Day 3, Volume 1
First witness: Patrick Hunnius, testifying regarding authentication of
the tweet by Admiral McMullen.
MR. WOODS - Plaintiff atty (LCR).
MR. GARDNER - Defense atty (US).
We apparently begin the day with Defense describing why Admiral
Mullen's tweet can not be admitted into evidence due to the fact
Admiral Mullen is not a witness in the case and cannot testify as to
it's authenticity. Patrick Hunnius received the tweet, hence his
unscheduled appearance here.
Admiral Mullen's tweet read as follows:
"Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the
right thing to do. Comes down to integrity."
right thing to do. Comes down to integrity."
MR. WOODS: First of all, this issue, of course, came up only yesterday
when the Government refused to stipulate to the authenticity of
Admiral Mullen's tweet. It is our belief, Your Honor, and Mr. Hunnius
will confirm this, that that objection based on lack of authenticity
and foundation is a shockingly outrageous position by the
Government. There is no doubt that this is an authentic tweet from
Admiral Mullen. This is obstructionist tactics to the Nth
degree. Mr. Hunnius will testify -- Please don't stare at me, counsel.
THE COURT: Your comments are going to be directed
to the Court. In fact, you may be seated until Mr. Woods is
completed. And then, if necessary, I will hear from you
MR. WOODS: Mr. Hunnius will testify, Your Honor,
that he received this tweet from Admiral Mullen's website or
from Admiral Mullen's Twitter account which happens to be
linked to the Joint Chiefs of Staff website and also linked
to the Department of Defense website.
When we realized that, Your Honor, we notified the
Government last evening that we would be calling Mr. Hunnius
so that they could not this morning claim they were
surprised. We offered last night, again, the opportunity for
the Government to avoid this testimony and this issue by
stipulating to the --
THE COURT: Please slow down.
MR. WOODS: Sorry. I'm a little upset.
MR. WOODS: We offered the Government the opportunity to stipulate to
the authenticity of Exhibit 330 so that Mr. Hunnius' testimony and
this Court's time would not be necessary this morning on this
issue. We did not receive a response.
So, Your Honor, I'd like to present Mr. Hunnius to testify for the
further foundation that apparently the Government insists on providing
for a tweet made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of
Thus begins an amazing argument from the defense trying to prevent
Adm. Mullen's 'tweet' from being admitted into evidence. Remarkable
The 'tweet' is finally admitted into evidence.
Next witness, no timestamps in this transcript.
Q. MS. MYERS. Plaintiff atty (LRC)
A. = THE WITNESS: Joseph Christopher Rocha,
[ I had heard of Mr. Rocha's story before in various blogs -
paraphrased. To read it in his own testimony though was quite the
eye-opener. So, here I will provide some introduction and then
snippets of his experiences.
Q. Were you a member of the United States Armed Forces?
Q. Which branch were you a member of?
A. The Navy.
Q. How long did you serve in the Navy?
A. Approximately three and a half years.
Q. When did you enlist in the Navy?
A. On my birthday, the 27th of April of 2004.
Q. Why did you apply to the Naval Academy?
A. I wanted to a be a Marine Corps officer and the Naval
Academy commissions both.
Q. And why did you want to be a Marine Corps officer?
A. My family has a history of Marine Corps service, and
9/11 had happened during when I was deciding what I wanted to
do with my life, and military service and a military career
is what I had decided.
Q. What was it about 9/11 that made you decide to focus on
a military career?
A. Prior to 9/11 I had gone through several stages of what I wanted to
do with my life. I came from a background of violence and abuse, and I
wanted to find a way that I could help people. So I went through a
phase of wanting to be, say, a police officer or a
firefighter. Ultimately, I decided that in public service I could help
the most amount of people. Then 9/11 happened and I realized -- I had
a change of mind. To me I thought that military service and national
security were more important.
Q. Were you admitted to the Naval Academy at that time?
Q. And was that why you enlisted?
Q. When you entered boot camp, how long did you plan to stay in the military?
A. At least 20 years
Q. Once you arrived at the Naval Support Activity base, did
you express any interest in any other units?
A. Yes. The first thing I did was to find the on duty
K-9 handler and approach him and ask how I could go about
trying to become a handler.
Q. And why were you interested in becoming a handler?
A. It was the most interesting way to specialize in my job,
and I felt that explosive detection, second to EOD, was
probably the most important job that existed at that time
considering -- considering that most of our service members
were dying by IED and not by gunfire.
Q. Did you have to do anything else to qualify as kennel
A. I had to take a written exam. And then once I passed my
interview with Petty Officer Valdivia, I had to do an oral
exam with Chief Toussaint. And then I had to present myself
to the kennel and the kennel would have a vote as to whether
they felt that I should be part of their community.
