Military Panel Recommends Gay Soldier Dan Choi Should Be Discharged Under Don't Ask, Don't Tell

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    Jul 01, 2009 8:25 PM GMT
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    A military review panel recommended Tuesday that National Guard Lt. Dan Choi, the gay Arabic translator who became a national figure in fighting the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy after declaring his sexuality on television, be discharged from the service.

    The four-member Federal Recognition Board of Army officers in Syracuse, N.Y., had no recommendation Tuesday for how the 28-year-old should be discharged.

    It's recommendation that the Army no longer recognize Choi as an officer must be approved by the First Army commander and the chief of the National Guard Bureau before Choi would be discharged.

    Full story here:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/01/MNL018GVUS.DTL
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 01, 2009 9:26 PM GMT
    It's a bird! No, it's a plane! It's...it's...Obama-no-action!

    obama%20superman%20transform%20alex%20ro

    obama_superman_awesome.jpg

    icon_neutral.gifwow! he speaks in 3rd person.
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    Jul 01, 2009 9:36 PM GMT
    Erik,
    Thanks for posting the story. I posted the following in the 'All Things Gay' forum:

    When I saw yet another email from the Courage Campaign I thought: "oh great, another request for a signature." My next thought was: "hey, stop being lazy, one mouse click and electronic signature is not much to ask for and it helps the gay community raise its voice." So I signed again. Below is a note from Dan and the Courage Campaign asking us to sign a letter to the Speaker of the House... Please go to the link and sign the petition to initiate Congressional action; let us know if you do it!

    http://www.couragecampaign.org/RepealDAD

    Letter from Dan:

    I've got some bad news.

    After 10 years of service to our country -- including leading combat patrols, rebuilding schools and translating Arabic in Iraq for 15 months -- the Federal Recognition Board issued its recommendation on Tuesday that I be discharged from the Army for "moral and professional dereliction" under the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

    The board's decision to fire me is not the end. Now that this panel of four officers has recommended my discharge, it still must be approved by senior officials in the Army, a process that could take a few weeks to a year. Unless something unexpected happens, it may be just a matter of time before the Army officially fires me.

    I will not give up, no matter the odds. Because I know that the only way we will win this fight to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is by facing it head on. And I need your help again to keep up the fight.

    I've made my case to President Obama -- supported by more than 140,000 of your signatures. I've made my case to the Army -- supported by more than 160,000 of your signatures. And I will continue to make my case until they fire me for good.

    Now we need to make our case to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Will you join me in asking Speaker Pelosi to strongly support legislation currently in Congress that would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? Please sign on to our letter before July 4th and I'll personally deliver your signatures to the Speaker ASAP:

    http://www.couragecampaign.org/RepealDADT

    At West Point, I recited the Cadet Prayer every Sunday. It taught me to "choose the harder right over the easier wrong" and to "never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won." The Cadet Honor Code demanded truthfulness and honesty. It imposed a zero-tolerance policy against deception, or hiding behind comfort.

    That's why I can't give up now. I've got to keep fighting. My fellow servicemembers -- and the 70 fellow West Point graduates who have also come out of the closet to join Knights Out, the organization I co-founded to push for repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- would expect nothing less.

    The only way we can win this fight for the truth is if the political cost of discrimination eventually becomes too great for the system to operate successfully. We need to raise the political cost in Congress so that Speaker Nancy Pelosi understands that, as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once said, "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

    Speaker Pelosi needs to make "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a priority now and come out strongly in support of legislative action to repeal this discriminatory law. Will you stand by my side now and sign our letter to the Speaker before July 4th? You have my word that I will deliver your signatures to Speaker Pelosi personally:

    http://www.couragecampaign.org/RepealDADT

    As I said a few days ago, national security means many things, but the thing that makes us secure in our nation and homes is love. What makes me a better soldier, leader, Christian and human being is love. And I'm not going to hide my love.

    Love is worth it.

    Thank you for your support.

