Yes, No, Maybe So

April 2, 2010 at 9:07 am 25 comments

By Brian Leubitz

There is a little confusion in the military right now surrounding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell enforcement. By “little confusion”, I mean don’t bet your career on this stuff, because it just might come back to get you:

The secretary of the U.S. Army publicly corrected himself on Thursday about his assertion that there was a moratorium on discharging gays from the military, saying he had been mistaken.

John McHugh, the Army’s top civilian, added he was unable to pursue disciplinary action against the three soldiers who he revealed on Wednesday had admitted to him that they were gay, in an apparent violation of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

“I am unable to identify these soldiers and I am not in a position to formally pursue the matter,” McHugh, a former Republican congressman, said in a statement. (Reuters)

Which three soldiers you ask? Well, thsee three soldiers came out to McHugh himself in what they had considered “confidential” discussions. Turns out, DADT allows no such exceptions for confidential discussions.

For purposes of the study, McHugh, it seems, advised personnel that they could, at their option, confidentially disclose their sexual orientation during the interviews. He specifically committed to not disciplining troops who revealed their sexuality during interviews.So, what’s the problem? DADT, in its current iteration and still being enforced, allows no exception for such “confidential” disclosure. The result: active duty personnel who participate in the interview process and “confidentially” disclose being gay or lesbian are not protected from discharge proceedings. That includes three service members who made such “confidential” disclosures to McHugh himself. (Moderate Voice)

So, what’s McHugh doing? Pretending that he can’t remember who these three soldiers are and plugging cotton in his ears.  Frankly, it’s complete and total crap that McHugh can’t remember who the soldiers are. If he wanted to get that information, he certainly could, he’s the Secretary of the Army. Yet, instead we hang on to these useful fictions to make the best of an untenable situation.

There is no other answer than ending DADT with a swift kick, and saying that discrimination has no place in our military.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Then They Came Iowa…One Year Later

25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronnie  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:10 am

    “There is no other answer than ending DADT with a swift kick in the butt, and saying that discrimination has no place in our military.”

    I concur……<3….Ronnie

    Reply
    • 2. Mark  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:12 am

      Discrimination has no place…anywhere!

      Reply
      • 3. Ronnie  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:15 am

        True…<3…Ronnie

        Reply
  • 4. Richard Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 2, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Exactly! We need to end DADT NOW, not ten years from now, not two years from now, not one year from now, but NOW! And those bigots who cannot deal with it, and who refuse to even attempt to be truly professional in their job performance in the military can do as Admiral Mullen said–vote with their feet.

    Reply
  • 5. Richard W. Fitch  |  April 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

    DADT —> DOMA —> ENDA toppled in one fell swoop hopefully. When DADT is trashed, there will be little way to ‘defend’ ‘Defense of Marriage’ for military personnel; once that goes ENDA should be right in line to fall into place as well.

    Reply
  • 6. Ronnie  |  April 2, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Sooo….Happy Gay Friday…..Gay means Happy….Happy is Good….Its Good Friday…..Good requires Love…..”This is Love”…….real life Gay Christian Couple Jason & deMarco….<3…Ronnie:

    Reply
  • 7. Sean  |  April 2, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Perhaps I am being naive, but shouldn’t we be somewhat supportive of McHugh in this specific case? Sure, he was stupid to ask these soldiers to come out in the first place and he supports enforcing a policy that is blatantly discriminatory, but at least he’s protecting these three soldiers by pretending to not remember who they are.

    Again, not stating I like the man especially…but I applaud his decision to keep these three from being kicked out of the army.

    Reply
    • 8. JonT  |  April 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      I agree sean. Perhaps at the time, he thought he could protect their honesty. I for one am glad that he ‘forgot who they were’.

      Reply
    • 9. Matt  |  April 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      I’m going to agree, too. It seems like McHugh was being a half-decent guy by “not remembering” the three soldiers. He could have been a dick and started all sorts of controversy and drama, but instead he chose to let things be and not complicate the lives of these soldiers.

      Reply
  • 10. Kathleen  |  April 2, 2010 at 11:50 am

    In the article Brian links to above, it says, “One option the Pentagon is considering is hiring a private, third-party firm to survey troops, a move that might allow officials to draw input from homosexual personnel without exposing them to the risk of discharge.”

    I’m sure that the article I read yesterday said the Pentagon was definitely going to hire a third-party firm to do the interviewing. Frankly, I don’t see how else they can get honest input from gay service personnel while the military continues to enforce DADT.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve seen inconsistent reports on DADT, how it’s currently being enforced, and how the military is going about its “study.” I think the reason for this is the military isn’t giving out a clear, consistent message about what it’s doing and what it expects from its leaders. Further evidence of this are the inappropriate publice statements that some of the high-ranking individuals have made.

    I think all of this reflects badly on leadership and, frankly, doesn’t inspire confidence in this process, or in military leadership, at all.

    By the way, Mixon, the three star Army general who called for the letter writing campaign by opponents of lifting the ban, won’t be receiving a formal reprimand:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033101101.html

    Reply
  • 11. Bill  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I thought the policy at one point was, “don’t ask; don’t tell; don’t pursue.” Maybe, until it is repealed, “don’t persue” should be taken for all it is worth (which is what McHugh seems to be doing in this case). In other words, if some member of the military makes an off-the-cuff remark about his boyfriend, maybe the powers that be should simply not pursue it and not assume any sexual activity was implied. Then to get kicked out, you’d pretty much have to act like the character in Bruno – something so over the top that no one could ignore it without everyone watching cracking up.

