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DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part IV: A Winning Argument?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 12:30 am - February 27, 2006.
Filed under: Gays In Military

Blogger’s Note:
Thanks for indulging me once again. This is Part IV in a 6-Part piece on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the US Military’s policy barring openly homosexual servicemembers. See here for Part I, Part II, and Part III.

We’ve discussed previously why some arguments for repealing the ban on open homosexuals in the US Armed Forces have fallen so far on deaf ears (see previous posts). So how can we get the policy changed? I’ve argued we need to frame the debate in such a way that those who are dedicated to the mission of the military will sit up and take notice. Which is to say, how can we show that the policy of actively barring open homosexuals from serving puts the military’s mission in jeopardy?

I have a couple ideas:

First of all, there’s no such thing anymore as compelled service. I don’t just mean the draft, of course. I also mean that anybody currently serving can walk into his commander’s office, declare his homosexuality (whether it’s true or not), and if the commander is convinced his troop is telling the truth, he gets to stroll out, ditch his commitment, and nary a sly word is spoken. This argument needs further development, but the idea is there to present a position about how wantonly allowing people out of their commitments to the military is definitely harmful to the mission. We’d also need some strong numbers.

Another, much more formidable argument comes from seeds of thought planted by Grandpa Patrick, who commented on an earlier post, and it goes like this (please have patience with me, I’ve tried to set this up in a logical fashion):

National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because the current policy unnecessarily and unreasonably puts Classified Intelligence at risk. Here’s why:

The current policy, (10 USC 654), does not disallow homosexuals from service. Rather, it states that acts of homosexuality are grounds for discharge. These “acts” have been defined and simply put, you can’t say you’re gay (or bi), nor have sex with another dude (or with another female if that’s you). But you can do all sorts of other things, like going to gay bars, hanging out with other gay folks, participate (in civilian clothes, of course) in Pride parades, subscribe to gay publications, have tons of gay porn even. Basically, the only things you can’t do are have gay sex or say you’re gay.

What’s even more curious (and more the point of this post), is that since they Don’t Ask anymore you can have been gay all your life before you enlisted. You can have engaged in all sorts of gay sex and even have self-identified openly as being gay and they’d never know because they’d never have inquired and you’d never been compelled to divulge.

On a tangent is the topic of security clearances. On August 2, 1995, President Clinton signed Executive Order 12968. Section 3.1.c-d states that “[n]o inference concerning the standards in this section [that of granting a clearance] may be raised solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the employee.” This means they can deny you a clearance if you’re some sort of sickie pedophile, but not just because you’re gay.

Security clearances are given on the basis of, among other things, the likelihood of the subject’s being the target of blackmail. The idea being that we don’t want to trust National Security secrets to someone who is likely to be blackmailed for the information: “Comrade, tell us what you know or we’ll expose you to your commander, wife, friends, business associates, etc.”

Where the two policies (DADT, and security clearances) collide is in the practice. A servicemember can be living by the rules (not telling anybody, and not engaging in sex), but still be at risk for blackmail.

Here’s a scenario to illustrate the point: While in college, Bob figures out he’s gay, comes out, and engages in numerous consensual sexual acts with other, of-age, guys. After college he decides to join the Army, which doesn’t inquire about his sexual past (Don’t Ask), and he doesn’t divulge (Don’t Tell). Bob further decides that four years of celibacy is worth the pride he’ll feel by serving his Country. So he makes himself a pledge that he’ll refrain from any homosexual activities and won’t tell anybody he’s gay during the term of his enlistment. Bob has chosen to follow the rules explicitly. The MOS he gets carries with it a Top Secret security clearance, and in the course of his investigation, Bob continues to follow the rules by being frank about his past (he’s also aware that, according to policy (see slide 13), security clearance investigators are barred from sharing any of the information–including about homosexuality–with Bob’s chain of command, or anybody else for that matter). He’s granted the clearance and proceeds with life and his service. Down the road, a foreign agent looks into his past and uses it as blackmail knowing that its exposure would end Bob’s military career. Choose your own ending to this story, because as a servicemember dedicated to the defense of my Nation, from my perspective the damage has already been done: Whether Bob caves to the spy or not (in my mind’s scenario he doesn’t), Classified National Security information has been put at risk.

See, when someone is granted a security clearance, he has gone through the ringer with investigators inquiring as to what about him may put him at such risk. Having gone through this ringer, he lives with the fair presumption that if he lives by the rules, he’ll be good.

DADT (and more specifically the barring of openly gay servicemembers) destroys that fair presumption. One can be following the rules and not in breach of any of his obligations and still be at risk of blackmail. What’s worse, he’s at risk expressly because of the policy, not because he’s broken any rules. Which is to say, were it not for the policy, Bob (who’s dedicated to following the rules) would not be at risk of blackmail whatsoever (presuming of course, he’s not breaking any other rules).

Keep in mind, from the military perspective, I’m not concerned about Bob so much as I am about the secrets with which he’s been trusted. This is what military leaders will hear: Not that Bob’s been put on the spot or that he’s being unfairly targeted, yadda, yadda…But that national security information is at risk even though the person charged with keeping it secure has followed all the rules. Here the rules, not the servicemember, have created an untenable situation of putting National Security at risk. Q.E.D.

The beauty of this proposition, from my perspective, is that any servicemember can hang out at the O’Club or the E’Club and make this argument without “looking like a fag” (depending, I suppose, on what he’s chosen for a drink, ha ha) or being “some sorta fag-lover“. Also, even a gay soldier or officer can discuss this with his peers unemotionally, because the argument itself is based solely on national security, and not platitudes about individual servicemembers and their “rights”. Oh, plus, it’s based on facts.

Commanders ask not for problems, but solutions. In that spirit, coming in the penultimate post in this series, we’ll discuss how we could implement a new policy, some of the problems we might face with integration, and what the new service might look like if openly gay individuals were allowed to serve.

