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Women, Sexism, and the Military.

Lieutenant Kelly Flinn was the first woman to pilot a B-52 bomber. Flinn was forced to resign from the Air Force this spring on charges of "disobeying orders" when a military investigation discovered she lied about relationship she had with a married man. Flinn has written a book about the incident and her experiences dealing with sexism and hypocrisy in the Air Force, titled "Proud to Be: My Life, the Air Force, the Controversy ." (Random House).

21:37

Other segments from the episode on November 25, 1997

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, November 25, 1997: Interview with Kelly Flinn; Interview with William A. Moorman; Interview with John Marley and Peter Sennett; Review of Shania Twain's album "Come On…

Transcript

Show: FRESH AIR
Date: NOVEMBER 25, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 112501NP.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: Proud to Be
Sect: News; Domestic
Time: 12:06

TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

This year, Lieutenant Kelly Flinn, the Air Force's first female bomber pilot, resigned from the military. She accepted a general discharge instead of facing a court martial for having an intimate relationship with a man who was married to an enlisted woman, lying to a superior about the relationship, and disobeying orders to stop seeing the man. She also faced charges of fraternization as a result of an earlier encounter with a military plan who was not in her line of command.

Flinn faced a possible sentence of 9 1/2 years. Now, Flinn has written a memoir telling her side of the story. Her case created a national controversy.

Some say it demonstrated that sexism is deeply ingrained in the military. Some say it showed the inherent problems of bringing more women into the military. Others say it showed Flinn's poor judgment and lack of accountability.

I asked Flinn what part of her story she thinks has been most misunderstood.

LIEUTENANT KELLY FLINN, FORMER AIR FORCE BOMBER PILOT, AUTHOR, "PROUD TO BE: MY LIFE, THE AIR FORCE, THE CONTROVERSY": The most misunderstood has been the Air Force's spin that this was not a story about adultery; it was a story about lying and disobeying an order. The fact of the matter is that they shouldn't have been asking me questions about my sex life in the beginning anyway. I lied initially about sex and I tried to correct the statement with my commanders, but they'd have none of it.

From then on out, it became this case of the disobedient officer, which is far from the truth.

GROSS: Well, you had an affair with a married man, but he told you that he was separated. He turned out to be what you describe as a pathological liar. I think most people have had some experience falling in love with the wrong person. But what about lying to the military in a sworn statement saying the relationship with him was platonic when it wasn't?

FLINN: I lied about sex. It was an area where I tried to get myself out of the situation after being asked the most invasive and most humiliating questions I have ever been subject to concerning my sex life, my preferred sexual positions, how many men I've dated, if I had sex with women? And I wanted to get out of the situation.

I immediately knew that I'd done something wrong and tried to correct it with my commander.

GROSS: And?

FLINN: And he told me that I should go find defense counsel and that he didn't want to hear anything about it, because he could be the ultimate hammer. So I was never given the opportunity to rectify the situation -- to correct the statement; to correct my mistake.

GROSS: Then maybe he was the wrong person to speak to and you should have found somebody else. Isn't that what he was telling you?

FLINN: No, my commander was the person that I should be talking to. He was the one that should have been handling this case in the beginning. He's the one that should have talked -- sat down and talked to me about it. So it was a -- what happened was the buck just kept getting passed and no one would sit down and talk to me about this. So what ultimately happened was the media became the courtroom.

GROSS: A little later on, when your commanding officer gave you a written order directing you to stay at least 100 yards away from Mark Zeigo (ph), the man in question, you were -- unbeknownst to your commanding officer -- living with Zeigo, and you continued to live with him after you were given this order to stay at least 100 yards away from him and to cease all contact with him. And then after that, you also took him home to meet your family.

Tell me about your rationale there for lying and continuing to do something that you were ordered not to do?

FLINN: Well, as a matter of fact, let me correct one of the statements that you made, first and foremost. You said that my commander was not aware Mark Zeigo was living with me, and that is factually incorrect, because I have all the surveillance documents that the security police did on my house, which in fact prove that they knew Mark Zeigo and myself were living together.

The order that was given was factually incorrect. It was unlawful. It was illegal. And it was impossible to obey. The Air Force has no business imposing an order for me not to go home and to go to my bedroom and to go be with whomever I want, especially when they know that person is living in my house and especially when this woman -- his ex-wife -- had summoned for divorce on 9 December and had already began the official divorce proceedings four days prior to the Air Force giving me an order to stop seeing this man.

GROSS: Did you ever think that instead of lying, that you would kind of make a case about this and say, you know: "you are asking me questions that I think you ethically have no right to ask. This is an example of a bad policy in the military that I object to." Instead of just lying?

FLINN: Had I been a little more street-wise and more legal-wise, I probably would have had -- thought of that. I was called into the security police room for questioning under false pretenses. I was under the impression it was concerning another lieutenant in another case that I testified against him, when in fact it was because this lieutenant was a complainant against me in this new case.

