Sunday, June 10, 2007

How does the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy apply to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)?

John Aravosis,

CBS reports that GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) served as active duty military recently in Iraq. This raises a very serious question of national security.

I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable having a US Senator serve active duty in Iraq as a "colonel" when there has been persistent chatter about his sexual orientation and whether it conforms to the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.

The Republicans, and Senator Graham, can't have it both ways. Did the Pentagon investigate the rumors about Senator Graham's orientation prior to choosing to have him serve active duty? Doubtful. But the rumors are out there, and the Senator's very presence has been known to fuel such rumors, so it is not out of the realm of the possible that others with whom he served had the same questions. And once they have those questions, per Don't Ask Don't Tell, there is a threat to unit cohesion. So why did the Pentagon risk unit cohesion in this case?

I'm serious. They can't have it both ways. Either there is a problem with gays, or people who are suspected to be gay, serving in the military or there isn't. But Senator Graham, the Pentagon, and every other supporter of the gay ban can't talk about how the presence of someone known (or thought) to be gay would destroy unit cohesion, but at the same time let a senator serve who may not meet the criteria of the ban itself.

Yes, it's not polite to discuss such things. But we do discuss them, we are forced to discuss them, under the very bigoted and not-polite policy that Senator Graham embraces.

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