Patterico's Pontifications

10/15/2010

Pentagon Suspends Enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am



As with gay marriage, I support the result but I hate the way it’s being done.

Ed Whelan has a great piece on how the Obama administration and federal judges have teamed up to accomplish this. An excerpt cannot do it justice but hopefully this will whet your appetite to read it all:

Let’s begin with the Ninth Circuit’s rogue ruling in May 2008 in the case of Witt v. Department of Air Force. In that case, a Ninth Circuit panel ruled that the DADT law, rather than receiving deferential “rational basis” review, should instead be subjected to some ill-defined “heightened scrutiny.” . . . . When the Ninth Circuit, over vigorous dissents, denied DOJ’s request for rehearing in December 2008, it was clear that DOJ’s next step would be to seek Supreme Court reversal of the Witt decision.

Notwithstanding President Obama’s policy stance in favor of repealing DADT, there was little reason to believe that the change of administrations in January 2009 would alter DOJ’s direction on Witt. With the exceptions of laws that intrude on executive-branch prerogatives or that are unquestionably unconstitutional, DOJ’s established practice is to vigorously defend federal laws. Indeed, in the course of her confirmation hearing to become Solicitor General, Elena Kagan, who as Harvard law school dean had vehemently condemned DADT as “a profound wrong—a moral injustice of the first order,” assured senators that she would set aside her own personal views on DADT and would “with vigor” “advance … the interests of the United States, as principally expressed in legislative enactments and executive policy.” “Under prevailing Equal Protection law,” she emphasized, DADT is “subject to rational basis scrutiny,” and “the rational basis standard is very easy to satisfy.” Indeed, “courts frequently grant Congress even greater deference than usual when military matters are involved.”

Yet when the time came to seek Supreme Court review of Witt, Kagan punted.

Whelan goes on to make excellent points about the latest ruling and injunction. By the time you’re done you’ll be seeing red.

64 Responses to “Pentagon Suspends Enforcement of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”

  1. “Yet when the time came to seek Supreme Court review of Witt, Kagan punted.”

    Was it her decision? Whelan makes the case that the decision was a more political than legal calculation.

    imdw (017d51)

  2. The rule of law has been suspended for the duration of Obama’s term in office.

    Mike K (568408)

  3. Hear, hear, Mike K.

    Christoph (8ec277)

  4. DADT has been abused both through malicious persecution of gays by bigoted superiors and informers, and by some gay service members themselves who change their minds about fulfilling their military obligations.

    I also agree with the “heightened scutiny” standard. I see no reason to define the issue as equal protection. I think there is a constitutional right in every able-bodied citizen to take up arms in defense of our country.

    nk (db4a41)

  5. Maybe DADT has been used in a malicious way, but I’m interested in knowing what the alternative is.

    I think I raised the following before as an aside to another gays and law related discussion, with few takers. Here is point #1.

    Now, I have not been in the military, but I’m going to assume that living quarters in a barracks might be similar to a college dorm, but with significantly less privacy (Please correct me where I’m wrong). Call me old-fashioned, but I would not want to live in a coed dorm where we shared the same bathroom and shower stalls. (I was shocked years ago when a few young women came into the bathroom I was using to brush my teeth, while other guys were in the shower.)

    Now, I am no Adonis (even if I was Greek, nk) and I would likely be more embarrassed than anything if a young woman happened to join the shower at the same time. In spite of male basic instincts, I think the experience would be a bit unnerving. I would think most women would be even more alarmed because of the usual inequality of physical strength and obvious risk of assault.

    Now, am I the only adult reading this that feels this way?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  6. The problem with the able-bodied idea is that can easily include any number of behavioral and character flaws. The real test is the good of the service. Behavior is the result of choices made by the individual.

    Bar Sinister (a148e1)

  7. Comment by MD in Philly — 10/15/2010 @ 9:35 am

    I am familiar with the AF but not as much with other services. Most airmen have their own room and will share a common use bathroom between 2- 3 people with one private shower and the communal showers are a thing of the past. The sexual harassment rules already in effect can apply to same sex harassment as well. It is the education piece that takes some time to get in place. Since I went in around ’81 we had training added about sexual assault, bystander intervention, and the DADT policy. No one liked DADT because it didn’t establish clear lines. One thing about military folks is that clear lines re regulations are welcomed.
    As for the other services the tight quarters and combat conditions are more of a concern. Marines still sleep in bays and not individual rooms. Army is pretty close to that. Navy has close quarters but when at sea people are on a work and sleep schedule that cuts down on slack time.
    Gays used to have to worry about the occasional group who might decide to kick a little gay butt, but if the DADT is removed and it is not a stigma there may be a better “buddy system” in play as speaking up doesn’t out you like it might now.
    I think that most gays wouldn’t see living in a room full of same sex people as a candy store anymore than a straight in a room of opposite sex people. Human nature is to look for someone you emotionally attach to and I don’t see it as upsetting discipline in the long run as some believe it may.

