A different Timothy McVeigh from the Oklahoma City bomber was briefly in the limelight in 1997/1998. This man was a member of the United States Navy and held the position of "Command Senior Chief, or Chief of the Boat and the senior enlisted person on board the USS Chicago" when a civilian, working with the Navy to organize a Christmas present delivery, looked at McVeigh's AOL account profile and noted that he used the word "gay" under the "marital status" listing. The civilian told the Navy, who called up America Online to confirm the identity of the account's owner. America Online has a policy of not releasing this information without a subpoena, but their phone staff released the information to a Navy investigator in violation of that policy. The investigation may have violated the federal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on homosexual members of the military and the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

In January 1998, Judge Stanley Sporkin ruled that the Navy could not throw McVeigh out; the Navy originally appealed this case, but in June McVeigh and the Navy reached a settlement where McVeigh would retire from the Navy in August 1998 and the Navy would pay his $90,000 in legal fees.

Sources: Articles at http://news.cnet.com/news/0,10000,0-1005-200-325481,00.html and McVeigh's web page: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/9241/