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EXCLUSIVE: Dan Choi Shoots Down Every Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Argument

danchoi

QUEERTY Q&A — While U.S. Army First Lieutenant Dan Choi waits — like so many other gay soldiers — for President Barack Obama and Congress to kill Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, he’s taken the lead as one of the most prominent openly gay service members to campaign for the policy’s repeal.

In a personal chat with Queerty‘s David Hauslaib, the Arabic linguist reveals he’s as committed as ever to serving his country — if only we would let him.

QUEERTY: You were dismissed for “homosexual behavior.” That was for simply declaring your sexuality?

FIRST LT. DAN CHOI: Behavior is such a weird thing, for me, because I always thought of behavior as far as action. Maybe that’s because I’m a military guy and I judge people based on action not on words. But I look at that and I say: Well I’ve never done anything homosexual while on duty. I’ve never done anything heterosexual while on duty. I don’t do anything sexual on duty!

There’s a difference between Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and Section 654 of Title 10. Did you violate either of these policies?

We don’t have to integrate. We’re already there. We’re already serving. We’ve already fought and bled.

Everybody says that it’s just a policy, that it can just be overturned, that President Whoever can say, “You know what, this is my military and this is what happens.” But because of Section 654 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code, part of the U.S. Constitution, the Congress is actually the organization that has to say, “Nope, this is how you run the Army for this specific issue.” So as far as I understand it, I have violated … the Constitution, which says “You will not be gay.” It’s actually written into the code that homosexuality and military service are incompatible. … There’s another code that we learned, the honor code, that said we will not lie, so I’m not lying anymore about who I am. So these [honor] codes are more important. These codes don’t have as much celebrity status [in the media or in front of Congress]. … If my commander told me that I had to discharge or kick this guy out of the military who was in my unit, I would have to do that, if that was a moral thing. Now what would I do, because that is an immoral law? … I’m willing personally and professionally to give up every single thing in my military career because I know what’s the greater justice, and what is the greater right. Like they say at West Point, “Choose the harder right over the easier wrong.”

How open were you during active duty?

Oh, I was very open. I don’t go around and say “Hi sir, good morning, I’m gay.” I don’t do that. I hardly ever bring it up. If people ask me, and they’re interested because we’re friends, of course, then I’ll let them know.

Did you feel reluctance to keep it a secret?

Of course I did. For nine years I was living under DADT from West Point to active duty. I never told anybody on active duty. When I started to have a boyfriend, that was the first relationship I ever got into after Iraq. … It was just so awesome, I want to tell people about it, I couldn’t stop talking about it. [Laughs] “I have this ‘girlfriend,’ named ‘Martha.'” … I was getting advice from all these people in the office — “Do you give flowers?” — because I had never dated! … Six months ago I came out to my dad, he’s a Southern Baptist Korean minister living in Orange County, California. He also does China missions works. My mom is more conservative than he is. … My parents never asked about it. I actually told them about 17 times.

 

What fears did you have about being out?

 

The arguments against repealing DADT. How do these sit with you?

That now is not the time to repeal DADT, because we’re in the middle of two wars? Now is exactly the time. We are in two wars and we don’t need to be losing some of the best soldiers.

This argument that DADT destabilizes the military? No, it actually makes the military more stable.

 

It will hurt recruitment and retention. I don’t think it’s any logic. … [The retired military generals who penned the op-ed are] talking about certain numbers and saying, “Okay, well that’s going to be to the determent,” and “There’s mass exodus from the military” — it really is an insult … Just what they said right there is an insult, a very black and white insult, to the commanders that are still serving right now saying they won’t be able to handle that.

 

Is supporting DADT the same as supporting homophobia?

I think it’s a lot that they haven’t really considered, and they really haven’t gotten to know a lot of the people that are actually in the military that are gay. It’s really just when they have the chance to realize some of the facts, they’ll see it in a military lens. And they’ll see it in a human lens. And it’s a lack of information is what it really is.

 

Can Obama stop Don’t Ask Don’t Tell with the stroke of a pen? Does Congress need to act?

 

How do gay gay soldiers differ from straights?

 

There’s the argument that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is the equivalent, or at least similar, to the integration of people of color with white troops. The argument is made that President Truman was able to end segregation in the military with the stroke of a pen. Do you see these two scenarios as the same thing?

It’s different in many ways, and similar in many ways, but I want to talk about the differences. We had to integrate people of color — myself I’m included in that too. I’m very outwardly Asian. [Laughs] I’m very out of the closet Asian. It’s so visible, if you want to discriminate against me, you could very easily. … Well gay folks are already in the military, already in the highest levels and most elite units, they’re in all of these organizations that all of these people are saying, “Oh it’s going to be so hard.” It’s kind of funny when you say, “How we going to to integrate?” We don’t have to integrate. We’re already there. We’re already serving. We’ve already fought and bled.

