Just As I Thought

They’ve defeated their own argument

So much for the military arguments against gay servicepeople: during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, “don’t ask don’t tell” discharges dropped to their lowest level ever:

The military discharged 787 gay men and lesbians last year, according to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. It attributed the decline to the importance of U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The figure marks a 17 percent decrease from 2002 and a 39 percent drop from 2001, just before the conflicts began in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“You have to ask yourself, and you have to ask the Pentagon, why are the discharges going down?” said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of the advocacy group and one of the report’s authors. “When they need people, they keep them. When they don’t, they implement their policy of discrimination with greater force.”

If the armed forces keep people in service during times of need, they’re acknowledging that they are capable of performing their job when it’s most difficult–in wartime–the job that they are trained for. If that is the case, what can possibly be their excuse for discharging them any other time? Can it be because during peacetime, soldiers with little to do will turn their attention to beating and killing gay servicemembers rather than the enemy?

Browse the Archive

Browse by Category