    As for the combat environments I haven’t met too many people who said they focused too much on hitting on others as everyone was just trying to make it home safe.

    just my two cents

    VOR2 (8e6b90)

  8. Comment by VOR2
    I think that most gays wouldn’t see living in a room full of same sex people as a candy store anymore than a straight in a room of opposite sex people.

    Thank you for your thoughts. My starting place is to assume, with the pro-gay proponents, that homosexuals are equivalent to heteros in these regards, with my point being that conditions that would be awkward for coed straights would also be awkward for gays and straights. If the reality is that there is more privacy than I had in college, then maybe it isn’t an issue.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  9. I have experience with Army barracks.

    In typical garrison, modern barracks are very similar to VOR2’s description of the AF’s barracks. However, these modernizations have not been made to many barracks, do not apply in many training environments (which are high stress and I think the main source of problems), not to mention actual forward deployed troops.

    One aspect that I find important is that fraternization occurs fairly frequently in situations where sexes work together. some think this is a nice relief valve, some think it’s a potential powderkeg.

    I am quite sure that fraternization of gays in the same unit would be strictly prohibited, for good reason. But it’s an issue commanders should be thinking about. I’m sure most of them don’t really want to.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  10. Comment by nk — 10/15/2010 @ 8:56 am

    I think if you research this, you’ll find SCOTUS precident that their isn’t a “Constitutional Right” to join the military.
    The military is allowed to discriminate on the basis of who best can fit the requirements of the service to serve;
    i.e., they don’t have to take you if you can’t see (when I joined a looooong time ago, I wasn’t acceptable to the Marines due to myopia),
    they don’t have to take you if you have “flat-feet”, they don’t have to take you if you have a history of chemical abuse.
    There is a long list of physical and mental conditions that preclude you from military service;
    and IIRC, the Court has allowed the Legislative and Executive Branches great deference under their responsibilities for raising an army, and CinC, respectively.

    AD-RtR/OS! (e59e99)

  11. DADT. Since the DA of DADT stands for “Don’t Ask”, and the ruling is no for DADT, does that mean the military can ask?

    Tim (3e5cb1)

  12. 9.Comment by nk — 10/15/2010 @ 8:56 am

    I think if you research this, you’ll find SCOTUS precident that their there isn’t a “Constitutional Right” to join the military.

    The military is allowed to discriminate on the basis of who best can fit the requirements of the service to serve; i.e., they don’t have to take you if you can’t see (when I joined a looooong time ago, I wasn’t acceptable to the Marines due to myopia), they don’t have to take you if you have “flat-feet”, they don’t have to take you if you have a history of chemical abuse.

    There is a long list of physical and mental conditions that preclude you from military service;and IIRC, the Court has allowed the Legislative and Executive Branches great deference under their responsibilities for raising an army, and CinC, respectively.

    Absolutely!!!

    The key point is that the military can and does eliminate candidates and personnel serving for a varitey of reasons. To allow this exemption for those who are “gay” potentially opens a Pandora’s Box of problems. The UCMJ (uniform Code of Military Justice), i.e. – the law for military people will have to be rewritten to eliminate any type of sexual activity for all personnel.

    Why should a service member be allowed to participate in a homosexual relationship while a service member who has sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex is liable for prosecution? That is a chargeable offense currently. And what about a pedophile? Is that a crime? It is what they truly believe – how can they be prosecuted? The list is endless and does not end with human sex.

    This is contrary to good order and discipline, and the civilian justice system has no business interfering in military affairs. Next they will be prosecuting soldiers for sucessful mission completions when property damage or casualties are involved.

    Ask people who are protecting you what they think. Its OUR lives at risk. Not yours.KP

    CWO (c75c54)

  13. Why should a service member be allowed to participate in a homosexual relationship while a service member who has sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex is liable for prosecution?

    Even in cases involving consensual sexual conduct between two unmarried people?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  14. I wonder how this will impact the military’s fraternization policies?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  15. Why should a service member be allowed to participate in a homosexual relationship while a service member who has sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex is liable for prosecution?

    That’s easy. If the rules forbid a heterosexual relationship, than they forbid a homosexual relationship in the same circumstances.

    DADT is not based on the prohibition of engaging in homosexual sex by members of the military; it’s based on the prohibition of being homosexual by members of the military–a very different thing.

