According to the Associated Press, Marine Corps Master Sgt. Brian Papakie had to explain himself today in court when he was asked if a comment he made about Breanna Manning’s panties was intended to be anti-gay;
Papakie testified on cross-examination about a memo he wrote after the brig commander ordered Manning stripped of his underwear each night starting March 2, 2011. Manning stood naked at attention for a prisoner count the next morning, causing a stir that prompted Papakie to write an email to ensure it didn’t happen again.
“Make sure he is not standing at attention naked for evening count right before taps. You should be taking his panties right before he lays down,” Papakie wrote.
Under questioning by defense attorney David Coombs, Papakie said he uses the word interchangeably with “skivvies” and “underwear” when discussing men’s undershorts.
“I’ve always used the phrase, `Don’t get my panties in a bunch,’ which is what I tell the staff all the time,” he said.
Papakie acknowledged that he knew Manning was gay but said he didn’t consider the word “panties” homophobic. He conceded that it was not professional to use the term in a memo.
But the master sergeant had good reason to refer to Manning’s drawers as panties, it seems.
[Marine Corps Master Sgt. Craig] Blenis referred to a letter Manning had signed “Breanna Manning,” an alias he had used on occasion. The defense revealed at a hearing last year that Manning had written to a supervisor in Baghdad before his arrest, saying he suffered from gender-identity disorder. He included a picture of himself dressed as a woman and talked about how it was affecting his ability to do his job and think clearly.
So, why does the defense have their panties in a bunch?