    Kind of like the film Ninotchka, in which three (communist) Russians show up in Paris and are looking for a hotel room. The only one open in the fancy hotel they had walked into was “The Royal Suite”. They talk about it (they had some jewels that they were supposed to sell to protect and the Royal Suite had a safe) and one says, “We could take three smaller rooms and keep the jewels in the hotel’s safe. It’s just a thought.” Then another says, “Who said we have to think?”

    Reply
  • 12. dieter  |  April 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    All 66,000 gay military members just need to stop what they are doing..stand up and say I’m gay..then walk out. Leave those macho straight boys shakin in their pansy boots…..

    66,000 less people watching your back, means a lot more straight boys coming home in body bags.

    but Let’s see how they really feel….
    How brave are these bigots?

    would they rather die, or be grown ups and deal with the fact that gay people are already there…showering, sleeping and YES fighting with them.

    Reply
    • 13. Ed-M  |  April 3, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      Dieter, I’m with you. I’m getting to think this country is not worth fighting for anymore. In the age of Peak Oil, when things get really tough people will seek to scapegoat certain minority groups and the hateros could have a field day! Certainly the country will be a different country than what it is today. So if DADT is not repealed (and that’s the way to bet), all 66,000 LGBTIQQ servicemembers should all declare themselves and demand to be let out of military service straightaway! Maybe that’ll bring people to their senses.

      Reply
      • 14. Ronnie  |  April 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm

        Or better yet, Ed-M, those 66,000 soldiers can turn on them…..like i said what is the government going to do when 66,000 soldiers, plus the over 3 million LGBTQQIA people in America stop being peaceful?……the Hateros really don’t get it….but they will…..I just hope they don’t figure that out too late…yeah?……<3….Ronnie

        Reply
  • 15. bJason  |  April 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I am having a hard time – given all the back-and-forth in the news lately – believing that anyone “at the top” has ANY plan/desire to repeal DADT, ever! Not to mention furthering our rights in any other way!

    We are being guided through these months to elections by a carrot on a stick. Same as always. I never thought I’d say that Democrats are worse that Repugs – but I am starting to feel that. At least with the Repugs we know where we stand.

    I’m tired of chasing a carrot. “Show me the money!!” Because I am through showing you mine until you do!!!

    Reply
  • 16. bJason  |  April 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    To the Democrats: If you want me to stand up for you – DAMMIT, STAND UP FOR ME!!!

    Reply
  • 17. JimiG  |  April 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=109296795757332

    Lt. Dan Choi is an infantry officer in the United States Army who has served in Iraq. He has become an LGBT rights activist following his coming out on the The Rachel Maddow Show in March 2009 and is in the process of being dishonorably discharged because of his orientation.

    He is now publicly decrying America’s Don’t Ask, Don’t (DADT) Tell policy, which forbids lesbian, bisexual and gay service members from serving openly. He’s been a part of many state and national panels addressing issues affecting the LGBT community and has quickly become a nationally recognized speaker.

    He will be on campus to address his time under the DADT policy and the inequities that LGBT citizens currently face in our country.

    Pre-Reception at 4 PM! Sign ups start on Monday in the Office of Student Life. Space is Limited

    A Post-reception will follow

    Reply
    • 19. Straight Ally #3008  |  April 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

      Excellent!

      Cue the Religious Right screaming about the looming gaypocalypse in 3…2…1….

      Reply
      • 20. dieter  |  April 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

        LOL…well they are trying desperately still to try and explain why after 5 years of gay marriage in massachussetts…not only did the sky not fall, but the divorce rate went significantly down, and that state has one of the best economies in the land..lol…OOOOPS!

        Reply
  • 21. dieter  |  April 2, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    “Three shark in attacks in Florida, million of sharks in the ocean, and no one will go in the water. Hundreds and thousands of children raped in churches and people still send their kids to church. It’s crazy. You should be sending your kids to gay bars. There they will be be safe.” – Dan Savage, speaking on his latest podcast.

    Reply
  • 22. Chamisaguy  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    US Army General Paul Eaton (retired) has spoken out that discrimination based on sexuality is not appropriate in our society. Another military leader speaks on our behalf. His son is also a 3rd generation West Point man, too. This guy sounds erudite and open!

    Now if we could keep the politicos and the active duty military leaders truly thinking and acting this way, repeal of DADT could be accomplished.

    Reply
  • 23. Chamisaguy  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    here’s the URL — it should have appeared in my first post:

    Reply
    • 24. Kathleen  |  April 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm

      EXACTLY!!!

      Reply
  • 25. Richard Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  April 2, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    And if I remember correctly, General Eaton also had an open letter in the Washington Post a few years ago calling for the repeal of DADT partly because of how many of our best and brightest we were already losing due to this discriminatory policy. It is long past time that we see the end of this policy, and also a complete dismantling of the McCarthy-era UCMJ articles against being LGBTQQI. Anything less than full equality in our military is unacceptable.

    Reply

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