 

The Supreme Court ruled in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. in 2006 that the federal government could withhold funding from universities to force them to let military recruiters on campus, even though the military might violate universities’ non-discrimination policies. Is that fair?

 

If Obama and Congress don’t repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, what will you be doing?

I haven’t made too many particular plans … I want to finish my degree. Eventually I would love to continue serving my country. I considered being in the State Department and working in the Middle East-Near East bureau. Love to do something like that. My hopes are still right now that I can continue being an officer in the U.S. Army. … Life is good. … All I know is that when they do get their act together and get this all corrected, I’ll be in line at the recruiting station. I’ll be right there.

Read Lt. Choi’s new open letter to Barack Obama, pleading with the president not to fire him, here.

By:           editor editor
On:           May 12, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 41 Comments
    • The Lesbian Mafia
      The Lesbian Mafia

      Love what you’re doing, Queerty.

      Going to repost this.

      May 12, 2009 at 9:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com
      Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

      Thank you, Queerty, for continuing to focus on this issue which many forget existed decades before DADT.

      “The only reasons they have left are prejudice and discrimination.” – Leonard Matlovich, 1975.

      That’s right. He said that THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO!

      The Palm Center’s Nathaniel Frank reports in the recent “Unfriendly Fire” that the late Charles Moskos, an arrogant, sexually insecure pseudo intellectual who conspired with his old friend, cracker fascist Sam Nunn, to fashion and parade the “unit cohesion” argument in Nunn’s 1993 televised dog and pony show [in which Nunn would not allow Barry Goldwater to testify because the conservative icon was against the ban], said in an interview seven years later, “Fuck unit cohesion. I don’t care about that.”

      He added that what drove him most, obsessed him, was the other argument he’d used in the Senate hearings: straight discomfort around gays was justification enough for discriminating against us.

      In other words, straights have a right to deny equal treatment to gays simply because of homophobia…just like military racial segregation was justified by the racism of white soldiers 45 years before.[img]http://glaadblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/matlovich1.jpg[/img]

      May 12, 2009 at 9:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • macscruff
      macscruff

      Dan Choi is a hero. He is truly a beautiful man with integrity like few others.

      May 12, 2009 at 11:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Listen, during World War Two, which was a real war with a real threat, you could have shown up wearing a cocktail dress and they would have told you to change into uniform, stop sashaying around like Tallulah Bankhead, and get down to business. Iraq is another matter. By this point in time, we all know it was bogus crap, a grab for oil and Bush’s way of settling a family feud, using 9/11 as the dumbest, flimsiest excuse. The conclusive proof that EVERYBODY, not just Choi, should be sent home, is that Choi was discharged for being gay. If he were really needed, he’d still be there.

      I’ll catch some flack for this, but I don’t care. The war is a sham, and as a linguist, the only cannon Choi has been shooting off is his pecker, thinking about his buddies. If you’re going to play the hero, it needs to be in a real war, saving our collective American ass. All we’ve done in Iraq is kill between half a million to a million Iraqi civilians (no official records were kept, so insignificant is this issue), and displaced the same number, the majority being women and children. Then there’s the matter of turning their nation into a garbage dump of spent artillery and bombs. Pushing the argument that Choi is a hero is as silly and cynical as Bush Cheney’s “Saddam and Osama are the same person” campagin. Me not buying.

      Is DADT wrong? Sure, but to me, the victim of oppression and unfairness is Iraq, not Choi.

      May 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      OK Professor, he’s not a hero. I don’t think the post said he was, if it did I would agree with you.

      I also agree Iraq is a bogus war, especially compared with WWII. But enough of the sour grapes. This guy is getting the information out at great personal cost. We can at least thank him for that.

      Now, for what I really want to talk about – someone needs to push the honor code – that one cannot lie. I guess that would eliminate most generals and majors, and colonels, wouldn’t it? And on a different but still somewhat hypocritical note, it is very unfair to ask people to lie about their sexuality. Who after all decided homosexuality and military service are incompatible when it works in every other country? I wrote to that dried up cu*t Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who by the way never served; and I’m embarrassed to say that group is in my own home state! – she replied, but she never answered any of my questions which required her to defend her positions.

      Lastly, one argument that needs to be addressed that I hear all the time is “parents” want to feel “safe” that their children aren’t going to be molested by the big bad homosexuals while in the military” – they are young, and full of hormones etc., it is not a good setting to sort out feelings etc. and the reverse side of that coin is “the military is not a social experiment.”

      It would have been nice if Mr. Choi covered that.