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40 Comments

  1. Well, here goes nothing. Here’s my argument…

    I spent six years (84 – 90) as an Army Field Artillery Officer with a Pershing II Missile Battery in W. Germany. I was gay before my commission, during my service, and remain so to this day. HOWEVER (and maybe it’s because I was billeted in the BOC), who I was sexually attracted to and with whom I expressed that sexuality was nobody’s business but my own. Of course, officers have never been permitted to fraternize with enlisted personnel, and personal relationships within the officer corps are generally frowned upon. Needless to say, any sexual liasions I had were quite discreet and occured off-base, but NOT because I happened to like boys. Rather, as an officer, it was incumbent upon me to remain aloof, and keep my personal life strictly compartmentalized. It wasn’t ever a matter of keeping my homosexuality a secret – it was a principle of effective military leadership. Period. In fact, since Nick’s lecture series commenced, I’ve been trying to recall any instance where a fellow officer, straight or gay, wore his sexuality on his sleeve. I couldn’t, because it never happened.

    Furthermore, I would submit that while sexual activity among the enlisted personnel undoubtedly occured, under no circumstances were they permitted to treat the barracks like a college dorm room (ie, putting a coat hanger on the door to notify roommates that someone was in there “gettin’ busy”). Again, it probably happened, but when this behavior was discovered, Article 15′s were routinely handed down.

    To date, neither side of this debate has seriously addressed the human sexuality factor inherent in this policy. Our biology being what it is, are we wrong as a society to segregate males & females in terms of restrooms, locker rooms, showers, et al? I know there are a number of people out there who would gladly reverse those practices, but I doubt that will ever actually happen. Guys, be they gay or straight, are overtly visual. You put my college wrestling team in the shower with the female gymnastics team, and I think it’s fair to assume what will happen. Except for me, of course, as I would have been busy stealing glances at the 185-pounders.

    Now I’m not saying that repeal of DADT would result in the wholesale objectifying of all male hetero soldiers – far from it. Rather, I quote my younger brother, presently stationed at Ft. Stewart, awaiting a second deployment to Iraq:

    “I personally have NO problem serving alongside a guy who may or may not be gay. I could care less WHO he sleeps with. But, if I get a guy in my platoon who all the other guys KNOWS is gay, I can’t say as I’d be able to argue with the resentment the straight guys would feel over not being able to live or shower with the females.”

    I’m sorry, but I believe my brother has a valid point. If hetero soldiers are not permitted the level of familiarity with opposite-sex servicemembers (aka: Those They Are Sexually Attracted To), why is the gay soldier granted such permission? It’s ludicrous, I know; there will always be gay people serving in the military, regardless of whether or not they’re permitted to have it be common knowledge that the tank gunner showering next to us has a ROCKIN’ ASS. However, in my many talks with my brother and father (a Navy vet), their shared opinion seems to be that DADT is as good as it may ever be allowed to get, insofar as gay servicemembers are presently, albeit most quietly, allowed their own quasi-co-ed experience. In other words, while the status quo is most likely ridiculously unfair, to level the playing field for homosexuals (the minority) would be steam-shoveling it for the heteros (unquestionably the majority). And I’m sorry, folks, but force-feeding our values to the military isn’t going to work. On the contrary, we’ve seen how polarizing the more liberal side of our community can be when it feels overly self-righteous.

    Consequently, as a reasonably intelligent gay man, and an honorably discharged Army Officer, I see no valid and/or compelling reason to repeal DADT.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — February 27, 2006 @ 3:09 am - February 27, 2006

  2. Consequently, as a reasonably intelligent gay man, and an honorably discharged Army Officer, I see no valid and/or compelling reason to repeal DADT.

    I’m a hetero ally. and you are right. There is no way to stage a sit-in or any other form of protest against DADT, or it’s predecessor of archane rules (that were at least honest) DADT is the niche that removes criminality for homosexuals to serve, and it may take a while, but I don’t think as long as some believe, but somewhere down the line, hetero’s like me will recognize the value of gays in the service, and we will speak out about it. I once saw a video of MLK attending a Black Panther meeting and he said “There will be no equality, until we treat whites as equal” MLK was shouted out the room. and I think during that same vid flic that MLK started to formulate his content of character portion of the speach.

    If Gays INSIST! DEMAND! and FIGHT! their bretheren within the services, no good will come of it. It is best to recruit sympathetic hetero’s who will stand up and say “I’d prefer this gay than any of you politicians!” or (and this is an exact quote to a MSgt while waiting in line for the gas chamber) “Give me a fag in my fighting hole over a female,” I know, looks sexist, but, a homosexual man is more likely to be able do the job than a woman, and women are considered 100% equal, why not gay men?

    Comment by wickedpinto — February 27, 2006 @ 4:40 am - February 27, 2006

  3. Eric I don’t know that I totally buy your argument though.

    We don’t segregate hetero and homoseuxals in other situations-there isn’t a homosexual/heterosexuals only shower room at the gym or similar places.

    I think as long as harrassing behaviors are dealt with through the UCMJ, not much really changes.

    I think just about every fear/concern regarding openly gay men and women serving in the military can be addressed through the UCMJ.

    I do think the issue of creating a security risk is a real one though, and it is a risk that is created more by policy than the actual behavior of the military person.

    And I also admit I am bothered by the “easy out” of a military contract declaring homosexuality can provide. I don’t know how much it affects military mission, since I would assume those seeking to get out through this method (either homosexual or heteros seeking a way out) probably aren’t too dedicated to their units or their mission.

