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During an interview in 2007, Marine Corps General Robert Magnus addressed what it was like having to deal with intolerance and bigotry in the ranks during the 1970s:

When asked if being Jewish was ever a liability in his expansive military career, Magnus’ answer is matter-of-fact: It has not. More pointedly, when asked about anti-Semitism, he recalls only one incident, years ago, when as a captain someone foolishly called him a "Jew boy." His response: "I punched him in the face."

Ironically, the now-retired General Magnus--whose own career was enabled by the tolerance of those not like him--is now actively working to prevent gays from serving openly in the military.  

This is hypocrisy.

When it was announced on Tuesday that over 1,000 flag and general officers had signed a letter urging President Obama to continue barring gays from serving openly in the military, General Magnus was among them.  

Now, this one general’s hypocrisy  aside, the whole thing struck me as a bit odd.  When I read the letter to President Obama, I became even more perplexed by the language:

Our experience as military leaders leads us to have great concern about the impact that repeal of [the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law] would have on morale, discipline, unit cohesion, and overall military readiness. We believe that imposing this burden on our men and women in uniform would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.

Break the all-volunteer force?  For one, that type of overwhelming homophobia just isn’t representative of the military I knew during my time in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I wondered why so many senior leaders--men who’d sacrificed so much in their own rights on behalf of the nation--would suddenly come out against a repeal of the outdated policy.

With that in mind, I decided I’d do some critical analysis of the list of those who’d signed the letter.  I wanted to know who these military leaders were.  But because the list is so huge, I knew I couldn’t quickly compile information on each officer.  So I decided to look at the first--and most senior--group of signers: The 47 four-star generals and admirals on the list.

What I found wasn’t surprising at all.  If the 47 senior officers on the list are representative of the other thousand, then the letter has been signed by exactly what I suspected: A large group of distinguished, older, retired military officers who entered the service between World War Two and Vietnam--and who largely left the service prior to the 21st century and the modern military era.  

As it turns out, no four-star officer on the list entered the military after 1969--over three decades before I led my own infantry platoon into combat in Afghanistan as a young lieutenant.  In fact, all but four of the officers were in the service before Vietnam even started.  Eight of the 47 joined the military during World War Two--at the same time as my grandparents.  And the remaining 35 joined between the end of WWII and the beginning of Vietnam--in an era not known for its receptiveness to homosexuality, especially in the military.

But, more important than the fact that these officers entered the service over 40 years ago--in the middle of the 20th century--is the reality that the vast majority never served with troops of the modern era.  Fully two-thirds of the four-stars on the list retired before the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law was even enacted in 1993.  41 of the 47 on the list never wore a uniform during this century, and only four of the 47 retired four-star generals--Magnus included--were still in the service on 9/11.  

The fact is, while they’ve certainly earned the right to express their opinions, this group of older, retired officers is largely out of touch with current cultural norms and what constitutes "mainstream" in 2009--and they certainly don’t speak for those who’ve served overseas in the years since 9/11.  While many are combat heroes themselves, their experiences range from Korea to Desert Storm.  But not one of the 47 four-stars on that list has ever served in Iraq or Afghanistan with today’s military, much less had to depend on one of the 58 gay Arabic translators fired in 2007 alone.  These officers were brought up in a draft military at a time when open homosexuality was typically viewed as deviant--unlike today, when 81 percent of Americans think gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

Ultimately, the point is this: Linguists, surgeons, seasoned counterinsurgents, intelligence experts, and other skilled professionals are absolutely vital to our own national security.  At a time when our all-volunteer military is more strained than it has ever been--and despite the complaints of an older generation of officers whose wars ended decades ago--we have neither the time nor the luxury of finding replacements for these individuals who were fired on account of their personal relationships.

The fact that 1,000 long-retired generals are frightened of gay people is not the modern military’s problem.  Their antiquated homophobia is theirs and theirs alone.  As I’ve said before, with two wars raging, as long as you can shoot straight--or speak Arabic or Pashto--it's shouldn't matter whether or not you are straight.  Leaders like General Magnus should know that better than anyone.

