u think of the fact that i like same sex partners… you, bitch are fired…. join me in the ranks (10%) of the unemployed… the difference being that, I told the truth, you spouted hatred…nuff sed.

ATLguy

September 30th, 2010
5:52 pm

Usmc Dawg. Real men are not threatened by gay people and do not find the need to abuse them verbally or physically. Sounds to me like you have some inherent issues you may want to deal with.

andy

September 30th, 2010
6:05 pm

Notice it says that this fool was “removed” from Chambliss’ office. Hmm. That means he was likely reassigned and is still drawing a paycheck funded by the taxpayer. Since he is on the public payroll, this guy should be identified AND further disciplined. If he is military, he should be court-martialed and punished.

josef nix

September 30th, 2010
6:06 pm

Chambliss did what he had to do, but he did it. There was a time when this would not have been the case.

Last Man Standing

September 30th, 2010
6:06 pm

NoDealGeorgia:

“How do we know he actually fired the staffer if he refuses to give a name?”

I suggest that you read Galloway’s piece again with the aim of comprehending it, if that is possible for you.

Mike

September 30th, 2010
6:11 pm

No surprised coming from a so-called conservative’s office. And I can guarantee you that whoever made that slur is gay himself. It always turns out that those who complain the most about gays are closeted homosexuals. A study at UGA even confirmed this.

midtownguy

September 30th, 2010
6:12 pm

I appreciate what has all indications of being a sincere apology. But I pose this question; If the staffer had used the “N” word instead of the “F” word and said they all should die, would it have taken this long and the offender remain unnamed?

josef nix

September 30th, 2010
6:14 pm

Mike
Hey! Thanks for the comment…breeders is messy, though! :-) He don’t sound gay, to me, he doesn’t even sound mildly amused…closeted and getting bent out of shape about it…been my experience that this is true…

Howard

September 30th, 2010
6:14 pm

Why is the name of the “staffer” being withheld….why is he being protected by a United States Senator? Is this appropriate and responsible behavior by an elected official…to protect the person who has at the very least tried to defame others and at worst threatened the life of others….Chambliss by concealing the name of this “staffer” is no longer an innocent party regarding this behavior.

Mike

September 30th, 2010
6:15 pm

Hey USMC Dawg: Get over your narcisistic self. Most people are in the military because they ran out of options.

Mike

September 30th, 2010
6:17 pm

I bet that ruffled your feathers, eh USMC Dawg? By the way, I’m kidding. The military is great, but I wanted to see if you could take what you dish out.

Will

September 30th, 2010
6:18 pm

Although I have absolutely no use for Chambliss, I will give him credit for immediately reporting the slur and following through.

I guess this is one time that the Senator did not support “Don’t ask, don’t tell”!!

RGB

September 30th, 2010
6:26 pm

Last Man Standing is Right on,

Those of you who want the offender to be drawn and quartered, hanged, then burned and electrocuted should consider the idea that the individual is likely subject to the rules provided under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (such as § 917 Article 117 “Provoking speeches or gestures” or § 933 Article 133 “Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman”).

The incident was investigated by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate and any punishment levied would likely be meted out by the individual’s commanding officer who presumably works at the Pentagon.

But for libs who disdain the military and prefer uniformed military offers to serve Democrat party officials wine and cheese during White House parties, you won’t get it.

So keep insisting that Chambliss apologize in-person to every gay American and pout your lips with indignation and utter “why WASN’T he fired” ad infinitum.

Then call Harry Reid’s office and ask him when he plans to apologize to 170 million American females for objectifying women for referring to a female United States Senator as “hot”. While he’s on the phone, ask him when he plans to apologize to 40 million African-Americans for speaking about President Obama’s “Negro dialect.”

I suppose if one is African-American AND female, then Mr. Reid owes you 2 phone calls or 2 personal apologies.

Bob

September 30th, 2010
6:30 pm

“All [gays] must die”; how is anyone who would think these thoughts fit for any government duty? A long hospital stay, with loads of counseling, might be able to provide insight to psychiatric doctors as to how ill, this person actually is. A medical discharge may be in order. And, if this individual has under aged children, DFACS should be called in, as well.

Well wishes for his, or her, recovery.

khc

September 30th, 2010
6:30 pm

as they might say in the service the offender has “sh!t for brains” and needs to be demoted

josef nix

September 30th, 2010
6:33 pm

Bob

And I would posit that lots of people think it, they just are more discreet in saying so…

fed up

September 30th, 2010
6:40 pm

All you liberal sissies need to stop getting your panties in a bunch. What the staffer said was taken out of context, he simply meant that all people must die eventually gay straight black white and so on. At what point will you weak wristed people think you have outplayed your hand and your pathetic gripes will fall on deaf ears,you already have no sympathy for anyone elses feelings when we are subjected to village people reenactments are paraded down peachtree. This is supposed to be a free country you have your opinions let this staffer have his and d@mn having to appologise for them.

amazed

September 30th, 2010
6:42 pm

I must say Chambliss handled this well, and I had not expected that. Suxby, I’m proud of you for the first time ever, and will have to reconsider call you Senator Shameless when I vote against you. You did right by humanity and Georgia. thank you.

Doctor Jay

September 30th, 2010
6:42 pm

Let’s try a “shoe on the other foot” test. Would you, USMC dawg, take offense if someone went onto a blog about the Marine Corps and wrote “Kill All The Marines!” and just to be a bit more provocative, signed it “Osama bin Laden”. And let’s say, just to take it further, that you found out that whoever did that was in the employ of Al Franken.

It wouldn’t bother you in the slightest? You wouldn’t give it a second thought?

Marcos

September 30th, 2010
6:44 pm

Uh… RGB… Reid did not issue a death threat to American women or the President. Apply some perspective to your hatred please.

midtownguy

September 30th, 2010
6:56 pm

Excellent analogy, Doctor Jay.

RGB

September 30th, 2010
7:01 pm

Thanks for explaining Imelda. I explained the UCMJ and the military chain-of-command. Where have I engaged in hatred? I haven’t.

So one is only required to apologize after making death threats?

To clarify–and based on your comments–objectification of women and denigration of minorities is OK to you provided one doesn’t “issue a death threat”.

Thanks for clarifying your moral compass for all of us.

Please stop hating women and African-Americans by trivializing insults to these significant groups of Americans.

: )

Last Man Standing

September 30th, 2010
7:03 pm

Bob:

“DFACS should be called in, as well.”

Bringing out the heavy artillery, Bob? Some of these comments are really funny!

josef nix

September 30th, 2010
7:05 pm

fed up

Say what? Oy, Mate, you’re a piece of work! You know what? You wouldn’t know a gay person if s/he was sitting right next to you 99 times out of a hundred…we know “y’all” a lot better than you think we do. Because you don’t recognize us, you aren’t very discreet in what you say. The other side of that, my straight friends, is that we also get the chance to hear what y’all have to say not knowing who you’re talking to, and it’s good to hear. And there’s a lot more of y’all than there are of the fed ups.

Jonathan

September 30th, 2010
7:08 pm

@Fed up – “All f*** must die” is not “out of context”, You, however, are out of your m,id. No one is going to miss that mentality when you are gone. Good riddance.

hl

September 30th, 2010
7:09 pm

I’m glad that he’s gone from Chambliss office but he should be named. What happened to personnel responsibility and transparency. Is this okay if you are Republican?