Saxby Chambliss Apologizes for Staffer’s Threatening Anti-Gay Slur

CHAMBLISS: “Joe, I don’t know if you’re Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, but none of that should matter. Because what was said on your blog by someone from my office is just not acceptable, no matter who is saying it and who it’s being said to. I just want to offer my sincerest apologies. There has been some talk about how long it’s taking to find the person behind this, but we just wanted to be very careful and handed this off to the Senate Sergeant at Arms, because this is going to seriously impact somebody’s life and we wanted to make sure we got this right. So again, I just wanted to call you and personally apologize.”

Joe.My.God: “Thank you, Senator. I do appreciate the call and I do accept your apology on the condition that your office issues a public statement repeating what you’ve just said to me. I’d also like the disposition of your staffer’s job status to be made public.”

CHAMBLISS: (Speaking to someone in his office: “Has that gone out yet?) “Joe, I believe our statement is ready and will be going out this afternoon.”

It’s here. The computer used to post the hateful slur was located in Chambliss’s Washington, D.C. office (JMG readers had initially tracked it down to Atlanta). The AJC’s Jim Galloway is picking up that the staffer was not fired, but “removed,” because he (the commenter called himself “Jimmy”) is a military liaison assigned by the Pentagon:

A staffer under Chambliss’ direct employ would have been fired. A staffer under another entity’s supervision would be reassigned. Or removed.

Chambliss’ office did not confirm. Andrew Sullivan observes:

Weirdly, the sergeant at arms also did not call the comment “bigoted” or “hateful” but merely “ignorant free speech.” And the identity of the staffer remains a mystery. So this is not over. If the staffer was a Pentagon employee, does the Pentagon still employ him? Could he be reassigned to another Senator? And why is his identity being kept secret?

Remember, the Internet may not know that you’re a dog. But your IP address makes it easy to find where you are.

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