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

  1. #31
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Choi wrote an open letter to Obama today:

    Open Letter to President Obama and Every Member of Congress:

    I have learned many lessons in the ten years since I first raised my right hand at the United States Military Academy at West Point and committed to fighting for my country. The lessons of courage, integrity, honesty and selfless service are some of the most important.

    At West Point, I recited the Cadet Prayer every Sunday. It taught us to “choose the harder right over the easier wrong” and to “never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.” The Cadet Honor Code demanded truthfulness and honesty. It imposed a zero-tolerance policy against deception, or hiding behind comfort.

    Following the Honor Code never bowed to comfortable timing or popularity. Honor and integrity are 24-hour values. That is why I refuse to lie about my identity.

    I have personally served for a decade under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: an immoral law and policy that forces American soldiers to deceive and lie about their sexual orientation. Worse, it forces others to tolerate deception and lying. These values are completely opposed to anything I learned at West Point. Deception and lies poison a unit and cripple a fighting force.

    As an infantry officer, an Iraq combat veteran and a West Point graduate with a degree in Arabic, I refuse to lie to my commanders. I refuse to lie to my peers. I refuse to lie to my subordinates. I demand honesty and courage from my soldiers. They should demand the same from me.

    I am committed to applying the leadership lessons I learned at West Point. With 60 other LGBT West Point graduates, I helped form our organization, Knights Out, to fight for the repeal of this discriminatory law and educate cadets and soldiers after the repeal occurs. When I receive emails from deployed soldiers and veterans who feel isolated, alone, and even suicidal because the torment of rejection and discrimination, I remember my leadership training: soldiers cannot feel alone, especially in combat. Leaders must reach out. They can never diminish the fighting spirit of a soldier by tolerating discrimination and isolation. Leaders respect the honor of service. Respecting each soldier’s service is my personal promise.

    The Department of the Army sent a letter discharging me on April 23rd. I will not lie to you; the letter is a slap in the face. It is a slap in the face to me. It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers.

    My subordinates know I’m gay. They don’t care. They are professional.

    Further, they are respectable infantrymen who work as a team. Many told me that they respect me even more because I trusted them enough to let them know the truth. Trust is the foundation of unit cohesion.

    After I publicly announced that I am gay, I reported for training and led rifle marksmanship. I ordered hundreds of soldiers to fire live rounds and qualify on their weapons. I qualified on my own weapon. I showered after training and slept in an open bay with 40 other infantrymen. I cannot understand the claim that I “negatively affected good order and discipline in the New York Army National Guard.” I refuse to accept this statement as true.

    As an infantry officer, I am not accustomed to begging. But I beg you today: Do not fire me. Do not fire me because my soldiers are more than a unit or a fighting force – we are a family and we support each other. We should not learn that honesty and courage leads to punishment and insult. Their professionalism should not be rewarded with losing their leader. I understand if you must fire me, but please do not discredit and insult my soldiers for their professionalism.

    When I was commissioned I was told that I serve at the pleasure of the President. I hope I have not displeased anyone by my honesty. I love my job. I want to deploy and continue to serve with the unit I respect and admire. I want to continue to serve our country because of everything it stands for.

    Please do not wait to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Please do not fire me.

    Very Respectfully,

    Daniel W. Choi
    1LT, IN
    New York Army National Guard

    CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
    Brilliant. He's broadcasted this to every major news outlet, and he's put the focus DIRECTLY on Obama, making it Obama's responsibility and using logic and the military's own code of ethics to do it. To discount any of it would be to discount everything West Point instills in its soldiers and throws it all into doubt.

    Superb manoever. Let's watch what happens.
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  2. #32
    Elite Member shedevilang's Avatar
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    God damn it that made me cry why should he have to beg to keep his job just fucking stupid.
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  3. #33
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    He's begging for the 'privilege' of putting himself in harms way for his nation.

    What more do people need? Honestly. Wtf more could anybody want?
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  4. #34
    Elite Member Sweetie's Avatar
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    A free college education.

  5. #35
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Yes, I'm sure he's doing all this for a free college education, including setting up Knights Out and a support system. That'll surely do it.