    And I have yet to see any rational grounds for barring homosexuals from the service The only coherent one amounts to the claim that some of the bravest, most aggressive, most legitimately macho men in this country are reduced to shivering wusses by the prospect of other men hitting on them, and are made uncomfortable by the idea that they might become the object of a fairly universal behavior among men (ie, ogling or leering–as if they can dish it out but can’t take it.

    Never been in the armed forces (really bad myopia) but I think if I was a member of the armed forces I would feel a bit insulted by such a “defense”.

    kishnevi (3cf898)

  16. ______________________________________

    Human nature is to look for someone you emotionally attach to

    But male nature — male sexuality — in particular is geared more to the physical not the emotional. Yes, I’m sure that doesn’t apply to all male homosexuals, just as it doesn’t apply to all male heterosexuals. But imagine how different any average gathering of people would become like if most females suddenly acquired the exact same libido as that of most males.

    Beyond that, I think most people are subtly hardwired to be repulsed by male-on-male sexual activity—for reasons too explicit to go into. That’s definitely true of the gut reactions of the typical male.

    If one doesn’t like to admit that, consider the following:

    A father has witnessed his son getting affectionate with a friend: “Wow, I just saw my teenaged son kissing another girl!”

    Compare that scenario with: “Wow, I just saw my teenaged son kissing another boy!”

    Moreover, I’ve found my opinion on the “gay rights” issue becoming more dismissive after realizing the life history of a high percentage of self-described gays is actually one of bisexuality. IOW, when it comes to sexual behavior — of the male in particular (and whose libido is easily evident or not for obvious reasons) — there appears to be a lot more free choice and free will than activists (or leftists) want to admit.

    Mark (411533)

  17. It wouldn’t have much effect on fraternization policies. This is not something that gets prosecuted all that often anymore – usually the couple will be advised to cease and desist if an officer-enlisted relationship and if enlisted-enlisted in a supervisory chain, one of them will be moved to a different section if possible.
    Same gender couples wouldn’t need additional clarification.

    As for the unmarried relationships that don’t fall under fraternization no one really gets excited about that now days. Adultery will occasional get attention but that is because of the effect it may have on a unit. That tends to ruin the morale of a unit because everyone becomes party to a conspiracy, as it were.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  18. Never been in the armed forces (really bad myopia) but I think if I was a member of the armed forces I would feel a bit insulted by such a “defense”.

    Comment by kishnevi — 10/15/2010 @ 8:05 pm

    Excellent point. If people pass the qualifications to enter the military and make it through the training needed to know how to break things and kill people they have a little more self control than the people Mark described above.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  19. Thanks for clarifying that, VOR2.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  20. they have a little more self control than the people Mark described above.

    I don’t know about that. When it comes to male sexuality, a lot of guys think with their genitals, regardless of how much self-control they otherwise have or don’t have.

    Plus, the military environment is one step next to the other government-created one-gender-only setting of a typical prison. And it has been noted that certain inmates who never would be involved in homosexual activity in a free setting find themselves altering their behavior when trapped behind bars.

    Mark (411533)

  21. Comment by Mark — 10/15/2010 @ 8:50 pm

    I don’t think we will see eye to eye on this particular issue. Go overseas and see how some younger straight guys carry on in the local red light districts with women. I understand the urge but the image is not a good one for the US. This kind of behavior led to Bush pushing the Combatting Trafficking in Persons http://ctip.defense.gov/
    program. It is a good idea that holds people accountable for inappropriate activities and helps prevent the crime and disease that are common with the red light districts targeted at GIs.
    Point is that young men are young men regardless of orientation.
    I don’t care for your prison analogy. The military is an all volunteer force and its members are not housed in cells.IMO that is a earth to moon sized step.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  22. __________________________________________

    The military is an all volunteer force and its members are not housed in cells

    But they are required to spend much of their waking hours with primarily (if not solely) other males. That is a situation they won’t encounter in most other instances, before or after.

    My greatest concern is protecting the morale of most enlistees. If a high percentage of them are repulsed by male-on-male sexuality, and they see military code going from frowning upon that to eventually even treating it only a bit less warmly than a “Gay Parade” type of urban politics, then one aspect of our society — which is supposed to protect us — will become analogous to the dumbed-down public school.

    Mark (411533)

  23. I might be out of the loop on this subject. Are there thousands and thousands of homosexuals beating down doors at recruiting offices to get into the military? Or are we concerned about the occasional alternate lifestyler who really really likes camo?