      May 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sparkle obama
      sparkle obama

      go lieutenant dan choi!
      he has class!
      dan choi knows how to do things the right way.
      change is what’s happening!

      May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      Perhaps the “VP” stands for “vapid” but you could only be a “professor” in your own mind to smear er write the lunatic crap you did.

      It makes my skin crawl to even have to respond to you, but knowing how susceptible many people are to whatever they read on he Internet one must….though I’ll take a shower immediately afterward.

      NO, drag queens weren’t inducted in WWII [tho "drag shows" by soldiers whose possible homosexuality was usually ignored were shockingly popular and officially encouraged by brass for their entertainment value for troops].

      The rest of the reality for gays in WWII, particularly, but also in Korea and Vietnam, the first Gulf War and the current one, is too complicated to address here, the larger point is that in that toy box for brains you have you create a false Either/Or construct.

      One can oppose the “oppression and unfairness” in Iraq AND oppose DADT, too.

      But given your ability to only manage one thought at a time, we respectfully suggest you don’t try walking and chewing gum at the same time lest you step in front of a car or bite your tongue off.

      May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Lee, your fascination with me in unrequited. The issue is Choi. Please spare us with making me a new topic. And who’s this “we” in your last paragraph? Merely being a queen doesn’t entitle you to speak like royalty. That said…

      I wonder how much Americans know or care what America’s and Britain’s meddling has done to Iraq during the last 6 years. How you would feel without electricity, clean potable water, a job you can go to without getting killed getting there? And consider how much infrastructure has been destroyed, and how many lives lost, displaced, for oil, construction companies and other war profiteers. The last thing it was ever about was making us safer. If Choi didn’t know it before, he knows it now.
      Why would he want to stay there, unless it is to enjoy the company of hot, physically fit young guys? Yes, it is possible to be aware of how dumb and unfair DADT is, and at the same time see Choi for what he is. He was getting off on all this– the uniform, the camaraderie, the hot young buddies… but Iraq was and still is an effin’ hell hole because of the invasion.

      My remark about the cocktail dress was hyperbole, but somebody like Choi, who certainly doesn’t need to announce his gay status- it comes through quickly- wouldn’t have been kicked out, because our military needed every body it could get. It was only after WW2 was already over that phenomena like McCarthyism and gay witch hunts took hold. If ever there was proof that Choi and others were never really needed, it is Choi’s discharge. Now, if he would protest about Don’t Ask and at the same time denounce the invasion, that would be different.

      May 12, 2009 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg
      Greg

      The Iraq war may be “gay,” for lack of a better word, but Dan Choi is a hero and he deserves the fullest praise and support. We fucked up the Iraq war, pussyfooting around and not killing the insurgents ruthlessly like we should have. We wasted a lot of money for nothing. But that does not make Choi’s sacrifice of his career any less heroic. He is bringing to light the nonsensical bigotry of our military policy. These people–gay or not–are willing to *die* for us. And we have the audacity to fire them based on out-of-date views on homosexuality.

      Choi represents the class and rigor that our military used to exude. Furthermore, firing him demeans the entire armed forces because it makes them a political pawn in a culture war at the expense of denying them of soldiers like Choi who make us a more effective and efficient force.

      We should have kicked ass in Iraq but the chickenhawks like Bush and Cheney couldn’t handle the poor press that would have resulted. Obama should not continue their legacy of infamy by allowing great Americans like Choi to be cast out for nothing more than bigotry from a less enlightened time.

      May 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg
      Greg

      VP, while it may be true (even likely) that Choi was “getting off” on his “hot buddies,” he was not dismissed for inappropriate conduct. Who cares what fantasies he or anyone else in the military has in their own heads? If they conform to the discipline and code of conduct necessary to be successful soldiers, they should not be fired based on delusions proceeding from your heat oppressed brain. Perhaps Choi, quite differently from the impression you’ve given of yourself, could handle both being in the presence of physically fit men AND his duties to the military. Without evidence of misconduct on Choi’s part, your jeremiads against his heroism impute to gays exactly the same debased, unfounded character propensities that were behind DADT and have proven to be *unfounded*. Bad conduct, whatever that might be in the military context = punishment. Being gay by itself = no different treatment.

      He’s a hero precisely because he didn’t need to jeopardize his career, but chose to for the sake of many others like him that suffer under a policy that seeks to solve a fake problem. It’s like hate crimes. We already have laws that prevent bad conduct. Being gay does not equal bad conduct. Kick people out when they violate norms about conduct, but don’t presume that they will violate those norms because they are gay and in the absence of any proof.

      May 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lee
      Lee

      Prof. Bitch, do NOT flatter yourself while continuing to parade your ignorance about the history of gays in the military.

