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SeveneightyWhoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:54 PM
Original message
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Endangers Us All
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Endangers Us All

October 23 2006

Last month the Bush administration announced that Marine Corps Individual Ready Reservists are being recalled to duty. This is due to a shortage of soldiers who are willing to serve additional tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are similar shortages in the Army and the National Guard. Yet the Armed Forces saw an 11 percent increase last year in the number of soldiers who were discharged simply because they were gay. Perhaps never since the inception of Dont Ask, Dont Tell has there been a more glaring reason to abandon this misguided military policy.

According to newly released Pentagon figures a total of 742 service members were discharged last year for being gay. Thats an increase over the 668 soldiers discharged under the policy in 2004. Since 1993, when the policy was implemented, approximately 11,000 military personnel have been discharged for being gay. Theres little doubt that this has served only to weaken our Armed Forces, and endanger our national security interests.

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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 11:07 AM
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1. yeah, well that leaves more of us alive then
raising gay babies in our gay marriages.


we didn't make the rules - don't blame us. :P
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Everyone should be concerned about this policy.
This policy is a REAL DANGER to our gay, or percieved to be gay, troops. They have NO REAL RECOURSE when harassed and some have died due to that lack of protection. The monetary cost is also absurd. I've done a lot of work with Soulforce and this is just a tiny bit of the info available on why it needs to be repealed. I have plenty more off-line.
DADT Does Not Fulfill its Promises to the Soldiers who Serve in Silence.

There is a lack of protection for gay soldiers because harassment cannot be openly discussed. Reporting a verbal or physical threat that involves references to sexual orientation can spark an investigation that leads to discharge. And the threats are real. The Pentagon's own research confirms gay servicemembers' reports of hostility. In March 2000, the Department of Defense released the results of a random survey of 71,570 active-duty solidiers. The survey found:

- Eighty percent of respondents stated that they had heard offensive speech, derogatory names, jokes, or remarks about gay men and lesbians during the previous year, and 85 percent believed such comments were tolerated to some extent.

- Thirty-seven percent reported that they had witnessed or experienced an incident that they considered anti-gay harassment.

Instead of creating a loophole for gay, lesbian and bisexual service, Don't Ask, Don't Tell has actually made discharges for homosexuality increase. During most of the 1990s, dismissals far exceeded the annual rates of gay-related discharges that existed prior to DADT's implementation. In 2001 alone, a record 1,256 were discharged, a figure nearly double the homosexual separation rate of 730 in 1992, the last year before DADT. Thus far, more than 11,000 servicemembers have been dismissed under the policy according to the General Accounting Office for the military.
The Rationale for Don't Ask, Don't Tell has no Basis in Truth

The chief reason given for imposing silence on gay soldiers is the idea that openly gay and lesbian servicemembers would undermine military readiness, unit cohesion and morale. This theory has been debunked. The British, Canadian, German, Australian, Israeli militaries and others have allowed for openly gay soldiers to enlist, and it happened without fanfare or damage to their capacity.

American soldiers have been serving with openly gay soldiers for years. They work with coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they work closely with openly gay security workers within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Security Agency (NSA).
DADT Also Betrays Those Who Oppose Openly Gay Service

Don't Ask, Don't Tell comes at a great cost to the American taxpayers. A 2006 Blue Ribbon Commission Report sponsored by the University of California estimated the figure to be at least $363 million.

Among the 11,000+ servicemembers discharged under DADT were more than 800 personnel with skills critical to national security. According to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report, those dismissed include at least 55 Arabic speakers, 9 Farsi speakers, and over 244 doctors, nurses, and medical specialists.

Over 65,000 LGBT soldiers are serving today, according to a report from the Urban Institute. The institute also reports that there are 1 million LGBT veterans in the U.S. today. That is a lot of people who answered the call to duty and made unconscionable sacrifices beyond those of their heterosexial peers in the armed forces.

Nationwide polls have consistently shown that 79% of the American public supports lifting the ban on open military service. Indeed, it appears that the problem is not so much active opposition to open service as is political inertia that resists change and a lack of passion about this issue.
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. the unpleasant fact here that we're not willing to face
Edited on Wed Oct-25-06 09:35 AM by sui generis
is that they would cut off their dicks to spite their face if they thought it would do something to keep gays out of the military.

The unpleasant fact is that they really, truly, genuinely, don't care. Sorry, tried sardonic levity before, but this is the down side of that.

As liberals and progressives we believe that people care, or should care. The brutal reality is that we will NEVER win by playing the conscience card. They really don't care. It would be like asking Romans to give up slaves - it is ingrained into their psyches that slaves are chattel, that gays are inferior, such that they would rather not be able to translate Arabic and Farsi or defuse the bomb their fat ass is sitting on rather than risk taking an open public shower with an openly gay person.

I am little different. If they want to kill themselves, then fine. I'll even hold the other end of the rope if they like and jerk it tight. We aren't going to survive by being nice.

The other BRUTAL FACT that we don't understand is that it's not about "the rest of America", it's about the servicemen themselves, recruited right out of highschool with little exposure to the real world and little chance to modify their stereotypes. THOSE guys are the ones that hate the idea that we might be staring at their flabby pasty pimply asses in the shower with helpless lust, when in truth most of them are the very last piece of ass on the planet most of us would want to get near without disinfecting. And the other truth is that everyone peeks at everyone's dick in the shower; it's an alpha monkey thing, not a gay thing, and verifiably straight men are 100% guilty just like any other monkey. Keeping gays out of showers isn't going to change that at all.

No, what it's going to take is an openly gay man posthumously losing his purple heart for being gay, or saving a platoon by tossing himself on a landmine, or doing some other Jerry Bruckheimer hollywood heroics to give all the "other American" hero worshippers a hardon (except the scriptwriters: oh and let's make him not gay, and let's make his hot boyfriend a hot chick, etc.,).

Yes I'm sick of it; that's the bitterness you hear. Our friends, our gay friends are serving in Iraq while we tend their house. My SO is a former Navy Lt. Cdr who served on the Enterprise. Our entire community here is full of soldiers, sailors, pilots, marines and veterans of every stripe and gender and America won't wake its socially retarded ass up. We're already IN the military. Everywhere.

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