    Comment by just me — February 27, 2006 @ 7:51 am - February 27, 2006

  4. I’d like to thank you for this series. It’s thoughtful and reasoned.

    Let me let all you’ve said percolate before I respond to the gist.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 27, 2006 @ 9:20 am - February 27, 2006

  5. Eric: First, thanks again for your service. And also to your brother and father for theirs.
    I have often considered your argument re: hetero/homo access, if you will. It is a tricky one and I think it’s important for those who wish a change in the policy to be serious about its implications and not so flippantly pass off the concerns of heterosexual soldiers (“They need to get over it.”). The implementation of a change in the policy would be a trick and I’m hoping to at least start a dialog on that with my next post. What are your thoughts about the security clearance argument? I’d be curious to hear your opinion.

    wickedpinto: Thanks also to you for your service. And I couldn’t agree more about women. Anybody who argues against the ban and brings women up as a talking-point should have to explain the rationale behind allowing them to serve under a different set of standards.

    justme: I shouldn’t go so far as to label it an “easy out” and I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. A soldier is compelled to prove his homosexuality to a commander in order to get this out. No problem for someone who is gay (it’s an “easy out” for him), but a little more complicated for someone faking gay to get out. Either way, though, you’re correct that it is a loophole that allows people to duck out of their commitment.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 27, 2006 @ 9:50 am - February 27, 2006

  6. I call it an easy out, mostly because it is a way to get out of the contract without having to fulfill it. The proccess isn’t easy-the proccess of getting out for any reason other than fulfillment of the contract itself isn’t easy. My husband was discharged medically, and that was a few months shy of a year in paperwork, medical boards and waiting.

    Comment by Just Me — February 27, 2006 @ 10:16 am - February 27, 2006

  7. [...] Colorado Patriot has posted his fourth installment of his discussion on DADT, wherein he answers his central question: National Security will be enhanced through a stronger Armed Forces and America will be safer by allowing openly homosexual members to serve because…. the current policy unnecessarily and unreasonably puts Classified Intelligence at risk. [...]

    Pingback by Gay Orbit » DADT and the Theban Band (2)™ — February 27, 2006 @ 10:21 am - February 27, 2006

  8. Some things take time. The younger generation trends strongly libertarian on this & gay marriage. But gay activists pushed the envelope too hard on gay marriage, demanding their ‘rights’, & now blame ‘homophobia’ on the backlash they themselves engendered. The result is gay marriage is a dead issue.

    I’m former USAF homo, & I think if Clinton had lifted the ban when he said he would, the issue would be a non-issue now. The threat to codify the ban in constitutional law was a bluff, because the Pentagon has to have backup plans for an emergency draft, & a Constitutional ban on gay servicemen would really cause them headaches, because they couldn’t play the current game of picking & choosing when to discharge.

    However, Clinton didn’t lift it, & that moment was lost. No President will lift it now for a very long time. And courts generally accede to the UCMJ, which is probably best.

    Comment by beautifulatrocities — February 27, 2006 @ 10:45 am - February 27, 2006

  9. Let me add to my comment in #6 (I went off to do some other things, and realized I probably missed what you were getting at completely).

    The aspect of proving yourself gay, as well as any emotional stress that may come with that isn’t easy. Being gay and proving it is easier than faking gay to get out of the contract (I admit I am not familiar with what is required for this proof, but you can probably enlighten me). But the proccess is going to be hard both in what is required, and because unlike other discharges (being overweight, pregnancy for women, medical) this type of discharge also comes with a social stigma attached that may make it more difficult outside of the paperwork/proof requirements.

    Comment by just me — February 27, 2006 @ 10:55 am - February 27, 2006

  10. Nick, no disrespect intended, but those are the BIG reasons for repeal? If those are the best ones in your assessment, I think the policy will remain in force for a long time to come.

    I don’t think either of those two reasons are compelling for the military brass as a basis of repeal. Hell, even a softer, kinder, gentler Democrat majority Congress wouldn’t buy into those as compelling. They aren’t even good cover for a decision based on political expediency.

    When the Arab language specialists started getting axed, my military friends and college buddies said “Good, get em out; train someone else. Let the women do it.” Ugh. It sure as hell wasn’t anything of regret at the loss of skills or added DOD budgetary costs.

    My take: An institution like the military, with it’s traditions of honor, conduct, loyalty, service would be more vulnerable on DADTDP repeal because it undermines those traditions in substantial ways… not because of national security issues or a way to cut down on loopholes for getting out. Did MASH’s Klinger not teach us anything?

    The simple truth is we still have to prove that gay men and women can serve honorably, effectively, and without giving rise to a sense of predation by the majority of service members pumping 200+% testosterone in their veins. That said, I think Eric’s got the nut of the issue in his hand, so to speak.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 27, 2006 @ 11:26 am - February 27, 2006


  11. Grandpa Gryphmon??!!

    Thank you, thats the funniest thing I’ve read online this year. lol. Now if only some of those around here would respect their elders. Hah!

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — February 27, 2006 @ 12:05 pm - February 27, 2006

  12. Tangential question – DADT is usually debated using an analogy with racial integration of the forces in the fifties, which was only real and complete in the mid 80′s. Religious diversity and the problems with it may be a closer analogy, especially for those who insist that homosexuality is volitional. Well, if it is, then this problem resembles freedom of religion issues. This is my question: Why is it that certain straight servicemembers, certainly not all, find it impossible to serve with gay members, why is this handled any differently than in cases where there are members of religious minorities? Is it because we are just so morally relativist in America when it comes to religion that we think anything goes, write tolerance into the Constitution and case law, and boogie on? In other words, custom and pragmatism overrule principle and there turns out to be no problem? What would happen if some soldier went into his commander and said he needed to get rid of So-and-so bin Thus and such, or some Mormon soldier or whatever? Who would the commnader be looking to get rid of?

    We have seen numerous comments in these threads that insist that this that ot the other straight soldier couldn’t care less about the proclivities or personal lives of their fellow soldiers, and it has to stay personal, not concealed, to be acceptable. Here the analogy with religion is especially apt, as that recent nonsense at the Air Force Academy shows.

    I know why this is, that reluctance to serve with gay soldiers is considered worthy of consideration, while reluctance to serve with Jews or Mormons or Muslims or Southern Baptists, for that matter, is not given the time of day. I know why this is – habit – I just don’t see how it makes any sense.