      For those interested in the facts rather than the bloviating of an hysteric hiding behind his keyboard, I suggest “Coming Out Under Fire” by Allen Berube.

      It inclues accounts of witch hunts that happened DURING WWII, the use of “queer stockades,” and placement of identified gays in military mental wards. From the book:

      “Some guards stationed at the stockades believed that homosexual inmates were available to them for sexual services and abused their power accordingly. At Treasure Island, Bill Thompson recalled, the ‘marines would come by and they’d get a detail from the brig to go do something. There were three marines; they picked three of us. The marines just took them off somewhere and got blowjobs. Then their buddies would come by. …David Barrett reported similar sexual abuse at the Quonset hut in Noumea, where the Marine guards nightly escorted one man to the outdoor latrine to use him for their own pleasure. … The taunts, humiliation, and degradation took their toll on the men inside the stockades. David Barrett remembered that at Noumean one of the sailors, a farm boy from South Dakota, had crying spells during the night. Some of the other ‘kids would cry and break down and withdraw from the rest and just stay in their bunks’.”

      May 12, 2009 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Did I tell you, Queenie, not to make me the center of the universe? You are going to bore the readers, if you haven’t already.

      Nobody said the issue of gays and lesbians in the military didn’t exist during WW2, but it is true that as WW2 was ramped up and the stakes got higher, especially when it looked like the Axis had a good chance of winning, and we’d all be wearing Liederhosen now… yes, there was a direct ratio between the necessities of war and tolerating gays and lesbians. When the danger passes, yes, then people get all “moral” again and get meddlesome. Here’s an interesting link:
      http://counterlightsrantsandblather1.blogspot.com/2008/08/world-war-ii-and-birth-of-american-gay.html

      Nobody said Choi actually took it up the ass, but look… if his straight so-called buddies went to a whorehouse and got laid, who would care? If everybody in that situation would be discharged, who’d be left? Do some of you even realize what you’re saying? Show me where it says anywhere, “Heterosexuality is incompatible with military service and bad for unit morale, cohesion.” The argument that Choi was technically celibate, so therefore a good role model for gays who want to serve, and so will not make the sky fall down on the army… it plays right into the hands of homophobes. They wouldn’t demand such restraint of heteros, would they? No, because they have “the right kind of sex.” It’s all about the totem pole, and who is situated where on it.

      May 12, 2009 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg
      Greg

      In classic strawman mode, VP tries to pretend the argument has shifted to ad hominem attacks on him/her. It hasn’t. Your arguments simply lack logical coherence and have been attacked as arguments. No one is making you the center of attention except yourself, but if you continue to make un-thought-out arguments, you will be rebuffed by anyone with a bit of sense.

      Straight men who go off on a bender and screw women probably won’t be dismissed. Homosexuals who do the same probably would. Unfair, no doubt. However, it is VASTLY more unfair and nonsensical for gay guys to be dismissed without doing anything other than being gay.

      Choi is not a good role model because he refrains from having the “wrong” kind of sex. He’s a good role model because he takes his job seriously and doesn’t seem to allow unprofessionalism to get in the way.

      We *do* demand such restraints of heterosexuals (i.e. that they not have sexual congress with other military personnel). Just because we don’t always enforce this against heteros does not mean that dismissing Choi without any evidence of hetero or homo conduct makes any sense. Your argument has *nothing* to do with the case at hand. If you’d like to argue about natural gay tendencies, you’re free to do so despite the waning force of such arguments. But pretending as if you’ve argued effectively against Choi doesn’t work. He did nothing. He was dismissed because he was gay. That heteros get more lenient treatment in general is NOT an argument that Choi is more deserving or less heroic in his current punishment.

      It doesn’t aid homophobes to point out that Choi was not dismissed for illicit sexual conduct. If he *had* been dismissed for homosexual conduct, then we could have that debate. Since he hasn’t, the point is that the DADT policy is “abstractly” discriminatory towards gays and punishes them without *even* the fig leaf of “bad” conduct to point towards. It’s just a full on bias that luxuriates in the fantasy world of gays constantly imagining their “hot buddies” even as they simply serve their country and lead their units.

      May 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      You do make some good points, Greg, without calling me a bitch or otherwise writing with a lisp. Yes, other types of attacks are boring like shit and the attention wasted on me.

      Choi himself makes the argument that one major point is that although he is gay, he has done nothing gay that can be pinned on him. It has everything to do with the case at hand. Would a black soldier, say decades ago, argue for integration because he doesn’t behave in a black manner, and so therefore is no threat to morale and cohesion? Yeah, it’s a silly argument, but you have to start out with this supposition: DADT is effin silly to begin with, something that defies logic and thrown together to appease reactionary asses like Colin Powell and Sam Nunn.

