Strong Rebuke Of DADT From Inside the Military

Col. Om Prakash, author of The Efficacy of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, published in Joint Force Quarterly, an official Department of Defense journal published by the Chair of the Joint Chiefs:

The law as it currently stands does not prohibit homosexuals from serving in the military as long as they keep it secret. This has led to an uncomfortable value disconnect as homosexuals serving, estimated to be over 65,000, must compromise personal integrity. Given the growing gap between social mores and the law, DADT may do damage to the very unit cohesion that it seeks to protect. Finally, it has placed commanders in a position where they are expected to know everything about their troops except this one aspect.

Pentagon officials point out that the piece only appeared because it won an essay contest. (I say, “hey, it won!“) It was not commissioned by the chairman. Still, says NPR:

Prakash works in the Pentagon for the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics… [He] is one of only a handful of active military officers who, in published comments, have called for a repeal of the law.

“It’s pretty important that he would speak publicly,” says Aaron Belkin, director of the Michael D. Palm Center, a public policy think tank at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Belkin says, though there may be more, he can recall only two other military publications that have printed strong pro-repeal articles: a 2003 piece written by Belkin himself for Parameters, the U.S. Army War College quarterly; and a 2005 opinion piece written for the Army Times by an active-duty lieutenant colonel at West Point.

Mark Kleiman is impressed with Prakash’s first paragraph:

“Though the epigraphs echo arguments made against homosexuals serving openly in the Armed Forces, they are the words of Senator Richard Russell of Georgia and General Omar Bradley in opposition to President Truman’s 1948 executive order to racially integrate the U.S. military.”

Kleiman says the battle for ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is done for:

The equation of sexual orientation with race as a form of human difference is, of course, central to the position of advocates of DADT repeal and fiercely denounced by opponents. (Similarly, proponents of same-sex marriage insist that bans on it are like anti-miscegenation laws while opponents furiously deny it.)

So before the author has even started his argument, he has already chosen his side. And that was the paper that won the Secretary’s essay contest and was published in JFQ after review by the Chairman. Anyone who can read military tea-leaves – and no one makes Colonel or Navy Captain, let alone flag or star rank, without expertise in that form of divination – can see that the Battle of DADT is over, and the mopping-up operations are ready to begin.

OTHER DISCUSSION: Crooks & Liars, Steve Benen, Adam Blink, Gabriel Winant, Marc Ambinder, Joe Sudbay (twice), and Alex Blaze.

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  • Father_Time

    65,000?!

    Really, these exaggerated claims and blatant lies are the only way these gay radicals can gain a credibility that never existed. The importance of these subjective opinions are also gross exaggeration.

    Gay is an immoral choice and does not rise to the imperative of race. Discrimination on the basis of moral choice is completely legitimate and noble. In fact, it’s required.

    Open gay sexual behavior in the military will destroy our military’s cohesion and thus effectiveness. We really DON’T NEED to be damaging our military any further. Forcing gay sexual culture upon people in captive servitude and leaving them no alternative but to endure such humility and disgust is a repulsive attack against the morality of our nation.

    However, gays in the CIA is a completely different story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ThomasRyanAlex Thomas Alex

    Any Educated human being would know, that Sexual Orientation cannot be chosen, and is determined at birth. This is a Fact, proven by the APA. It is hypocritical to force Gays to hide their Sexual Orientation, while allowing their Straight counterparts to flaunt theirs. Sexual Orientation and Race are both unchangeable and both hold the same face value.

    “Open gay sexual behavior in the military will destroy our military’s cohesion and thus effectiveness. “

    Just like open straight behavior has destroyed it already? lMAO

  • JeffersonDavis

    You meant a “liberally educated human being”, didn't you?

    There is no “Gay Gene”. The Human Genome Project proved it. There are many many studies that try show “tendancies”. Those too, are not concrete.

