OPEN TO COMPROMISE

So who’s the real threat to national security now?

A week ago, a lot of folks thought that the idea that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government was pretty crazy. But with President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, that idea seems a lot more likely. After all, Trump himself admitted in an interview that the Russian investigation was at the top of his mind when he decided Comey had to go. So now we’re faced with the real possibility that a hostile foreign power not only influenced the U.S. election by hacking it, but collaborated with the campaign of its candidate of choice to do so.

To say we’re in uncharted waters is an understatement. But if there’s any satisfaction at all in the current crisis, it’s in seeing the shoe on the other foot for a change (and this time, with good reason).

Remember when being gay was considered the worst type of security risk? While the arguments about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell dwelled upon the red herring of “unit cohesion,” the underlying theme was that gay servicemembers were a security risk, an argument made by the GOP for decades to prevent LGBTQ people from serving their country. The closet supposedly made them vulnerable to blackmailing by foreign powers. Fearful of having their secret exposed, gay servicemembers supposedly be willing to betray their country rather than have the truth come out.

That argument dates back to the 1950s. It was explicitly used during the Lavender Scare witch hunts of the McCarthy era to dismiss thousands of gay and lesbian government employees. During that time, supporters of the purge insisted on the connection between homosexuality and communisim (aka, Russia). Sen. McCarthy insisted that communists and gay men were dual “threats to the American way of life,” while another senator claimed that “you can’t hardly separate homosexuals from subversives.”  (Of course, McCarthy’s right hand man was Roy Cohn, a closeted gay man who went on to mentor Donald Trump in scuzziness.)

The military took this argument to heart with a vengeance. Over the decades, as many as 100,000 people were thrown out of the military only for being gay.

Ironically, one of the first cracks in the argument came from then Republican Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney in 1991. Cheney described the ban on gays in the military as a policy he inherited and said that the security risk argument behind it was “a bit of an old chestnut.”  That didn’t stop the military from purging gay and lesbian servicemembers, even after they were ostensibly protected by Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In fact, the Pentagon was happy to put homophobia above the nation’s security interests. In one notorious example, the military discharged 26 linguists fluent in Arabic and Farsi even though people with that knowledge were in precious short supply.

So imagine the thudding irony of a military general who, by every appearance, actually was a security risk. Michael Flynn lied about talking to the Russian ambassador about sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. In her testimony before Congress last week, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said she warned the Trump White House that its National Security Adviser was way too cozy with Russian leaders. “To state the obvious: You don’t want your national security adviser compromised with the Russians,” she deadpanned. 

Funny how the same people who tried to prevent us from serving our country now look a lot like the potential traitors we were accused of being. With the Comey firing, the question now is whether anyone else in the Trump circle, including the president himself, represents a security risk as well. The inquiry into the matter promises to be messy and prolonged. But if nothing else it is a lesson in what being a real security risk looks like.

And it doesn’t look at all like being gay.

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9 Comments

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    Wow…now that’s a stretch. I don’t think there’s any link between past homophobia and Flynn, not that the article directly made such a claim, but I guess it was implied.

    To be honest, Flynn should have been fired earlier than he was. That’s pretty much obvious to anyone. I freely admit that congress should investigate any ties with the Russian Government and the Administration or the past campaign.

    Now, we have no idea what role the Russians actually played in the election. The claims that the “hacked the election” sounds insane to me. There is no evidence that the Russians have the voting machines or anything of the sort, which is exactly what I think of when someone says “hacking the election.”

    Further, we have no idea who ran the phishing scam to get the Podesta emails. And now we have people like Malcolm Nance, who is propagandist for the intelligence community, going around saying the Russians hacked the election…blah, blah, blah….

    • DCguy

      I find it interesting when two different intelligence folks stated that the Russians are behind the bots, influencing etc.. and yet you say “Nobody knows whose behind it”.

      Please put up any links stating that the intelligence sources who testified were wrong.

    • KaiserVonScheiss

      The onus is on them to provide the evidence, not on me to prove a negative. Secondly, why should we trust anything the intelligence community says? It’s not like they have a history of spying on the American people or overthrowing foreign governments or anything. Yes, we should just blindly listen and believe them.

  • DCguy

    So an anti-lgbt administration who stated they were going to go after lgbt rights, appoint anti-lgbt judges, and picked the most anti-lgbt politician in the country right now as their VP was full of people taking money from foreign governments, under investigation for unethical ties to foreign governments, under investigation for being turned by Russian agents, hiding meetings and lying on security clearance forms about meetings with Russia, and of course retroactively registering as agents of foreign governments when they get caught.

    Yeah, but lgbts are the danger to the country. (Eye Roll)

  • He BGB

    Trump Mentored by Roy Cohn? I guess the Trump supporters haven’t seen Angels in America.

  • Invader7

    Anyone the Orange Blob surrounds himself with is a DANGER to national security. Wait until the FBI audio tape that caught Paul Ryan & Mitch McConnell colluding and conspiring how to LAUNDER Russian money given to Trumps campaign. Laundering ILLEGAL Russian $$ through Ryan & McConnell’s PAC’s. That’ll be a doozie and of course, the GOP will try and defend thse TRAITORS!!!

  • jckfmsincty

    The Republicans are standing on the wrong side of history. Let’s hope that they pay the price.

  • Neonegro

    That article lost all credibility with the line “by hacking it”.

    Show me where there is any allegation of the votes being hacked.

    The real treat to national security is the sissifaction of the American male.

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