October 12, 2009

"My understanding of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy was that if I kept quiet about my sexuality and didn't break any rules, I would face no punishment."

"I was wrong."

66 comments:

peter hoh said...

My hat's off to him and the other brave men and women who tell their stories.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I always thought they wanted to keep DADT around so they could use homosexuality for hazing. No one ever says this when they are defending DADT, but if I was in Congress questioning people this is all I would ask about.

Make them describe the kind of stuff they do.

Fred4Pres said...

"Don't ask, Don't tell" is a stupid policy. It was weak to start with and it is definitely outdated now. The policy is gay or straight you should be in the military, but overt displays of sexuality that affect unit cohesion are forbidden.

With men and women serving together, overt hetrosexual displays (especially with team members working together) affect unit cohesion. The same would be true for homosexual displays. Will gays get stricter scrutiny than heterosexual members of the military in the short term--yeah probably. But even that is better than the current "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Barry Goldwater was right. What matters if they can shoot straight and do their mission.

Slow Joe said...

Jason, your view of the military is ridiculous. Not that they have any control over DADT.

Hazing in the military would be unaffected by DADT anyway.

former law student said...

What happens to weirdoes and omega males in the service, regardless of their sexual orientation? Do people who are being picked on have no recourse?

MadisonMan said...

It's tough to imagine the hell this guy went through when all he wanted to do was help his country.

I'd like to thank him for his service. Some of his superior officers sound like real PsOS.

Synova said...

I hope this guy doesn't get commissioned.

Officers are expected to give up their careers if necessary to defend their people and this fellow wouldn't even risk his career to defend himself.

That says nothing at all about the situation or what is right and wrong or who should have been punished. Except that he also wanted to forgive his "friend" who got in trouble for not stopping the abusive behavior under her watch. A different female sailor, apparently not too timid to risk herself, reported the abuse... but what does her report do when the person being abused refuses to defend himself?

I suppose the argument is that the hazing wouldn't have happened to a straight guy. It would have. Or that a straight guy wouldn't have been scared to defend himself or push back or complain, or that straight guys don't haze each other in sexual ways. They do.

And that best friend who killed herself? Did she *know* what was happening to you? Or did you put on a happy face that reassured her that all was well and she only found out the details after her career was ruined?

Robert said...

When I was in we had 5 gay guys on the ship and nobody cared. It was completely obvious. One guy even tried to go on liberty in a dress. He was told to change, but that was it.

There are dickheads out there, but it is not the whole Navy.

Synova said...

"What happens to weirdoes and omega males in the service, regardless of their sexual orientation? Do people who are being picked on have no recourse?"

Of course they have recourse. There are reporting procedures that go around chain of command directly to the judge advocate and any organization has the equivalent of a "first shirt" (which is the Air Force term) who's job it is to handle personal problems and hand out condoms.

But will an omega male follow through on those things?

A weirdo might.

I suppose that some people think I'm being really horrible but there is no place whatsoever in the military for meek obedience. Meek obedience leads to massacres and civilian atrocities.

The Drill SGT said...

FLS said...What happens to weirdoes and omega males in the service, regardless of their sexual orientation? Do people who are being picked on have no recourse?

The guy had multiple avenues of recourse. He was clearly smart and presumedly wasn't a f_ck-up in his unit (because her applied for USNAPS and was accepted). He could have gone to the senior unit NCO, the unit commander, He was in an MP unit so there was Provost Marshal type around somewhere, the Chaplain, deployed units have effectively depression counselors, many folks who could have filed a complaint and stopped the abuse. He doesn't say why he failed to do any of that. It took a bystander to comaplin and our trooper didn't cooperate?

In 2005, roughly six months into my time with that unit, a new sailor in our group was taken aback when I was left tied up in a dog kennel.

I also fail to understand the part about charging the number 2 NCO with failing to report the abuse yet promoting the guy she failed to report?

The unit and its commander seem disfunctional to say the least.

abysmal leadership

John Lynch said...

Failure of leadership and discipline. I don't think it's a failure of DADT, because bad behavior like this happens in units that are poorly led even when there are no gay service members to pick on.

dbp said...

"My understanding of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was that if I kept quiet about my sexuality and didn't break any rules, I would face no punishment.