    And “Straight Counterparts” should not flaunt sexuality either. Both homosexuals and heterosexuals should keep that in the bedroom where it belongs. The biggest mistake of the baby boomer generation was “free love” that took sexuality out of the bedroom and into the street.

    But please don't compare race and sexual orientation. Race is a genetic disposition that, truly, cannot be changed through decision. You can, however, control what you put your genitalia on, in, or over.
    For proof of that, I have known at least 10 formerly “gay” men and women that gave it up after having adopted Christianity.

    I have been in the military for 22 years. All sexual “openness” destroys unit cohesion. That includes homsexuality, sexual harrassment, or assault.
    The basic lesson learned here should be:
    “When you go to work…. Leave your penis or vagina at home.”

  • Father_Time

    [Sexual Orientation cannot be chosen, and is determined at birthThis is a Fact]

    This is a complete lie. What is the APA? Please produce the Science.

    Whom you decide to have sex with is a choice, Race as a choice is not even possible. Nothing “gay” has ever been proven, if anything it is learned behavior. Gay is either a choice or an abnormality. Neither of which rises to the nobility of civil rights special considerations, with 40% of gay men being molested as a child, which is documented fact and undesputed.

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    Let's do this. Instead of trying to determine if being gay is a gene at birth and whatnot let's focus on the real deal. We have men and women who fight for our safety and risk their lives to do it. How about we give them the freedom they deserve and stop focusing on sex. It is apparent that the young men and women of our armed forces don't have a problem serving along side gay men and women. I served 10 years in the submarine force and I am gay. I decided to END my career as a result of seeing this failed policy and law destroy lives and was determined that it would not destroy mine. I value my freedom and happiness more than a career in the armed forces after having to lie to people who were open and honest with me about their lives and I couldn't reciprocate the same. I gave them false honesty and my integrity is worth far more. Isn't it tragic that we are losing valuable men and women who can help defend and protect our nation? And for what? Because they choose to LOVE someone of the same sex? It's 2009 people let's get over our fears and allow people to be themselves. Just to say that I have a boyfriend at home who loves me should not cause unit cohesion issues. Because my boyfriend meets me on the pier and gives me a hug and a kiss why does that frighten so many straight people? Are you that insecure?

    I am onboard with discharging people who are blatantly doing things that would be considered an attack on another person. As long as I keep my hands to myself and not on people who don't want them, life should be fine. After coming out once I left the military, I have found that a lot of my former shipmates would have been just fine with me being out and in fact most knew it already. No one is fooling anyone in the military when they say “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

    Here are some of the young people that are fair minded and understand what it means to serve along side gay members of the armed forces – wake up and listen to these people – they are there:

    Genevieve Chase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oppI4TZftao
    Steven Vossler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2TRyA7FsmI

    Father Time and Jefferson – I understand what you are saying but those arguments are old and we are pass them. Don't Ask, Don't Tell will be repealed it's just a matter of time. Thank you for your service to our great country, thank you for your devotion.

    Best,
    Inspired

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    It also appears that there are more folks who believe it's time to go:

    I am an infantry lieutenant colonel who is ready for the DoD to lift the gay ban. Our Soldiers are flexible, tolerant and ready to put this unconstitutional provision in the past. DADT had its place but it falls short of providing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to gay military citizens. We should not make them live their military lives with fear and uncertainty.

    Comment by LTC Keys — September 28, 2009 @ 11:42 pm – September 28, 2009

    http://www.gaypatriot.net/2009/06/10/conservati

  • JeffersonDavis

    Alright Colonel. Your statement, with all due respect, is flawed.

    It's the same as smoking, or drinking, or gambling, or any other addictive behavior that can get you thrown out of the military. Are you proposing that we allow our soldiers, sailors, and airmen the ability of life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness on those fronts as well?

    I didn't think so.

    You cannot give special considerations for choices of lifestyle. And it, indeed, is a choice.