Here is the list of signing four-star flag and general officers by years of service:

Retired in the 1970s

General E. E. Anderson, USMC (Ret.) 1940 – 1975
General John W. Vogt, USAF (Ret.) 1941 – 1975
General John R. Deane, Jr., USA (Ret.) 1942 – 1977

Retired in the 1980s

General Volney F. Warner, USA (Ret.) 1944 – 1981
Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.) 1948 – 1982
General Frederick J. Kroesen, USA (Ret.) 1943 – 1983
General Edward C. Meyer, USA (Ret.) 1951 – 1983
General Paul F. Gorman, USA (Ret.) 1950 – 1985
General Wallace H. Nutting, USA (Ret.) 1950 – 1985
General John K. Davis, USMC (Ret.) 1945 – 1986
General Robert W. Bazley, USAF (Ret.) 1943 – 1987
General P. X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.) 1950 – 1987
Admiral James A. "Ace" Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.) 1951 – 1987
General Lawrence A. Skantze, USAF (Ret.) 1946 – 1987
General Richard H. Thompson, USA (Ret.) 1944 – 1987
General John A. Wickham, Jr., USA (Ret.) 1950 – 1987
Admiral Ronald J. Hays, USN (Ret.) 1950 – 1988
General Thomas R. Morgan, USMC (Ret.) 1952 – 1988
General Glenn K. Otis, USA (Ret.) 1946 – 1988
General Arthur E. Brown, Jr., USA (Ret.) 1953 – 1989
General William L. Kirk, USAF (Ret.) 1951 – 1989
General Joseph T. Palastra, Jr., USA (Ret.) 1954 – 1989
General Louis C. Wagner, Jr., USA (Ret.) 1954 – 1989

Retired in the 1990s

General Michael J. Dugan, USAF (Ret.) 1958 – 1990
General James J. Lindsay, USA (Ret.) 1952 – 1990
General Louis C. Menetrey, USA (Ret.) 1953 – 1990
General Joseph J. Went, USMC (Ret.) 1952 – 1990
General John W. Foss, USA (Ret.) 1950 – 1991
General John R. Dailey, USMC (Ret.) 1956 – 1992
Admiral Jerome L. Johnson, USN (Ret.) 1956 – 1992
General Crosbie E. Saint, USA (Ret.) 1958 - 1992
General Edwin H. Burba Jr., USA (Ret.) 1959 – 1993
General James B. Davis, USAF (Ret.) 1958 – 1993
General Carl W. Stiner, USA (Ret.) 1958 – 1993
General Walter E. Boomer, USMC (Ret.) 1960 – 1994
General C. A. Horner, USAF (Ret.) 1958 – 1994
Admiral Henry H. Mauz, Jr., USN (Ret.) 1959 – 1994
General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC (Ret.) 1953 – 1995
Admiral Leighton W. "Snuffy" Smith, USN (Ret.) 1962 - 1996
General Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.) 1963 – 1997
General Richard E. Hawley, USAF (Ret.) 1964 – 1999

Retired in the 2000s

General Terrence R. Dake, USMC (Ret.) 1966 – 2000
General Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC (Ret.) 1964 – 2000
General Henry H. Shelton, USA (Ret.) 1963 – 2001
General Carlton W. Fulford, Jr., USMC (Ret.) 1966 – 2002
General William F. Kernan, USA (Ret.) 1968 – 2002
General Robert Magnus, USMC (Ret.) 1969 – 2008

Also available at VetVoice

Originally posted to Brandon Friedman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:11 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (31+ / 0-)

    It sucks when generals you admired as a kid suddenly go all homophobic on some of your friends.  BTW, if anyone is interested, I’m now slowly beginning to Twitter.

    Thanks for reading!

    VetVoice: The blog for troops and veterans | My book on Amazon

    by Brandon Friedman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:12:08 PM PDT

    •  I can excuse it somewhat more in the older ones (1+ / 0-)

      I have elderly relatives who have, shall we say, not very progressive views on a wide range of things. I generally find it more acceptable in them than in younger people, even if still unfortunate, because they grew up in a much different world. Some of them are even quite confused to be seen as culturally conservative, because in their day they were seen as progressives, in some cases even dangerously progressive (e.g. 1950s feminists). But on occasion, society actually becomes progressive faster than some people can keep up.

      On the whole, of course, that's a good thing--- we want to be rapidly moving the goal posts in the good direction.