    Jones (72b0ed)

  24. I do wonder if anyone has polled the military on the subject.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. Mark,
    Please take a look at http://www.womensmemorial.org/PDFs/StatsonWIM.pdf
    roughly 14% of service people are women with Marines having only 6%.
    When I went in almost 30 years ago most people were opposed to the idea. That reflected societal attitudes at the time. The most heard defense was the threat of blackmail during the cold war era. And no one could seem to come up with facts showing that had happened. A good number of young people today simply don’t think being gay is that big of a deal. Having gay friends is common. Why would going into the military make people change those attitudes?

    I used to think it was a bad idea but have changed my opinion on it since the DADT policy was pushed on us. Impossible to really enforce or interpret the same from one person to the next and unrealistic in its expectations that gay people would refrain from biological urges for years.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  26. Dustin,

    Here is the most recent military poll on DADT that I found.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  27. Thanks, DRJ!

    This blog is ridiculously helpful.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  28. _____________________________________

    A good number of young people today simply don’t think being gay is that big of a deal. Having gay friends is common.

    Yet, ironically, I read that the use of the pejorative phrase of “that’s so gay” is not exactly uncommon among younger people. Moreover, “gay” as in “gay friends” or “gay acquaintances” can easily mean someone who switches from males to females throughout his or her life. So I don’t know if “gay” is even a truly accurate description of what human nature is all about.

    As for gay people being common enough to deserve all the special attention they keep generating, I was quite surprised to read not long ago that US Census figures indicated even the mecca of gay America (ie San Francisco) has a much lower percentage of same-sex households than one would assume. But that’s kind of in line with all the occasions I’ve observed people (personally or in the public spotlight) who I momentarily thought could be gay (androgynous behavior), only to hear them, if they were females, start talking about a boyfriend or husband, or, if they were males, start talking about girlfriends or wives.

    Mark (411533)

  29. I read an excellent article by a Catholic chaplain about homosexuals in the military. While the chaplain was serving units other than US, he was threatened and reminded the only reason he was not brought up on charges for refering a homosexual to another counselor for homosexual-centric problems was that he was a US soldier. The chaplain went on to relate that once the military gets behind the normalization of homosexuality, it removes the freedom of religion. He said the clergy is the canary in the coal mine on the issue. If I recall, the article was on “First Things.”

    Ozzie (2d040a)

  30. ________________________________________

    he was threatened and reminded the only reason he was not brought up on charges for refering a homosexual to another counselor for homosexual-centric problems was that he was a US soldier

    Compare and contrast that with the absurd political correctness that surrounded the army doctor of pro-Islamic, pro-fatwa background, referring to Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood. The guy who even after openly expressing his extremist, fanatic views — within the context of the US military, no less — was treated with kid gloves. Of course, no harm occurred in that case. Other than the murder of 11 people.

    The idiocy and lunacy of leftist or limousine-liberal sentiment will be the undoing of this society.

    Mark (411533)

  31. Comment by Jones — 10/15/2010 @ 9:21 pm

    Most of the ink on this matter seems to get spilled on career women officers who get derailed due to lesbian activity.
    First they complained that they were barricaded from advanced rank (Flag) due to being restricted from serving in combat units, now it seems that it is due to their lifestyle “choices”.

    Michelle Obama (7402be)

  32. Dustin,
    A little more background is at wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_ask,_don't_tell#Military_personnel_opinion

    Ozzie/Mark,

    the person who wrote that article is legal counsel from this group http://www.alliancedefensefund.org/Marriage

    I think he has a bit of an agenda. I would be interested to know their stance on the various religions sponsored at the AF Academy. They recently decided to support Earth centered faithshttp://religionclause.blogspot.com/2010/01/air-force-academy-adds-chapel-space-for.html

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  33. As a non-military person, the information we receive is unclear (like information on everything else through the media).

    I know there are code of conduct expectations in the military, I know officers have been booted out for adultery. I know female soldiers at time get pregnant. I assume soldiers “are people too” and rules of conduct or not, heterosexuals aren’t always involved in a life-long monogamous relationship. I think coed college dorms with males and females in rooms next to each other is insane. I’ve learned here that the privacy level in the military, at least in many instances, is much more than I had thought. And while physical relationship is often in the context of emotional attachment, there is the so called “friends with benefits” and much longer existing “one night stands” where familiarity without significant emotional bonding gives opportunity for a physical relationship.

    And , of course, we’ve all seen “MASH”. 😉

    I have no doubt that there are many gays who are good soldiers, and some that aren’t; just like many heterosexuals are good soldiers, and some are not. I think probably in most situations homo- and heterosexuals find ways to work together,

    The problem with blanket policies is that they cannot account for all situations in a reasonable and just manner when applied “blindly”, and the military is not a place that can thrive on making exceptions.

