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McCain: “They Do Not! They Do Not! They Do Not Go After Whether Someone Is Gay Or Not!”

Jim Burroway

September 21st, 2010

Either Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is delusional or forgetful in his old age, but just after today’s vote that upheld McCain’s filibuster against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,”  the old gripester insisted that the Defense Department does not “go after” gay people to discharge them under the current law:

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He then ended the press conference by shouting “Get off my lawn!” and refusing to hand over the volleyball that went over his back fence.

McCain must have forgotten testimony that he heard not so long ago:

In fact, as [Major Mike] Almy explained in testimoney before McCain’s own committee (Senate Armed Services): “In Iraq, during the height of the insurgency, someone in the Air Force ordered a search of my private emails solely to determine if I had violated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and to gather whatever evidence could be used against me.” “I was relieved of my duties, leading nearly 200 Airmen, my security clearance was suspended and part of my pay was terminated. Even as my commander was relieving me of my duties, he assured me this was in no way a reflection of my performance or my abilities as an officer,” Almy testified.

Here is the transcript of McCain’s tirade against Advocatereporter Kerry Eleveld and DC Metro’sChris Geidner:

MCCAIN: We do not go out and seek. Regulations are, we do not go out and seek to find out if someone’s sexual orientation. We do not!

ELEVELD: But senator, that’s not…

MCCAIN: That is the fact! That is the fact. Now ma’am, I know the military very well, and I know what’s being done. And what is being done is that they are not seeking out people who are gay. And I don’t care what you say, I know it’s a fact.

ELEVELD: It’s not what I say.

MCCAIN: I dont’ care what you say! And I don’t care what others say. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen it in action. I have sons in the military, I know the military very well. So they’re not telling you the truth.

ELEVELD: Senator, just to make sure…

MCCAIN: Just to make sure. We do not go out and seek out and find out….

ELEVELD: Private emails are not being searched? Private emails are not being searched?

MCCAIN: …See if someone is gay or not. We do not go out and see whether someone is gay or not.

ELEVELD: There are documented cases…

MCCAIN: They do not, they do not, they do not. You can say that they are, you can say [inaudible] it’s not true!… Yea, I’d like to see…

GEIDNER: It is the case of Mike Almy, Senators.

MCCAIN: Bring them to our office. It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy.

GEIDNER: But it is the case that it’s happening, Senator.

MCCAIN: It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy You can say that it is the policy, sir if you choose to. It is not the policy. I would be glad to get that to you in writing.

Comments

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Tone
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

I’m so relieved that McCain and Palin lost in 2008. Imagine him being this demented whilst in the Oval Office… with Sarah behind him just drooling for her turn in the big chair. Horrifying.

Stewart P.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Well, if they went into his emails looking for evidence that he violated DADT, it means that he disclosed in an email to someone that he was gay. In others words, he TOLD.

All McCain is saying is that if you keep it yourself, that’s all the military requires of you.

David C.
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Senile old fool. If this is what passes for leaders in America, we’re definitely toast.

To all of those neocons that predict the collapse of the United States if progressives actually get their way, you are too late. That collapse is already well under way and it was not progressives at all that are bringing it about but the mindless old fools like John McCain and much of the rest of the GOP and their monsters like the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and a host of other idiots that could not care less about this country and are only out for themselves.

Yet another pathetic display.

Erin
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

Wrong Stewart. Completely wrong. One doesn’t have to tell to be kicked out. Like this woman. Even Fox News sides with her in this report. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/15/lesbian-air-force-sergeant-discharged-police-marriage-certificate-military/.

Even if telling were the only grounds to be dismissed, it is still a ludicrous, blatantly discriminatory policy. If a straight soldier tells his buddy in the barracks, “yeah I have a fiance waiting for me back home,” it’s just typical small talk between 2 guys. The same type of conversation should not cost gay soldiers their careers and their benefits, period.

This policy has nothing to do with conduct. It’s the label that gets service members discharged, whether they let it slip themselves or they are found out by someone else. Repealing it won’t encourage different conduct, as there are other rules in place that cover that. It will however lift worries from the minds of lgbt soldiers who are currently afraid to be kicked out.