      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

      by Delirium on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 09:55:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's great that you did this analysis, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xapulin, martini

      but would you expect that these officers are indeed representative of the entire group of signers? I would think that the 4-stars would be the oldest, on average, and that if you looked at a less starry group - those who perhaps have not been in the military long enough to rise that high - you might indeed find a lot of current servicemen and women on the list. And they, of course, would have no excuse.

      The law in its infinite majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread.
      - Anatole France

      by pixxer on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:14:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hmmm (10+ / 0-)

    I wonder how many of these would have signed to keep minorities out if they were around in the 50s...

    A United States Marine, still fighting for our Constitution and our country! I Support and Defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    by DemMarineVet on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:13:11 PM PDT

  •  This list makes me sad. (6+ / 0-)

    I can't understand why people work so hard to deny others dignity and life.

    ~~insertobscurereference,pretentiousquoteORsalientaphorismhere~~

    by shayera on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:22:56 PM PDT

  •  Not many Admirals... Weird... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shayera, DaleA, blueyedace2, Guadalupe59

    A United States Marine, still fighting for our Constitution and our country! I Support and Defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    by DemMarineVet on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:24:24 PM PDT

    •  The navy has a uhh reputation (0+ / 0-)

      for being filled with homos. Gay people have been tolerated there for a long time, only tolerated. Like forever. Churchill said the ancient traditions of the Royal Navy were: rum, sodomy and the lash. Surprised there were any admirals at all.

      •  Navy WIfe for 15 years. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini, keikekaze, skohayes, renbear

        LOTS of homophobes in the Navy as everywhere, many evangelicals.  The younger non-fundy guys are cool with it (the ones under 30) but a lot of older types can be jerks. I've never been certain which would bother them more: some guy sneaking a peek at their package in the shower, or no one paying them attention.

        And methinks you gave something away with the use of the term "homo" which is generally used  pretty insultingly. The usual term is "gay".

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:48:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  During the Civil War (7+ / 0-)

    They didn't want to use repeating rifles either.

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:24:40 PM PDT

  •  Only 13 months (8+ / 0-)

    Until General Clark is eligible for Sec. Def.

    The reason people don't learn from the past, is because the past was a repetitious lie to begin with. Mike Hastie U.S. Army Medic Vietnam 1970-71

    by BOHICA on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:34:10 PM PDT

  •  Brandon, help me out here, (5+ / 0-)

    when sworn in to the Army, (if you are sworn in), do you not swear to country first?

    Undoubtedly there are outright homophobes in the ranks, or people whose religious affiliation would put them at odds with gays. But if, as you say,

    Linguists, surgeons, seasoned counterinsurgents, intelligence experts, and other skilled professionals are absolutely vital to our own national security.

     how can they oppose this?

    Thanks as always.

  •  Any idea of how many of these (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuvSet, irishwitch, MooseHB

    signers grew up in the South. Or are Evangelical Christians? Adding that to the mix, might explain a lot.

  •  Beyond 'national security', a term which has been (4+ / 0-)

    polluted with double-speak and banality by BushCo...

    Ultimately, the point is this: Linguists, surgeons, seasoned counterinsurgents, intelligence experts, and other skilled professionals are absolutely vital to our own national security.

    These are real live individuals who save lives of other real live individuals.  

    If the son/daughter of one of these signers was bleeding out or had a gun to their temple...held by a person who understood no English...they would thank god that a competent physician or translator was present to intervene regardless of personal sexual orientation.

    Each of the 1,000 men have served, at some time, next to a person with same sex orientation and to this day are totally unaware of it.  The 'Others' they're so concerned about look exactly like the face they see every morning in the mirror.

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:54:46 PM PDT

  •  Sincere question: Are translators more LGBT than (4+ / 0-)

    other specialties?  I often see the number of gay translators who've been let go, and it seems like such a big number.  Do LGBT service members seem to gravitate to translation?  I don't see references to LGBT communications specialists or geographers or snipers in the same way.  (I understand the importance of good translators, just wonder why this one group seems to always come up?)

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 08:59:13 PM PDT

    •  No, it's just an absolutely vital position. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, snakelass, 417els, lineatus, MooseHB

      And the fact that they're being fired is outrageous.

      VetVoice: The blog for troops and veterans | My book on Amazon

      by Brandon Friedman on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 09:27:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Research (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42, martini, Loose Fur

      My recollection is that there's some research that shows that gay people have greater than average aptitude for learning foreign language.  I've been trying to find a link on line but haven't been successful so far.