    I do believe the issue raised in the article about chaplains is very real and is one I’ve raised before with very little response. I do not see how one can avoid the inherent logical conflict between those who think homosexuality “is as normal as heterosexuality” and those who think homosexuality “is not normative”, no matter how supportive of anti-discrimination efforts and supportive of the individual homosexual person. It seems the one chaplain had shown respect and concern that was given in return by the homosexual soldier, even though she knew of their difference in opinion. She was content to respect as she was respected. The higher ranking chaplain was not willing to accept that, no matter how effective it had been in meeting the pastoral needs of the soldier concerned. The soldier was happy with respectful tolerance, the superior officer wanted complete affirmation, even if against the conscience of the chaplain. This is the inevitable conflict that few seem to want to address, whether in the military or society at large.

    So it’s like the southern politician who was asked what he thought about whiskey. He said, “If you are talking about that Devil’s liquid that turns good men bad, that leads a family to ruin, a household into poverty, then I’m all against it! If you are talking about that golden elixir that friends enjoy around the table or sitting on the porch while remembering the good in the world and planning how to overcome the bad, I’m all for it!” The individual gay(or heterosexual) soldier who is a good soldier and can live in the context of the military without problems should be allowed to, those that can’t shouldn’t be allowed to stay under the cover of a policy of non-discrimination or a new “tolerance”. The bottom line is that the military has a purpose, and that purpose must not be allowed to become secondary to social or political manipulation.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  34. MD in Philly,

    I liked what you had to say and agree with your last sentence in particular.
    I think the military does a pretty good job of changing with the times without compromising its primary purpose.
    Past examples would be the integration, allowing women into the service and its no-tolerance policy on drugs. For integration and women being allowed in they actually were far ahead of the rest of society in many ways. One of the sad truths most military people realize is that when in uniform and living on base races get along swimmingly – green is the color most see rather than white/black/brown. But once a person goes back to their hometown away from the military base it is not unusual that when giving a friendly nod to a person of a different race not connected with the military you can see the defenses go up slightly. Very disappointing because the military member knows what things could be like.
    Women sit in high ranking positions all over the military now. Not bad for 40 years time in terms of reaching a pretty good parity. The combat issue is the last hurdle and has prevented some women from reaching 4 star rank in my opinion. Drug use was drummed out in almost record time once the testing policy was implemented. Estimates are that about 3% (don’t have source just memory of reading an article)of military members use drugs.

    So my point to all that is that the military does seem to adapt to change pretty well without compromising its primary role/purpose.
    But the rules have to be very clear. That is why DADT has been an unpopular policy.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  35. __________________________________________

    I think he has a bit of an agenda.

    VOR2, I’m far less concerned or worried about his agenda than that of a culture in the military that enabled the disaster of Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood massacre to occur.

    If someone had described such a scenario to me in the past, and didn’t mention it would involve the US military, I would have guessed the killer and his work environment perhaps were affiliated with, say, an office of the ACLU or the Democrat Party.

    Mark (411533)

  36. a culture in the military

    The Ft Hood massacre is a tragedy – no disagreement. Tying it to the DADT topic is a stretch.
    But to make the leap that the military has fostered a culture that made this happen is too much. One or two tragedies does not prove that some sort of trend is in effect.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  37. Mark,
    One more comment irt your comment in #36. The article and extract listed below show how white supremacists are trying to infiltrate the military. Apparently a couple of hundred have successfully joined.
    By the logic that you seem to be using about the Hasan matter the miltary could be characterized as fostering a climate friendly to white supremacists.

    I certainly don’t think that is the case and just point it out as a contrast to what you seem to think about the Hasan case.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/04/08/hate.html

    A July 2008 FBI intelligence report by the bureau’s counterterrorism division warned that white-supremacist leaders were encouraging followers to “infiltrate the military as ‘ghost skins’ in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement.” (The report said the hate-group leaders were especially interested in planting moles without any documented history with neo-Nazi groups or “overt racist insignia such as tattoos” so they could more easily slip by military recruiters. The FBI identified 203 people with confirmed or claimed military service who were active in ex-tremist groups

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  38. _____________________________________

    But to make the leap that the military has fostered a culture

    So how do you explain the mindset prevailing in a workplace (ie, a part of the military) that allowed a pro-Islamic fanatic to openly express his opinions — again, within the setting of the US military, no less — without any repercussions?

    Moreover, what do you believe is more realistic (or less realistic) to occur in the future?: Variations of people like Nidal Hasan being given a lot of leeway — again, even in the context of the military — or people like the anti-gay chaplain described in the article linked by Ozzie?

    The fact I even have to raise that question and, at the very least, be honestly unsure of the answer, illustrates how screwed up things have gotten.

