Monday, July 31, 2006

When Ideology is Stronger than National Interest.

I find it really strange that moral ideology can be stronger than national interests. As if the army could afford to dimiss people who speak Arabic simply because they are gay.
More than 11,000 service members have been dismissed under the policy, including 726 last year - an 11 percent jump from 2004 and the first increase since 2001.
The General Accountability Office 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. (source here)
In the particulat case of this man - Bleu Copas - it is particularly bad since he was "outed" not because he said he was gay but because of "a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C." Following the emails, he was investigated which is in direct contradiction of the first part of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, established in 1993 which prohibits the military from inquiring about the sex lives of service members. It requires discharges only of those who openly acknowledge being gay.
With a man like Rumsfeld at the head of the Defense Department, one should really not be surprised.

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