Edward
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

I remember back in 1978-79 when Anita Bryant made every gay persons life hell. Every gay bar and gay person for that matter boycotted Florida Orange Juice, which she was a spokesperson for,
and got her ass fired ruined her.
It’s time for gay people to unite again and show the power of our combined votes.
Gay community unite!!

Candace
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

All McCain is saying is that if you keep it yourself, that’s all the military requires of you.

I don’t give a damn what McCain said, he’s WRONG. I have a friend who was 12 years in the USAF, full bird Colonel, and one of the men she disciplined SUSPECTED she was gay, informed on her, and she had to leave the service early. In America’s Armed Forces, when it comes to The Gay, you’re guilty until proven innocent… even if you never said a single word about your sexual orientation. It happens to gay men and women in every branch of the service– if somebody SUSPECTS they’re gay, they are put in the middle of an investigation of every part of their public and private life and many opt to resign before getting discharged.

It sounds to me like McCain’s brains got rattled the 4th or 5th time he hotdogged and crashed a multi-million dollar fighter jet.

McCain is a doddering, senile has-been and I can only thank God that he never made it to the Presidency.

TomTallis
September 21st, 2010 | LINK

The original intent of that law was “Don’t ask, don’t tell, DON’T PURSUE.” The military has consistentently violated that law in spite of the senile old fart’s denials.

Ryan
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Why does McCain even bother doing interviews with the gay press? Does he think he’s fooling anyone? Other than his traitorous gay chief of staff, of course. And the gays who voted for him.

MJC
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

And what about that closet case, Lindsey Graham, sitting next to him, who, tellingly, seems silent during the exchange?

CPT_Doom
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Ryan, John McCain, as far as I know, does not have an openly gay chief of staff, at least not now. IIRC, that specific self-hating homo is now running his re-election campaign. Quite frankly, it is high time the media starts asking him why it’s fine for a man who is in a registered domestic partnership in the District of Columbia to run his campaign, but a similar person should be labeled unqualified for the military. I mean, do we really thing the average military person spends as much time with another military member, and in any more intimate circumstances, than a campaign manager does with his/her candidate?

customartist
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

This is what the United states has been reduced to – A rich wife can buy a lifetime seat for an old codger.

Pathetic. Are Cindy and Meghan proud of this man who hurts Americans willingly?

John
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Senator McCain is really losing his grip on reality. Policy and actuality are not necessarily the same thing. So he has sons in the military. Lots of people have sons in the military. Does that make them experts?

justsearching
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

The press needs to enact a policy of asking McCain questions about this issue, telling him documented cases of gays being thrown out, and pursuing him when he blatantly lies likes this.

Timothy Kincaid
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

I don’t think he’s lying. I think he’s convinced that he’s right and that the military really doesn’t go after gay soldiers (and he probably was paying no attention when Major Almy testified – he already knows what he knows so why should he pay attention?)

I may be wrong, but that’s what I get from his attitude here. He’s treating the reporters like small confused children with his almost sing-song repeating of “it’s not the policy”. He thinks that the gay press is listening to rumors or false reports.

I don’t know if it would actually get through to him if he was presented with a comprehensive list of those who were victims of active pursuit, but it might be worth trying. He might be human enough to be embarrassed by his rant once he saw that he was wrong.

Chris McCoy
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid wrote:

I don’t think he’s lying. I think he’s convinced that he’s right and that the military really doesn’t go after gay soldiers[.]

Telling a falsehood while believing it to be true is still lying.

Kate
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Wow… the best he can come up with is just repeating a phrase over and over until the questioner gives up? What’s next? “LALALALALALALA I can’t hear you LALALALALA”

Maybe the press needs to stop interviewing him altogether. He’s so irrelevant he doesn’t deserve a minute of time, if all he can do is repeat himself. What a complete tool.

The Lauderdale
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

@Chris McCoy:

Most definitions of the verb “to lie” include an element of intent: for example, “to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.” By most definitions, then, telling a falsehood while believing it to be true is not lying.

That said, I think that McCain is lying. Or just demented.

John in the Bay Area
September 22nd, 2010 | LINK

It would be interesting to see the list of people who have been separated from the military for violated the Don’t Ask and Don’t Pursue portions of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law.

I am guessing it would take a couple of seconds to come up with the number zero, and even less time to read the report.

The policy is patently wrong, but the application of the law in the real world is even worse, difficult as that is to believe.

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