Monday, June 21, 2010

DADT: Truth and Sense Gone AWOL

The things they say.

Politicians and advocates opposed to the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) have provided a chain of ignorant remarks and fantastical claims. I suppose when fear is your main motivator, your lips come out swinging.

In May, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., chatted on American Family Association (AFA) radio about DADT. "You have women, men, then you'd have a third group to deal with," he said.

A third group? What, Smurfs?

Inhofe continued, "A military guy—I happen to be Army, and Army and Marines always feel that when we're out there, we're not doing it for the flag or for the country; we're doing it for the guy in the next foxhole. And that would dramatically change that."

Apparently every straight soldier would forget his training and duty, emerge from his foxhole and announce to the enemy, "Stop shooting! There's a faggot next to me so I've decided to just go home."

A couple of weeks later, AFA radio treated listeners to a history lesson. Host Bryan Fischer, as part of his discourse on DADT, declared that Hitler was "an active homosexual" who recruited gays to be Storm Troopers.

"Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual soldiers basically had no limits," said Fischer.

If he twisted history any farther he would decapitate it.

The truth is that several leaders of the SA, the Nazi Party's paramilitary, were gay. That Hitler was gay is unlikely. That Fischer chose to trot out a crazy picture of gay soldiers as vicious animals during the national DADT debate suggests he's desperate and delusional, his head full of Brownshirts doing a Bavarian folkdance.

That's what the American Family Association offered to the debate. Not to be outdone, fellow social conservative group the Family Research Council stepped up to the fantasy plate at the same time. Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg released what he said was the first study of "homosexual assault" in the military.

According to the TPM Web site, Sprigg told reporters that gays in the service "are three times more likely to commit sexual assaults" than straights.

His facts are about as trustworthy as BP's.

Should DADT be repealed, said Sprigg, the situation would become more dire. "The number of homosexuals would grow, the threat of discharge for homosexual behavior would be eliminated and protected class status for homosexuals would make victims hesitant to report assaults and make commanders hesitant to punish them for fear of appearing homophobic."

And Liza Minnelli would join the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Returning to politicians, consider Al Krieger, the mayor of Yuma, Ariz., who supports DADT and whose remarks at a Memorial Day ceremony in a cemetery included, "I cannot believe that a bunch of lacy-drawered, limp-wristed people could do what those men have done in the past."

What will it take for a person like Krieger to grasp that some of "those men" were gay? That some of them are now? He's as ignorant as a head of cabbage.

Krieger proved that again when he defended himself to TV station KYMA, saying, "We need solid strong men, not pacifists, to fight those battles."

Finally, in June, Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said he thinks DADT should stay, in part because Congressional debate could force families to discuss homosexuality.

"What do mommies and daddies say to their 7-year-old child?" Skelton asked media members.

They say sometimes girls fall in love with girls, and boys fall in love with boys, you great big coward.

Cue the irony--the congressman wants a policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell on Don't Ask, Don't Tell.