    *sighs and eyerolls*
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  6. #36
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Nice letter but I highly doubt Obama will do anything but maybe a private phone call back or something (definitely no email records).

    He and his administration have already 'proved' they are too scared to actually act on their brave words not too long about this issue.

    I would be happy if he did but let's face it no doubt Obama ultimately probably thinks that it may be political suicide for him at this point. I'm sure he wishes this thing would just quietly die down.

    Very sad.

  7. #37
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I'm sure he does too, and that's why this is good. It's blasted across the MSM and forces the issue.

    .. aaaaand we just got the answer and it's a resounding NO from Obama. Shitbag could suspend it but he won't. Coward.

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says it won't stop gays and lesbians from being dismissed from the military while the Obama administration works to repeal a decade-old policy banning openly gay people from serving in uniform.
    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that President Barack Obama does not plan to intervene in current cases against men and women who announce their homosexuality.


    Gibbs says the president wants to do away with the "don't ask, don't tell" policy through legislation.

    Gibbs says the policy does not serve the national interest and that Obama is working with lawmakers for what Gibbs calls a "durable legislative solution." He says a repeal of the policy requires "more than the snapping of one's fingers."

    Critics of the policy have called on Obama to stop the dismissals now.

    Reuters.com - World News, Financial News, Breaking US & International News
    Last edited by Tati; May 16th, 2009 at 03:41 PM.
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  8. #38
    Elite Member bychance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cynic View Post
    ^^no, he won't.....and then he'll blame it on Congress....he's the Second Coming of Christ, don'tcha know?

  9. #39
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    What does the gay community want to see happen? I too wish Obama would take a personal stance against the firing and reverse it, but he is also trying to say that the law is the law, and that the law should be changed via Congress. As such, someone who broke the law should be held to the consequences. If he disregards the law, he is no better than Dubya.

    So if Obama were to issue an executive order saying that military gays who come out cannot be fired...what will happen? Will a bunch of men and women begin to make public statements that they are gay? And would the purpose be to let everyone know that gays are more numerous than anyone ever imagined?

    Is there anything wrong with don't ask/don't tell? In any workplace, I don't want my boss asking me what I do in the bedroom and I don't feel a need to advertise it. Damn, I wish some former coworkers of mine had kept their mouth shut about their bedroom escapades, whatever orientation they were, because your coworkers don't need to know that shit.
    Put that damn policy in every workplace.

    So this guy goes extremely public to challenge the law...what exactly is he trying to accomplish? To force Obama to take a personal stand by signing an executive order? As far as I am concerned, this is fucking contract law. A soldier enlists, he signs a contract, right? So just change the contract to say that a soldier will not be discriminated against for race, color, gender, or sexual orientation.

    Please explain the long-term implications of this controversy.

  10. #40
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    What does the gay community want to see happen? I too wish Obama would take a personal stance against the firing and reverse it, but he is also trying to say that the law is the law, and that the law should be changed via Congress. As such, someone who broke the law should be held to the consequences. If he disregards the law, he is no better than Dubya.
    He's already disregarding tons of laws on torture, secrecy and a bunch of other happy horseshit Bush put into play so Obama is not, i repeat NOT better than Bush in many respects. In a lot, he's the same and with a couple he's tending to worse.

    ANYWAY... Obama doesn't have the power to simply do away with the law, and I wouldn't want him to. Congress has to repeal it, which is as it should be.

    What power DOES Obama have in this case?

    He has the power to SUSPEND THE LAW PENDING A CONGRESSIONAL REVIEW. Ie: put it on hold so in the meantime, more good soldiers aren't fired for discrimination. He's already said he wants congress to repeal the law, so frankly, it begs the question of WHY NOT SUSPEND IT IN THE MEANTIME? Who knows, Obama's a mystery. I'm just glad this is blowing up in his face.

    He's refused to do that, so good soldiers are still being fired thanks to discrimination.

    So if Obama were to issue an executive order saying that military gays who come out cannot be fired...what will happen? Will a bunch of men and women begin to make public statements that they are gay? And would the purpose be to let everyone know that gays are more numerous than anyone ever imagined?
    Maybe, who knows. They won't have to serve in fear of losing their jobs, commissions and careers though.