    Daniel W. Choi
    1LT, IN
    New York Army National Guard
  • MotorBrett

    Posts: 145

    Jul 01, 2009 9:59 PM GMT
    From the original article:

    "Last month, a Gallup Poll found that 69 percent of Americans would "favor allowing openly gay men and lesbian women to serve in the military" - up six percentage points from November 2004. The survey found that 58 percent of conservatives and 60 percent of weekly churchgoers felt the same way."

    WTF?!?? icon_confused.gif
  • fitone

    Posts: 276

    Jul 01, 2009 10:11 PM GMT
    I posted the link for the letter to Speaker Pelosi on facebook.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Jul 01, 2009 10:40 PM GMT
    I have to say I don't follow Obama's logic on this one. 265 discharges under DADT have taken place during the six months of his administration, Choi will likely be 266. Obama has the power to sign an Executive Order halting discharges while they work to repeal DADT. But, he says to do so would complicate making "durable" changes (i.e. repeal?) to the policy, and passes the buck to Congress. I find this an incredibly weak argument. He also said during Monday's White House gathering of LGBT leaders that as Commander in Chief during wartime, he has to be sensitive to military needs. Well, don't we need Arabic translators during wartime when that's the language our foes speak?
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    Jul 01, 2009 10:44 PM GMT
    In response, a gay panel said "oh, darn".
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    Jul 01, 2009 11:39 PM GMT
    This bull shit is the reason I got out of the army. Didn't want this happening to me. I thought Obama was going to fix this.icon_mad.gif
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    Jul 01, 2009 11:42 PM GMT
    ^ Nope, coolarmydude summed it up nicely.
  • Tiller66

    Posts: 380

    Jul 01, 2009 11:50 PM GMT
    I Feel for Lt.Dan,but I do belive that DADT wasin affect when he went to West Point and if it was such an affornt to him then he should've not servered.DADT is what stopped me from serveing b/c I did'nt want to serve while worrying about being outed,Lt.Dan outed himself on national tv which I belive he did while the current administeration was deafinitly in favor of DADT.So what did he exspect.I don't like DADT and that it a insult to those that serve and would like to serve,but don't join and then decide sometime later knowing that you will likly get discharged by telling and cry "It's unfair" when you knew what the rule was.I have 2 family members that have served in the army while DADT was/is in effect and knew gay unit members and did'nt care in fact one of them was questioned about his unit mate when they tried to make a case against him and he would not give them anything and was demoted for it.And like others I think that Obama is not showing that he has any balls when it comes to standing up for stop/lossing or starting any motions to repeal DADT and if he cxontinues this and does nothing by the end of his 2nd year I will not support him or the dem party.
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    Jul 01, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    The military panel had no choice, since they cannot reinterpret policy, and this outcome was a foregone conclusion. Their only function in this case was to determine if Choi had admitted he's gay. He had, so their decision was automatic. The resolution of the issue here is political, not military.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jul 01, 2009 11:55 PM GMT
    I signed the petition to Pelosi. (navy 96 asked to be notified by those who've signed)

    I suspect Lt. Choi will be discharged, although his note says the review and final action could take months or up to a year.

    Excellent points, too, EricLA

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    Jul 02, 2009 12:06 AM GMT
    Definitely keeping this crap in mind when I decide what employer to work for.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 02, 2009 1:28 AM GMT
    Tiller66 saidI Feel for Lt.Dan,but I do belive that DADT wasin affect when he went to West Point and if it was such an affornt to him then he should've not servered.DADT is what stopped me from serveing b/c I did'nt want to serve while worrying about being outed,


    You have to realize that people don't acknowledge or realize their sexual orientation at the same times as each other. I joined the Army in 1992, before DADT, and it wasn't until 1 JAN 1998 when I accepted being gay. LT Choi says the same thing. People think it's a phase until they finally accept it.
  • Tiller66

    Posts: 380

    Jul 02, 2009 2:07 AM GMT
    True enough but still he did'nt have to out himself especaly after seving for ten years,but I still wish him luck.
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    Jul 02, 2009 2:15 AM GMT
    I honestly think once DADT is repealed, a lot of military people are going to look back and be embarrassed at how they stridently they supported it and think, "What was the big deal?"
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 02, 2009 2:18 AM GMT
    Tiller66 saidTrue enough but still he did'nt have to out himself especaly after seving for ten years,but I still wish him luck.