So, I was there under false pretenses. I was taken by surprise. I was shocked and I was humiliated, and I didn't have my wits about me to think about how I should handle this. Now in retrospect, hindsight's 20/20, you're absolutely correct. I should have done something along those lines.

GROSS: But I think what you're talking about was the first time you were asked about whether you were having an affair with this man. What about the second time when you lied about being in contact with him -- you know, after you were given the order to stay back?

FLINN: I never lied about that.

GROSS: You mean, you were just given the order and disobeyed it, is what you're saying?

FLINN: I was given an order that could not be obeyed. I was given an order that set me up. It goes along with the court martial handbook that they have that says you need to find more ways to -- you need to find more charges to go against them, such as false official statements, because it says this is the surest basis for prosecution.

What happened was this order was -- I was called on a Friday evening at approximately 4:30 in the evening to go see my commander. He said: "come in whatever you want." So I had my uniform on and went in my uniform. I walked in. He read me my rights. And then he proceeded to read the order to me.

He asked if I wanted to say anything, and I said "not without my lawyer present." And then he asked me to sign a statement that acknowledged that I had read the order and that I received a copy of the order. I never said I would obey this order or that I could follow the order.

So, it was a situation in which all lines of communication were cut off because my commander read me my rights.

GROSS: Did you talk to your lawyer after this happened and ask for his or her advice?

FLINN: I sought counsel. I had to call them 'cause they were in Colorado and it was a Friday evening, and they were not available. I didn't speak with them until the next week, after I had to go to my home.

The moment I walked out of the office, I disobeyed the order. There was no possible way to obey that order.

GROSS: What advice did your counsel finally give you?

FLINN: My counsel said that they'd find some way to handle the order and that eventually I probably should get him out of my life because he was dangerous. I was scared of Mark Zeigo. He had threatened to destroy me. He had threatened to destroy my life. He had threatened to kill himself and he was very unstable, very violent, and I didn't know what he was gonna do.

GROSS: When your commander gave you the order to stop seeing Mark Zeigo -- to not come within 100 feet of him -- and you felt this was an order that was just impossible to obey -- what about the order was impossible to obey?

FLINN: OK. Everything about the order was impossible to obey. First of all, it not only said "do not go within 100 feet of Mark Zeigo." It said: "do not call Mark Zeigo." It said: "do not call his work. Do not call his home. Do not try to contact him through a third party. Do not leave a message for him on his answering machine. Do not have any form of communication whatsoever." But the most damaging was, as I just mentioned before, was "do not talk to him at all through a third party."

So I couldn't even tell my commander to tell Mark Zeigo to get out of my house. I couldn't tell my lawyers to tell Mark Zeigo to get out of my house, because I was disobeying the order if I were to tell anybody to tell Mark Zeigo to get out of my house. They broke off every single line of communication that I may have possibly had to tell Mark Zeigo to get out of my house, unless I were to disobey the order.

GROSS: When you joined the military, you knew that the military had a different set of rules than civilian life. And by joining, you agreed to follow those rules. So even if you thought some of those rules were unjust, particularly the rules governing private life and sexual conduct, did you feel that it was still your responsibility to obey those rules as a member of the military?

FLINN: I've always felt it was the responsibility to obey the rules that are out there. Now, the problem lies -- and I've also said that I've never thought I should be completely exonerated for breaking a rule or regulation. I've always said that the punishment should fit the crime and I made a mistake and it was an honest mistake and it wasn't intentional and it wasn't willful. And what was done was, in my opinion, cruel and unusual punishment to make this a public -- a public debate and to humiliate myself.

And for the Air Force to do that to me publicly was just reprehensible. And for them to continue to say that this was a case about lying and disobeying is also reprehensible, because it started it out with them questioning about my consensual sex life. And then, it went from there.

GROSS: What do you think the penalty should have been for your relationship with Mark Zeigo?

FLINN: I think my case should have been handled non-judicially, as almost every other case that has occurred at Minot Air Force Base, whether it be a formal letter of counseling, a letter of reprimand, or an Article 15. This case should never have gone to court. This case should never have been released publicly.

GROSS: What do you think your penalty should have been for lying under oath to your officer when you told him the relationship was platonic?

FLINN: I think there really should have been the opportunity to rectify the situation and correct the statement. I think that my commander should have opened the door and let me in and account for my actions of lying. I think the same thing holds true. It should have been the same punishment, because all that kind of runs together. It was the Air Force's way of bringing up more charges so they can have a more severe case against me.

GROSS: And do you think there should have been a punishment for disobeying the order of not seeing Mark Zeigo anymore?

FLINN: Absolutely not. The order should not have been given in the first place. The question that needs to be asked is: why is the Air Force giving orders to its personnel to stay away from other members, and trying to control their personal life, especially when that man had already received copies of his divorce papers?

There's no business for the Air Force to be doing that.

GROSS: Do you think that there should be any rules at all governing the sexual behavior of the military in regards to relationships with other people in the military or other people who are related to people in the military or other people who are married at the time of the affair?