Once I joined the Navy, I was tormented by my chief and fellow sailors, physically and emotionally, for being gay."

If he didn't tell anyone he was gay then how did the chier and fellow sailors know he was gay? Whatever the flaws of DADT, the point of it is that you "Don't Tell"

LarsPorsena said...

""What happens to weirdoes and omega males in the service, regardless of their sexual orientation? Do people who are being picked on have no recourse?"

None. They (he) need to slug it out with the hazers one by one. That always stops this shit post haste. Going through the chain-of-command just invites silent contempt for crying to "Daddy".

Skyler said...

I have contempt for anyone that allows himself to be bullied without fighting back. Such a person has no place in the military where the job description involves fighting and killing.

Strangely, even though he knew the behavior of his petty officers was illegal and immoral he didn't have the gumption to stand up for what is right and defend himself.

It's a fact of human nature that if someone allows others to humiliate him, others will tend to continue to humiliate. Most of us learn this by the time we're out of high school. Apparently, he didn't.

I have no respect for him at all. There are a lot of people who deserve to be punished, but he is still a man with no intestinal fortitude. It would be no loss if he were to find employment in a place where the use of force is not part of the job, such as grocery clerk, because he obviously doesn't know how to stick up for himself.

People can grow and change, I hope for his sake that he learns that being a man means defending yourself when you're attacked.

Synova said...

"None. They (he) need to slug it out with the hazers one by one. That always stops this shit post haste. Going through the chain-of-command just invites silent contempt for crying to "Daddy"."

Slug it out *too*.

I mean, dear Gawd... who *lets* himself be tied up?

(Doesn't make it okay or make it his fault but isn't this something that every nerd who got a swirly understands?)

Jim Howard said...

I'm retired USAF, and I don't have a problem with moving beyond DADT.

I have seen senior military officers and NCOs who let the great power they have go to their heads and turn them in to petty despots. It is not unheard of by any means.

But this story does not pass the smell test. If even half of it is true then serious crimes were committed. There exist in the military multiple ways to bring this kind of thing to the attention of the chain of command and the criminal justice system.

Why didn't this sailor use them?

I also take a larger lesson from this story. It's dangerous to give too much power to government employees.

It always amazes me that my liberal friends hate and fear the military yet love expanding all other areas of government power (except for drugs and abortion).

If this story is true keep in mind that the same sort of deranged power mad persons exist in the civil side of government, and the civil side lacks the discipline and checks and balances that exist in the military.

The evil chief in this story may now be working for the IRS. Or he may be in charge of your local Obamacare office.

Think about it.

EDH said...

I told no one about what I was living through. I feared that reporting the abuse would lead to an investigation into my sexuality. My leaders and fellow sailors were punishing me for keeping my sexuality to myself, punishing me because I wouldn't "tell."

Maybe I'm missing something.

What part of reporting his maltreatment would have required him to disclose his homosexuality?

And would disclosing such in the course of an investigation of an "asking" incident really be tantamount to his "telling"?

Synova said...

"I also fail to understand the part about charging the number 2 NCO with failing to report the abuse yet promoting the guy she failed to report?"

Maybe she knew about the abuse but he asked her not to make a stink so she didn't?

That would do it.

Skyler said...

Thinking more about this story made me realize that this story actually relies on a stereotype that homosexuals are sissies. Otherwise, how would his petty officers and his chief have known that he was homosexual?

amba said...

Skyler: you never heard of gaydar?

Although, weirdly, I find that women's gaydar for men is much better than straight men's.

there is no place whatsoever in the military for meek obedience.

Excuse me? Synova? Isn't that exactly what the sergeant tries to drill into you in basic?

vw: dwoomess

Skyler said...

there is no place whatsoever in the military for meek obedience.

Excuse me? Synova? Isn't that exactly what the sergeant tries to drill into you in basic
?

Nope. Assertive and responsive obedience to lawful orders. Meek compliance with unlawful orders has no place in the military.

The military must have absolute discipline because it must trust its people to use deadly force within the law. When Lt Calley (or whatever his name was) ordered his soldiers to burn a village and kill women and children, the military expects its people to refuse. Sometimes the line is not clear and at those times obedience is required. But when it is clear, as is described in this report, the military requires that you not obey the order.

The wonder is that he was accepted at the prep school.