    Comment by Jim — February 27, 2006 @ 12:45 pm - February 27, 2006

  13. Thank, Colorado, for the series. Making me think.

    Jim, I suspect that trying to convince a sergeant that you would serve with Jews or Baptists would probably get you latrine service or some other duty you’d regret. And religion has hardly been a single that a guy cannot be a warrior. Now you might have something if the complaint about religion were along the lines of, “that guy’s a freakin Unitarian Universalist Quaker – he’s not going to pull the trigger in the foxhole, he’ll be giving some pacifist sermon.

    At any rate, a minority of men with religious bigotry would get the reply, “you’ve signed on, and you’ll take it.” But gays are the minority in this case, and the sergeant himself might even share the anti-gay sentiment. I agree with Beautiful A., this needs time now and generational shifts, that the window of opportunity was closed by shifting this from the Commander in Chief’s decisions to a broader theatre of opinion. The transition in conventional thinking would be well on it’s way by now. Because this is out of the Commander in Chiefs hands (and the current one is not likely to even think about this), this will be done almost organically within the military, because of Colorado’s argument, or because eventually nobody will understand what the hell DADT is for anyway. The push ultimately is going to come from the services, because politicians are for the most part cowards or in agreement with the current policy, adamantly or just biding their time. (Those are the gist of my thoughts here.

    Comment by wfoster — February 27, 2006 @ 3:08 pm - February 27, 2006

  14. #9)

    Being gay and proving it is easier than faking gay to get out of the contract (I admit I am not familiar with what is required for this proof, but you can probably enlighten me). But the proccess is going to be hard both in what is required, and because unlike other discharges (being overweight, pregnancy for women, medical) this type of discharge also comes with a social stigma attached that may make it more difficult outside of the paperwork/proof requirements.

    They send you to a military psychologist who asks you a bunch of questions. You’re right. It was a very painful and humiliating process. The actual session wasn’t so bad. She was actually really cool and thought the policy was crap but she was just doing her job. It was the process of discharge as a whole that was just downright hateful and degrading.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 27, 2006 @ 7:12 pm - February 27, 2006

  15. I’m sorry, but I believe my brother has a valid point. If hetero soldiers are not permitted the level of familiarity with opposite-sex servicemembers (aka: Those They Are Sexually Attracted To), why is the gay soldier granted such permission?

    Because gay men and lesbians are still men and women.They are not different genders, they are the same. There is not enough difference to warrant it.

    The other thing you and your brother assume is that straight men don’t occasionally have sex with each other. That can and does happen, especially in male-only environments like prisons or the military etc.

    That being the case, tell your brother that as a compromise, we can let the straight guys have sex with each other but the gay guys won’t.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — February 27, 2006 @ 8:24 pm - February 27, 2006

  16. And as a more serious comment on Colorado Patriots line of thought, from a practical standpoint, the argument by itself isn’t much help. If we point out to the military that they are creating their own security risk, I think that they would take the most obvious solution: Kick all gays out of the military and adopt an even worse policy than that priot to DADT.

    Their argument I think would be that we are too much trouble for what we contribute. This is one reason why I think that to a certain degree, the immorality of the policy needs to be addressed.

    Eric in Hollywood, I can see your point of view. And I have no doubt that events for your tenure were exactly as you describe them. I have heard the same thing from other veterans. However, I also have heard many, many, other veterans, gay and straight, describe vastly different situations. It seems to depend a great deal on the individual duty stations.

    This is why just keeping things as they are is not acceptable. Eric, you had a good experience, but you were also lucky. Very easily you could have gotten kicked out at any time in your career, no matter how discrete you were. This has happened to good people to many, many, times.

    And incidentally, one good reason I think that the worries about openly gay personnel are phantoms is because the military is already doing it right now. Today.

    It has been brought up that under DADT any soldier can go to their command and if he can convince them he is gay, get out of the military at any time.

    However, thats apparently not how it currently works. According to the statements a Pentagon spokeswoman said a few month ago, if a soldier that is due to go to Iraq comes out to his command prior to departure, he is still sent to serve in Iraq a full tour of duty of a year or more. Then when he comes back, they kick him out.

    I can understand why, and even agree with why the military would feel it needs this kind of a policy.

    But what it also means in the larger picture is that the military itself no longer believes that gays are a serious threat to morale etc… Because it is sending openly gay and lesbian service personnel into a combat zone, where you would think that such worries about morale etc. would be tantamount. By not doing so, the military has removed it’s own given practical reasons for DADT.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — February 27, 2006 @ 11:11 pm - February 27, 2006

  17. #11 – And, if only some of those elders could show basic intellectual honesty and manners, worth respecting.

    Comment by Calarato — February 28, 2006 @ 5:08 am - February 28, 2006

  18. #16 GrampaGryph, “However, thats apparently not how it currently works”.

    I’m glad to hear that easy-outs by a fake admission of a soldier’s gay nature aren’t being tolerated to avoid duty RIGHT NOW because WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR. Fakery to avoid duty might be more tolerable and indulged when resources aren’t dedicated to a war effort, but now isn’t the time to piddle away personnel resources on ferreting out the truth of a solider’s claim of being gay. Seeing that as proof that the “military itself” no longer believes having gays in service doesn’t affect corps morale is a leap.

    How you can leap from that simple and obvious attestation by a Pentagon spokesperson to a tacit admission that the military already willingly accomodate gays in the military misses the point, the trees, the forest, and the obvious.

    Sometimes the mental gymnastics needed to support the repeal of DADTDH stretch credulity and hazard the few good reasons for repeal.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2006 @ 9:26 am - February 28, 2006

  19. This response won’t be as good as the other ones since I had my brains smashed in. I am gay and been recoveing for almost 2 years after beging wounded in Iraq by an IED and ambush. I can’t remember much what was written here anymore, so I’ll just say I think Don’t ask does not work and is UNFAIR. I wanted to kill myself when I was recovering in NNMC becuase of the pressure about being quiet. Even now it sucks I am afraid of it all of the time. This shit is not fair. It is ok for me to get my body wrecked and then just keep my mouth shut. I miss my buddies who died. Now I have no way to make it right with them. Like they never knew who I really was and that just sucks. This is not just an issue of sexuality it is of honesty and honor.