      To add to the silliness, Choi announcing that he is gay is
      like John Goodman announcing he is fat. Obviously, nobody cared until he pushed the envelope, and don’t tell me that Choi is completely immune to the charms of 20-something muscular men, especially when they get close. That doesn’t make the sky fall,
      and I have no problem with his setting himself in the midst of
      eye candy, but don’t tell me his service accomplishes anything good for Iraq or makes America safer.

      Read up on DADT and you’ll find that in its Orwellian way, anyone merely saying he is gay is saying he engages in gay sex, and no, I’m not making that up. And so you can’t ignore the question of why homo sex is such a detriment to service, whereas hetero sex is all wink-wink boys will be boys.

      May 12, 2009 at 10:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Greg
      Greg

      The war in Iraq being beneficial and Choi getting fired are two separate issues. Choi’s firing is neither enhanced nor disgraced by his not taking a position on that matter at the date of his firing.

      My personal feelings are that we should have kicked ass in Iraq (a war of choice totally unconnected to 9/11) but we failed miserably because Bush wasn’t man enough to kill civilians and blow up mosques for the project of neutralizing the opposition and attempting to bring stability to the country. perhaps a pipe dream, but certainly not worth our blood, time, and money the way we went about it.

      That’s a separate issue though. I’m no “fan” of gays but couldn’t care less if they pump each other up the ass every night, even in the military, as long as they get the job done and the unit functions for its given purpose. No doubt Choi got a thrill out of the toned bodies of other soldiers, but he’d he hardly human if he were gay and he didn’t. The point is that he didn’t do anything besides making a verbal statement that necessitated being fired.

      You say: “Read up on DADT and you’ll find that in its Orwellian way, anyone merely saying he is gay is saying he engages in gay sex, and no, I’m not making that up. And so you can’t ignore the question of why homo sex is such a detriment to service, whereas hetero sex is all wink-wink boys will be boys.”

      Not sure what this means. Saying you can’t ignore the question of why gay sex is a detriment to the service is conclusory. Why is it a detriment to the service, and even if it were, what the hell does it have to do with why Choi was fired? A statute that equates being gay with gay sex does not mean that Choi was having gay sex in the military when he said he was gay. Neither does it mean that he was having gay sex in a way that conflicted with his military duties or decreased the effectiveness of his unit.

      So in Choi’s case I *can* ignore the question of why gay sex is a detriment to the service. That wasn’t the issue with Choi and pretending that he was having gay sex with guys in his unit imagines far more than even the army can prove since they didn’t cite him with that when they dismissed him. The question of whether gay sex or straight sex (which no doubt gets a blind eye) harms the military is an interesting question, but it is not one presented in the Choi case. The guy put his life on the line for us, and don’t give me any bullshit about him just being a linguist. That dude was ready for kill our fucking enemies or die trying. He deserves way WAY more than being told to get lost because he said he was gay.

      The culture wars cease when real interests and real people are harmed. They are parlor games for the armchair soldiers/politicians/moralists to play when nothing more than their bloviating words are at stake. This was this guy’s life, and there are many other like him in the closet that we are lucky to have serving. Wake up. Kick gays out if they, like anyone else, violate acceptable codes of conduct. But don’t presume them guilty of malfeasance simply because they are gay. What a decadent world we live in where we face islamic terrorists but are content to dismiss arabic translators from our forces simply because they are gay. Who cares if we miss the next attack because we lacked the linguistic manpower. Better to have the gays out and red blooded Americans feeling good about themselves.

      I pity the small minds that think there was any legitimacy to what happened to Lt. Choi. That man served us unselfishly and we fucked him up the ass, and not in a way that he wanted. I’m grossed out by gays (and I’m sure that they are by my hetero preferences), but let’s grow up and realize that they’re normal people too with regular sexual desires that they can keep in check and function at their jobs at the same time. Choi is #1 in my book. A real american hero and patriot and a real loss to our armed forces. Disgusting president Obama.

      May 13, 2009 at 12:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      As strange-silly as it seems, DADT policy does say that saying “I am gay” means “I am having gay sex.” To the military, which enforces DADT, Choi said he was not celibate. And no, I am not making that up.

      Iraq was stable before the invasion, and let me tell you about “insurgents.” If another nation came here on some sorry-ass pretext and tried to take over, would the people who resisted the foreign invaders really be insurgents? Freedom fighters, I think. Iraq was run by an evil idiot obsessed with oil and family pride, unelected, and who tortured. Same as in America.

      I don’t see how you can separate the phony war on and in Iraq with the phony DADT policy. Both need to end.