FLINN: I don't think it's anybody's business, especially the military's, to be imposing rules on how people run their personal and private lives, especially between two consenting adults. And the military in no way, shape, or form should be criminalizing these acts.

If they're going to handle -- if they feel they have to have this need to have control on the personal life, then it should be handled in a non-judicial manner and should be handled away from the courtrooms and it should never be made into a felony.

GROSS: Do you think that there should be no regulations at all about who you can be intimate with within the military?

FLINN: I think the regulations need to go back to the way they used to be enforced over 200 years ago, when fraternization was defined as some type of influence over another person or some type of favoritism towards a subordinate.

Once women joined, the Air Force went complete -- the military in general went completely away from that definition of fraternization and strictly applied it to sex and sex alone. And that needs to stop. It needs to go back to the original way that fraternization was defined, as favoritism.

GROSS: My guest is Kelly Flinn. She's written a new memoir called "Proud to Be." We'll talk more after a break.

This is FRESH AIR.

Kelly Flinn is my guest and she's written a memoir about her case in the military and about her training in the Air Force called "Proud to Be: My Life, the Air Force, the Controversy."

As the first woman bomber pilot, you were likely to be carefully watched and used as a role model and a public relations opportunity for the military. And it was probable that people would be watching your every step. And I'm wondering if that ever affected your behavior?

FLINN: Oh, it most certainly affected my behavior. I knew my every move was being watched for the longest time. If anything, I studied a lot longer and a lot harder than I ever had before. I worked hard at my job. I made sure my boots were shined as bright as they could be every day. I would not socialize with members of the squadron. And it totally affected -- I isolated myself from everybody.

GROSS: How did that affect your choice in men?

FLINN: Well, it limited it, especially. I didn't really have a whole choice, since I decided that I wasn't going to date anyone within my squadron or within my unit, 'cause I didn't want to date inside the fishbowl and have the possibility of flying with the person I was dating or may have broken up with.

So, the dating pool was very limited. And I found a civilian who was interested in me; who told me he was legally separated; had filed for divorce -- and that it was perfectly fine to date him.

GROSS: Mark Zeigo you describe as a pathological liar, and he lied to you in saying -- you say that -- that he was virtually separated from his wife. They really -- they weren't. They were still living together. And you found that out when you paid a visit to his house. You also found out that his wife was actually in the military, making things -- really raising the stakes for you.

So -- but you continued to see him when you realized that he was lying to you and that you were in a much more dangerous situation. So, should you perhaps have extricated yourself from the relationship then?

FLINN: I tried to on several occasions to extradite myself from the situation. Let me first say that when Mark and I met, his wife then went to the house -- they were married -- and Mark had no story whatsoever about being separated or divorced. That story came later -- a few days later or weeks later on the timeline, after I returned from a trip to Atlanta -- that he was now separated and he was -- had filed for divorce and would be divorced on December 20th and that the relationship was OK.

I was in a clinically defined abusive relationship. And I tried on several times to get out of it. The man threatened me. The man pushed me. And the man was abusive to me, both physically and emotionally. I needed help and I didn't get it, and I didn't seek help initially when I should have. And that was my mistake in doing so, but it was also the mistake of the Air Force in not offering some help, too.

GROSS: But what you're saying now is that you started the relationship with him when you knew he was still married.

FLINN: No, I started the relationship with him when he told me he was legally separated and that he had filed for divorce.

GROSS: But then when you saw that they were living together, you knew that they weren't legally separated.

FLINN: No, I did not know anything of the sort. I was told by Mark Zeigo that he was legally separated. They were living in separate bedrooms until the divorce was final.

GROSS: Getting back to the idea of you as the first woman bomber pilot, and the Air Force being this kind of role model on public relations opportunity. Were there times that you felt most of all that you were being watched? I mean, before you were called out on your affair?

FLINN: Well, from the moment I selected the B-52 and found out that I had earned some title along with it -- "The First Female B-52 Pilot" -- from that moment on, I knew I was being watched. My first flight in a B-52, I flew with a colonel, a squadron commander. And then from then on, once I arrived at Minot, there were times when I just flew with a colonel after colonel after colonel and everybody was, you know, wanted to fly with me for some reason.

I couldn't figure out why I couldn't just fly with my aircraft commander or captain. Why did I always have to have colonels on board? I was watched all the time.

GROSS: And what impact did that have on you? Did you like that? Did you feel honored by the attention?

FLINN: No, I hated the attention. It was very frustrating because I tried to blend in. I tried to be one of the guys. But you really can't blend in when you've got the Air Force sticking you out there, saying: "look, this is a woman flying the B-52." And then when I'm walking around, having camera crews following me everywhere, or I'm walking around and I have colonels following me everywhere, and none of the men do.

It's tough to blend in. It makes you even more lonely and more isolated than you really are.

GROSS: How did you become the first woman to fly a B-52?

FLINN: It was by luck. At the end of pilot training, what happens is the Air Force has, say, 20 available airplanes to choose from and there are 20 students. And you pick based on your ranking at the end of pilot training. And I was in the middle of my class and that was the available combat aircraft that I wanted. So, that's what I picked.

