Deroy Murdock Blasts "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on National Review Online

TOPIC: gays in the military

Deroy Murdock (a New York-based columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution) has authored a nice article on National Review Online pointing up the continuing absurdities of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" anti-gay military policy, and reporting particularly on the increased granting of "moral waivers" (through which the Army has evidently even inducted felony child molestors!):

… Pentagon officials evidently trust military inductees with felony rap sheets more than they do law-abiding gay GIs. Having relaxed academic, age, and weight restrictions to achieve recruitment goals, the Defense Department has granted “moral waivers” to criminal convicts. Simultaneously, it uses the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy to jettison gays in uniform, usually for merely disclosing their sexuality. This policy deserves a dishonorable discharge.

… Between 2003 and 2006, U.C. Santa Barbara’s Michael D. Palm Center calculates, “106,768 individuals with serious criminal histories were admitted” to the armed forces.

Last year, the Army gave moral waivers to 106 applicants convicted of burglary, 15 of felonious break-ins, 11 of grand-theft-auto, and eight of arson. It also admitted five rape/sexual-assault convicts, two felony child molesters, two manslaughter convicts, and two felons condemned for “terrorist threats including bomb threats.”

Conversely, expelled military personnel include Arabic linguists and intelligence specialists who help crush America’s foes in the War on Terror. “Don’t Ask” has ousted at least 58 soldiers who speak Arabic, 50 Korean, 42 Russian, 20 Chinese, nine Farsi, and eight Serbo-Croatian — all trained at the prestigious Defense Language Institute. Al-Qaeda intercepts need translation, and Uncle Sam may need people who can walk around Tehran with open ears. Yet these dedicated gay citizens now are ex-GIs.

Murdock's take-home message is rationality itself:

“Don’t Ask” should yield to equality: Sexual orientation should be irrelevant while inappropriate sexual conduct — gay, straight, or otherwise — should be punished.


American Veterans for Equal Rights, http://aver.us/aver/

Freeman, Simon (7/02/2008). Pride & patriotism: The fight for the right to serve. Published online and accessed 7/03/2008 at web site http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/pride_amp_patriotism/Content?oid=508559

Murdock, Deroy (7/23/2008). Don’t Make Sense: A policy that deserves a dishonorable discharge. National Review Online. Article accessed 7/28/2008 at web address http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODliYjkwN2RkNWExMWE5OGQxMzA2ODNlZTc5NTRhYjY=