... a bitter series of clashes between a top Navy spokesman and a Miami Herald military reporter reached a new, eye-opening level this week.
In a letter to the paper's editor, Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon accused Carol Rosenberg of "multiple incidents of abusive and degrading comments of an explicitly sexual nature." Gordon, who deals primarily with the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison, said in the letter that this was a "formal sexual harassment complaint" and asked the Herald for a "thorough investigation."
"Her behavior has been so atrocious over the years," Gordon said in an interview. "I've been abused worse than the detainees have been abused."
Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal said Friday that "obviously we're trying to sort this out. We're not going to talk about a personnel matter like this until we figure out what it's all about." Rosenberg, who declined to comment Friday, is described by other journalists as a seasoned reporter who pushes hard for access and answers.
-- While watching Sept. 11, 2001, co-defendant Mustafa al-Hawsawi seated on a pillow in court last year, Rosenberg told Gordon: "Have you ever had a red hot poker shoved up your [butt]? Have you ever had a broomstick shoved up your [butt]? . . . How would you know how it feels if it never happened to you? Admit it, you liked it."
-- When Gordon emerged from a shower facility in shorts and a towel last year, Rosenberg said to him and more than a dozen journalists and soldiers nearby: "Seeing him topless in tent city was the most repulsive sight I've ever seen in my life. I wanted to vomit."
-- After dealing with a Gordon intern whom she described as "your little chick with the hot pants," Rosenberg told Gordon, earlier this month, in the presence of others: "I know you're hot for your interns and bring them down as your 'companions,' but seriously, if I'm going to do their work anyway, what purpose do they serve? (Carol knows my intern last year was a male, therefore another inference that I was gay.)"
In addition, the letter alleged, Rosenberg "routinely labeled my colleagues in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Justice Department, as well as her peers in the press, as 'bitches,' 'stupid,' 'lazy,' 'incompetent,' 'Nazis,' 'Saddam Hussein-like,' etc."