Keeping America safe from . . . gays

August 7, 2006 | By | 5 Replies More

The Associated Press reports this recent development in the American military’s effort to keep America safe.

A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified.
 
Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was “outed” by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

It’s apparent that our nation’s soldiers are toughened up enough to fight all kinds of armed and dangerous enemy soldiers.  We dare not expose them to a gay man, however.  Especially a gay man who has been highly decorated by the military for providing translating services desperately needed by the military.  According to the article, the military has now dismissed 55 American military translators who were proficient in Arabic, all because they were gay.

Here’s how it all culminated:

On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military’s policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.

I don’t see any acknowledgment that this highly trained gay interpreter, if allowed to simply do his job, might have helped to foil a terrorist attack.  Let’s see.  Maybe this despicable firing will cost us thousands of American lives. Maybe the Associated Press forgot to inquire . . . .

Perhaps we need a new word in the English language.  What should we call an American organization that viciously, willingly and deliberately attacks an innocent person who is effectively doing his job to defend America? 

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Category: Bigotry, Good and Evil, Politics, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Jason Rayl says:

    This is a holdover policy that won't die, from the days when a gay person could be very effectively blackmailed by "enemy agents" and thus was seen as a security risk.

    I can think of no other explanation, other than the restrictions within the military concerning sexual relations are very strict, associated with rank, assignment, and so forth, and this is one they haven't figured out how to handle, so it's easier to cling to an outdated policy than try to figure out how to deal with it.

    There is also the whole macho aspect of military duty that adds a shelf-full of wormfilled cans to the whole thing…

  2. Erika Price says:

    "Fun" fact- the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has cost taxpayers somewhere between $191 million and a quarter billion dollars. And 10,000 servicemen.

    Need I mention that the policy has the full title of, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass"? Unfortunately, the policy has still allowed for many "pursuits"- such as this interrogation, and a fair share of "harassments"- in the form of antigay hate crimes

  3. grumpypilgrim says:

    Following up on what Jason said, "This is a holdover policy that won’t die, from the days when a gay person could be very effectively blackmailed by 'enemy agents' and thus was seen as a security risk."

    I don't doubt that Jason is correct, so I'd like to expose the circularity of the military's argument. The military says it cannot have homosexuals, because they represent a blackmail risk. However, the only reason a homosexual might be a blackmail risk is if his homosexual status would have a significant negative effect on his military career: if the person's homosexual status had no effect on his military career, then he could not be blackmailed. But who determines if the person's homosexual status has a significant negative effect on his career? The military, of course. So, the military's argument goes like this: we don't want homosexuals because they are a security risk; the reason they are a security risk is because they don't want us to discover their homosexual status; the reason they don't want us to discover their homosexual status is because they know we are homophobes and would treat them badly if we knew. Thus, instead of eliminating the underlying problem of homophobia in the military, so homosexuals would have no fear of being blackmailed…and thus would not be a security risk…and thus could remain in the military…the military is going to punish homosexuals for the military's homophobia…thereby rewarding the military's homophobes with exactly the outcome they desire.

    Here's my solution to this problem: keep the homosexuals in the military and discharge the homophobes. Or, better yet: keep the homophobes in the military and make them report to a homosexual commanding officer.

    If the military can adjust to having women in its ranks, there's no good reason why it can't adjust to having homosexuals in its ranks.

    BTW, speaking of women in the military, some studies have apparently demonstrated that women are naturally capable of withstanding higher g-forces than men, making women potentially better candidates to fly fighter planes (arguably one of the most 'macho' jobs in the entire U.S. military) than men. The question then becomes: should you preserve existing, irrational stereotypes for the sake of maintaining the 'macho' reputation of fighter jocks, or should you give your ground troop the best possible air support? Likewise, as Erich points out in his post, should the military preserve its homophobia, or should it give its troops the best possible intelligence support services? Apparently, protecting America from another terrorist attack is less important that protecting military homophobes from confronting their bigotry.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    “(I)t seems that the military has gone around and fired a whole bunch of people who speak foreign languages – Farsi and Arabic, etc.,” Ackerman said. “For some reason, the military seems more afraid of gay people than they are (of) terrorists . . . " Click here for more.

  5. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's Onion News Network on why the military prohibits gays from serving. http://www.theonion.com/content/video/gays_too_pr

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