      I can certainly say that it's true from my own experience.  I'm a gay man, and I learned three foreign languages after childhood.  When I was in college, most of the male foreign language majors were gay.  Obviously, all of this is anecdotal, but I think there's something to it.

      This might explain why there is such a high concentration of gays in translation.

      •  Either that, or... (0+ / 0-)

        Being a linguist can be a cushy job with little to no field work or work in a tight, cohesive unit.  It might be that this notion draws gay people in the hopes that it will minimize the chance that they will be placed in a situation where they will be "outed" by someone else.

        Just a totally unsupported theory.

  •  1969 (5+ / 0-)

    Interesting that you cite 1969: that was the year Claudia Kennedy, the first 3-star Army General in our history, entered the service that year.  The first woman to reach 4-stars, Gen. Ann Dunwoody, didn't receive her commission until 1975.  The military has changed in many, many ways since most of those men were serving (I think Gen. Magnus was the only one still in the service when Dunwoody got her fourth star).

    Times change and policies change, and the military by necessity adapts to the changes.

    The people are competent: why shouldn't the government be competent? The people tell the truth, so why should the government lie? -Jimmy Carter

    by JR on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 10:29:25 PM PDT

  •  I'm actually pretty shocked... (9+ / 0-)

    As a former active duty Marine AND and Jew I'm deeply disappointed by General Magnus.

    I really hope that by the time I finish College and re-enter as a commissioned officer DADT has gone away.  I knew more than a few exceptional Marines forced to hide who they were just to be able to selflessly serve their nation.  

    I think that the continuance of DADT is a slight on the American tradition of an all-volunteer force, just as segregated units were in times past.

  •  My WWII era father... (14+ / 0-)

    who served in the military for almost 30 years, retiring in the early 70's has this to say:

    "We all knew who they were and it didn't make a damned bit of difference."

    Now, my dad isn't exactly politically correct but what he basically said then and says now: who cares?

    Oh, and lest you think dad was some officer, he was a master sargeant who happened to "fall into" being a military police officer who later went to work on missiles both nuclear and conventional.

    So to the 4-stars who say keep DADT dad says: who cares?

    Well, it beats the alternative.

    by lalo456987 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:34:28 PM PDT

    •  That same sentiment can be said about all of (7+ / 0-)

      these made up issues concerning gay people. Who really cares????

      Who cares if they get married or not, it doesn't effect the larger population one way or the other.

      Who care if they get survivor benefits? Still don't see how that affects the rest of the population.

      Who cares if they serve in the military? I am comfortable with who I am, so why should I care that others are different?

      I mean obviously they care, but for the rest of us, really? There are a lot of other things to worry about than what gay people do. It seems to me any sane person could see this.

  •  thanks Brandon they did earn the right to speak (8+ / 0-)

    out and like everyone else their opinions should not carry more weight than anyone else's, I am an old Infantry Platoon Sergeant  as long as a person keeps their  personal choices away from work their life is their own, I think anyone should be allowed to serve in the military it is after all "ALL Volunteer" either you let everyone serve or you are discriminating  but like anyone else if your sex life gets in the way of doing your job  "sexual harassment" is a UCMJ charge and can be applied to anyone  men hitting on women, women hitting on men  etc keep your playing away from work and do your job and the private life should be just that  private

  •  Navy WIfe from 88-2003 (8+ / 0-)

    The only ones who will get out over gays openly serving will be the nuttier evangelicals--and in my book, getting rid of them will be a good thing (think the AF scandal and Troutfishing's diaries).  We don't need a military dominated by religious fanatics.   The others, event he homophobes, will get over it.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 08:42:47 PM PDT

  •  Nice diary, there are only two things I would add (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, kurt, Loose Fur, HappyTexan

    When are we going to start letting woman have the right to become infantry and combat arms troops?

    I think these issues should be addressed together. I think if we are going to talk about injustice, we need to look at how women are treated as well. I think our generation much more ready for it.

    Also, no one needs to earn the right to express an opinion.

    Thanks for the diary.

  •  Great diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, martini, Loose Fur

    Sorry the time to recommend it has expired.

    It's been rescued, though.