    No one really understands it, it is about surface shit fro people and not the normal being human shit. I never was groping my buddies or shit like that. But men I love, my brothers, I knew everything about them and their famlies and they knew nothing about me. It is just normal human shit to talk abiout stuff.

    No one really cares about people who serve and that are gay, we are less than shit and we are tolerated by being mute only. So we want religious tolerance for the muslims but christians here don’t give a fuck about tolerence. Fuckit and fuck me for even trying.

    Comment by A — February 28, 2006 @ 10:52 am - February 28, 2006

  20. A:
    Thanks for your service and the great sacrifice you have made. Surely the sacrifice of a beaten and broken body would seem much more significant in comparison to having to be quiet about your sexuality. But perhaps not. I hope you make a full physical and emotional recovery, but from what you’ve written I fear your body will heal much sooner than your heart.
    For what it’s worth, your sacrifice matters to me and it’s for that reason I’ve been posting these last couple weeks about this.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — February 28, 2006 @ 11:02 am - February 28, 2006

  21. A said…

    “No one really cares about people who serve and that are gay, we are less than shit and we are tolerated by being mute only. So we want religious tolerance for the muslims but christians here don’t give a fuck about tolerence. Fuckit and fuck me for even trying.”

    This is about the most heart-wrenching post I’ve ever read on ANY blog. If I were a bit more predatory, I’d grab my laptop, track this soldier down, and turn THIS story into a film, huh?

    But what really slaps me in the face concerning A’s words is his feeling that while we’re more than happy to have him pick up a weapon and put himself “in the shit,” he believes conservatives view him in much the same way black soldiers were regarded during the War of Northern Aggression (sorry, I happen to believe that while slavery was abhorrent, the South DID have the right to secede).

    A, please know that you couldn’t be more mistaken. I know of no conservative who thinks you’re any less a soldier simply because you’re queer. On the contrary, most of us would be more than happy for the opportunity to join you. God knows, I love my life and my career, but in comparison to what exceptional young men like you & my little brother are accomplishing in the world, I may as well be spending my days downloading internet porn. The fact that you have made these sacrifices in my stead humbles me, my friend.

    Eric in Hollywood

    Comment by HollywoodNeoCon — February 28, 2006 @ 11:44 am - February 28, 2006

  22. A, I think you’d find most of the people here –whether liberal or conservative– do respect your service, your sacrifice and those of your fellow soldiers. You can’t amend that you were forced to live a secreted life from your brothers in arms, but you can honor them by choosing to live your life the way you want when you’re ready and when it’s possible. It was and is a question about honesty and honor.

    Your opinion and experience is compelling.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2006 @ 12:10 pm - February 28, 2006

  23. Michigan Matt says:

    Sometimes the mental gymnastics needed to support the repeal of DADTDH stretch credulity and hazard the few good reasons for repeal.

    Whats really sad is the amount of “mental gymnastics” that it takes to justify it in the first place. There is no piratical, reasonable or moral purpose for DADT, other than that some people don’t like some other people or are ignorant or afraid of them. If you think otherwise, then prove it with real facts and not wild conjecture and fantasy. You have never given a solid reason of why the policy is necessary. All you and your supporters put forward are “what if” scenarios and opinion. Come up with some real facts to prove your case instead prejudiced rhetoric.

    Comment by Patrick (Gryph) — February 28, 2006 @ 12:16 pm - February 28, 2006

  24. Gramps, it’s simple and I guess you’ve just been unwilling to read, see, or learn. Do you really think that last stretch of yours wasn’t mental gymnastics? It was marvelous to watch a guy your age go around the uneven parallel bars so often and try to plant a dismount, but it was mental gymnastics. To wit, because they aren’t wasting resources to ferret out fraudulent gay claims means the “military itself no longer believes….”?

    First, the majority of military personnel don’t want gays serving openly in their ranks –combat mission or not. Poll after poll after bloody poll proves it. Undeniably, unequivocally. Gays aren’t wanted in the ranks by a vast majority of military serving. I don’t care how many times you send them to sensitivity training, the people in the military and those drawn to the military just don’t want it. Frankly, I want the military strong and content and effective; anything that impedes that… boom, it’s history in my book.

    They think –not you– they think it damages troop morale and unit cohesion. You think: tough shit, the ignorant grunts just need to get over it.

    Sorry, that’s why you and the political views you represent don’t make policy in this great country. BTW, I think that’s good news and comforting that, right now, your political viewpoint is impotent on policy.

    The traditions of military are not an appropriate venue for social engineering by the Left. They weren’t when Truman-Eisenhower did it on racial grounds; they aren’t now. I don’t know how many times commentators have stated that here but you ignore it and blithely go on your way pressing for repeal of DADTDH because “it’s the right thing to do”. Talk about rhetoric; if you and Left had political power you could decide that question, but you don’t. And God help us when you do.

    I don’t like DADTDH; it’s a flawed policy. But it’s a political compromise which has allowed gays to serve. Is it morally defensible? Hell no; dishonor and dishonesty aren’t. Politically defensible? Yep and it’s better than requiring recruits to disclose homosexual conduct before enlistment or joining a military academy –because then we’re in the middle of lie, just begging for disclosure and dishonor.

    On the bigger issue of social engineering… why the Left continues to think that tinkering with people’s lives, corporate fortunes, the engines of industry, military strength or societal values is ok in the name of social engineering THEIR concept of progress at the expense of the many is utterly unreasonable. Your political view doesn’t control policy.

    Your political view is not entrusted with the defense of the country. Just recall Senator Kerry’s demeaning, disrespectful, unpatriotic testimony before the 1971 Senate Committee… skip the liberals spitting on GIs returning home. Skip the press’ disgraceful treatment of soldiers and their sacrifice durning the war. Heck, just look at today> the Left is leading the charge in undermining American’s resolve to prosecute the war, succeed in the mission, and support our troops in harm’s way.

    Your political viewpoint has a long tradition of outright hatred and anomosity toward the military –why the military or the public should listen to the Left on any question involving anything military is quixotic.