Q. And who was Chief Petty Officer Toussaint?
A. Chief Petty Officer Toussaint was the kennel master.
Q. And who was Chief Petty Officer Toussaint's direct
A. To my knowledge, it was Lieutenant McPherson, the
regional security officer.
Q. In your experience, is it uncommon for a chief petty
officer to be supervised by a regional commander?
A. To my understanding, there was an entire chain of
command that was missing between the chief of our unit and a
regional officer who oversaw the entire region, yes.
Q. And did you meet and pass the oral exam at that time
with Chief Petty Officer Toussaint?
Q. Did you meet the other qualifications in order to
qualify for kennel support?
Q. Once you officially became a kennel support member, what
was your goal for the next step in your career?
A. My immediate goal was to earn dog school.
Q. And can you explain what dog school is?
A. The proper term is Military Working Dog School and that
is where we are trained to be able to -- well, to be able to
be either an explosive detection handler, a narcotics
detection handler, and a patrol handler.
Q. At this time did you also have a larger goal in mind?
A. Yes. I continued to aspire to be accepted to the United
States Naval Academy, and I put in an application that year
Q. And at the time you joined the dog handling unit as a
kennel support member, did you also participate in other
activities with the Marines on the base outside of the dog
Q. Can you explain what those activities were?
A. I first started working individually with Marines
working out, training with them, and then by gaining their
respect and by them learning who I was and what my intentions
were, which was hopefully to get to the Naval Academy, and more so to become a Marine Corps officer, I was then -- I
began to train in more formal settings with them, combat
training, earning their own requirements with permission of
their chain in command, their martial arts qualifications,
their combat, swimming qualifications, and being allowed to
go out into the desert and train with them.
Q. And you did this because you thought it would help your
admission to the Naval Academy?
A. I did it out of pure interest; I really enjoyed those
things. And I also did it because I did think that it would
look good on my application, and I also wanted to be in top
physical condition if I were to be accepted to the Academy.
Q. Were the other members of the dog handling unit in top
Q. Once you became a kennel support member, did you
experience any harassment from other members of the dog
Q. Can you please describe how the harassment began?
A. I was instructed that I would have to earn my place
amongst that community, that I would have to -- I guess
that's the best way of describing it. And harassment started
with being forced to sing and dance for Toussaint on video
camera. It went on to being ordered to report to the kennel and then being hosed down in full uniform in the middle of
the day by three different hoses.
Q. Would you describe being hosed in the middle of the day
in your uniform as hazing?
Q. What is hazing?
A. I think that hazing is being given an order that is
unlawful in a fashion to either punish you or humiliate you.
Q. Does the Navy policy permit hazing?
Q. Did you report the hazing incident of being hosed down
to Chief Petty Officer Toussaint?
Q. Why not?
A. He was there.
Q. Were there other incidents that you would describe as
Q. Can you please give me an example?
A. For my birthday Chief Toussaint called me into his
office and asked me why I hadn't told him it was my birthday.
I'm not quite sure what my response was, but he then ordered
that I bend over one of the desks in his office and he then
called in every handler that was available to, what he said,
give me their best until he was satisfied.
Q. What do you mean by give them your best?
A. Hit me as hard as they could 19 times. And these were
grown men in their mid-30s.
Q. How did that incident make you feel?
A. Well, considering that it was ordered by my chief, it
made me feel helpless and it kind of established that
whatever Toussaint wanted was going to happen.
Q. Did the nature of the hazing begin to change after these
first few incidents?
Q. In what way?
A. By this time after April it started to become common to
speak of me as being gay. And I found out that Chief
Toussaint was telling the handlers that I was gay, so it
wasn't just in the bottom ranks or within my own peers, but
it was coming from the top. And the hazing began to focus on
the idea that I was gay.
Q. Do you know how the idea that you were gay became spread
through the unit?
A. It was awfully simple. There was a culture of drinking, smoking,
gambling, and soliciting prostitution, and at that age I did none of
those. I was asked if I -- it got to the point where I was asked if I
would sleep with a hooker if they bought it for me that same evening,
and I said no. And that led to the absurdly simple question of, are
you a faggot. And I refused to answer. And I think that was enough for
them. That gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Q. Did you know at that time that you were a homosexual?
Q. Did you know when you enlisted in the military -- I'm
sorry, in the Navy that you were homosexual?
Q. Why did you enlist in the Navy knowing about "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" and knowing that you were homosexual?
A. I had only just discovered that I was gay and I had no
intentions of having a relationship any time soon. And my
desire to serve was far more important to me than my being
gay. And more so, I really did think that the policy would
protect me, and I thought that it was as simple as if I never
told anyone I was gay I could be as successful in my career
as any other service member.