Jim Howard said...

"Excuse me? Synova? Isn't that exactly what the sergeant tries to drill into you in basic?"

No, not in any branch of the U.S. Military.

amba said...

the military requires that you not obey the order.

I doubt that is always made clear in training, especially of enlistees. You're in your sergeant's power and the line is fine, if it exists, between breaking down ego and sadism.

You're right though that the expected obedience isn't "meek." It's to be automatic, vigorous, and completely self-effacing. How to lose your own judgment and still keep it is, I guess, the koan of military life.

Darcy said...

I was touched by this guy's account. I have no idea how true it is, but I find it hard to dismiss as untrue. I'd have to be inside the mind of a homosexual man serving in the military under DADT.

kevin said...

I am going to second this as not passing the smell test.

Regardless this is not a failing of DADT but of the hazing policy in general.

DADT is fine. The crux of his "story" is that he was scared of an investigation that would lead to the discovery of his homosexuality.

That would not happen. That is the "don't ask" part.

Darcy said...

Oops, I'd like to add to my last sentence "...to understand the "whys" of his behavior."

The Drill SGT said...

Amba and synova said...there is no place whatsoever in the military for meek obedience.

Excuse me? Synova? Isn't that exactly what the sergeant tries to drill into you in basic?


Been there, done that, as my moniker implies.

Amba, not exactly.


Step one does require that you teach soldiers to instantly obey without question certain types of commands in certain situations. This is a safety issue and a unit survival characteristic.

Step two is teaching that there are certain global ways to react to situations, e.g. Standard Operating Procedures. Among the lessons taught here, beyond tactical ones are "what are legal orders", how to report abuse, etc

Step three, the American soldier is trained, far beyond other armies, and valued for his independent thinking and ability to take actions without direct orders. We teach soldiers to consider the orders, consider the situation, and apply decision making as appropriate. That is why our small units are superior to others around the world.

The Drill SGT said...

Amba said...You're in your sergeant's power and the line is fine, if it exists, between breaking down ego and sadism.

Without being rude... And your experience is based on what? reading the New Republic, and seeing "Full Metal Jacket"?

The Army was never that way and the Marines haven't used those approaches in 40 years. Sure, every couple of years some Drill SGT gets court martialed and convicted of abusing a trainee, but the system works hard and successfully to avoid that

Lyle said...

Gays and Lesbian, possibly some Trannies, and fought and died for this country before. It's time to let them serve openly and with pride.

Nothing would make the Taliban and al Qaeda scat themselves more than to know a Tranny with a machine gun is coming to get them.

Obama only has the cock and balls to frote them a bit though.

Synova said...

I said: "there is no place whatsoever in the military for meek obedience."

Amba: "Excuse me? Synova? Isn't that exactly what the sergeant tries to drill into you in basic?"

No, it's really not.

Obedience, yes. But not the sort that has no self will. The military really is looking for leaders from the very lowest recruit... followers are easy. What the military needs and wants and tries to get are 18 year olds who are capable of carrying profound responsibility... life and death responsibility.

The obedience taught has, probably, two main purposes (Skyler can tell me I'm full of it, if he wishes) and that is... Movement... being where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to do, when you're supposed to be there doing it... and without the b*tch and whine and argument.

And *stopping* shooting. The discipline is most important when everyone is ramped up on adrenaline and has just watched their friend die... and our people are nothing less than incredible. I'm in awe.

Other than that, every training program I'm aware of (which isn't many but is more than one) includes some sort of "saying no to authority" scenario... right off in basic training or boot camp. E-1's and 2's are trained to be responsible for safety and security procedures that require them to enforce those things against their superiors.

The culture cherishes stories of the General kept at "forward leaning rest" for nearly an hour by a private pulling gate guard duty until his own commander arrives... and the private is promoted. Or the seaman who face-plants an Admiral to the deck when his instructions are not followed and the ship Captain assembles the crew to witness the Admiral apologizing. Or any number of similar tales. The other services might not be quite as big on "telling officers where to go" as the Air Force is, but it's a continuum.

All services (though not necessarily all particular units, as some few really are dysfunctional) value initiative and responsibility and severely de-value those who wait to be told what to do.

Skyler said...