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    Jefferson –

    I agree to disagree agreeably with you on the point that being gay is the same as smoking, or drinking, or gambling, or any other addictive behavior. Being gay is not a lifestyle choice, and even if it was does it hurt you physically? No, no more than being straight. Now if someone was to force themselves on you maybe but just the fact that someone is gay should not cause you any loss of your personal freedoms.

    People in the military do smoke, drink, and gamble so what is your point? Again I state that allowing men and women to serve their country should be allowed as long as they do their job, protect the country, and do not disrupt unit cohesion. Of the discharges that I have seen, none of them were for behavioral issues and in fact each of the cases the leaders of the people discharge would have retained them had it not been for DADT. Most of the discharged have skills and performance to match that were better than their heterosexual counterparts – where is the sense in that?

    Please hear me out, I am not being adversarial here, just stating things that I have heard, known and experienced. If you have had a bad experience with gay people, my apology but all gays are not created the same.

    Best,
    Paul

  • Dr J

    It's the same as smoking, or drinking, or gambling, or any other addictive behavior

    Where DADT is concerned, the behavior at issue isn't sex, it's talking about your personal life.

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    Jefferson –

    Here is the deal. You can not not talk about your personal life? When you want to get a message from your loved one? When you are going out to a movie and when asked what did last night and with whom? Those are not unusual questions. You and I both know the conversations and the things we see happening overseas with the heterosexual community, so I'd think we'd need to table that conversation because I can go on and on about the behavioral activities of my former shipmates that would be far in excess of what any gay member could ever say about a quite evening at home with their mate.

    Ya kno? I mean isn't this stuff silly and just wasted conversation just because people have fears? As Patrick said, it's about orientation not disciplinary issues. Our men and women are professional enough to handle gays in the military, I think the Obama administration and the pentagon are on track to get on the right side of history.

  • mikkel

    “There is no “Gay Gene”. The Human Genome Project proved it. “

    This is probably pointless because for some strange reason people are crazy when it comes to homosexuality, but all the genetic studies proved is that there is no single gene. The estimate of inheritability is around 40%, which is less than intelligence (at 70%) but similar to most other complex traits.

    That said there is increasing evidence that it is due to fetal development as much if not more than genes. This is because there are many physiological markers that homosexuals show that can be explained through prenatal hormonal environment including brain structure, how intelligence is distributed, smell, etc. So no, it's not just “liberal” science.

    “For proof of that, I have known at least 10 formerly “gay” men and women that gave it up after having adopted Christianity.”

    That's not “proof” of anything except what those people did. First of all, for every “success,” there are dozens of people that try to change and never can. Secondly, every single study on orientation has determined that there is a range. Around 10% of men identify as straight and actively have sex with other guys. That has been very consistent from study to study. The bulk of those men have emotional attachments almost exclusively with women but also physical attraction to men. But I'm sure that since they can't do it without flaunting it then you must know that. Then there is about 4-5% of men that form emotional attachment to other men, with about half of those physically attracted to women, leaving only 2% of men that are neither physically nor emotionally attracted to women.

    So assuming that their behavioral and emotional actions do stay changed, that simply means that they weren't on the far end of the spectrum. Of course, considering that the vast bulk of male homosexual behavior doesn't occur on that end of the spectrum it's meaningless to say that proves anything.

    Incidentally, the military is just barely statistically different than the normal population.

  • mikkel

    Not to mention that nearly every single other first world country allows gay men and women to serve openly and reported that it increased cohesiveness. We're not exactly talking about a hypothetical here.

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    Mikkel –

    Thanks for your posting and I can do things that I normally would not be able to do if I put certain things into play. Take gravity for example, just because we fly does not mean that gravity does not exist, it just means we've circumvented it. I do not doubt that those men and women you mentioned are living differently than before. That is not the point of the repeal of DADT.