GROSS: Were there ways that you thought the Air Force wasn't really prepared for women?

FLINN: I think that the military in general wasn't really prepared for women. And the fact that the way they handled it -- you -- you -- I can see how it's difficult, because a lot of women have different views on how to handle their job, and just as we have different opinions on how to get equality.

I think there's a point now that the military has to stop looking at women as just people who are the opposite sex and who get involved in sexual relationships with members in the military. They need to start looking at women as an asset; as people who can do the job as other professionals.

GROSS: There are some ways -- just really practical ways -- that you thought it was difficult for a woman. And I'm talking about, for instance, the uniforms that women wore. Were those uniforms sized for men?

FLINN: The one that -- the uniforms that we wore as cadets, the first thing I noticed was during basic training I was issued a very huge, large pair of underwear. That -- they were huge. They went pretty much all the way up to my chest and we had to shove them in these really short shorts. So in that area, they definitely weren't sized to fit women.

But there are other areas, too. The uniforms were not very flattering. If you gained even a quarter of an inch on your waist, everybody knew about it and everybody talked about it. The uniforms that are still issued today, I can tell you -- I still have about six or seven pair of long underwear -- no one makes long underwear for flying that I was issued. It's all men's long underwear. And that's all they issue women now is men's long underwear.

I think it's time that they can probably start to focus on the women and realize that we wear women's long underwear too. And my flight gloves never fit, so yeah.

GROSS: I don't know if you feel like going into this or not, but there seemed to be no facility for dealing with a woman having to relieve herself when flying a B-52.

FLINN: It's pretty funny. That was one of the issues that was highly discussed in the questions that people wanted to know was how I went to the bathroom on the B-52. And they did some modification. They tried to build these curtains around it, and it didn't work out. So, I made a special modification and bought something out of a flying magazine.

But no, they weren't really prepared. But women had been flying on B-52s for a while; there were women crew chiefs who went for rides on B-52s before. So, it's a fact of life and I think men in the military have to accept that women are here to stay.

GROSS: What's it like to fly a B-52?

FLINN: Oh, it's one of the most wonderful experiences. The B-52 is unlike any other plane that's out there. It's aerodynamically different. It's very huge and it's lumbering, but it's extremely graceful. And you have to anticipate its moves so much, because it's like a big huge ball of inertia that's out there -- that you're trying to control.

GROSS: What about flying in formation? What does that feel like and what did you like about that?

FLINN: Well, flying in formation is different for each aircraft. And flying in formation in the training planes, the smaller planes, is one of the most exciting experiences I've ever done. Flying in a T-38, which is a small sleek jet-like aircraft -- we'd fly approximately three feet from our buddy off their wing and we're going about, I don't know, 400 to 500 miles per hour through the sky. And it's a rush.

It takes a lot of concentration, though, and it takes a lot of effort, but once you get it, it's one of the most graceful things I think that's ever done.

GROSS: What impact to you think your case is going to have on the future of women in the Air Force? Any ideas?

FLINN: Well, I'd like to think that my case isn't just gonna impact women. I hope that it's going to impact men in the military too. I'd like to think that I'm going to be a catalyst for change, especially in regards to the judicial system and the consensual sex rules. And that the military will find some type of reform and create a better and stronger environment for the people who are working in it.

GROSS: Kelly Flinn. Her new memoir is called Proud To Be. We'll hear from Brigadier General William Moorman in the second half of the show.

I'm Terry Gross and this is FRESH AIR.

Dateline: Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest: Kelly Flinn
High: Lieutenant Kelly Flinn was the first woman to pilot a B-52 bomber. Flinn was forced to resign from the Air Force this spring on charges of "disobeying orders" when a military investigation discovered she lied about a relationship she had with a married man. Flinn has written a book about the incident and her experiences dealing with sexism and hypocrisy in the Air Force, titled "Proud to Be: My Life, the Air Force, the Controversy."
Spec: Women; Military; Air Force; Kelly Flinn
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Proud to Be
Show: FRESH AIR
Date: NOVEMBER 25, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 112502NP.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: Why She Resigned
Sect: News; Domestic
Time: 12:35

TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

In our interview with Kelly Flinn, she posed the question: why should the military criminalize relations between consenting adults? Flinn was forced to resign from the Air Force after having a relationship with a man married to an enlisted woman and lying about it to her commander.

We called Brigadier General William Moorman, staff judge advocate for Air Force Command, and asked him Flinn's question: why should the military criminalize sexual relations between consenting adults?

BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM A. MOORMAN, STAFF JUDGE ADVOCATE, AIR FORCE COMMAND: Well, let me say this. The Air Force or the military in general is not primarily interested in intimate relations between consenting adults.

The real issue in the Lieutenant Flinn case had to do with impact on good order and discipline. And the military is always interested in any kind of activity that has an adverse impact on good order and discipline.