Nothing would make the Taliban and al Qaeda scat themselves more than to know a Tranny with a machine gun is coming to get them.

I think it's more likely to make them fight harder.

former law student said...

I find that women's gaydar for men is much better than straight men's.

I always thought this was because women always receive at least a flicker of interest from straight men -- even the most happily and exclusively partnered ones -- but none at all from gay men. Whereas straight men are not used to receiving signs of interest from other men.

Thinking again of that guy's story -- I'm sure there are plenty of upright, Sunday School types in the service who are horrified of having random sex with professionals, and who would never participate in smutty talk, straight though they may be.

William said...

It's unfair to blame the victim, but it does seem that he was not very resourceful in negotiating a way out of the maze. One would hope for better in officer material.....That said, I remember a fat kid in basic training. He was hounded by the DI's. The other assholes in my squadron took that as a carte blanche to heap further abuse on him. In times of stress it is pleasant to find someone different and pile upon him all the insecurity and fear that is in the air. Together they made short work of the fat kid. He cried a lot, even while in formation, and was discharged from the service.....Even by the standards of basic training, he was treated unfairly. He was picked on partially because he was fat, but mostly because he did not know how to slip the punches. That's the way it goes. Life sucks. Why are gay victims more victims than fat victims?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Synova: What the military needs and wants and tries to get are 18 year olds who are capable of carrying profound responsibility... life and death responsibility.

Well I don't see how 18 year olds are helped in this by DADT. How are they expected to go over the heads of their superiors, handle problems associated with being a homosexual, when the organization they are in doesn't even know how to deal with it like an adult?

Synova said...

William, that reminds me of a guy I was talking to at the psych office at basic (I was there in relation to my security clearance) who had been hazed (denied sleep, etc) by those in his unit. I'm sure he was going to be discharged and he was distraught because his dad had told him to come home in uniform or not at all. The guy had a business degree. A college degree. I probably spent an hour talking to him, telling him to go live his life, leave his home town and get a job in California or something (the economy was good then) and to tell his dad to jump in a lake.

Not everyone ought to be in the military. Not everyone would make a great first grade teacher either.

Mian said...

Thankfully, I was discharged honorably with full benefits. Otherwise, I would have been left with no money for college and no health-care options for the severe depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder that Veterans Affairs physicians have diagnosed in me since I've returned from overseas.

Doesn't post-traumatic stress disorder pre-suppose combat? If not, that's good news, because I would LOVE to sue my old high-school for the hell they put me through when I played football 30 years ago.

I feel bad for Joseph, but don't think the repeal of DADT will prevent anyone being hazed. Still, DADT isn't working and should be done away with.

PatHMV said...

Without DADT, the man could have filed a complaint, and the higher-ups would not have had much choice but to address the allegations and take appropriate disciplinary action.

With DADT, the higher-ups would have had a mechanism to avoid dealing with the hazing problems (and general moral degeneracy, assuming his statements are true) in that unit.

When the victim of a crime is also a criminal, cops and others in charge of maintaining order rarely care that much. And victims who are also criminals are thus much less likely to complain; they know that complaining opens the door to investigating them, deflecting attention from the crime committed against them to the crime they committed.

So while there's some merit to the argument advanced in this thread that this particular individual is too much of an "omega" male to be a valued member of the armed forces, I don't think it's right to place 100% of the fault there. His understanding that if he complained, he would likely also wind up being discharged was quite rational. Yes, he should have insisted that some of those orders be placed in writing, and should have refused to submit to being tied up or whatever (and immediately reported those bullies and cowards who did that to him), the reality is that with DADT in place, he really would be risking his career if he did so. A vindication of his rights that came with an other than honorable discharge would not be much of a "win" for him.

So DADT helps foster that kind of intolerant bigotry by some soldiers by providing a strong disincentive to report misconduct, when the victim of misconduct is gay.

DADT was a workable first step when President Clinton and Congress compromised on the policy what, 16 years ago now. If I were President Obama, I would be asking Congress to repeal it now, immediately. Who is politically going to openly oppose that? You've got a shortage of translators for the 2 wars we're fighting, in part because we've discharged a number of gay translators. Substantial numbers of conservatives who oppose gay marriage nevertheless are in favor of civil unions and would like to show that their opposition to gay "marriage" is not based on anti-gay bigotry. The Democrats control 58-59% of both houses of Congress.