    Mark (411533)

  39. _________________________________________

    By the logic that you seem to be using about the Hasan matter the miltary could be characterized as fostering a climate friendly to white supremacists.

    If the white supremacists are as open and vocal about their fanaticism as Nidal Hasan was, and if such rhetoric is also greeted with a shrug, then, yep, it will be analogous to the situation that made the Fort Hood massacre all too easy.

    Mark (411533)

  40. Mark,
    You are being very selective. The My Lai massacre and abu ghraib incidents were the anomalies and didn’t represent the military at large, although some tried to unfairly characterize them that way.

    Sometimes a tragedy is just a terrible tragedy.

    VOR2 (2a8af5)

  41. Oath Keepers are not a militia, Mark, regardless of what Newsweek and that DHS report says

    ian cormac (6709ab)

  42. Thanks, VOR2.

    While I am an Army Veteran, I don’t really want to speak for their opinions on this matter. This issue wouldn’t have affected my willingness to serve, though I have experienced a morale breaking room-mate. And to be honest, when I served I was young and extremely conservative and I know I’d have been much less comfortable working closely with an openly gay man than I’d be today. Realistically, there are thousands of troops like that, who will do their best anyway. The thing about our military is that it rewards and cultivates initiative in junior NCOs who will react to that kind of issues as they flare up or just fester.

    A lot of our problems, particularly Abu Ghraib, which was just mentioned, would not have happened with minimally acceptable Sergeants. Those chubby, sloppy, unprofessional NCOs from that disaster would be similarly terrible at dealing with a gay soldier paired with a soldier uncomfortable with one. I believe that will always be the first place to look when figuring out how to handle problems. That’s not to say imposing some PC nonsense is acceptable. That’s gotten people killed at Ft Hood, after all.

    Other militaries seem to be dealing with openly gay soldiers.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  43. _______________________________________

    You are being very selective.

    VOR2, and you’d rather not guess which scenario is more likely to take place in the future?:

    1) A pro-Islamic fanatic (and, better yet, one who at the very least is a 100%-verified US citizen) being treated with far too much deference even in the setting of the US military?

    Or:

    2) A chaplain administering to folks in the military, open and candid about his opposition to homosexuality, being treated with far too much disapproval?

    IOW, what form of political correctness run amok — in a manner that will illustrate just how truly perverse and ironic it has become — is more realistic?

    Mark (411533)

  44. I’m guessing a lot of people are focusing on the barracks because it is the quickly understandable place to begin. It is not, however, where normalization of homosexual practices biggest impacts will be. I have served in AD, and I have lived on military bases for 23 years. The military is not like your college. It is not like your company. It is not the DMV. People go home at night, but they are never ‘off work’. There is no clock to punch, no sick days, and no arguing with your boss, no tantrums at work and no hysterical “I quit!” moments. You don’t have all your civil rights. People can order you to your possible death, legally.

    I understand how proponents of normalization of homosexuality like to underpin their arguments like it’s another day at the county water processing plant, and everyone should be welcome, regardless of their sexual practices. I have never heard one of those proponents admit homosexuality is a destructive personal choice, that it introduces an unpredictable element to a complicated equation, nor do they have much regard for the burden this will place on the already straining military health care system, family support structure, the trigger pullers in the field, the support troops shoved into cargo containers or tents working 6 day weeks at 12 hours a day,,,it’s all about THEIR needs. THEIR wants and desires. That is the part of their arguments I find most alien because that thinking is not pervasive in the military. It IS pervasive in liberalism. If you don’t believe it, check donation to charity rates by income for conservative politicians vrs liberal politicians.

    Ozzie (2d040a)

  45. I have never heard one of those proponents admit homosexuality is a destructive personal choice, that it introduces an unpredictable element to a complicated equation, nor do they have much regard for the burden this will place on the already straining military health care system, family support structure, the trigger pullers in the field, the support troops shoved into cargo containers or tents working 6 day weeks at 12 hours a day,,,it’s all about THEIR needs.

    How is a homosexual orientation destructive?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)

  46. Other militaries seem to be dealing with openly gay soldiers.
    Comment by Dustin

    Maybe. Nothing against the many individual brave soldiers from other countries, but my impression is that Afghanistan deteriorated at least in part because it was left to NATO forces, and some countries had ROE that essentially required you to see a Taliban in the process of shooting someone before you could aim your weapon. So I’m not sure how well some militaries are dealing with anything. I’m happy to stand corrected if others know more than me. I think we’ve had commentators who had been in Iraq and at Gitmo, can’t say I remember any trustworthy commenters who have been in Afghanistan.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. VOR2:

    So my point to all that is that the military does seem to adapt to change pretty well without compromising its primary role/purpose.