GROSS: Are you talking about good order and discipline because of her responses to questions when she wasn't being honest? Or...

MOORMAN: Now, there's -- no -- let me clarify. The conduct in which she engaged -- both fraternization and adultery with the husband of an enlisted military member -- had a direct impact on good order and discipline.

With regard to fraternization, we have long recognized that unprofessional relationships between officers and enlisted persons can cause a breakdown of the team efforts that we need to have in order to have a well-functioning military.

With regard to the adultery, in this particular case, where the other party's spouse is a very junior military person, Lieutenant Flinn's conduct had a direct impact on that individual and on that individual's unit and on the morale and discipline of a substantial number of people at Minot Air Force Base.

GROSS: So what are the general principles that underlie the military's regulations?

MOORMAN: Well, there are really two.

GROSS: Mm-hmm.

MOORMAN: First of all, with regard to fraternization, our concern there is that our enlisted force has a right to believe that the officers who are appointed over them make decisions based on the best interests of the military unit involved, and not based on their own personal preferences; not based on friendships or other unprofessional relationships that they may form with the enlisted cadre for whom they're responsible.

And therefore, we have an interest and have had such an interest for the two hundred years-plus that the American military has existed, in not fostering unprofessional relationships between officers and enlisted persons.

With regard to adultery, adultery comes under our Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And that article specifies that the offenses listed there are not crimes, unless they have an impact on good order and discipline, or bring discredit on the services. And that kind of discredit is not simply someone's moral judgment. It's something that you can demonstrate in terms of an impact on the unit.

In this particular case, the adultery involved here was with the husband of a junior military person. That junior military person found out about it; found it necessary to go to her chain of command; involve her chain of command in trying to solve the problem. And then ultimately, of course, had to complain to the wing commander at Minot in order to try and get some relief from Lieutenant Flinn's activities.

GROSS: How would you interpret the moral of the Kelly Flinn story?

MOORMAN: I think if you wanted to capture it in a nutshell, what you would say is that the Kelly Flinn story is an unfortunate example of an officer who was good at her specialty -- in this case being a pilot -- but failed in her responsibilities to also act as an officer, and to set standards that officers are expected to set.

GROSS: Is there anything you think that the Air Force would have done differently if given the chance to do it again?

MOORMAN: In this particular case, I think not. The course of conduct that the Air Force followed was really set by Lieutenant Flinn's course of conduct. Had she not lied under oath; had she not willfully violated the written order of her commander -- we may have had a different disposition in this case.

But given the fact that first she committed the offenses of fraternization and then adultery; the fact that she was warned that she should stop and in fact agreed to do so at one time; the fact that she was advised of her rights to not say anything, and yet gave detailed written statements under oath that contained lies; and then when the entire matter was brought to the attention of her senior commander, by Airman Zeigo, she was given a written order which she chose to disregard. And I am told she disregarded it even though her own attorneys advised her that she should comply with it.

Under those circumstances, it would be very difficult for me to see that this case could have been otherwise disposed of.

GROSS: She says that, you know, the order to stop seeing Zeigo (ph) would have been impossible to fulfill because he was already living at her house and the order also said that she couldn't communicate to him through a third party or leave a message on his answering machine. So unless she never went home again, that would have been impossible-to-enforce order.

MOORMAN: Well, of course the commanders involved had no idea that she was living with him -- with Mr. Zeigo at the time that they gave her this written order.

GROSS: Although she says surveillance was done on her house and they knew about that.

MOORMAN: Well, and...

GROSS: This is what -- I don't know -- but...

MOORMAN: Sure.

GROSS: This is what she says and what she writes in her new book.

MOORMAN: Well, I think in that regard her book is in error. The commanders did not know that she was living with Mr. Zeigo when they gave her the order. And it would have been an easy thing for her at that point to go to her attorney and tell her attorney that she wanted Mr. Zeigo out of the house. So there were ample opportunities for her to break off this relationship after she got the written order.

GROSS: Kelly Flinn says that she knows, you know, she made mistakes here, but that she doesn't think criminal prosecution was the appropriate way to go. What would your response to that be?

MOORMAN: I think that if we focus on the real offenses here -- the offenses that made this case proceed in the manner that it did -- and those offense are overwhelmingly the offenses of lying under oath and failing to obey the orders of her superior officers. Those two offenses run so contrary to her oath as an Air Force Officer that there was simply no opportunity to dispose of these charges in any other forum.

Now, with regard to that, I should say that in every case where a court martial is pending, the officer involved has an opportunity to offer to resign in lieu of court martial. And of course, that's what was done in this case and the secretary exercised her prerogatives in approving that discharge.

GROSS: General Moorman, I want to thank you very much for talking with us.

MOORMAN: Well, you're welcome.

GROSS: Brigadier General William Moorman is Staff Judge Advocate for Air Force Command.

Coming up, Rwanda's judicial system trying to deal with the after effects of genocide.

This is FRESH AIR.