    "Give me freedom or give me death." Outing himself puts more pressure on President Obama, which is what he needs more and more until he fulfills his promises.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 02, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidI honestly think once DADT is repealed, a lot of military people are going to look back and be embarrassed at how they stridently they supported it and think, "What was the big deal?"



    I disagree. Women still have a difficult time amongst Soldiers of all-male units and job specialties.
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    Jul 02, 2009 2:20 AM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidI honestly think once DADT is repealed, a lot of military people are going to look back and be embarrassed at how they stridently they supported it and think, "What was the big deal?"


    And someday the rest of the American populace will look back and say the same thing about everything else related to gay rights. Of course, we have to keep working towards them for that day to come.
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    Jul 02, 2009 2:31 AM GMT
    There is another gay fellow being kicked out of the air force in a few months. Dan will be a real lightning rod for O's inaction at this time. If O let's this recommendation proceed and not sign a Stop Loss Order for an arabic translator, I expect it will really resonant amongst Dem supports. It should be too hard to make the case that an arabic translator is vital at this time.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 02, 2009 2:53 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidThe military panel had no choice, since they cannot reinterpret policy, and this outcome was a foregone conclusion. Their only function in this case was to determine if Choi had admitted he's gay. He had, so their decision was automatic. The resolution of the issue here is political, not military.


    The military panel does have a choice. The policy allows for the dismissal but doesn't necessitate it. It's up to the people in charge in the armed forces whether someone gets discharged or not.
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    Jul 02, 2009 1:30 PM GMT
    I don't know whether Dan recognized his sexuality before joining or not, but in either case simply not joining is not as powerful a statement as joining in defiance of DADT.

    The individuals who are putting themselves out there are the ones that are bringing attention to this injustice. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of people writing stories about those who chose not to join or who left quietly. This is a personal choice, and one that I don't think is diminished by those who chose another path. However, I am very proud of those individuals who are taking on this and other human rights issues at great personal expense.

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” MLK

    Tiller66 saidI Feel for Lt.Dan,but I do belive that DADT wasin affect when he went to West Point and if it was such an affornt to him then he should've not servered.DADT is what stopped me from serveing b/c I did'nt want to serve while worrying about being outed,Lt.Dan outed himself on national tv which I belive he did while the current administeration was deafinitly in favor of DADT.
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    Jul 02, 2009 1:33 PM GMT
    i've been signing the petitions, and just forwarded the email to dad so he could get in on it. i'm glad someone is taking some personal risks and forcing this issue to resolution.
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Jul 02, 2009 1:36 PM GMT
    One of the things that really pisses me off about the policy in regard to homosexuals serving in the armed forces is that people think it allows gays to serve, as if it's not a ban on gays serving.
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    Jul 02, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    Anto said
    Red_Vespa saidThe military panel had no choice, since they cannot reinterpret policy, and this outcome was a foregone conclusion. Their only function in this case was to determine if Choi had admitted he's gay. He had, so their decision was automatic. The resolution of the issue here is political, not military.


    The military panel does have a choice. The policy allows for the dismissal but doesn't necessitate it. It's up to the people in charge in the armed forces whether someone gets discharged or not.

    The panel was making findings and a recommendation regarding the facts of the case. The decision to remove or not isn't theirs, which rests with a commander, but can be reviewed all the way up to the President, or Governor in the case of the National Guard. And the underlying policy itself is a political decision.

    That chain of command here, BTW, appears to be within the National Guard, which the President does not direct except when Guard members are serving on active Federal duty. I've not read in this case whether Choi is still on active Federal duty, or under the sole authority of his state Guard now, or if charges were brought against him during his active service tour, which could still be prosecuted after his active release. Ordinarily the issue of a gay member in the Guard is a state matter, not of concern to the President.