flush 'em out

What’s Wrong With Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick Admitting The Military Will Always Have Bigots?

Did a top U.S. Army general tell hundreds of troops in Europe that the armed forces will always employ people who hate the gays — whether DADT is repealed or not — just like they can’t get rid of all the racists? Or is a neocon newspaper making up the remarks?

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel matters, reportedly told “several hundred troops” at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany that, “Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them. But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can’t, they need to get out. No matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you’re always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today.”

The remarks were published in an editorial in the Washington Times, the newspaper for conservatives with fewer conspiracies than World Net Daily‘s audience.

But through the Pentagon, Bostick is denying he ever said anything like that: “The statements attributed to me are inaccurate. I simply did not make those statements. Moreover, as a member of the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review Working Group, I have been extremely careful not to express any views that might influence the integrity of the comprehensive review. I therefore have not expressed any opinions that might suppress the opinions of anyone participating in our discussions. I find the statements falsely attributed to me to be personally reprehensible.”

So is the Washington Times recanting? Nope. Brett Drecker, the paper’s editorial page editor, tells Politico Bostick “either forgot what he said, is confused, or is lying,” citing multiple sources for the quote.

But what’s the big deal about Bostick acknowledging what’s really quite obvious? That the American military (or any organization, really) will never be able to flush out every bigot from its ranks?

Well as Bostick says, he just happens to be on the Defense Department’s DADT review panel, the group charged with the unenviable task of deciding whether America’s servicemembers can handle hanging out with gay people they know to be gay. So anything he says on the topic, particularly the inability of the armed forces to handle its intolerance problem, might be seen as a smidge uncouth.

Including his insistence that if DADT is repealed and you remain anti-gay, then really, get the hell out of the armed services.

At the very least perhaps the military can use the opportunity to realize, hey, maybe employing white supremacists is a bit much?