      I saw Choi tonight with the closeted Anderson Cooper, another phony, in an interview, and had to chuckle when Choi said that his unit already knew he was gay before he officially came out. Duh. You can say all you want how valuable and meaningful Choi’s services were in Iraq, but I can prove conclusively he wasn’t needed at all and his service meant nothing. The proof? He was discharged.

      May 13, 2009 at 3:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Professor – you make some good points and then you say something totally F***ing stupid like “his services weren’t needed, proof: he was discharged?”

      You assume the government (or any other entity public, private or religious) always makes the right decisions? If that were the case, the world would have almost no problems!

      For you to say something like that is beyond absurd.

      And what do you say to this: Condoleeza Rice was lamenting a shortage of Arabic translators shortly after the Iraq war began on one of those Sunday News. The moderator asked if the State department had a ban on hiring Gay translators. She said “no” but then continued on so stupidly I can’t remember what she said. So, obviously if there is no ban, why doesn’t the state dept. hire the fired military translators??????

      May 13, 2009 at 10:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      sorry that was “Sunday TV news shows….”

      May 13, 2009 at 10:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexa
      Alexa

      Thank you, very interesting interview. I saw him on Rachel Maddow the couple of times he was on and was very impressed with him.

      May 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Jaro, I would assume you could the planet Jupiter on a cracker and serve it as an hors d’oeuvre before I’d assume the government always makes the right decisions.

      But yeah, if you want proof Choi was dispensible, here it is: he was dispensed with. Not only was he not necessary for the mission, we don’t even know what the mission is. First it was to “disarm” Saddam. Then it switched to liberation, stabilizing, fighting the terrorists (who hadn’t been there prior to the invasion), before we had to fight them in
      Duluth, Minnesota, you name it. Most people, busy watching Who Wants to Dance with a Fifth Grader?, might not even remember the shit about Saddam’s WMDs. Did Bush and Cheney know there was no threat? Don’t make me laugh.

      Not only is Choi not needed in our phony war, no foreigners are needed, which is why the Coalition of the Bribed has pulled out, England most recently. Whatever feelings I have about Choi,
      and he’s a cutie, gratitude isn’t one of ‘em.

      May 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dabq
      Dabq

      @ProfessorVP: Valid points, but, here they will fall on blind eyes. Choi a cutie? Nope, just a smart guy .

      May 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      “here they will fall on blind eyes”

      Blind eyes is right, this is not exactly the most progressive place. I don’t know if Choi is smart, but in interviews he makes the impressionable forget there really is no mission, we don’t belong there, he is getting off on the buddy thing while Iraq suffers from our meddling, and somehow HE is the real victim of Bush/Cheney’s adventure, not the garbage heap of
      grenades, white phosphorus, land mines, and innocent dead Iraqi
      civilians.

      You could say Choi is cunning. Also he’s a linguist. Which makes him (drum roll)… cunnilinguist.

      May 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Prof – I have seen repeatedly on mainstream news sources that both the military and the state dept. are short on Arabic translators.

      The military fires Gay ones, laments the shortage. The State dept. CAN hire the fired military ones, which have already been vetted and doesn’t and laments the shortage.

      If you are speaking that Mr. Choi wasn’t needed for a very specific mission and he is changing his story that is one thing but please address my second paragraph if we are to continue this dialogue. Am I totally off base?

      May 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Americans have a long history of resisting learning foreign languages, and the fact that you can go almost anywhere in the world and even the least educated people know a smattering of English doesn’t exactly encourage Americans to learn a second language. Plus Arabic is difficult. So Bush, Cheney and Rummy, none of them who were ever in combat, should have thought of that before kicking Saddam’s ass for privatizing Iraq’s oil and trying to assassinate Bush I, although that has never been 100% proven. That is all the invasion and occupation was ever about.

      The mission to disarm Saddam was bogus; he wasn’t armed. The mission to liberate the Iraqis was bogus, unless you mean liberate to mean kill hundreds of thousands. The mission to combat “insurgents” was bogus because it was the “coalition’s” presence that created and recurited insurgents. The mission to create a democracy is bogus because the Iraqis want our ass out, but we refuse to leave.

      All that said, since there is no valid mission, therefore nobody, including Choi, is needed on any specific mission or general mission. The fact that Choi was so casually and cavalierly dismissed, I think, is sufficient proof to any reasonable person that he was never respected from the top down, never really needed. Choi may have convinced himself that it is not the sight, sound and smell of young men that makes him so gosh darn patriotic, but you know what they say about fooling all of the people all of the time.

      May 13, 2009 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @ProfessorVP: Welcome back.

      May 13, 2009 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Thanks, Perdue, I’ve been away. And I’ll engage anyone in dialogue as long as they don’t get into the usual queenisms… putting “bitch” or “fat” in every other sentence, ridiculing my screen name, and otherwise making me the topic of the thread.