    I completely agree with this and I think the military would be as successful in integrating gays as it was in integrating different races and women into our forces. But, at some point, I worry that these social missions may cause the military to lose its focus on its core mission.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  48. Comment by DRJ — 10/16/2010 @ 5:50 pm

    Which is why, it seems – from the SecDef down into the ranks – that the CW in the military is that an active war is no time to attempt to make such a large change in the culture.

    AD-RtR/OS! (0b4928)

  49. Dana,

    I’m not sure what PFC Aviles recorded on his cell phone or when he recorded it. The Austin American Statesman reports said Aviles recorded two videos of what it described as the “bloody scene” and the “shooting scene.” Describing it as video of the “scene” suggests to me it was shot after-the-fact. So while I agree the videos would have been relevant evidence if they were shot during the shooting spree, I’m not as concerned if they were shot after-the-fact.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  50. ___________________________________________

    How is a homosexual orientation destructive?

    If it tends to make people flaky and leftwing — since surveys indicate up to 90% of self-described gays are of the left — or if its origins are somehow fostered by liberal sentiment (ie, “I love doing my own thang!” “Conforming with society is boring and prudish!” “When in Rome, I don’t want to do what the Romans do. They do what I want to do!”), then that would be the starting point.

    Mark (411533)

  51. Uh, oh. I think I posted my last comment on the wrong thread.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  52. M.E. wrote …How is a homosexual orientation destructive?

    Well, lets talk about your question first. A “homosexual orientation” suggests free will and personal choice are not involved. They are. A homosexual and a heterosexual look the same under a PET scan, and they have yet to find a ‘gay’ gene. Lets start off on the right foot, human beings who make a conscious choice to engage in homosexual acts are engaging in risky behavior.

    That behavior spreads disease. That behavior can spread disease from high-risk groups to low-risk groups. It can impact a persons faith in God; many major religons condemn homosexual acts. It can cause emotional strife in families and confuse adolescent children. It carries a social stigma.

    Ozzie (2d040a)

  53. Lets start off on the right foot, human beings who make a conscious choice to engage in homosexual acts are engaging in risky behavior.

    As does a straight person who partakes of a one night stand. Or a person who engages in skateboarding or “hotdogging” while skiing. (I went to law school with a vet who became a paraplegic as a result of the latter.) Do you therefore intend to ban one night stands, skateboarding, or skiing among members of the military?

    And since homosexuality seems to be bound up rather deep in the human psyche, I would dispute your premise that choice is involved. At best, a homosexual can choose to remain celibate or not.

    kishnevi (9e06eb)

  54. _______________________________________

    I would dispute your premise that choice is involved.

    Oh, really? No one notified this guy:

    Rupert Everett has revealed he had a six-year affair with the late Paula Yates.

    The “My Best Friend’s Wedding” actor – who is openly homosexual – has admitted to a string of affairs with famous women, including Susan Sarandon, in his new autobiography.

    “I am mystified by my heterosexual affairs, but then I am mystified by most of my relationships,
    ” he said.

    The 47-year-old star admits he had an on-off relationship with Yates during her marriage to Sir Bob Geldof.

    “That side of our relationship was tenuous to say the least, and our lives went in different directions,” he said.

    BTW, if society must accommodate the innate biological aspects of humans, and since the average male is non-monogamous — and is more likely to be promiscuous than the typical female — should society embrace that aspect of human nature?

    With that in mind, it’s hilarious when women of the left (eg, in the world of Hollywood), who want to be so tolerant towards homosexuality (“It isn’t a choice!! They can’t help being the way they are!!”), become indignant and resentful when their boyfriend or husband stop being monogamous on occasion.

    Mark (411533)

  55. A straight person engaging in a one night stand or skiiing are interesting comparisons. Both are voluntary recreational activities, like homosexuality. Homosexuals seeking special rights HAVE to define themselves as intrinsically different than heterosexuals. Without that ‘big lie’ assertion repeated over and over with no basis in scientific fact, they are no different than a gun club or a sky diving team ; people with similar interests in recreational activities.

    This is my major argument with homosexual advocates. They present people commiting homosexual acts as women or minorities when arguing for the military to accept their lifestyle as valid. I can easily use real science to prove a person is female or has melanin in their skin changing their color. The only thing that proves a homosexual is homosexual is the sexual acts they perform.