    A question for anyone who has served in the military recently or is currently serving.

    If/when gays are allowed to serve openly, how do you think it's going to go over among the young enlisted soldiers?  Is it totally going to freak a lot of them out?  After all, a lot of them are from pretty "traditional" parts of the country....

    •  I think that not much is going to change as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, HappyTexan

      far as interactions are concerned. Gay people are still going to have to be discrete, but at least they won't be discharged because of it.

    •  And a lot of them... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42, seriously70, HappyTexan

      Are from urban parts of the country.  Which I think contributes to why we saw such a massive shift in political support from the military to Obama.

      In all honesty, I can only speak for my experience in the Corps of nearly 10 years ago.  No one really cared if you did your job.  Hell, half the people in my unit thought I was gay; I'm from the Bay Area, I dressed well and had great fashion sense (the female Marines actually came to me for fashion and accessorizing advice), I'm articulate and never was known to have a girlfriend, even though my friends were exclusively female.  No one seemed to care, because when I put on my uniform I did my job and I did it well.

      Really, though, the younger generation is becoming desensitized to homosexuality in general.  Sure, there's still prejudice against it, but compared to 20 years ago it is less so and has taken different forms.  I give it another 20 years before its nothing more than a matter of personal disagreement, like difference of political preference, rather than what it is today.

      •  Could you expand on these points ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LivingOxymoron

        (1)A lot of them...are from urban parts of the country.[?]  Which I think contributes to why we saw such a
        (2)massive shift in political support from the military to Obama. [Among the general population? In the ranks?]

        ...'preciate it.

        •  No problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          seriously70, HappyTexan

          Both of the points are meant to illustrate that the stereotypes of the military are being broken in this day and age.

          1.)  There is a greater representation of minorities in the military than in the general population of the US, many of whom originate in urban, rather than rural, areas of the nation.  Additionally, with the downturn of the economy, more urban youth are looking to the military as a way of "getting out".  

          2.)  The troops contributed to Obama over McCain in the last election by a ratio of 6:1.  That amazed even me, especially considering that the nation seems to take it as a granted that the military is a "Republican Institution."

          Really, one thing I've always tried to fight against were the stereotypes that we progressives hold for the military, even though that itself can be a stereotype sometimes.  As a Marine Corps vet, I can say that some of the smartest most introspective people I ever met were in the Corps.  Before I went to boot camp I was honestly afraid of what I perceived would be prejudice against me for being Hispanic, Jewish, and Liberal, but I found no such thing.  Hispanics are very well represented, I had some of the most interesting theological discussions with some very open-minded people who'd never met a Jew before, and as long as I stood my ground and backed up my political beliefs with reasoned logic, people respected me for it.

          •  That's my impression, too. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LivingOxymoron, seriously70

            I'm not I veteran, but I teach a good number of veterans in my classes at a community college.

            It varies, of course, but overall, they seem to be a likable, curious, thoughtful bunch of folks.

            Wow.  A Hispanic Jewish liberal Marine Corps veteran with great fashion sense.  You must have your very on box on the census form....  :)

            •  My Girlfriend at the time joked... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              seriously70, HappyTexan

              That I could probably get elected to a Congressional Seat in Northern California based solely on all the minorities I can lay claim to, impersonate, or resonate with.

              Here's one that'll throw you for a loop, though.  In addition to all of that, when I'm all done with school I'm planning on going BACK as a Chaplain... I'll be the first prior enlisted Marine to become a Jewish Chaplain since WWII.

              Glad to see the vets (like me) are going back to school.  I just wish that I could get the same education benefits in California that Texas gives its resident veterans.

          •  The troops contributed to Obama/Mc 6:1. Wow! (0+ / 0-)

            Could you tell me what that refers to, exactly?
            Number of contributions from all military? Including officers?
            Not total sums contributed, I'm guessing? I'd have expected the officers to lean McC, and kick in more cash, and that the total number of contributions would reflect the urban kids as you say.
            Is that the case?

            Thanks LivingOxymoron for this useful diary.  

  •  Great diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, Brandon Friedman

    Diaries like this are what attracted me to Daily Kos and keep me coming back. You can't beat good research. Period.

    Wish I'd seen it before the period for recommendation expired--it sure beats the hell out of a lot of red'd diaries I've seen, the ones with obscenities for titles, for example.