    No, GrampaGryph, the reasons for keeping DADTDH in place have been repeated here and in other threads many, many times. You just can’t handle the truth and political reality of it –and that’s the fact.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2006 @ 1:30 pm - February 28, 2006

  25. I don’t care how many times you send them to sensitivity training … The traditions of military are not an appropriate venue for social engineering by the Left.

    And there we have the crucial issue.

    If this were purely a matter of allowing people to serve their country in the military, it would be a simple issue with an obvious answer. But that’s not what this is, not primarily (though obviously, for some individuals, that’s what this issue is about).

    All we have to do is look at the disaster of allowing women to serve. It was not — and still is not — just a matter of allowing women to serve; it is a calculated attempt to castrate military culture. Sexual harassment? If you’re in the military, shut up and deal with it.

    Sensitivity training, indeed, that is the point of this, and that is why I oppose any attempt to allow gays to openly serve. Not because they cannot or should not, but because it is nothing more than a vehicle for changing the necessarily aggressive, male, military culture. The mere fact that gay leftists who hate the military are crusading for this demonstrates that this has nothing to do with fairness or discrimination whatsoever.

    Until somebody can prove to me that this is not the case, I will not budge on this issue, even though I don’t like DADT for ethical and moral reasons. And please spare me the “the Canuckistanis do it!” nonsense, because that supports my position.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 28, 2006 @ 2:59 pm - February 28, 2006

  26. Michigan-Matt,

    Once again, where are the facts to support the policy?

    Where are the facts that show that gays and lesbians harm morale?

    Where are the facts that prove this impedes the effectiveness of the military in any significant way?

    Opinion, whether yours, mine or the military is not sufficient justification to support DADT. Military opinion was staunchly against integration of blacks as well. Show us the evidence. Prove that it is necessary. Why can’t you do this simple thing? Why do you instead simply repeat over and over the same tired rhetoric that has no substance or factual information behind it? Not to mention the personal insults? Make your case or admit you are basing your opinion purely on prejudiced “feelings” instead of facts.

    And why don’t you go to “A”‘s bedside and look him in the eye and tell him your little rhetoric. Look out, I hear he’s got a mean left.

    You complain about people insulting troops but you fail to note that DADT is itself a great insult to the troops serving, both those gay and straight. It says one type of person are shit and it says everybody else are, “ignorant grunts” incapable of “handling the truth” as you put it. You underestimate both gays and lesbians and the troops.

    And BTW, I do support the troops, both gay and straight, with my actions, with my time, and with my pocket-book. I’ve written letters of support, sent care packages, even some quick cash to help some Marines replace personal items lost in a tent fire. And I have contacted my Representative on behalf of the troops to urge him to support expanded Veteran’s benefits. I also support the mission they are on in Iraq as well. They are doing the right thing.

    I may not run around with a meaningless yellow ribbon bumper sticker on my car, but I do support the troops.

    So the next time you feel the need to tell me what I think, stick it. And you can quote me on that.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 28, 2006 @ 3:05 pm - February 28, 2006

  27. Michigan Matt, I have to completely disagree with you and agree with grampa here (how’d he get that nickname?). Some people are probably lying to get out and some people are really gay and trying to use it as their get out of combat free card. It really does take some blatant hypocrysy to claim openly gay people will harm morale and then largely ignore that policy during wartime- the very thing the military exists for. THAT takes some acrobatics of logic.

    I hear you, RWP. That’s why this process shouldn’t be left-driven. They really do hate the military culture and would like to change it. That’s why the right needs to be a part of this change. The left would like to make a huge issue of it and just reverse the current social engineering going on to actively integrate gay people and the gay culture. That’s not the way to do it. It needs to go away from an active social engineering policy of removing gay people to a passive policy of just not making an issue of it and not having specific policy to remove people over this one issue.

    It’s kind of an obsession with the subject from both sides. Don’t you think?

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 28, 2006 @ 4:43 pm - February 28, 2006

  28. One more thing- why do try to address all of societies problems with laws and policy? Aren’t there enough social pressures on gay people in an environment like that to be discreet? I think we’re over-estimating the change that would take place in military culture if this policy were to simply cease to exist. I think the sheer majority of gay people will continue to be very discreet. I suspect they will share a little more with good friends that they know and trust and I doubt that will hurt morale. What ending this policy would do, just ending it and nothing more, is stop devoting resources to this negative obsession with homosexuality.

    Much like reversing Roe vs. Wade would have a lot less impact on abortion than most liberals beleive, this would not have nearly the impact people think on the military culture.

    Comment by Dale in L.A. — February 28, 2006 @ 4:49 pm - February 28, 2006

  29. I am quoting someone above this comment:

    “Sensitivity training, indeed, that is the point of this, and that is why I oppose any attempt to allow gays to openly serve. Not because they cannot or should not, but because it is nothing more than a vehicle for changing the necessarily aggressive, male, military culture. The mere fact that gay leftists who hate the military are crusading for this demonstrates that this has nothing to do with fairness or discrimination whatsoever.” – some comment above this one someware.

    “Is it morally defensible? Hell no; dishonor and dishonesty aren’t. Politically defensible? ” – someone said this up above too.

    (I am not picking on you, it is your opinion, I just really disagree)

    Thoes quotes are from up above (someones eleses comments) and I copied them. I really think if you read them slow they speek for themselves. Reading them makes me more sad than man. Everyone is intilted to their opinions, that is what I fought for.

    I am not liberl or conseravitive – I am a Marine and an American. We are supposed to stand for something like honor. I would go back today to serve if I could even tho people here think it would be better if I was mute like I was before. So anyway I did not join as gay or anything, but that don’t matter, I was one. I am just a guy and figured it out later is all. My family figured it out when I was in NNMC and then they told me they knew. That was after I hurt myself. Like living without honor is not living, or at least for me. So I will not recover from these wounds and so I lay here and wish people could see how honor is more inportant than politicocal fastness. I mean, like if gays were going to rune everything I would say that people should not talk. But you know since I shit happened to me I have met tons of men who are gay and in the mil. Tons of them are out to their close buddies. It really suprized me, really. I know tons of them through the internet now. Like tons of them in Camp Fallujah too and all over the place. I was so scared before so I never noticed anyone like me.