    Here is the deal, regardless if there are gene's or not, at birth or not, we have men and women who sacrifice our lives for the country. As President Bill Clinton stated in this video and note what he said at about 3:27: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uciy6G_1t0w

    “And, you know, the thing that changed me forever on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was when I learned that 130 gay service people were allowed to serve and risk their lives in the first Gulf War, and all their commanders knew they were gay; they let them go out there and risk their lives because they needed them, and then as soon as the first Gulf War was over, they kicked them out. That’s all I needed to know, that’s all anybody needs to know, to know that this policy should be changed.”

    We have men and women who deserve equality and DADT is not that. Hiding who you are and living in fear is unacceptable in this great nation. We have the worlds best military according to Patrick Murphy and I believe it because I served in it. We have great leaders and some of them are gay. It's time we end this failed policy and begin to provide equality to our men and women in uniform. I will give you a great example of one of them: Anthony Woods.

    “Tal Afar ended up being one of the first major success stories in the reconstruction effort in Iraq and, despite major violence in the region, Woods returned with all of the soldiers under his command alive. He earned a Bronze Star for his efforts.”

    This is just one example of a great american hero who is gay and should have been able to remain in the military.

    Thanks for continuing the dialogue.

  • Father_Time

    It's not “fear” it's disgust! Lets just get that part straight. One visit to a gay pride parade will confirm that for the confused.

    Rights won’t change anything? Are you nuts? Only an abject fool would believe such crap.

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    Father_Time,

    Could you clarify what is disgusting? As I mentioned before one person or one small group of people don't define an entire community. I'd like you to know that brave men and women like Anthony Woods, Dan Choi, or Joan Darrah were not disgusting in serving this country. Pride parades do not define everyone. We both know that there are things that go in in the heterosexual community but you don't see me defining you by those activities do you? Then let's now try that with us okay?

    You completely disrespect the very ones who kept you safe over the past 16 years and I think you owe us an apology if not then let's just make it known that you were not taught good manners.

    I don't think it is necessary to go negative, there is an opportunity to get on the right side of history if you choose not then that is your choice; you are free to think what you like.

    Thanks.

  • JeffersonDavis

    As far as the successes in “putting away' the homosexual lifestyle…. I didn't not say that was the case with all. That woud be a generalization. I merely pointed it out to show that it isn't an inherently genetic condition that you are born with and cannot change.

    There are people out there that are “turned on” by just about everything under the sun. Some get turned on by feet, or by dressing up in certain clothes. Others get turned on by exhibitionism, and the list goes on for eternity. And some get turned on by the same sex. It is a condition that can be changed.

    Just look at the bisexual community. It's all about sexual gratification. They are not born with a predispostion to both. It is a behavior choice.

    Homosexuals are just as human as I am. They possess the same capabilities and talents as any other person does. The one difference that sets them apart is their sexual acts. We all can love one another, and we should. I love each and every one of you here, and I love each and every homosexual. But a homosexual is set apart by not whom he or she loves, but whom he or she has sex with.

  • JeffersonDavis

    Colonel (Paul),

    The smoking and gambling remark was a suggestion concerning choices not encouraged by the military. And yes, smoking does cause damage to “military property”, but gambling does not cause (at least physical) harm. That was my only point.

    I am honored to serve with homosexuals. I've met many in the field, who kept it to themselves and served with pride. I didn't hold it against them. However, I still believe that ALL sexual references should be kept to oneself – both homosexual and heterosexual. It provides for a more cohesive workplace. No one thinks (or should think) that the homosexual beside you in a foxhole is thinking about having sex with you – that's archaic and wrong. They are thinking about defending the team and defeating the enemy. But in the offtime, when it's time to shower and bed down, no one should expect to shower or bunk with someone (male or female) that may find them sexually attractive. I am not permitted to shower with women, am I?
    Thankfully, no. My wife wouldn't like that much. Maybe as a younger man. LOL
    Do you give homosexuals there own facilities and barracks? Do you let them shower and bunk with the opposite sex?

    It is that time, when the cohesion of the team can break down. And that incohesion then ends up on the battlefield.