If the Democrats got a couple of pro-military Republicans to co-sponsor a bill repealing DADT, I predict it would pass at least 70-30, probably 80-20, with only the most hard-core social conservatives, and a few military-supporters siding with some of the old-guard generals voting against. I don't think it would even take very much political capital to implement, right now.

And politically, it would go a LONG way to getting the left base off of the President's back.

nomilk said...

One of the biggest fallacies of the repeal-DADT crowd is the mistaken notion that homosexuals will then be free to practice what they preach, so to speak. To the contrary, sodomy will still be a crime under the UCMJ and I would think that open homosexuals will be subject to a fair amount of scrutiny in that regard. In fact, as with DADT, then may be the unexpected result of more prosecutions and discharges AFTER the change than before.

But the irony is: I don't think the pro-gay crowd has figured this out. I think it was David Mixner, the gay FOB, who back in the '90s said something like, "I haven't been fighting for gay rights, so that gays can remain celibate." Well, guess what? That's exactly what they're apparently unknowingly asking for in the military.

Synova said...

"I don't think it's right to place 100% of the fault there."

I don't think that anyone has.

Eric said...

Doesn't post-traumatic stress disorder pre-suppose combat? If not, that's good news, because I would LOVE to sue my old high-school for the hell they put me through when I played football 30 years ago.

No, actually, it doesn't. People who've never been in the military get PTSD. You can get in from anything that's sufficiently traumatic (like a rape, for example). You hear about it more in relation to the military because it's more common and because the military takes steps to identify and treat people who have it.

paul a'barge said...

I believe about 10% of it.

Darcy said...

Excellent, PatHMV. I agree with you.

Methadras said...

Umm, something is wrong with the article. There is no mention of how it was discovered that he was gay. Am I missing something here?

Geoff Matthews said...

Throwing in my 2 bits:

1) The assumption that he was gay came from his non-participation in the 'locker room' talk. I was accused of being gay for this exact reason. But in spite of this, there are straight men who aren't promiscuous.

2) The abuse he received was clearly illegal. As others have pointed out, he had channels to report this, and the 'don't tell' part should have protected him from being drummed out of the service (though, I'd be tempted to claim to be gay to get out of that situation). People like this need to be prosecuted, whether it is sexual harassment, assault, etc.

kevin said...

To all the people trying to use this as a reason to repeal DADT you couldn't be more wrong.

All he had to do was follow the chain of command to report the hazing.

They don't get to "out" him. That is part of "don't ask"

They don't get to use his homosexuality as leverage because the only way they can know for sure is if he tells them.


DADT protects gays.

amba said...

True, Drill Sgt., I haven't been in the military (only in a strict karate dojo, martial discipine for 90 minutes at a shot, and that too is occasionally abused).

Of course pop culture focuses on the abusive, because it's dramatic. I believe you that it's also rare. (I'm not so sure, either way, about what goes on with women. Question mark.) Every walk of life has its bad apples and petty dictators. I had a dentist like that.

amba said...

Synova 12:14: that's beautiful to hear. It hits my heart.

amba said...

missed my cue, but the vw there was bouslime, which makes me think of #cowmats

amba said...

How are they expected to go over the heads of their superiors, handle problems associated with being a homosexual, when the organization they are in doesn't even know how to deal with it like an adult?

Well said, too.

amba said...

the reality is that with DADT in place, he really would be risking his career if he did so.

I think Pat is right. Anyone gay in the service under DADT is in a double bind. If the fact of his homosexuality comes out when he registers a complaint, or in a hearing, the military is obliged to discharge him, no? They're not supposed to ask him and he's not supposed to tell, but . . .

Paul said...

dbp, infra: "If he didn't tell anyone he was gay then how did the chier and fellow sailors know he was gay?"

If you read the article, you'll see he explained that. But as any gay man can tell you, people will assume from your studied silence that you're gay. You don't have to say anything. In fact, not saying something is the giveaway. If you don't talk about your girlfriend, or tell crude jokes about women, or repeatedly refer to your interest in "snapper," straight guys will put 2 and 2 together.

But that said, I can't believe this dude never stood up for himself. He's going to fight for our country, but not for himself?

