Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Admiral Mike Mullen, in his Twitter post from yesterday: Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.

Admiral Mullen's longer quote:

"Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do," the nation's top military officer told the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me personally, it comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

Here is a litany of other supportive quotes from opinionated bloggers we have all read before.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
"In my opinion, the presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would very likely create an unacceptable risk," he said, putting homosexuality in a category with "adultery, fraternization and body art."
I do have to respond to that. All of my tattoos...both shoulders, both ankles, and my entire back, I obtained while serving in the Marines. Senator Chambliss, if homosexuality is in the same category of acceptance as "body art," as you say, then I would dare say the military fully accepts and even encourages it!

And that takes me, as a guy who has served and been deployed, to my point: this was a bold move by the top U.S. military commander, and it was the right move. In fact, I think Admiral Mullen sums it up best:
"Sort of a fundamental principle with me . . . is everybody counts," he told the senators. "Putting individuals in a position that every single day they wonder whether today's going to be the day" -- that they are kicked out for being gay -- "and devaluing them in that regard is inconsistent with us as an institution."
Yes. That. What he said.

Sullivan sums up how I think members of our own military will take a lifting of the ban: "This, in my view, is the ultimate reality behind all this: when the ban is lifted, it will be the biggest non-event you can imagine."

And now, of course, member of the GOP are doubting and criticizing the military's direction. I should note, in all fairness, that Admiral Mullen's quote was, as he points out, his own personal opinion. But in making that statement, he made clear his intention. Former Defense Sec'y Powell and current Defense Sec'y Gate agree. In fact, the only one who didn't thus far is the Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway. Now, as a loyal Marine, I do love my commandant (well, not in that way...). But the Marines, in which I am inordinately proud to have served for 8 years, are the last branch that still doesn't allow women in ground combat roles. So that's kinda where we come from on that.

I applaud Admiral Mullen's statement. This is the right way to go. We've all seen examples of the total fucking idiocy of the don't ask don't tell policy.


Bob 3:40 PM  

McCain totally flip-flopped on the issue. What a douche.

Nice post. I am betting you and everyone else knew who was gay in the Marines and didn't give a shit.

Smitty 3:54 PM  

McCain totally flip-flopped

Not only McCain, but now the GOP is in a position to have to move against the military.

I am betting you and everyone else knew who was gay in the Marines and didn't give a shit

Regarding social attitudes, you get a pretty broad spectrum. Marines from various backgrounds and socio-economic statii tend to think about social issues exactly how you think they would.

That said, yes. You kinda knew who was. Some might have grumbled. But nobody did anything about it, and when it really counted, everyone fired in the same direction as everyone else when the fighting started.

Another angle: the same guys who'd tell bullshit racist jokes fought right along-side the "dark green" Marines just as readily and with just as much trust and fervor as they did along side the "light green" Marines.

Monk-in-Training 10:42 PM  

This is the right decision, and high time it comes about.

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