    Anyway, thanx for posting this!

  •  This "We believe" crap is just that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snafubar, keikekaze, Brandon Friedman

    They have no data supporting their allegations.  No data.  It's all "based on my career despising gay people, my considered view is that ..."

    Frankly, they're either deluded or lying.  Take your pick.

    "Justice is indivisible." - MLK

    by Bob Love on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 10:56:25 PM PDT

  •  I found that Psalm 23:4 has an asterisk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Spoc42, Brandon Friedman

    "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

    There was a soy-sauce stain on my Bible, but I found it:

    * um, Lord - I know you told me to fear no evil, but there's two gay guys over there who really freak me the fuck out. I know they will fight to defend me if we're under attack, but I'm not so sure I'd save them because I know you hate them, Lord. Can I borrow thy rod and thy staff to club them to death as you instruct me to in Leviticus?

    It's sickening to me how these self-righteous and undeservedly pious assholes all claim that God is their strength and purpose for living; indeed it is their undying faith in their Lord which allows them to march into battle without fear.

    But two gay guys?...no way...that's just too much to handle.

    Can we keep pointing this out to show the duplicitous cowardice hidden in their macho bullshit?

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 11:04:58 PM PDT

  •  late tip/rec. good diary, brandon. nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  I worked for a of these guys, but what is... (0+ / 0-)

    ...missing are the (more numerous) names NOT on the list. Would like to see the 2/3 star signers, as well.

    I consider at least one of these guys a complete asshole who made a (wrong) management decision that seriously diminished military capability and cost us hundreds of millions more than we had to pay for some contracts.

  •  This diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brandon Friedman
    should be the cover page for the letter to President Obama.  Thank you.

    "Prez is the pootie...and press is the pootie toy."(BiPM)

    by awsdirector on Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 03:15:12 AM PDT

  •  From 10 years in active and reserve USAF... (0+ / 0-)
    1. Most airman could care less about other airmen and their sexuality, unless they were being hit on.
    1. Most airmen knew (or strongly suspected) other airmen to be LGBT and ignored it regardless of their personal views.
    1. All it took was ONE homophobic moron to ruin someone's career.

    Given that regulations regarding inappropriate relationships and PDA would apply to ALL personnel, the only way justice is served is to allow people to serve without regard to their sexual orientation (or lack thereof....)

    Then again, the Air Force always seemed to be a little more progressive than the other branches...lol  

    •  Unfortunatly... (0+ / 0-)

      The Air Force is fast regressing from that point.  The Military Religious Freedom Foundation receives more complaints about the Air Force than any other service.  Ironically, according to Chris Rodda (who diaries here sometimes), the Marine Corps seems to have the least number of incidents.

      I blame it, partially, on the more mainstream "corporate" mentality of the Air Force and the proximity of the Academy to the physical HQ of Dobson's Focus on the Family nutjobs.

      •  I had heard... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LivingOxymoron

        ...that was becoming a problem. My step-brother joined a few years ago and said he was surprised at the 'religiousity' of some members.  I remember reading something else a few years back about cadets being indoctrinated at the Academy...to the point where some cadets were spurned if they chose to keep their faith private. Makes me sad...my military experience was one where people got along and trusted one another regardless of race, religion, background or even personal feelings.  It convinced me that a future America where that was common was not as far out of reach as I once thought. The common element to military service is SERVICE to ones country and to your fellow service member, just as the common element to humanity should be service to humanity and your fellow man (and women, of course.)

        Maybe it's time for me to re-up and finish out my 20 as a counterbalance.  

        Oh well, I can still say definitively that the CA ANG is pretty progressive. Big surprise, I know. (Prop 3 notwithstanding....)

        •  The main reason why I want to go back (0+ / 0-)

          I had it in my mind from the day my Active Duty service ended that I would be a Navy Chaplain someday.  I want to be one even more so now in an effort to counter the evangelism spreading through the ranks, in addition to serving my own faith group and all servicemembers.  If it keeps me from promotion, so be it.  I can always get a good job leading a Congregation when I get out.

  •  There are other top veterans (0+ / 0-)

    who aren't bad.
    I know a three star, retired Admiral who thinks Don't Ask Don't Tell should be replaced with Don't Care, Totally Irrelevant.

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