Delaware for Obama

Monday, June 21, 2004

Don't Ask, Don't Tell vs. Don't Discriminate, Don't Weaken Defense
Yahoo! News - Soldier Dismissed After Revealing He's Gay:

"Since 'don't ask, don't tell' was adopted in 1994, nearly 10,000 military personnel have been discharged, including linguists, nuclear warfare experts and other key specialists. The statistics, obtained from the Defense Manpower Data Center and analyzed by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California at Santa Barbara, offers a detailed profile of those discharged, including job specialty, rank and years spent in the service. 'The justification for the policy is that allowing gays and lesbians to serve would undermine military readiness,' said Aaron Belkin, author of the study, which will be released Monday. 'For the first time, we can see how it has impacted every corner of the military and goes to the heart of the military readiness argument.'"

"Hundreds of those discharged held high-level job specialties that required years of training and expertise, including 90 nuclear power engineers, 150 rocket and missile specialists and 49 nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare specialists. Eighty-eight linguists were discharged, including at least seven Arab language specialists.

Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, a conservative advocacy group that opposes gays serving in the military, said the loss of gays and lesbians serving in specialized areas is irrelevant because they never should have been in those jobs in the first place. 'We need to defend the law, and the law says that homosexuality is incompatible with military service,' Donnelly said. 'There is no shortage of people in the military, and we do not need people who identify themselves as homosexual.'"

Bullshit. We need every willing man and woman we can get, especially linguists and engineers. Does anyone seriously think defending America against the possibility of germ warfare is less important than preserving our military's machismo?

Our troops are sweating and slaving away in Iraq and Afghanistan, constantly being promised they'll be able to return home soon and constantly seeing those promises broken. How many of them would rather stay an extra three months than be replaced by a homosexual? How many of them think that the military has more than enough rocket scientists and arabic linguists?

No shortage, huh? If we continue needlessly overcommitting our troops and allow brain-drain policies like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to cut our effectiveness, then we may see what a serious shortage looks like.

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