Dateline: Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest: William A. Moorman
High: Brigadier General William A. Moorman is Staff Judge Advocate for the Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. He talks about why Lt. Flinn was forced to resign and states the Air Forces policy concerning sexual conduct.
Spec: Women; Air Force; Military; Kelly Flinn; Courts
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Why She Resigned
Show: FRESH AIR
Date: NOVEMBER 25, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 112503NP.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: Rwanda's Legal
Sect: News; International
Time: 12:45

TERRY GROSS, HOST: One of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda was the country's legal system. Now as the legal system tries to rebuild itself, it's faced with over 100,000 people who've been arrested for participating in the genocide and are now awaiting trial.

My guests, Major Peter Sennett and Captain John Marley, are working as legal advisers to Rwanda's justice system through a project of the Naval Justice Academy. They were last in Rwanda in August. Sennett and Marley are in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and both work in private legal practices.

When we invited them for an interview, they made it clear they were speaking for themselves, not as representatives of the U.S. military. I asked them what the odds are that 100,000 people will actually come to trial.

CAPTAIN PETER SENNETT, LEGAL ADVISER, RWANDA'S JUSTICE SYSTEM: Well, the numbers that you'll see in most of the reports are that at the current rate they're going, we're talking anywhere from 300 to 400 years in order to process all these cases. So, the current thinking is that somewhere down the line, this is going to break off and they are going to pursue an amnesty panel similar to South Africa's Reconciliation Commission.

In all likelihood, they're going to narrow this down to prosecuting the worst offenders that they can identify and then as the country continues to stabilize, they will make a move to pursue some kind of amnesty panel that will alleviate the remaining individuals being held for participation in the massacre.

CAPTAIN JOHN MARLEY, LEGAL ADVISER, RWANDA'S JUSTICE SYSTEM: But Terry, that's not without tremendous controversy, though, within the country. I mean, the Rwandan people themselves are not exactly pleased with what the international tribunals have been doing, the pace at which those have been going, and how few people have been brought to justice. The trials are taking outside of the country, and a lot of Rwandese citizens don't feel as though justice is being done to the victims of the massacre.

And when people talk about letting people out of the jails and to relieve some of the crowding, of being more selective in the prosecution, there are many people who are very upset -- Rwandese citizens, not just people in the government -- who are upset at the idea of letting people go who were involved in massacres because you can't try all these people.

GROSS: Captain Marley, what are some of the basics you're trying to teach to people in the justice system in Rwanda now?

MARLEY: Well, Terry, we've worked with both military and civilian prosecutors in Rwanda and I think any good prosecution starts with a good investigation and explaining that not only to the criminal investigators, but to the prosecutors as well. For a long time, unfortunately, I think a lot of the criminal investigations began and ended with a confession.

And of course, any good prosecutor/investigator here in the United States would tell you that you need more than just a confession. You need corroboration. You need physical evidence -- and sort of emphasizing that a confession's not a bad thing to have, but you need corroboration. You need other evidence, and having them understand that as a foundation for the prosecution.

From there, taking them into opening statements -- a theory of your case -- what's your case about; of building a case; what are the elements of the crime and then obviously using witnesses, demonstrative evidence. The use of demonstrative evidence -- charts and diagrams in court -- for example, where a genocide took place -- is sort of a -- sort of new to a lot of the prosecutors there.

GROSS: What reaction do you get from prosecutors in Rwanda when you say: "a confession isn't enough"?

MARLEY: Well, they smile at you and they want to know why. I mean, a confession is, in one way, sort of the strongest proof of guilt. But you explain to them that people can and will recant from a confession; that very often human rights organizations will accuse the government of extracting a confession improperly from someone and it just is not as strong as evidence as it seems. And it needs to be corroborated if you want the trials to be fair.

GROSS: Are you also having to teach people in Rwanda that you can't beat a confession out of somebody? You can't coerce a confession?

MARLEY: Oh, they're -- they're actually, I think, understand that pretty well. At one point during our discussion, we were getting into the distinctions between tricking someone into confessing. For example, telling them that we have evidence against them which we really don't have, and actually coercing someone against their will.

And they actually stopped me halfway through the class and said: "excuse me, Captain Marley, but that's not correct. You should never trick someone into confessing. A confession has to be of their own free will."

And they proceeded to lecture me about what the proper standard was and were not willing to make such a fine distinction as U.S. law makes about perhaps deception, to get a confession. So I think they have a pretty good idea of what their responsibilities are.

GROSS: Where were they getting that standard from that it's inappropriate to trick a confession out of someone?

MARLEY: Well, actually I think they came up -- they had recently received some training from an organization out of Belgium called "Avocates Sans Frontiers" (ph).

GROSS: Lawyers Without Borders.

MARLEY: Right, which had recent given them some training in the criminal justice area. And there are some systems of justice in Europe and other places that don't make a distinction between getting a confession through trickery and coercion, whereas the U.S. criminal justice system makes a distinction legally between a confession which may -- you may have tricked someone into making, but is still not a coerced confession -- and is admissible in court.

GROSS: What about teaching the basics of forensics? Is that going to be useful in the genocide trial?

