Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Don't Listen, Don't Care

After 16 years of the U.S. military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy which restricts gays from openly serving their country, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had this to say yesterday before Congress:
Mr. Chairman, 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. No matter how I look at this issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy that forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.
This statement was backed up by the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who has the Pentagon studying how to end the controversial policy.

Of course, allowing gays to serve openly will put the United States at the forefront of civil rights in the 21st century, following only behind Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Uruguay, all of whom already allow gays to openly serve.

That's not to say we don't have some good countries on our side that forbid gays to serve. We can stand tall beside Russia, Pakistan, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Iran.

So how did Congress react? In 2006, Senator John McCain said this:
“The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it,’
Great! So since the Sec. of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said they favor its repeal, McCain will support it. Right?
"I'm deeply disappointed in your statement. ... Your statement obviously is one which is clearly biased, without the view of Congress being taken into consideration."
Wha-? That doesn't sound right. How to explain the discrepancy then?
Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said that the senator thought Admiral Mullen was speaking personally, not on behalf of the Joint Chiefs, and that once a Pentagon review was complete, Mr. McCain would listen to military leaders as a whole.
Oh, so he doesn't want to hear from just one guy, even if he is the highest military officer in the country. Got it. So is there anyone else's opinion that McCain respects?

Just last June, John McCain had this to say:
My opinion is shaped by the view of the leaders of the military. The reason why I supported the policy to start with is because General Colin Powell, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is the one that strongly recommended we adopt this policy in the Clinton administration. I have not heard General Powell or any of the other military leaders reverse their position, just like when on other issues, that people are expert and knowledgeable of, I rely on their opinion. But this is unique. These military leaders are responsible for the very lives of the men and women under their command, and that’s why I am especially guided, to a large degree, by their views.
We all respect Colin Powell, of course. What does he say? Uh-oh.
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” General Powell said in a statement issued by his office. He added: “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
That's that then. John McCain will support the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Right, Senator?



McCain also threw out this bit of wisdom earlier this week:
"This successful policy has been in effect for over 15 years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels."
Successful?!? If you mean successful at getting over 13,000 troops kicked out of the military and costing the country $250 million during a TIME OF WAR, yes, it's been incredibly successful . . . at being f***ing retarded. (Sorry, Sarah)

And, finally, there's this bit of cognitive dissonance from the same source.
"We have the best-trained, best-equipped and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our armed forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy."
Because our troops are SO well trained, and SO professional, that the mere acknowledgment of something they already know - that there are gays living and working among them - will cause our fighting men and women to wet their pants, cry and throw down their arms.

Senator McCain, why do you hate our military personnel?

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