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Dan Choi dismissed from the US Army 
7th-May-2009 03:21 pm

This is unsurprising but sad news.

Lieutenant Dan Choi, the National Guard soldier who publicly came out live on national television, has been dismissed from duty.

He was dismissed for "homosexual conduct".

The show he came out on was the Rachel Maddow Show: Choi is a founding member of KnightsOut - an organisation dedicated to confronting and fighting the bigotry inherent in the US Army's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. He violated that policy on National TV in order to say that he thought it was damaging to the army if significant number of soldiers were required to hide a part of themselves in order to serve. He doesn't think it's possible to be the best soldier one can be if forcibly closeted. So he came out.

And now he's been dismissed.

This was definitely a possibility, but it still makes me sad. I hope he continues his work.
(Deleted comment)
7th-May-2009 03:02 pm (UTC)

Though I disagree that they had to act, this is because I don't know how the army, and am convinced that some one person or committee had to make the decision to enforce the policy, y'know?

I think Dan Choi martyred his career - he put himself forward in a very public way so his very public dismissal would get people talking about it.

And I hope it works.
(Deleted comment)
7th-May-2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard.

Yeah, they sure sound like they reluctantly had to do this.
(Deleted comment)
7th-May-2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, not trying to attack you; any and all snarkiness is directed at the NG.

I don't think attacking the declaration is really any better. That still sends the message that merely being homosexual is something dirty and shameful that the military doesn't want marring its pristine image.

I know Obama's promised to repeal DADT, and will get around to it Real Soon Now...

...wait, there's jail time for adultery?
7th-May-2009 03:57 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the standard wording they used in virtually every dismissal case, though equally I wouldn't be shocked to know I'm wrong.
7th-May-2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
That's standard boiler-pot language, all told. Wickedtrue is right. The Army didn't exactly have a choice on the matter. There was probably a person who signed off on it, but he didn't have a choice either, because if he refused to do it, then it would have certainly been a political decision and cause a whole mess of trouble for him and the Army. No Army officer is going to jeapordize his career by not signing off on Choi's dismissal, even if he agrees with Choi, because that would be turning a policy decision into a political one. They can't do that.

It's the sad truth. Choi had to expect this and was obviously counting on it happening. His outing himself necessarily came with these consequences, and hopefully, as I'm guessing Choi is counting on, they will have positive resuls in helping end the asinine DADT policy so gay soldiers can serve openly.
7th-May-2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
I know they had to kick him out; rules are rules and the military loves them over all else. But why couldn't they send a neutral letter stating "we are required to discharge you under such-and-such", instead of effectively blaming him for fucking up our discipline you damn faggot and we just can't have that?

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but it very much does not seem the attitude of a speaker that is reluctant, sympathetic, or even ambivalent.
7th-May-2009 03:23 pm (UTC)
It's a particularly insane piece of bigotry. I'm quite sure gay men and women are quite as capable of killing people as straight men and women!
7th-May-2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Except more fabulously.
7th-May-2009 03:34 pm (UTC)

You know, even my grandparents, who are old and crotchety and think that Obama's a socialist Muslim sympathist (sigh, roll eyes, shake fist at them), think this is stupid.

Like pmoodie says, they are just as capable of doing their jobs as straight people are, and at a time when they need soldiers it's just a really really dumb move.

I would think that most of the military today, wouldn't actually care. Jake doesn't care. Most of his unit aren't the type of people who would care.

But there's definitely a percentage that does care, and they're a vocal percentage who have privilege behind them. Just like in the rest of the US, we have to work to change those who don't understand and who have toxic mindsets before we can really make true change.
7th-May-2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
It's absolute stupidity of the highest scale. A friend of mine resigned his captaincy in the US army because DA-DT was proving too much of a strain on his ability to do his job. I've read elsewhere, there's been a particularly high attrition rate amongst specialist corps in the US army - Intel, Languages, legal, etc. that's proven cripplnig to units assigned to Iraq and Afghanistan.
7th-May-2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Choi has directly claimed that DADT may have cost the USA the WTC.
On Monday, September 10th 2001, a message was intercepted by the State Department: tomorrow is zero hour.

"Despite its simplicity, nobody was able to translate it. Any of the dozens of linguists already discharged for being gay at the time would have done so easily
7th-May-2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Just one of many examples - you can toss in the Tanzania embassy bombing and probably the first attempt on the WTC in the 90s. US HUMINT is fucked.
7th-May-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Really, the only argument I've seen for DADT is unit coherency, and I continue to believe that if the very existence of a homosexual in a military unit causes every other member of the unit to fly into hurricanes of gay panic, it's not the queer folk who have the problem.
7th-May-2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
Ugh, just so fucking unfair. I'd like to see all the heterosexual people be forced, just for one week, not to talk about their wives/girlfriends, children, celebrity crushes, or anything else that might suggest what sexuality they are. Just one fucking week. Which doesn't even include something like going out to military events with their spouses, etc.

Aaaugh. It's only fair if it's one or the other. Either NO ONE can talk about their sexuality gay or straight, or it's NO BIG FUCKING DEAL.

Poor Dan.
8th-May-2009 01:33 am (UTC)
The test here isn't of the military. It's of the Obama Administration, and the civilian leadership of the armed forces.

No, the President can't change this overnight. There are regulations and procedures to observe. But the Commander in Chief can begin a process, just as the Clinton Administration did back in the '90s.

But I won't be holding my breath for it.
8th-May-2009 08:45 am (UTC)
As I learned on Rachel's show last night (well, this morning on the tube) that in January - before Dan Choi, 2nd lt Sandy Tsao came out to her superios in January and simultaneously wrote to the newly incumbant president.

This Tuesday, Obama responded. With a hand written note:
Sandy - Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful letter. It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment. — Barack Obama.
I am not holding my breath, because I think he has more pressing things to do (sadly), but my faith in him as a gay-friendly president will last another 100 days.
8th-May-2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Well, that's more than any previous president would have done.

I agree, it's a cause for (cautious) hope.
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