      May 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      We want GLBT servicemembers to enjoy civil rights but we don’t want Choi or any other American soldiers sacrificed to make big oil rich.

      In the 1930’s Major General Smedley Butler retired from his post as Commandant, USMC. At the time of his death, he was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Speaking of the role of the US military he said

      “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service… as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism… Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

      The US military brass plays the same role today and so far the two wars have sacrificed the lives of 4976 GI’s and wounded over 30,000 more, a bit over half of them seriously. Thousands more commit suicide.

      “A November 2007 CBS News investigation… found that 120 veterans kill themselves every week–over 5,000 per year… “There are about 18 suicides per day among America’s… veterans” of all wars, said the VA’s chief of mental health, Ira Katz.”

      The US has no legitimate interests in South Asia and all US military forces should be immediately withdrawn. If the military misleadership wants to defend Americans let’s assign GIs to support strikes and prevent foreclosures and repos. That’s the only kind of defense we need.

      May 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Finally, someone on the same wavelength. Of course we will be called names, including the worst epithet possible that can be directed at a gay man. Yes, I mean fat, since the ability to see the bigger picture can only mean having a big tum-tum.

      It’s the oddest thing. It’s as if we were in Nazi Germany, and somebody was complaining about the unfairness of being kicked out of the SS on a silly technicality, and the little matter of the concentration camps was of no particular importance. It’s as if up is down, black is white, lunacy is sanity.

      May 14, 2009 at 12:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I can’t call you by your name so I’m going to say #24 & #28 – we already agree the military is used for capitalist purposes other than defense, and the war in Iraq was and is bogus.

      What I don’t understand is you keep saying Choi wasn’t really needed so therefore he was discharged. Why then did the military hire Arab linguists at all?

      If they weren’t needed, why were only the Gay ones discharged? Isn’t that the issue of this thread? Why does the state dept. say they need them and then doesn’t hire the discharged Gay ones?

      Obviously they can say one thing and do another, and we also agreed already entities don’t make good decisions. I know personally of a woman who worked for one of the auto companies, saved them millions of dollars and they laid her off. Well, duh, look where they are now. So out of touch, they took a private jet to beg for money from Washington.

      So I can’t automatically conclude it was the right decision to fire Mr. Choi because he wasn’t needed. I don’t know how you can conclude that when you already agreed authorities often make decisions that don’t make sense.

      May 14, 2009 at 9:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      I never said no one can call me ProfessorVP, only that certain less-than-butch types not mangle my name, employ the word “bitch” or God forbid accuse me of being so fat I need a closed circuit TV to see the numbers on my scale, since the most horrible thing you can say about a gay man is… well, the F word. As I said before, to certain people, big ideas mean a big tum-tum, and what a horrible thought.

      Why were Arab linguists needed in Iraq? For the same reason the Bush administration tortured. Put on your thinking cap, and take a guess. G’wan, take a wild guess.

      May 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      I know the answer. That wasn’t the question.

      If they SAY they need linguists and YOU assert he wasn’t needed and his firing proved that, then they should have fired ALL the linguists.

      This is a Gay issues site, (mostly) no?

      May 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      If you know the answer, write it. I double-dare you, as we used to say in the schoolyard.

      May 14, 2009 at 7:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      Well, I think we’ve about exhausted this thread. Just in case there’s any suspense– the compelling “need” for interpreters/translators in Iraq, as was the “need” for torture at Gitmo, was to find somebody, ANYBODY who would say Saddam was behind 9/11, harbored terrorists, had WMDs hidden, or the jackpot for idiots: Saddam and Osama were really the same person, and that is why you never saw them both in the same room at the same time.

      No, kids… Choi, his butch so-called buddies, and the whole damn invasion and occupation were never needed.

      I’m done here except to say that it would be a wonderful experiment if the military told Choi okay, you’re not discharged, but henceforth you’ll work with women soldiers all day and sleep in the female barracks all night. Just watch who would, all of a sudden, not be so giddy about war, and would want to go home fast.

      May 15, 2009 at 1:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      A) Yes, this thread is exhausted. You won’t answer the question as to why ALL the linguists weren’t fired, just the Gay ones

      B) I did know the answer

      C) Your last paragraph is a load of manure. If this guy had the self discipline needed to learn the Arabic language and pass all the required tests, physical and mental to be in the military he hardly needs to be there simply to ogle men. He can join any gym and do that. I can’t imagine why you would say such nasty insulting things. You have some sort of problem and I won’t even waste any more time speculating what it could be.

      May 15, 2009 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      I knew it, you’d lapse into queenisms and make the topic me.