Q. So back to the base in Bahrain, what did you do when you
were accused of being homosexual by the members of the other
dog handling unit?
A. I simply refused to answer them.
Q. Why did you refuse to answer?
A. I had too much honor to say that I was straight and I wasn't, and I
knew that it was against the law to say that I was.
After describing other various incidents of harassment
Q. Did you report this incident to anyone?
Q. Why not?
A. Because this specific incident were first and second
classes. They were the senior handlers in the kennel. And I
knew at this point that not only had Toussaint set the
example but that Toussaint knew what his senior handlers were
Q. Tell me about the worst hazing you experienced relating
to your sexual orientation.
A. The worst hazing I experienced was during the training
scenario at the Department of Defense Dependent School.
Q. And why were you going to the Department of Defense
A. During the summer the Department of Defense Dependent School was a
prime location to train the dogs because of the environments, the many
rooms, and the many different scenarios that we could build there.
Q. What do you mean -- when you say different scenarios
what do you mean? What was a typical training exercise for
the dogs there?
A. A typical training exercise would be that there was, say, a bomb
threat. And the handler would be given a general location and the
handler would then be examined as he performed as though it were real
life. Other scenarios, we would also have to train the dog not only in
detection but also in patrol. So say a scenario would be created where
there was domestic violence in a room that had been reported or maybe
reports of insurgents in the building.
Q. How many dogs did you bring to the training site that
A. I would estimate that there was at least a dozen dogs.
Any dog that was available would have been there.
Q. What happened next?
A. I entered the building with Chief Toussaint and with
another kennel support, Seaman Martinez. And Chief Toussaint
would be the person who would decide what the scenario would
And this day he decided that the scenario would be of me pretending to
perform oral sex on Seaman Martinez. And he instructed how he wanted
it to happen. He had us pull a sofa over and away from the door. He
instructed Seaman Martinez to sit down facing away from the door, to
spread his legs.
He instructed me to get on my knees and position myself in front of
Seaman Martinez's crotch. And as each handler came through, I was
instructed to pretend to perform oral sex on this service member. I
was coached each time as to how to be more gay and more queer.
I was ordered to add hand gestures suggesting wiping semen off of my
And when the handlers came in, I was instructed to jump up and be
queenie and pretend as though we were having a lover's quarrel and
just -- I mean, he coached this to great detail.
Q. How did this incident of harassment make you feel?
A. I don't know that I've ever quite recovered from that. It was
dehumanizing. I felt like an animal. And I simply could not understand
why it was happening.
Q. Did you report this incident?
Q. Why not?
A. At this point I was approximately one month from earning
dog school, and at this point I had gone through so much
harassment and so much hazing and so much abuse that I had to
have something to prove that it was all worth it. And dog
school was that something. I had to get something out of
Plaintiff wants to introduce a performance review of the witness into the record. Defense objects. After some back and forth, the performance review is admitted as evidence.
Q. Can you please turn to the second page. And whose
signature is on this report?
A. Petty Officer Valdivia.
Q. Are there any other signatures on this report?
A. Yes, Chief Toussaint.
Q. Can you please read the comments on performance section
for the Court?
A. Master-At-Arms Seaman Rocha is a dedicated, extremely
reliable performer who approaches every task with enthusiasm.
Highly motivated. Achieved JQR Level 1 qualifications in
less than 30 days. Volunteered 25 off-duty hours at the
kennel learning the basic knowledge, procedures, and
importance of kennel support duties. His interest and
initiative in the MWD program led to his being hand-selected
for the position as kennel support. Demonstrated
professional initiative while off duty by completing six
college credit units, and is currently enrolled in six
college credit units at Grantham University. Mission
oriented. Meticulously maintained all vital military working
Q. Mr. Rocha.
A. Yes, ma'am.
Q. Can you just read a little bit more slowly, please.
A. I'm very sorry.
Meticulously maintained all vital MWD probably
cause, training and archive folders to maintain 100 percent
proficiency. Dependable and reliable. Responsible for maintaining the
health and welfare of 20 military working dogs stationed at NSA
Bahrain, in addition to transcient MWD's. Ensures the MWD food and
stool charts are accurate and maintains proper medications for each
MWD. Assisted 12 MWD teams with training, vehicle and water craft
inspections, and perimeter patrols, while ensuring the safety of NSA
personnel and visiting ships. Master-At-Arms Seaman Rocha is a proven
performer. He is highly recommended for advancement.
Okay, his story does not stop here (it gets worse), but I run the
risk of completely cut/pasting the entire transcript here. Read it
yourself - Of course, I strongly encourage it.
Court is adjourned for recess. The next post (and respective volume of
testimony) takes place afterwards, with this same witness continuing