Anyone wondering what might be the fatal flaw in Don't Ask, Don't Tell need look no further than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. In a surprisingly candid remark regarding the ridiculous Clinton compromise on gays in the military, Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the policy was justified because, "my upbringing is such that I believe that there are certain things, certain types of conduct that are immoral," he told the Chicago Tribune. Pace also told the paper, "I believe that homosexual acts between individuals are immoral, and that we should not condone immoral acts."
Today, Pace did a half-assed retreat on the statement saying he should have focused his remarks on his support of the policy instead of his personal beliefs, but the cat is out of the bag.
For years now, opponents to gays serving openly in the military have said it was because their sexual orientation would be a distraction to straight service members and that would lead to a corrosion of unit cohesion. Unfortunately for those folks, the numbers don't back up their argument.
A Dec. 2006 Zogby poll of U.S. soldiers found that nearly three in four troops (73 percent) say "they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians." (VIA ThinkProgress)So much for gays disrupting their fellow soldiers.
So the real reason is a personal, moral aversion to homosexuality. Is it right or fair or even SMART to dismiss 10,000 troops (including desperately needed Arabic speakers) based on your own moral code of judgement? What does the Chairman's statement signal to base commanders who are supposed to abide by the wink-wink, nudge-nudge, I won't ask if you don't tell policy?
This foolish semi-rule should be ditched.