    Is there anything wrong with don't ask/don't tell? In any workplace, I don't want my boss asking me what I do in the bedroom and I don't feel a need to advertise it. Damn, I wish some former coworkers of mine had kept their mouth shut about their bedroom escapades, whatever orientation they were, because your coworkers don't need to know that shit.
    Put that damn policy in every workplace.
    Yes, there is. If they find out, soldiers can lose their job. It has to be hidden and kept locked away. Straight soldiers can bring their families, their husbands/wives, and live openly. Gay soldiers can't. They have to hide.

    So this guy goes extremely public to challenge the law...what exactly is he trying to accomplish? To force Obama to take a personal stand by signing an executive order?
    To force Obama's hand and force some action, be it suspension and/or repealing process.

    As far as I am concerned, this is fucking contract law. A soldier enlists, he signs a contract, right? So just change the contract to say that a soldier will not be discriminated against for race, color, gender, or sexual orientation.
    That's the crux. They can't.

    Please explain the long-term implications of this controversy.
    I would have thought it obvious, but..

    The most direct consequence of this is that 400-600 arab linguists, gay of course, were fired before 9/11. Those were resources lost in deciphering terrorist chatter.

    *Shrugs* Do the math.
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  11. #41
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    is he cute?

  12. #42
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    erm.. not really..

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  13. #43
    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Did anyone truly believe Obama, or any other candidate, would actively seek to overturn the DADT policy? Obama is not the messiah; Obama was the lesser of two evils. If McCain had been elected, the military would have seen many more oustings by now. Don't expect Obama to use any executive powers to suspend DADT or to press congress to repeal.

    Personally, I think anyone who chooses a military career, becoming an android basically, should be allowed to serve; however, gay men and women who enter the miltary know about DADT and the repercussions of being found out. The UCMJ covers other personal topics, such as adultery and sodomy, which is none of the military's business, but opens the doors into the private and sexual lives of straight members. It's a controlled environment and anyone who enters can't whine when they are caught breaking a law which was quite clearly stated before he signed that contract. The military isn't a typical job, so if one. gay, straight, or asexual, can't handle the scrutiny, move away from the recruitment office.

    If all gay service members were to stand and out themselves, it would be dual outing. They would proclaim themselves gay and be unemployed. The rules, fair or unfair, but still enforced, are no secret.

    Don't join, don't bitch.



  14. #44
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    It's wrong and immoral and discriminatory. The principle IS the matter.

    Segregation was the law in the military back in the day, but amazingly people IN the system still fought it and finally won.

    I'm sure we wouldnt be hearing any "don't join, don't bitch" about that, but hey.. that's just race.
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  15. #45
    Elite Member RevellingInSane's Avatar
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    Race and sexuality are perceived differently, whether anyone likes it or not. I wouldn't join the KKK then bitch that they didn't like me. You know the score, you take the chance, you get busted, then you want to complain publicly? Whether the rule is discriminatory or not, THEY KNOW IT IS THERE. Don't get caught then complain. Stop trying to make it something it isn't. Sexual conduct constraints are not limited to homosexuals only. I guess that part of the post was overlooked.

    Fight the system. How about organizing a National Coming Out Against DADT Day? Let's see how high the numbers rise? DADT will be repealed one day, but today isn't the day. Until it is, gays have two choices, join, follow the rule, and deal with the consequences or DO NOT JOIN! It isn't difficult. Obama is not suspending DADT, Congress is not repealing it, and the Supreme Court is not touching it. What should our could be is not the issue. Face the facts and deal with what is. Likes and dislikes don't matter. Reality doesn't work that way.

    Race and sexuality, regardless of how much gays push for it, are not seen as being at all the same. It will not be treated the same. We are dealing with the real situation, not the ideal situation.

    "Don't join, don't bitch" still stands. DADT hasn't been a secret law, or can the people complaining about being booted not read? ANYONE who breaks ANY UCMJ article faces consequences, whether the article is ridiculous or not. Why is this any different?

    I, as a straight person, decided I don't like someone else running every aspect of my life, and made the conscious decision to forego a military career. Gays can do the same.



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