MARLEY: They're very interested in forensics and I don't know if it's because they were following the OJ trial over in Rwanda, but they have a great appreciation for and a great yearning to do more in the way of forensic evidence, whether it's blood analysis, DNA, fingerprint technology.

Unfortunately, the state of affairs of forensic evidence in Rwanda -- it's really back maybe about 50 or 60 years from where we are today. And that was one of the things that we tried, in our training, to get them back to sort of a basics of forensics. I mean, you may not have DNA, but there are shell-casings you can examine; a simple fingerprint analysis; hair and fiber, you may not be able to do with the degree of precision that we do in labs here in the United States, but you can make a persuasive argument from some very basic forensics.

GROSS: I imagine a lot of the evidence against the people accused of genocide will be eyewitness accounts from people who were survivors, and from people who watched and survived during the genocide. Are these people coming forward?

SENNETT: No, unfortunately, and that's exactly correct -- almost exclusively, the evidence is coming from eyewitness testimony. And unfortunately in light of the fear of retribution from individuals who have not been caught or are not in jail, the potential witnesses are very reluctant to cooperate and those who have, are very reluctant to give enough information that would lead to a successful prosecution. And there is quite a bit of documentation that you can find in the press of individuals disappearing or being attacked in light of the fact that they have spoken with investigators.

And that actually has been part of the training that not only we have engaged in, but others as well, about how to go about taking a statement and how to go about obtaining information from potential witnesses without waving a big red flag that says you're from the prosecution team and you're talking to this individual and that individual in a particular village because that, in effect, makes them a target.

GROSS: So how would you recommend going about it?

SENNETT: Oh, in a much more low-key manner, of course, that you're not taking the vehicle that's stamped, you know, "UN Office of Investigations" or something like that and driving right into the middle of the village and parking in front of the individual's house and walking in. And sometimes, the investigators travel with military personnel as well if they anticipate taking someone into custody.

Rather that, of course, you would try to establish a neutral meeting point or try to encounter an individual out on the street, rather than going directly to their house or going to their place of work where there are going to be witnesses to this interaction between that individual and the investigator.

GROSS: Mm-hmm. Have either of you been to the mass graves in Rwanda?

MARLEY: Yes, Terry, we have. We went to a school building outside of the town of Gikengoro (ph) where a massacre -- some people estimate over 25,000 people were killed there, of men, women and children. They've disinterred about 9,000 or 10,000 people and they're setting this school up into a national holocaust museum.

We went there back in September of '96 when they were still disinterring bodies, and the sight is almost indescribable of 8,000 or 9,000 women and children having recently been disinterred. It was a really awful sight.

GROSS: When do you go back to Rwanda and what's the next step for you there?

SENNETT: Oh, we're hoping to return sometime this spring. That'll be contingent on funding of the program. And the next step that we're going to take there is actually still up in the air to some extent, because it hinges largely on the progress that they're making and the issues that they confront that are most topical for them.

So, what we actually get into will depend largely on what kind of feedback we get through our counterparts in the justice system there and through personnel at the embassy.

GROSS: Captain Marley, any final words?

MARLEY: I'm optimistic. The people that we work with there -- they have a keen sense of justice and for them that doesn't necessarily mean getting convictions on everybody or making everyone pay who they think was involved in the genocide. There have been acquittals. They do have a keen sense of justice and what's right and wrong. They want to do the right thing.

There could have been an awful massacre in this country when the RPF took the country back and stopped the genocide. All those people who are now herded in prisons could have been themselves been massacred.

And the fact that, although they are in some pretty horrible conditions, the fact that the country is trying to try these people and bring these people to justice tells you a lot about the Rwandese sense of justice and, I think, the fact that they're committed to reconciliation in the country and bringing the country back together again.

GROSS: Captain Marley, Captain Sennett -- thank you both very much for talking with us.

MARLEY: Thank you very much.

SENNETT: Thanks, Terry.

MARLEY: Appreciate it.

GROSS: Captain John Marley and Major Peter Sennett are working as legal advisers to Rwanda's justice system through a project of the Naval Justice Academy.

Coming up, a new CD by country singer Shania Twain.

This is FRESH AIR.

Dateline: Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest: John Marley; Peter Sennett
High: Captain John Marley, instructor for international human rights training in Rwanda and Cambodia, and Marine Captain Peter Sennett, who first visited Rwanda in 1995 and now trains prosecutors and criminal investigators working for social justice. Both are working with prosecutors handling genocide cases in Rwanda.
Spec: Africa; Rwanda; Human Rights; Genocide; Military; Tribunals
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Rwandan Tribunals
Show: FRESH AIR
Date: NOVEMBER 25, 1997
Time: 12:00
Tran: 112504NP.217
Type: FEATURE
Head: Come on Over
Sect: Entertainment
Time: 12:55

TERRY GROSS, HOST: Country singer Shania Twain's 1995 album "The Woman in Me" sold more than 10 million copies -- an amazing number for a genre dominated by men and in a general sales decline.