    Sir, this will be the last time I come here to look. I have really avoided the news and shit since it all sucks. I even have a friend who was my bf and he is wounded too and has no legs. Ok, so I feel like stupid since I treated him bad lately, but I could not help it. I can’t read this stuff, no one really cares I am just junk to people and it is ok for them to say I have to live with no honor. It sucks that I did live like that. I mean like my buddies who died they know I have no honor by hiding myself rom them. I miss them so much. I worte this to them last year.

    In Memorium

    Beast you’re unwelcome
    you eat at my soul,
    You stomp my heart
    and devour me whole,
    Lacking of passion
    I’m empty and cold,
    No way I’ll surrender
    not to grow old.

    My tears fill an ocean
    where no hope can be,
    No light does enter
    and no one can see,
    Dark is my place
    filled with black energy,
    Living crushed and broken
    deep down in my sea.

    I’ll never forget you
    now that you’re free,
    Living in heaven
    for eternity,
    Brothers forever
    me and you three,
    Semper Fidelis!
    my buddies peace be.

    Anyway,

    Very Respectifully
    A-
    :-(

    Comment by A — February 28, 2006 @ 5:15 pm - February 28, 2006

  30. Oh, one more thing. I am not trying to change peoples minds since I am a fucked up, since I don’t really matter anymore. It is the people that are still serving and bleadiing for ya’ll.

    So most people won’t change their minds anyway. It is like always black and white to people and not red white and blue.

    Comment by A — February 28, 2006 @ 5:17 pm - February 28, 2006

  31. I may not run around with a meaningless yellow ribbon bumper sticker on my car, but I do support the troops.

    Right. And I regularly communicate with aliens in the Alpha Centauri system.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 28, 2006 @ 5:48 pm - February 28, 2006

  32. I hear you, RWP. That’s why this process shouldn’t be left-driven. They really do hate the military culture and would like to change it. That’s why the right needs to be a part of this change.

    That I would support. But as long as liberals have anything to do with “reforming” the military, I will oppose it.

    One more thing- why do try to address all of societies problems with laws and policy?

    This isn’t society’s problem. This is the military. That’s why all this blather about human rights, equality, fairness, and the Constitution is exactly that: blather.

    I think we’re over-estimating the change that would take place in military culture if this policy were to simply cease to exist.

    Again, look at the disastrous policies enacted after women were more thoroughly integrated. If anything, we are underestimating the change.

    What ending this policy would do, just ending it and nothing more

    True, but the point is that it is much more.

    Comment by rightwingprof — February 28, 2006 @ 5:56 pm - February 28, 2006

  33. Gramps, thanks for proving the only fact that seems to matter to you: you don’t listen, don’t hear and won’t think beyond the short-term agenda you’ve adopted while in GayLeft bootcamp. There, there’s a fact for you based on your conduct here.

    Fact #1: the policy is in place right now because 14 Congressional committees and subcommittees held hearings on Bill Clinton’s plan to allow gays to serve openly in the military and those constitutionally elected representatives –many from your own party and well acquainted with the concept of victimhood and entitlement– enacted a different DADT policy based on DoD reg in effect since 1981. That flatly refutes what you are fond to point out: it’s just a problem with homophobe militarists. Wrong. And remember, in 1993, the Democrats controlled the House.

    Fact #2: the 4th US Circuit Ct of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the policy/act in 1996 (not sure of the yr). Upheld it, Gramps.

    Fact #3: After your party’s Prez brought forward the concept of gays serving openly in the military, he got slaughtered politically in the legislative process. The current DADT policy was approved by bi-partisan, veto-proof majorities in both Chambers. When BabsBoxer brought forward an amendment to remove all restrictions on gay service, it lost 63-33. In the House, a similar amendment was rejected.

    Fact #4: the issue devolves to one of whether the military and society protect the rights of soldiers who care not to share private quarters with gay comrades (who make up between 1.4% or 2.5% of active duty male personnel) –all things being equal, the majority of military are not supportive of gays serving openly. Period. You may want to argue that’s just rhetoric or opinion, but it’s a fact. And it’s a fact you’d prefer to simply dismiss as: tough shit, they need to get over it… ignorant grunts. Sorry, but you’re wrong.

    Facts #5: there is no right to privacy in the military. There is no right to serve in the military. It is different from a workplace, from a school, from an apartment complex, and from a club. It’s different and that fact and the ramifications of the fact continue to escape you.

    Fact #6: that’s why your political viewpoint continues to occupy the bottom 1/3rd of society –far away from the power to enact policy.

    Fact #7: be honest, I never wrote anything like “It says one type of person are shit and it says everybody else are, “ignorant grunts” incapable of “handling the truth” as you put it. Where in the hell did you get that, Gramps?

    Again, I don’t think a policy which requires dishonesty or dishonor should be in place. The best argument against DADTDH is the immorality of the policy in an institution where honor and conduct play a dominant role in the culture of the institution.

    You may not like facts, Gramps. But evidently Congress and the Courts and the DoD do and that is why the policy will remain in place.

    And the final point, blessedly, it looks like both you and I support our troops although your attempts to undermine the public’s collective will might contradict that. The only yellow-ish sticker I have on my car is the one from the HRC… where I turned it on its side to represent the 11 states GayLeft activists lost for us in the lead up to 2004 with anti-gay marriage VOTER initiatives.

    I don’t mind the yellow ribbon stickers because I appreciate that at least that American believes in something beyond their own narrow self-interest or the GayLeft agenda in Ann Arbor. But that’s ok, you be irritated because:

    Fact #8: being irritated helps reinforce your sense of victimhood. It’s all about feelings for the GayLeft.

