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Thread: First gay soldier to be fired, for being gay, under Obama's watch

  1. #1
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Angry First gay soldier to be fired, for being gay, under Obama's watch

    Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army National Guard who is fluent in Arabic and who returned recently from Iraq, received notice today that the military is about to fire him. Why? Because he came out of the closet as a gay man on national television.

    Some readers might think it unfair to blame Obama. After all, the president inherited the "don't ask, don't tell" law when he took office. As Commander-in-Chief, he has to follow the law. If the law says that the military must fire any service member who acknowledges being gay, that is not Obama's fault.

    Or is it?

    A new study, about to be published by a group of experts in military law, shows that President Obama does, in fact, have stroke-of-the-pen authority to suspend gay discharges. The "don't ask, don't tell" law requires the military to fire anyone found to be gay or lesbian. But there is nothing requiring the military to make such a finding. The president can simply order the military to stop investigating service members' sexuality.

    An executive order would not get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, but would take the critical step of suspending its implementation, hence rendering it effectively dead. Once people see gays and lesbians serving openly, legally and without problems, it will be much easier to get rid of the law at a later time.

    I spent a day with Dan Choi last month, and he is not someone we want to fire from the military. He loves the armed forces. He served bravely under tough combat conditions in Iraq. His Arabic is excellent, and he used his language skills to diffuse many tough situations and to save lives, both Iraqi and American. All of his unit mates know he is gay, and they have been very supportive of him. But he doesn't want to live a lie.

    Obama has been praised for delaying efforts to get rid of "don't ask, don't tell," and some major gay rights groups are actively lobbying to delay consideration of the issue. They seem to believe that Obama should focus on other gay-rights issues first, and that he shouldn't spend his precious political capital trying to ram a repeal bill through Congress.

    This misses the point. Obama could sign an executive order today. With roughly three-quarters of the public, including a majority of republicans, in favor of open gay service, a meaningful public backlash is unlikely. A slight majority of service members prefer that the policy be left in place, but polls also show that only a tiny minority of them care strongly about the issue, and that the vast majority of service members are comfortable interacting with gays.

    Obama may believe he has nothing to lose by waiting. But what about Dan Choi's career? Is this really the right time to fire military officers who are fluent in Arabic?

    Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post
    a comment on it:

    Absolutely shameful. Under George Bush and the Republicans this was expected behavior. After all, they routinely broke the law and undermined the Constitution, so bigotry and discrimination, and destroying the lives of countless patriotic American soldiers, was just another day's work for the Republicans. Under Barack Obama and the Democrats, this is disgraceful.

    There is no excuse for one more gay soldier being discharged under this president. Barack Obama had the ability on day one to put a stop to the discharges. No, he does not have the power to single-handedly repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell - the policy is written in law, and Congress needs to repeal it. But President Obama had the power - and still has - to put a stop to the discharges, pending the upcoming review of the policy he has promised - the upcoming repeal of the policy which he has promised. Obama could have issued a stop-loss order, retaining all soldiers implicated under the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy until such time as the policy is revisited. Obama also has the ability to stop the witch hunts and the investigations, as Aaron Belkin argues in the piece I linked to above.

    If President Obama permits even one gay soldier to be discharged under his watch he will become as dishonorable as the president who served before him. The president who tortured. The president who discriminated. If Barack Obama does nothing, he will be no better than the southern racists who only a generation ago would have scoffed at a black man in a swimming pool, let alone the Oval Office.

    It is one thing to suggest that "now is not the right time," and that we should perhaps wait until, say, next year to lift the ban. It is quite another for our president to become an active participant in discriminating against gay soldiers. The former is debatable. The latter is immoral.

    The first black president cannot in his first months in office be a party to bigotry. Enough is enough. It's time for this administration to stop being embarrassed that some of our citizens, many of their supporters, are gay. It's time for this administration to stop giving gays and lesbians second-hand appointments and thinking that they've done us a favor. It was painfully obvious that there was no consideration given whatsoever to an openly gay person serving in the President's cabinet. Every major minority got a seat - or three - but not the gays (and you'd better believe the diversity of the cabinet was well-orchestrated and intentional). Even the Republicans were more welcome in this cabinet than the gays. And the only gay agency head, who isn't even cabinet level, runs the personnel office - a job that in my work experience was far too often reserved for women and gay men.

    Am I the only one who thinks it will be a cold day in hell when this administration appoints an openly gay person to the cabinet or the Supreme Court? (And appointing closet cases, whether under the previous administration or this one, does not count. A gay person ashamed of their sexual orientation is about as much of a role model, or a step forward, as a Latino ashamed of their ethnicity, or a black man ashamed of his race.)

    I do not think that Barack Obama is homophobic. In fact, I suspect in his heart of hearts he supports all of our rights, including marriage. But we scare him. And our rights scare his advisors. I fear there will never be a "good time" to advance the cause of our freedom. And every day we wait, every soldier we fire, will only make it that much harder to one day do the right thing.

    I respect this President, and I thank God that he, rather than McCain-Palin, is in office during these troubling times. But I take no solace in knowing that even with a black man in the White House, the torch of bigotry continues to burn bright.

    AMERICAblog News| A great nation deserves the truth
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  2. #2
    Elite Member TheONe's Avatar
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    Don't ask, Don't tell
    "My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children. Praise be to Allah." TEAM MILEY!!

  3. #3
    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ...he's gonna fall down on the side of religion every time.....I'm not surprised by this at all.....he used gays, blacks and women to get into office and I don't think he gives a shit about any "social" legislation.....his primary goal is to be hero over the financial and world political arena......in my less than humble opinion....

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    should be 'Doesn't matter, mind your own business'

    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ...he's gonna fall down on the side of religion every time.....I'm not surprised by this at all.....he used gays, blacks and women to get into office and I don't think he gives a shit about any "social" legislation.....his primary goal is to be hero over the financial and world political arena......in my less than humble opinion....
    yes, but you dislike whatever he does and did from the outset. He's done good things and bad things. So far, it's about even.

    It's still a damnsight better than McFail and Caribou Barbie
    Last edited by Tati; May 16th, 2009 at 03:37 PM.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ I agree. I think the man just likes to hear him self talk, too. He's starved for praise and attention.

  6. #6
    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ....because I believed then that he would do exactly what he has done now.....wait until next year.....once his black constituency realizes that they, too, are taking hind tit.......

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *eyerolls*
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  8. #8
    Elite Member cynic's Avatar
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    ...this is why we never talk.....

  9. #9
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    at any rate, since he has the power to at least suspend this, maybe it'll blow up across the MSM
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    he won't suspend it
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
    П(_)П
    twitchy molests my signature!

  11. #11
    Elite Member TheONe's Avatar
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    ^^I agree...I don't see him suspeding it either.
    "My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children. Praise be to Allah." TEAM MILEY!!

  12. #12
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    See, this is where mass disobedience would come in. I bet if evey gay serviceman/servicewoman stood up en masse in defiance of this shit, there'd be a reckoning.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ There probably would be, but it wouldn't be in their favor.

  14. #14
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I highly doubt they'd all get fired. The military can't spare thousands.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  15. #15
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    ^ Yes they can....they can draft people should they need them that badly.
    Disobedience is not something that the US military is going to allow.

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