I suspect it’s difficult for supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to come up with a rationale for their position. Take
May 3, 2007

I suspect it’s difficult for supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” to come up with a rationale for their position. Take John McCain, for example.

In an April 16 letter to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), McCain says the law, passed in 1993, “unambiguously maintains that open homosexuality within the military services presents an intolerable risk to morale, cohesion and discipline.” Senator McCain goes on to incorrectly assert that the U.S. Supreme Court “has ruled that the military may constitutionally discharge a service member for overt homosexual behavior.” […]

“Most importantly, the national security of the United States, not to mention the lives of our men and women in uniform, are put at grave risk by policies detrimental to the good order and discipline which so distinguish America’s Armed Services.”

This is breathtakingly dumb and is the latest evidence of just how far McCain has slipped into “crazy base world.”

First, McCain cites a Supreme Court ruling that doesn’t exist. Strike one. Second, McCain calls gays an “intolerable risk” to military morale, cohesion, and discipline. Really? According to a recent Zogby poll of active personnel, 73% of military members say they are comfortable around lesbians and gays. For that matter, more than one in five U.S. troops already knows a gay person in their unit, including combat units. So where’s the “intolerable risk”? Strike two.

Third, McCain emphasizes “national security” as a rationalization for discrimination. In what way, exactly, does it improve our national security for, say, Bleu Copas, a decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist who joined the Army after the 9/11 attacks, to be thrown out of the military for being gay, despite his role in helping translate intercepted messages from possible terrorists? Are we more or less safe with Copas as a civilian? Strike three.

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