The man who served as the nation’s senior military officer when the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military was put in place says it is time to rethink that policy.<BLINK>
Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, who retired in 1997, says he supported “don’t ask, don’t tell” when it was enacted in 1993, now argues that circumstances today —a military straining to deal with two wars amid calls for a bigger force — dictate that it’s time for the country to revisit the issue of gays in the military.
“I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces,” Shalikashvili said in an op-ed piece in Jan. 2 edition of The New York Times. “Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.”
Shalikashvili has met with several gay and lesbian service members over the past year, some with recent combat experience, and said he has come to the belief that their sexual orientation would not have the detrimental effect on morale that many believe.
The Service Members Legal Defense Network, a gay advocacy group based in Washington, estimates that 65,000 gay or lesbian service members are in the military. About 11,000 people have been discharged from the military under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” including some in critical specialties such as foreign linguists, the group said.
A spokesman for the group said Shalikashvili’s piece is a big step forward for advocates of the change.
“Gen. Shalikashvili’s statement is the first by a Joint Chiefs chairman to call for repeal, and as such is enormously significant,” said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of the SLDN, said in a prepared statement. “We continue to lose critical personnel who happen to be gay. As Gen. Shalikashvili points out, continuing to keep this law on the books is detrimental to our national security.”
[ cf Shalikashvili calls for rethinking ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ]
Makes one wonder why the VOCHAS are not just running in there to be all that they can be???
And YES folks, that Radical Left Wing, God Hating, America Bashing, Gay Marriage Supporting Liberal Commie Pinko Rag The Army Times published, that RADICAL LEFT WING BRUTAL ASSAULT ON THE GREATEST MILITARY LEADER THAT THE ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENT DESIGN COULD CREATE FOR THE USofA!!!