You know, I think we're all very grateful the British Foreign Intelligence discovered that terrorist plot BEFORE it happened. That's really terrific.
I wonder if our intelligence is in as good shape? Can't tell yet.
And it makes me think of all those stories over the years about the Army firing soldiers who are Arabic linguists just because someone accused them of being gay.
Linguist, by the way, means they read and perhaps speak Arabic. Boy, those language skills sound pretty helpful for the war on terror, huh?
Here's the latest one - a soldier named Bleu Copas was a decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist, and he was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy... though he didn't "tell" anybody, his dismissal was the result of a series of anonymous emails sent to superiors, accusing Bleu of being gay.
Now I admit it - his first name is scary. Bleu means "blue" in French. Why did his parents name him blue? And not only that but, judging from the picture (above) that accompanies the CNN.com story, he's quite handsome.
So much so, I suppose it's possible that a straight soldier who felt really horny one day might choose to dally with him. Or if not a straight soldier, maybe another gay soldier might choose to dally with him. And, boy, the world would be a less worthwhile place if that happened, wouldn't it?
President Bush, I know you and your evangelical and fundamental Christian base really value abstinence. You and they think that if people can just go through their lives and NEVER EVER HAVE SEX, the world would be a better place. You even prefer that American teenagers and African men, women and children die of AIDS rather than let anyone tell them of how to use contraception to protect themselves. That's your position, right? ONLY TALK ABOUT ABSTINENCE.
You really are a card. I know Jesus Christ talks to you, but you know what - he talks to me too, and he thinks you're just nuts.
So, okay - I doubt I can convince you to support telling people at risk of AIDS about condoms. I know it's just too important to you and your base that people not touch their genitals. And, of course, that is one of the main teachings of Christ, it's in the Beatitudes, "Blessed are they who never touch their genitals, for they shall be pure as the innocent babe."
Fine, we'll grant you that nobody should hear about condoms, and that sex is bad, and that touching yourself is bad, except in marriage where it's fine but slightly repellent. (I'm sorry, I'm channeling Saint Paul on that one.)
But tell me - I know you talk about the war on terror. Do you think just possibly you might not keep firing solidiers who speak Arabic, and who could be used to protect us?
Do you remember that there was a backlog of email messages in Arabic that related to 9-11, but weren't translated until several days AFTER 9-11, because there was a backlog of non-translated messages because the intelligence services don't have enough translators?
And it's not just Bleu Copas, Mr. President. Look at this quote from the CNN story: "But the GAO [General Accounting Office] also noted that nearly 800 dismissed gay or lesbian service members had critical abilities, including 300 with important language skills. Fifty-five were proficient in Arabic, including Copas, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in California."
Yo Bush. Do you speak Arabic? Does Laura? Does Condi? I won't ask about Donald, because he seems ready for a rest home... any hope of that, he doesn't seem well, I worry for him.
But really... 55 gay people in the army who are proficient in Arabic and you want them fired? Gosh, and here I thought you wanted to protect us all in your war on terror.
Whaddya say, President Bush? Do you think for five seconds you could not cater to your fundamentalist base, and you might try to protect us FOR REAL rather than just with a lot of fancy talk?
How about reinstating those 55 maybe gay people who are proficient in Arabic? And maybe find out about the other 745 who had "critical abilities." Sounds like they might be helpful too.
What do you think? Any chance you'll consider putting the safety of America above worrying about whether someone is gay or not?
(Here's another article with more information on this case and this issue. It's from a British gay newspaper. I hope that doesn't scare the President or anyone else. I don't think it turns you gay to read such a newspaper. It's just it has some information that wasn't in the CNN one. So don't be afraid.)
- Chris Durang for HuffingtonPost.com