That record pushed Twain to the forefront of country music. Now only Garth Brooks and LeeAnn Rhimes (ph) are as popular. Twain's new album called "Come On Over" has just been released and rock critic Ken Tucker has the review.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "COME ON OVER")

SHANIA TWAIN, SINGER, SINGING: I don't need a shrink
To tell me what to think
There ain't no missing link
In my love life. It's all right
I ain't that uptight

No, I don't need a psychic...

KEN TUCKER, FRESH AIR COMMENTATOR: Whenever I talk about country music here, I spend my time promoting the hard-core stuff -- old-fashioned country with a sharp twang and plaintive pedal-steel guitar. As a reactionary in this area, I'm obliged to think that the vast majority of what is marketed as country music is little better than watered-down rock and roll.

Yet I find myself liking the new Shania Twain CD a lot. This despite the fact that her stuff is the very definition of '90s country music -- tidy and crisp, featuring melodies and instrumentations that would not at all be out of place on a middle of the road rock record.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "COME ON OVER")

TWAIN SINGING: Life was doing great
I was gonna have to wait
Was in no hurry
Had no worries

Stayin' single was the plan
Didn't need a steady man
I had it covered
'Til I discovered

That love gets me every time
My heart strings unbind
And I gol' darn gone and done it
Gone and done it

TUCKER: Shania Twain has won me, and more importantly millions of more casual listeners, over on the strength of music making so adroitly calculated that it inspires not contempt but admiration. Her album is generous by industry standards -- over an hour of music where your usual country CD clocks in at about half of that.

The 16 -- count 'em -- 16 songs on Come On Over were all co-written by Twain and her husband, who also happens to be her producer, Robert Mutt Lang. Lang built his reputation in the '70s and '80s, producing irresistible hits for heavy metal boys like AC/DC and Def Leppard.

Now, Lang applies his talent to peppery post-feminist songs like this silly thing called "Man, I Feel Like A Woman."

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "MAN, I FEEL LIKE A WOMAN")

TWAIN SINGING: I'm going out tonight
I'm feeling all right
Gonna let it all hang out
Want to make some noise
Really raise my voice
Yeah, I want to scream and shout

No inhibitions
Make no conditions
Get a little out of line
Ain't gonna act politically correct
I only want to have a good time

The best thing about being a woman
Is (unintelligible)
Oh, oh, oh, they're totally crazy
Give him a lady
(Unintelligible) short skirts
Oh, oh, oh, really go wild
Doing it in style
Oh, oh, oh, give him the action
Give the attraction
Cover my head do it again
Oh, oh, oh, I want to be free
Yeah, feel the way I feel
Man -- I feel like a woman

TUCKER: As a producer, Mutt Lang's method is to push Twain's voice way forward in the mix to achieve a startling intimacy, and to articulate the melody via a hard rock lead guitar line. There are times when he and Twain abandon the pretense that they're making country music at all, as on this song called "When."

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, "WHEN")

TWAIN SINGING: If elephants could fly
I'd be a little more optimistic
But I don't see that happening
Any time soon
I don't mean to sound so pessimistic
But I don't think that cow really jumped over the moon

When will I wake up
Why did we break up?
When will we make up?

When money grows on trees
People live in peace
Everyone agrees

When happiness is free
Love can guarantee
You'll come back to me
That's when

Yeah.

TUCKER: Now, that sounds more like a good "Blondie" single from 20 years ago, or the best new song Celine Dion (ph) will never record. What Shania Twain and Mutt Lang are doing is crafting some of the catchiest music around.

Twain makes the most of a rather thin voice of limited range by singing in a conversational tone. That's a standard pop song strategy, of course, but Twain is really good at it. In fact, she's really good at pulling off clever variations on all sorts of standard pop culture strategies.

In her videos and album packaging, she plays up her curvy figure with a humorous self-aware manner that keeps her from becoming the Pamela Lee of country. But in other ways, she's withheld herself from her public. Unlike every other country singer in history, she never toured to promote that 10 million-selling album. By waiting to tour until sometime next year, she's built up a tremendous amount of interest.

Like everything else that Twain and her husband/collaborator do, it's shrewd in a way that transcends cynicism to attain the promise of pleasure. Right now, Shania Twain is turning the middle-of-the-road into the most intriguing place a country singer can be.

GROSS: Ken Tucker is critic-at-large for Entertainment Weekly. He reviewed Shania Twain's CD Come On Over.

Dateline: Ken Tucker; Terry Gross, Philadelphia
Guest:
High: Music Critic Ken Tucker reviews Shania Twain's newest CD Come On Over.
Spec: Music Industry; Shania Twain; Come on Over
Please note, this is not the final feed of record
Copy: Content and programming copyright 1997 WHYY, Inc. All rights reserved. Transcribed by FDCH, Inc. under license from WHYY, Inc. Formatting copyright 1997 FDCH, Inc. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WHYY, Inc. This transcript may not be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission.
End-Story: Come on Over
Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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