    Ozzie (2d040a)

  56. But, at some point, I worry that these social missions may cause the military to lose its focus on its core mission.

    DRJ,
    I don’t see them as social missions. Military leadership need troops that can be effective, reliable and able. Their gender, race or sexual orientation have very little to do with those qualities.
    When the Strategic Air Command decided to have mixed gender missile crews down in the holes on 24-72 hour rotations the people who objected the most were the spouses who worried their straight husband couldn’t refrain from their urges. This was a bit of an insult to character of the female crew members character but leadership pressed on with the plan and nothing negative occurred.
    With integration and women both issues got at least as much discussion and debate as the issue of allowing gays to serve. Some of the same reasons were used at the time to try to delay those choices “It’s not time”, “Putting men and women in close quarters in combat is a recipe for disaster”, “The racial integration will never work”, etc. The services are better off for the decisions and while there were growing pains it worked out. As a result we expanded the pool of people that the military can tap into to get highly dedicated and qualified people to perform the military mission.

    What outsiders don’t really see is how these decisions cause a very detailed and layered approach to accomodate the direction they are given. Starts with basic training and continues through a career. At the early stages explanation of the policy and what is expected of each member irt policy. Then comes low – high level management classes that touch on effective supervsion and conflict resolution. Focus is always on the mission and not the PC angle that many believe is being pushed.

    VOR2 (83f40a)

  57. Homosexuals seeking special rights HAVE to define themselves as intrinsically different than heterosexuals

    Gays want to serve openly in our armed forces. How is that a “special right”?

    kishnevi (3a3033)

  58. “””Gays want to serve openly in our armed forces. How is that a “special right”?”””

    Any person may serve in the armed forces. If he or she insists on commiting homosexual sex acts, they disqualify themselves. So do drug addicts, alcoholics, felons, burgelers, rapists, pedophiles and foreign agents unwilling to swear fealty to the United States. Many people are unable to serve in the US military for good reasons (obesity and criminality are just two instances). People who commit homosexual acts are one group of those people.

    Ozzie (2d040a)

  59. As are adulterers.

    AD-RtR/OS! (7bc302)

  60. _________________________________________

    not the PC angle that many believe is being pushed.

    But the BS of PC is fully illustrated by the case of Nidal Hasan and Fort Hood. IOW, the culture can be so easily corrupted — or has been so easily corrupted (within the military, no less) — that a fanatic and kook like Hasan not only wasn’t forced out, he apparently was tolerated by his peer group.

    Surveys indicate a high percentage of homosexuals (or, in most cases, technically they’re actually “bisexuals”) has leftist tendencies. I can see that mindset being far likelier to take advantage of or exploit a growing leniency within the military. Or a situation where the attitude of self-entitlement — which liberal sentiment seems to revel in — becomes pervasive.

    When liberal socio-cultural politics have prevailed or been embraced, standards often end up dumbed down. So if the military becomes further corrupted by pro-PC attitudes (which is mainly a left-leaning phenomenon), then it will be surprising if, in turn, various standards don’t also start to fall apart.

    Mark (411533)

  61. When liberal socio-cultural politics have prevailed or been embraced, standards often end up dumbed down. So if the military becomes further corrupted by pro-PC attitudes (which is mainly a left-leaning phenomenon), then it will be surprising if, in turn, various standards don’t also start to fall apart.

    Comment by Mark — 10/17/2010 @ 10:01 am

    Mark,
    you are using one case with several contributing circumstances to paint a narrative that simply doesn’t seem to be the case. There have been exactly two cases in which someone specifically used Islam as the motive to kill someone. Yet you brush off the real possibility that white supremacist groups have infiltrated some 200 people to obtain weapons training and soldiering skills.
    To make the claim that the culture is so easily corrupted shows a general lack of understanding about the military culture. The extreme diversity and “multi-cultural” influences the military members bring should have brought it to its knees long ago but that has not happened. Why? Simple, the military attracts people focused on one common goal – defense of our country. Leaders skillfully manage all these diverse people toward that goal. And when service members of all ranks leave the service they do well in the commercial world because they have a much deeper understanding of human behavior and the contributing factors that diverse groups play into it. In other words they focus on the bottom line better than many.
    A person who wants to serve their country and all that entails should be allowed to do so. Heck right now the biggest disqualifier for potential recruits is obesity.

    VOR2 (83f40a)

  62. Many people are unable to serve in the US military for good reasons (obesity and criminality are just two instances). People who commit homosexual acts are one group of those people.

    And how does commission of homosexual acts justify disqualification from the military? It’s not like either obesity or criminality. It’s not even like adultery, since adultery involves a betrayal of trust and breaking of a vow (the marriage vows).

    kishnevi (827a72)

  63. Would not the inclusion of homosexuals in the military inflame sand Nazi jihadists? Is this not a rational basis to keep DADT?

    Michael Ejercito (249c90)


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