      Obviously you haven’t been in the military. There is a closeness and a relationship you don’t get at the gym, and you can enjoy that musky man scent all day, not just for the 2 hours you’re at a gym. Listen, even when straight guys are away from women for protracted periods, young physically fit men start to look real good to each other. Choi claims he never did anything “homosexual,” which I suppose means ogling, fantasizing, and just enjoying the euphoria of being among hot young men isn’t homosexual. Lookit, as I said, if it made America safer, and didn’t turn Iraq into a toxic shit hole, I wouldn’t even mind Choi’s getting off on his tour. By the way, one result of America’s meddling in Iraq? The spread of Sharia law, including the harshest persecution of gay men, including torture, assassination, and public hangings. Things that didn’t occur under Saddam. Choi, if you’re reading this, no Hallmark thank you card from me, nor a sympathy card for your troubles.

      Yes, yes… I have a horrible problem, need shock treatment, and my tum-tum needs its own zip code. Having gotten the topic of me out of the way…

      The reason gay linguists were fired, not all, is because that would be admitting no linguists were really needed to begin with. In the end, there were never any dots connecting Saddam and 9/11, yet Bush’s people, especially Cheney, STILL said it, and lots of yokels STILL believed it. So for all the eavesdropping and interpreting and translating, and at Gitmo,
      torture… the facts were never important. Neither were linguists, and so the lowest on the social totem pole are the most dispensible.

      May 15, 2009 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      Queenisms? Please. You make a lot of assertions – where do you get all this knowledge that “he really wasn’t needed?” Then you contradict yourself and say they couldn’t fire them all and let the cat out of the bag that they never needed them in the first place.

      No, I haven’t been in the military and I’m sure there is SOME factual basis to claim “he’s enjoying the musky scent of men all day long” that you don’t get elsewhere, but I’m not playing the game of “you must have personal experience” or you can’t comment at all. And you don’t know my experiences either, now do you?

      As to our involvement in Iraq, why do you keep beating a dead horse? We’ve agreed on that over & over.

      Finally, disagreeing with you does not make YOU the topic. You go on national TV and take all the crap that goes with it and then we’ll talk further. Over & out.

      May 15, 2009 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ProfessorVP
      ProfessorVP

      I have no problem with disagreement as long as it doesn’t involve things that shall we say less-than-butch types indulge in… my waistline (it’s fine, thanks), or my mental “problem”. You couldn’t resist it, since writing about my “problem” is the easy way out.

      Every organization containing more than 3 people will have a totem pole, and the military is no exception. Choi is the low-hanging fruit, no pun intended. Not needed, and he’s making a fuss.

      You will need some Arabic speakers just to get from one block to another or learn how to say “good morning” since Americans- especially Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Condi, knew nothing about Iraq except- to quote Cheney “that’s where the prize lies.” Oil. The soldiers sent there didn’t even know how Iraqis
      shake hands, and so made a gesture that to them was threatening.

      Any Iraqi who would assist Americans get around or translate had a heavy price to pay for aiding invaders, often death. Many who assisted want to immigrate to the states, but can’t get in. A certain number of translators will always be needed just as the most basic necessity, like finding out where the bathroom is, but yes, the big objective of linguists was to aid in the phony-ass Saddam/Osama connection.

      Amazing that you cannot tell that Choi, relaxed and grinning like a gargoyle, doesn’t mind being on national TV or being interviewed for periodicals.

      Here, I’ll say it for you: Professor Fat Bitch, you are mentally ill with a horrible problem, and are the real topic here.

      May 15, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JennaMcWilliams
      JennaMcWilliams

      Historically in America, we’ve seen abominable policies and laws wilt when public sentiment against those policies and laws reached a critical mass. We saw it with racial segregation and lynching practices; we saw it with various anti-woman work and legal practices. Now it appears we’re seeing it with the shameful “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I’ve written about this on my blog, at http://tinyurl.com/o99oas. I’d love for you to take a look!

      May 17, 2009 at 9:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      What is this? 1984 (the novel)? I think our war with Oceania is just about over now.

      Clearly, there is no war on terror. It’s not as if we need Arabic translators.

      It is obvious now to me that the gov’t hates its citizens more than it needs skilled people.

      May 17, 2009 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • d2m.ca
      d2m.ca

      I salute you Dan!

      You’re doing something great to not just the United States, but to set the best example across the global that Gay Rights is Important!

      May 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john
      john

      Lt Choi should be discharged. He deserves being discharged and I fully support his discharge. I don’t give a hoot who Choi wants to have sex with. Why should I care? Why should the world care? Why should anyone care about this idiot’s sexual preference?

      Jun 9, 2009 at 6:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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