More Evidence that DADT is Dead

Timothy Kincaid

January 8th, 2008

Do you ever get the sense that Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is a walking corpse that just hasn’t noticed that it isn’t breathing?

USA Today tells us that in the three weeks since Army Sgt. Darren Manzella came out on national television he’s heard no indication that he’s being discharged. And other than the ever reliable one woman army against gays, women, and creeping liberalism, Elaine Donnelly, no one seems to care (when you’re down to quoting Elaine, it means no one else is talking).

And Elaine’s crusade may not be going real well.

Army spokesman Paul Boyce says the “policy is public law, and it is being enforced.” It’s not illegal to be gay in the military, he points out, as long as a servicemember keeps quiet.

Quiet like 60 Minutes, I guess.

But the most interesting part of the article was this last bit at the end:

Eugene Fidell of the National Institute of Military Justice, a group of military legal experts, wonders whether the dwindling number of discharges suggests broader implications for the policy. “Is it dying basically for lack of interest?” he asks. “Military managers may be turning a blind eye because it’s a nuisance, and we need these people.”

Sorry Elaine, it looks like you’re pretty much on your own now.

Norm!

January 8th, 2008

I would be interesting to hear what the statistics are. Even if DADT prosecutions are declining, one DADT discharge is one too many.

Contrary to what the Republican presidential candidates say, not all service members are anti-gay. Several years ago, a not-very-closeted gay service member told me about a staff meeting at his state’s national guard. The leader (a colonel?) basically said the unit had much better things to do than prosecute DADT and he would not have a favorable assessment of anyone who persued DADT charges.

Ephilei

January 8th, 2008

While I hate any sexual discrimination, I actually have mixed feelings about DADT. Should the US start a war with Iran as Bush wants, the military will have to revive the draft. If DADT stands, I’ll be exempt for being trans, and that suits my nonviolence sentiments nicely. Of course that gives me the “special rights” that anti-LGBT accuse us of wanting. Not that DADT is good by any means, but it is a mixed curse.

Emily K

January 8th, 2008

Ephilei, I agree to a point, haha. I think the higher-ups in the military are starting to realize (finally) that yeah, you NEED these guys, and war-time is NO time to be picky.

Bill Ware

January 8th, 2008

I flew combat missions in Vietnam, earning the DFC and ten Air Medals as well. The idea that any sane individual would send a qualified pilot home because he was gay, leaving more combat missions for the rest of us to fly in his place is about as absurd as it gets.

Suricou Raven

January 8th, 2008

Ephili: A draft would be needed to occupy Iran. But Bush shows no signs of wanting to occupy Iran – that has been quite a struggle in Iraq, he wont made that mistake again. What he wants to do is bomb the military, and any other government targets that take his fancy, into piles of finely-ground gravel. No draft needed for that!

That doesn’t mean no draft will be coming. Just that it wont be coming for a while.

Emily K

January 8th, 2008

I would prefer to be drafted for a war that is actually an imminent threat to this nation, which Iran and Iraq aren’t. They are more a threat to Israel, and Israel has not gone to war with them. If I were to be drafted for World War III, I would probably go. I would try to opt for something that would help the nation that didn’t involve direct combat, but that still helped serve this country.

Suricou Raven

January 9th, 2008

Interestingly, that Israel that the right loves so much has allowed homosexuals to serve openly in all branches of its military for years. And its still there – no problems have resulted at all. The same goes for many European countries. So why should the US be any different?

Christopherâ„¢

January 9th, 2008

Keep in mind that all the Congressmen who have been pushing for a draft in various legislative bills over the years have been Democrats.

Timothy Kincaid

January 10th, 2008

Actually, Christopher, that is not correct. Although the overwhelming majority of Congressmen committed to repealing DADT are Democrats, HR 1246 does have bipartisan sponsorship.

Christopherâ„¢

January 10th, 2008

Hi, Timothy–

I wasn’t referring to DADT. I’m well aware of the Democratic support for repealing that policy, and I am in full agreement with them. As a response to Suricou Raven’s and Emily K’s statements about being drafted, I was pointing out the Democratic attempts to introduce legislation in either the House or Senate to re-institute a military draft.

In 2003, HR 163, the Universal National Service Act, was co-sponsored by Democrat representatives Charles Rangel and Pete Stark. When the final House vote was taken, only two Democrats, Jack Murtha and Stark, voted for it.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/07/rangel.draft/

Democratic senator Ernest Hollings introduced a similar bill at the same time in the Senate.

Since the failure of the House bill in 2004, Rangel reintroduced similar military draft bills two more times in May 2005 (HR 4752) and in February 2006. Both times they died in committee.

Look, I’m no fan of President Bush or how Republicans have run this country over the last several years, but it’s been the Democrats who have been pushing military draft legislation, not Republicans. That’s all I was pointing out. :-)

Timothy Kincaid

January 10th, 2008

Christopher,

How very funny. I responded to your comment without going up and re-reading those above it. So I read “draft” in the context of drafting a bill rather than as the military draft.

Thanks for the clarification.

Suricou Raven

January 13th, 2008

“…co-sponsored by Democrat representatives Charles Rangel and Pete Stark. When the final House vote was taken, only two Democrats, Jack Murtha and Stark, voted for it.”

Sounds more like three democrats wanted to impose a draft… and the rest dont. Not something the party collectively supported.

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