I'm a gay male, and some bully may succeed in putting me in the grave or in the hospital. But he won't put me in a dog kennel without first suffering some permanent bodily injury of his own.

Synova said...

I agree that feeling that he needed to hide his sexuality likely made the problem worse.

But how does his homosexuality "come out" if he complains that he's being mistreated? They haul the chief in and ask him about the hazing and abuse and the chief says the guys think he's gay and then they go, oh, we better check that out then?

The worst prisons we find ourselves in are the ones we make inside our own minds.

Jim Howard said...

"I'm a gay male, and some bully may succeed in putting me in the grave or in the hospital. But he won't put me in a dog kennel without first suffering some permanent bodily injury of his own."

Paul is on to something there.

One almost wonders if this sailor is some kind of right wing wacko plant, there to discredit the idea of gays serving in the military.

Does being gay means that any bully can humiliate for months on end and you won't say anything about it? In which case how can you be counted on to stand up to al-Qaeda?

I think not.

On the other hand running to the media and probably the courts crying that you're a helpless victim might get you on Oprah and maybe even win a lawsuit lottery.

Jim Howard said...

Off topic, but related for pg rated sexual content involving a sailor:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=90c_1255146027

HT: Captain Lex.

Skyler said...

One almost wonders if this sailor is some kind of right wing wacko plant, there to discredit the idea of gays serving in the military.

I would think he would be more likely to be a left wing (whacko would be redundant) to make the military look bad.

I think we have all agreed that this man is not much of a man. He's a sissy boy and though he didn't deserve the treatment he got, he certainly didn't do anything to help himself.

Cedarford said...

Jim Howard - But this story does not pass the smell test. If even half of it is true then serious crimes were committed. There exist in the military multiple ways to bring this kind of thing to the attention of the chain of command and the criminal justice system.

My initial read too, as a Vet.

Remember the other losers that became "fabulists" telling tales of awful military behavior and atrocities to reporters? Michael Scott Beauchamp anyone?

AS for actual atrocities like Abu Ghraib, remember that it was leaked by a guy the military was in the process of nailing to the wall for his own involvement...and he leaked just to grab ankles of people he wanted, or believed...should be pulled down with him and the hillbilly Reservists on the night shift.

I find the tale of him mock performing oral sex on orders so 32 dogs being trained to look for drugs and explosives would know the difference between gay oral sex - and C-4 or heroin, particularly smelly.

Soon we will know if the WP did any work fact-checking this guy, because he has made direct criminal accusations, including one specifically by name. He claims to be a gay wondersoldier...but no one knows if that is true.

And he was rear echelon MF'r in Bahrain, but he spins his tale of woe to make it sound like he was right in the arena of combat in Iraq or Afganistan doing critical work in direct ops. No..he was in Ba-frikkin-Rain, also known as a moderate Islamic vacation spot for Middle Easterners with a heavy Western bent and not just the US Naval Fleet there, but tons and tons of expats in the oil and gas industry.

Time will tell. BUt I'd hold off on the "courageous hero" crap for now because his story really smells. Not as bad as Beauchamps, but it smells.
======================
PS - I had a couple of gay guys in my unit, another who was a complete mystery, and a hetero who was a particularly worrisome perv who hadn't broken any law we knew of but were worried we'd get a dreaded phone call about some day from civilian or military cops. All were left alone...About the only thing I knew was that a sargeant reporting to me had said he needed to "correct" an enlisted who was riding one of the gays in his little personal moral witch hunt he had no business engaging in..And I passed on to a different NCO who I knew got along with the same gay guy a message to "tone it down!" after he was seen off base in what was described as a gay bitch suit...tight pants and midriff baring shirt and eyeliner...

This was in the year immediately before DADT became policy. But DADT was already de facto policy. In those days it was a nightmare to lose a good, highly trained enlisted tech...Any drug bust for example, meant you had guys going from 8 hour days 13 days out of 14 to 12 hours until months had passed before BUPERS filled the hole and the guy was trained and qual'd.

It was not in our interest, or the missions - to hunt down gays, druggies, etc., etc..Nor to allow unit cohesion to suffer with permitting a wolfpack to ride someone. (We did do non-judicial discipline on several enlisteds who had taken to riding a Puerto Rican...not just on his antisocial ways, but also because his Eeengaleesh was not so good..It was bad without the bigotry, and the element of bigotry gave us cover to nail the "ringleader" of the hazing hard.

