Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What is the purpose of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"

It isn't to keep gays out of the military. It expressly states that they can serve as long as they lie about who they are. (Lies of omission are lies nonetheless.) The Raw Story | Officers supporting anti-gay policy are 'lemmings': ex-Army Sec.
President Jimmy Carter's former Secretary of the Army, Clifford Alexander, issued a stinging rebuke Thursday of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy when he called it a form of bigotry and an overall "inconsistent, foolish policy."

Alexander told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell that the policy, which prohibits gays in the military from being open about their sexuality, was "a little bit like having a bowl of bigotry surrounded by a curtain of silk. It takes the basic integrity of a person and says 'you must forget it.' It turns people into liars."
What about all of those dinosaurs retired generals afraid of the repeal of DADT?
Brandon Friedman of the liberal veterans’ organization, VoteVets, writes (by way of The Washington Independent,) “The fact that 1,000 long-retired generals are frightened of gay people is not the modern military’s problem. Their antiquated homophobia is theirs and theirs alone…With two wars raging, as long as you can shoot straight–or speak Arabic or Pashto–it’s shouldn’t matter whether or not you are straight.”
But then Americans have never been big about ending institutionalized bigotry. It has usually been the courts (inter-racial marriage, Jim Crow Laws, etc.) that have ended those travesties, or a President (abolition, integration of the military) acting.

Someone will no doubt bring up the bogeyman of unit cohesion. Look at what was said about the risks of integrating the services after WWII. Lots of dire predictions about unit cohesion from the bigots then, too. Never mind the experience of Canada, Australia, or Israel - nothing much happened when gays were allowed to serve openly. Those examples just don't apply to the US. For some reason. Known only to the bigots.

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