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Pentagon Kicking Out Arabic Linguists Because They are Gay

An interesting story from 'Associated Press' yesterday; Military Discharge Gay Arabic Translators. This means that there are now 58 fewer translators to translate Al-Queda intercepts.You might be forgiven if you thought "public enemy number one' was not Al-queda, but homosexuals in the military.

How far would the Allies have gone in the Second World War if the team at Bletchley Park, led by the brilliant mathematician and homosexual Alan Turing, had not deciphered the German Enigma code?

Nevertheless, despite the success that many homosexuals have enjoyed in the military and in military intelligence, Congress -- in a compromise with Clinton -- banned known homosexuals from the military in 1993, convinced that their presence could undermine morale and discipline, but allowed those to remain 'in the closet' under a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy.

And our major allies in the war on terror in the Middle-East... what has their policy been on gays in the military? In 1993, Israel took exactly the opposite approach.

All restrictions on gay and lesbian soldiers were dropped. Homosexuals in the Israel Defense Forces could join close-knit combat units or serve in sensitive intelligence posts. They were eligible for promotion to the highest ranks. Fourteen years later, Israelis are convinced they made the right decision.

"It's a non-issue," said David Saranga, a former IDF officer and now Israel's consul for media and public affairs in New York. "There is not a problem with your sexual tendency. You can be a very good officer, a creative one, a brave one and be gay at the same time."

And in Britain, which changed its policy seven years ago, the response has been the same. "The biggest news about the new policy of allowing gays into the services is, they say, that there is no news. The military does not want to be seen bragging about the success of its policy when the issue can still cause so much anguished debate in the United States. The British military which openly advertizes now for gay soldiers and sailors seem more worried about the sensitivities of American military brass, than they are worried about criticism from their own services.

And just how do American servicemen and women feel about the 'don`t ask don`t tell' policy? "A poll of military personnel in December 2006 shows that a whopping 73% would accept openly gay and lesbian military members. This is a huge jump from 1993, when 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was instituted. Then, only 13% of soldiers favored the right of gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces."

But this is only par for the course for the leadership of the war in Iraq. The 'Iraq Study Group' reported one damning detail that only six people in the 1,000-person American embassy in Baghdad, after more than 4-plus years of the invasion, could speak Arabic fluently So it is not as if we are not in dire need of American public service personnel who can speak and understand Arabic?

However, for the 58 Arabic 'gay' Pentagon translators who have been dismissed, what do we say to them... that the war on terrorism, the ideological stuggle of the 21st century, takes a back seat to your sexual orientation.


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Comments (4)

Matt:

For the most part, the U.S. doesn't go around hunting homosexuals in their midst, practicing or otherwise. That is the "Don't Ask" part of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." I don't know the specifics of the 58 translators being dismissed, but it is common knowledge in the Military that claiming Homosexuality is the easiest way to get discharged.

I have personally known several Soldiers to request and recieve discharge upon stating to their command that they are homosexual. Some were gay/lesbian, some weren't.

Anyhow, I agree that the Military needs to end the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

cirby:

Congress -- in a compromise with Clinton -- banned known homosexuals from the military in 1993

You're right- it's Clinton's fault.

By the way: if you want the military to accept gays, you need to petition the Democratic Congress to change the law, Until they do, the military has no choice but to keep enforcing that bit of Clinton-era legislation.

Paul Hamilton:

Cirby: The military has strong and specific rules about fraternization in the ranks and they need to be enforced. If they are, then the rules about homosexuals in service are pointless and should be repealed.

Seems simple to me.

Steve Crickmore:

Yes Matt, the policy 'don't ask, don't tell' seems very outdated..The last three gay linguists caught "were among about 70 people investigated at Fort Gordon in Georgia for using the computer to send personal notes..others who were not gay kept their jobs even though they were caught sending sexual and profane messages."


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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