    For me it’s about being practical, pragmatic and responsible. Maybe that’s where the GayLeft parts company with GayConservatives? for your edification, Gramps, THAT was a rhetorical question.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — February 28, 2006 @ 6:34 pm - February 28, 2006

  34. Right. And I regularly communicate with aliens in the Alpha Centauri system.

    I’m sure you have interesting conversations.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 28, 2006 @ 6:50 pm - February 28, 2006

  35. “Fact” #1
    Rigged hearings by homophobic politicians of any political variety do not constitute “facts”. And once again, the policy is based on an opinion by Congress, not on actual data.

    “Fact” #2
    Its amazing how self described “conservatives” that scream and whine about judicial activism fall silent when the decision happens to be beneficial to their point of view. And your “fact” decided the policy was legal. It did not decide whether it was necessary or right based on evidence.

    Fact#3
    See “opinion” as noted in #1

    Facts #4 and Fact #5

    In #4 you tell us that the reason for the policy is for the comfort of those individuals who would feel uncomfortable sharing quarters with a gay or lesbian person. Then in #5 you tell us that in the military “there is no right to privacy” a contradictory statement. I’m not the one saying “tough shit” here, you are.

    #6
    I have no political opinion or viewpoint, because you have already so zealously defined one for me in your head. Any discussion on my part to demonstrate otherwise is made meaningless on the subject.

    7# Why Mr. MM, you say that right here:They think –not you– they think it damages troop morale and unit cohesion. You think: tough shit, the ignorant grunts just need to get over it.

    With the swiss holes in your memory perhaps we should be calling you “Gramps”. Whats the matter? Don’t like it when other people put opinions in your mouth? I’m just giving you back the ones you put into mine.

    #8 Apparently not content with deciding what political opinions I have, you must also now decide what emotions I’m feeling? I don’t think so.

    The truth is that you are not having a discussion with me, you are having one with a bogeyman you have invented in your head called the “Gay Left”. And you are not interested in hearing anything different.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — February 28, 2006 @ 7:31 pm - February 28, 2006

  36. GrampaGryph, I love it! You can spin and ignore facts better than… better than… George Stephanopolous.

    “Opinions” of Congress are facts. They lead legislation in the statement of intent. And right, Gramps, 14 hearings and investigations and not one fact was relayed or advanced. What a spinner.

    No, the fact that the policy had broad bipartisan support within both parties while your party controlled the House, the WH, and the Courts means… well, nothing. Love it.

    Here’s the rub of it, just like with Gay Marriage, broader equal rights for partners, gay adoption, and special privileges for gay youth in our schools –openly serving as gay in the military is only winnable in your mind by harsh, name calling rhetoric for anyone who opposes your vision of social progress. And you’re going to shove it down their throats.

    It’s part and parcel of the GayLeft –you’re ruining any chance the gay community has for progress by alienating the very people who have the power to decide. Maybe that comes from being irritated, irrational, and irresponsible in promoting policy… but your little construct of reality is hurting gays in the service far more than helping.

    Go ahead and keep doing the mental gymnastics needed to claim “A” isn’t an A, it’s a “Z”.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 1, 2006 @ 7:30 am - March 1, 2006

  37. I have totally mixed emotions about this topic. What I can relate is a personal experience from a lifetime ago. While serving as a Marine in the Quang Tri province in Viet Nam a guy in my platoon told me he was gay. We were just a few hours out of a firefight and returned to our FOB. We were sitting around trying to decompress, ok getting high, this comment came out of the blue. He told me there were two other guys in the platoon who were gay as well. A bit nonplussed, I wasn’t sure what to think. However, in the world we were in it didn’t matter. He did his job well, walked point when it was his duty and everyone knew we could depend on him. Nothing else mattered. Scott was a damned good Marine.

    Comment by David — March 1, 2006 @ 9:28 am - March 1, 2006

  38. Gramps, remember too that the direction of Colorado Patriot’s expositions here is to prove why DADTDH should be repealed. Try as hard as you might, the valid question is: What responsible arguments can be mustered for its repeal… not to turn the debate upside down and argue why it shouldn’t continue –as you try to do repeatedly and despite proper instruction.

    For the record, Gramps… when you instruct someone on the basis of quotes, try keeping the context in mind. I was suggesting YOUR perspective on how the majority of military service personnel will have to deal with gays openly serving is that they’ll just have to get over their homophobic attitudes –and your dismissal of the concerns of the majority in service today akin to “racist” policies in 1940′s Army.

    I’m a proud conservative. We don’t hate the military; we honor military service. I would never catergorize anyone in service –active, reserve or retired– as ignorant or a grunt. Those characterizations were in keeping with the GayLeft’s attitude about all things military.

    I did go back and reread your commentaries in related threads and we also agree on a big point: the best mechanism for defeating DADTDH as a policy –and the DoD laws of not allowing gays in the military– is to do it on the basis of a moral argument –particularly because the military’s tradition is steeped in honor, duty, service.

    I just disagree with you that it needs to shoved down the throats of military and majority of members serving because of your sense of what constitutes social progress and the timing of that progress.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — March 1, 2006 @ 9:41 am - March 1, 2006


  39. I just disagree with you that it needs to shoved down the throats of military and majority of members serving because of your sense of what constitutes social progress and the timing of that progress

    I have never, ever said any such thing. I can guarantee you have never read a single word where I have suggested doing what you describe above.

    My argument is not that we need to drastically impose change on military culture from the outside. What I say is that the repealing of DADT would be more in keeping with the traditional military cultural values of Honor, sacrifice, and what used to be called “fraternity” aka brotherhood. So therefore, if repealing DADT is a change, its a very small one and is more of a restoration of values than the changing of them.

    Comment by Patrick (gryph) — March 1, 2006 @ 1:27 pm - March 1, 2006

  40. [...] (in my mind’s scenario he doesn’t), Classified National Security information has been put at risk. Gay Patriot » DADT: A Gay Servicemember’s Perspective. Part IV: A Winning Argument? You may be inclined to respond "Well that means that gays shouldn’t get security [...]

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