  • lgbtrights

    Jefferson, you say, “All sexual references should be kept to oneself.” Is telling someone you have a girlfriend a “sexual reference”? Is telling someone you're married a sexual reference? What about wearing a wedding ring? Do you think that married soldiers should have to take off their wedding rings when they report for duty?

    Try to imagine going to work and not being allowed to mention your wife to your colleagues, or to mention that you're married. That's what it's like for many gay soldiers. While they're on duty, they have to pretend that their committed partners don't exist.

    To answer your last questions: no, you don't give gays their own barracks, and no, you don't have them bunk with the opposite sex. You tell the straight soldiers to grow up already. Anyone who took gym class in high school has changed clothes in front of gay people before. Somehow they survived. Anyone currently serving in the military who has read a newspaper anytime in the past sixteen years knows that there are plenty of closeted gay people in the military. They already know that they are showering or bunking with gay soldiers. Often, they even know which of their fellow soldiers are gay. How would it be a problem to let gay soldiers talk about their partners back home?

  • http://twitter.com/inspired2b inspired2b

    lgbtrights –

    You beat me to the punch but well said. Jefferson, sorry I think something got confused, I am not a colonial but I posted a statement by one that I noticed from another site, so I apologize on how my post looked. I was just an enlisted member in the Navy. Thanks for the correction on your statement I misunderstood, but do agree that the military is against those things as well.

    I don't see being gay the same as smoking and drinking and gambling so we can agree to disagree on those and I can understand your point of view on that and again thanks for the clarification. I appreciate your comments about serving with homosexuals. “Homosexuals are just as human as I am. They possess the same capabilities and talents as any other person does.” that point is what we are trying to let everyone see and that we can do our job just like you do yours.

    Everyone is thinking sex sex sex, it really is not about sex because we are not asking to have sex with people, we are asking to serve in the military and protect our country and loved ones. I will let you in on a little secret gay people are not attracted to every straight person we see, we are not attracted to every gay person we see.

    As far as the showers and bunking is concerned, I showered with and bunked with guys for 10 years and not one time did a situation arise where there was a problem, how do we explain that? In addition, heterosexual service members are showering and sleeping with gay servicemembers now are there any problems? So if we say who we are in public it is now a problem? The logic here makes no sense. You do realize that everyone already know who is and is not gay in the military right? It really is not that big of a secret…

    But in the end time will tell once repeal has happened and we join the rest of the world, I really don't think you will see that much difference – but that is just me.

  • Dr J

    One visit to a gay pride parade will confirm that.

    Have you visited any, Father Time? Or is your disgust so powerful that even stories of a once-a-year event you didn't attend leave you feeling unclean the rest of the year?

    This sounds like your problem, not everyone else's.

  • Father_Time

    Actually it is everyones else's of which I am only one.

    Otherwise you wouldn't need to beg.

  • roro80

    Ah, Father_Time, I think your mistake is thinking that because you think about gay sex so often, everyone else does too. Even gay people don't think about gay sex as often as you aparently do.

    Regardless, this whole conversation makes me think of one of my favorite parts of Eddie Izzard's “Dress to Kill” DVD special, in which he talks about having wanted to be in the army as a kid. There's a bit of cursing, so it's probably not safe for work, but he's awesome, so here's the clip if anyone's interested: http://military.videosift.com/video/Eddie-Izzar

  • Father_Time

    Sorry. I don't think about gay sex. Nobody by sick people have such abnormal thoughts. However your psychosis is treatable.

  • roro80

    That's kind of incredible considering how often you talk about it, and how “disgusted” you are by it. If you don't think about it, how can it be so repulsive to you? Most people don't meet a fellow human being and immediately think of their sexual practices. I don't know which of my particular psychoses you speak of — perhaps the ability to meet someone without immediately jumping to icky gross bottom lovin' and instead seeing them as just another human being? Is that the psychosis you're talking about? I don't think I want to be treated for that one.