As the debate about the possible changes to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” occurs in the public, there seems to be some confusion about what the military can control and discipline among its troops. For example, some (primarily those not in the military) who want to see DADT repealed seem to think the military cannot dictate personal conduct when those actions aren’t “wrong.”
Ignoring for a moment the moral judgment required to make such an assertion, the statements display a certain ignorance about military standards Read more
Update: The Army announced that General Mixon will not be reprimanded.
LtGen Benjamin R. Mixon, commanding general of US Army Pacific, previously wrote a letter to the editor encouraging servicemembers to “speak up” about their views on the potential repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” His letter was used as the second example of an active duty officer publicly disagreeing with the proposed change, when he said
If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy.
This was particularly salient, because, as the General pointed out, there has been little public opposition from those in the military on the topic. (By contrast, present and former members of the military who oppose the ban have been a common item in the media, some in clear violation of military regulations.) The supposition was that military members did disagree, but feared the reaction of the military if they expressed disagreement with their Commander in Chief and senior officers.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, who have expressed support for President Obama’s proposal to lift the ban, called General Mixon’s letter “inappropriate“: Read more
In an interesting turn of events, Lt Dan Choi, a widely-known homosexual US Army National Guard soldier facing discharge, and former Capt Jim Pietrangelo, who was reportedly discharged in 2004 for being homosexual, handcuffed themselves to the White House perimeter fence on Thursday. Both were in uniform, Read more
A US Army National Guard Chaplain is under investigation for violating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” by allegedly “telling” a superior Chaplain that he was gay.
Aris Fokas is a United Church of Christ minister who joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2003 at the age of 39. Fokas has reportedly denied the disclosure, though he reportedly
declined to say anything about his sexual orientation other than to acknowledge he is single and has never been married.
He noted, too, that the United Church of Christ ordains openly gay and lesbian ministers, a denomination-wide policy since 1980.
In an apparent attempt to defend himself, Fokas says Read more
A letter to the editor at the Stars and Stripes is attributed to LtGen Benjamin R. Mixon of Fort Shafter, Hawaii. LtGen Benjamin R. Mixon is the three-star commanding general of US Army Pacific. In that position, he is in charge of all US Army units in the Pacific theatre.
The General’s letter calls the proposed repeal of Don’t ask, Don’t tell, “ill-advised.” He encourages troops to write both their elected officials and their chain of command to let their views be known, with the potential outcome of correcting the misperception in the media that the majority of the military is in favor of ending DADT.
LtGen Mixon is the highest ranking officer behind Marine Gen James Conway to disagree with President Obama’s proposed repeal of the law, and he appears to be the first to encourage average military members to make their views known. As noted earlier, Read more
According to the Advocate, a homosexual advocacy publication, Michael Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation is on a new crusade: supporting the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Comically, Weinstein, who has been taken to task for his displays of Constitutional ignorance, again displays his lack of knowledge with regard to the ongoing controversy. The Advocate asked him…twice…what power the President had to repeal the policy on homosexuals in the military. Twice, the former White House counsel talked vaguely about executive orders without explaining how an executive order can overturn a law passed by Congress (Title 10, Subtitle A, Part II, Chapter 37, § 654). (Answer: it can’t.)
When asked about who the MRFF is “fighting,” Weinstein again displayed his tendency to make up his own definitions of religious groups–and then to assign people to them as he saw fit.
We’ve got this fanatical religiosity in fundamental Christianity… Read more
With the Obama administration’s recent efforts to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the US military, some organizations are beginning to describe the impact that such a policy change could have on US military Chaplains.
As reported by the Catholic News Agency, the Alliance Defense Fund is one such group. The CNA said
Proposed changes allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military could marginalize military chaplains from religions which consider homosexual acts sinful, a religious liberty group has warned.
The ADF specifically said that the ‘affirmation’ of homosexuality in the military Read more
On 12 March 2007, General Peter Pace (bio), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave an interview to the Chicago Tribune in which he was asked his thoughts on the current “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of homosexuality in the military. Part of his reply has been the center of some debate:
“I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts… I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.”
Literally hundreds of internet “blogs” and other media sources have pontificated about the General’s comments Read more