Cedarford said...

Skyler said...
Nothing would make the Taliban and al Qaeda scat themselves more than to know a Tranny with a machine gun is coming to get them.

"I think it's more likely to make them fight harder."

That was the tendency in the Civil War. When the US sent black troops against Confederate divisions in battle, the Confederates would fight like demons and take no prisoners, including the black's white officers.
In WWII, Nazis made an exception in how they treated French forces with respect to black Senengalese...who had gained a very bad reputation for looting and raping when France occupied the Rhineland. The French were treated per Geneva, their Senengalese auxilliaries were not.

It's part of a stupid meme by people that never served or don't know history that an enemy will magically fear a demographic they hate. Early in the Afghan War, feminists trumpeted that there were "female warriors in F-15s striking fear into the very soul of the Taliban." No. The Taliban had nothing but contempt for "remote control, high out of range warriors"....they were not considered brave warriors at all.

Or if they had been told that a very rare Jew was actually serving in the front lines in the US military. Their response probably would have been - "Hope we kill him in battle, then!"

daubiere said...

"And I passed on to a different NCO who I knew got along with the same gay guy a message to "tone it down!" after he was seen off base in what was described as a gay bitch suit...tight pants and midriff baring shirt and eyeliner..."

talk about a story not passing the smell test... youre making shit up. gay soldiers wear eyeliner and midriff baring shirts?? come on...

Just Lurking said...

DADT does seem like a Hogan's Heroes/ Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing, nothing!" sort of way of not dealing with the reality that gays have always, and will always be in the military.

While I don't think DADT is the sole cause for this guy's misery - hazing has always been around - it certainly seems to have been a contributing factor for his reluctance to speak out. A policy that makes people feel they have to live a lie, and that can be used to threaten individuals, is probably not a good policy.

Skyler said...

How could it be threatening? If you don't tell, then there's no problem. If the military finds out from other people, that's not telling. They're not allowed to ask to confirm it. Where's the threat?

One of the purposes was to make it so that there is no longer a risk of blackmail for security purposes.

TMink said...

The story makes me really mad. If it is true, people should be fired. Lots of people. This guy's private life is HIS private life. If he was acting as he said he was, this is outrageous.

Trey

Methadras said...

I'm not buying this story one bit. Something stinks about it. There is no direct claim that he was outed as a homosexual just because he didn't participate in 'guy' talk. What a load. The hazing portion, if true, is criminal. Period.

Skyler said...

We can't know if the story is true. It's certainly plausible, there are all sorts of weirdos in the military. Few people would have believed Abu Ghraib were it not for the photos.

The military is not all boy scouts and war heroes. There are a percentage of losers out there too.

But just because it's plausible doesn't mean it's true. We've seen a lot more fraud in these type of stories, and the media are woefully ignorant of how to check up on facts and prone to manufacturing lies as well.

I've been accepting the story as reported, but I agree that it bears investigating before it is accepted as a reason to make any policy recommendations.

elpolacko said...

the 'don't ask' part of the equation is regularly violated in many ways and the 'don't tell' part puts servicemember in the position of lying about themselves and having to worry about how well they are 'hiding'.
perhaps this man was not hazed because he was gay but, if he were to complain about the hazing, there is no doubt that he would have exposed himself to an inquiry into his sexuality. this policy is just wrong and barack needs to quit just making promises and see that something is done about it now. we're losing some of our finest soldiers.

Revenant said...

While I'm revolted at what happened to this guy, I don't get out DADT was responsible. The "hazing" and abuse were illegal and in violation of military policy and standards. The perpetrators got away with it not because of DADT, but because people in authority sanctioned the hazing.

Fixing this problem would require not just repealing DADT, but committing to purging the military of homophobes. I'm torn between supporting that out of revulsion for homophobia, and opposing it on the grounds that wartime isn't the best time to be doing that.

Methadras said...

Can we please stop using the words, homophobia or homophobic? Is there really a large rash of irrational hysteria about homosexuals running through our society? I think not. Homointolerant or homodiscriminant might be a better use of the idea, but not homophobia or homophobic. I just see it as rendering the words useless to the point of absurdity.