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U.S. military continues to discharge gay Arab

#1
U.S. military continues to discharge gay Arab linguists, and Congress members seek hearing
IHT
Link
WASHINGTON: Lawmakers who say the military has kicked out 58 Arabic linguists because they were gay want the Pentagon to explain how it can afford to let the valuable language specialists go.

Seizing on the latest discharges, involving three specialists, members of the House of Representatives wrote the House Armed Services Committee chairman that the continued loss of such "capable, highly skilled Arabic linguists continues to compromise our national security during time of war."

One sailor discharged in the latest incident, former Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin, said his supervisor tried to keep him on the job, urging him to sign a statement denying that he was gay. He said his lawyer advised him not to sign it, because it could be used against him later if other evidence ever surfaced.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Benjamin said he was caught improperly using the military's secret level computer system to send messages to his roommate, who was serving in Iraq. In those messages, he said, he may have referred to being gay or going on a date.

"I'd always been out since the day I started working there," Benjamin said. "We had conversations about being gay in the military and what it was like. There were no issues with unit cohesion. I never caused divisiveness or ever experienced slurs."

He was discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law passed in 1994. The law allows gays to serve if they keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts. It prohibits commanders from asking about a person's sex life and requires discharge of those who acknowledge they are gay.

Democratic Rep. Marty Meehan, who has pushed for repeal of the law, organized the letter sent to Skelton requesting a hearing into the Arab linguist issue.

"At a time when our military is stretched to the limit and our cultural knowledge of the Middle East is dangerously deficient, I just can't believe that kicking out able, competent Arabic linguists is making our country any safer," Meehan said.
 
#2
We can't afford to lose them. Besides, he more or less WAS keeping it to himself.
 
#3
All together now:

"Sit on my face and tell me that you love me...."
 
#4
Apparently we can afford to lose them C_J. The law is a fairly easy one for all to comprehend. Don't get caught in the act and/or don't go around letting your CoC know that you like to smoke pole.

Personally I couldn't care less about anyone's sexual orientation. But, until the law changes (and it will in time), then old boy is out on his ear.

Nuff said.
 
#5
So the US military believes it can find some heterosexual Arabs? Not in this life time- especially on Man-Love Thursday.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
How about, just for a change, the US forces follow the British Forces. We allow gay (and transexual) service personnel to serve without hinderance. It works. There have been very few cases where it has caused problems.
 
#7
His wearing of the bright Pink bhurka was the give away!

Nice to know that the US allows the persecution of shirt lifters, we Brits have been robbed of one of our national sports!
 
#8
Well mission accomplished in that the hunt for gays in the US forces if only Osma was 'Gay' im sure that he would be bang to rights by now.

crazy waste of much needed assets!
 
#9
look on the bright side, he could always move to UK where he could be employed teaching 4 year olds about the benefits of "Man love".
 
#11
I thought the yanks had a don't ask don't tell policy - whats changed?
 
#12
Ord_Sgt said:
I thought the yanks had a don't ask don't tell policy - whats changed?
He was using DOD networks to explore his... passion. His supervisor caught wind of it, and it was obvious enough that he didn't have to ask.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Benjamin said he was caught improperly using the military's secret level computer system to send messages to his roommate, who was serving in Iraq. In those messages, he said, he may have referred to being gay or going on a date.
However, I personally don't think he violated the policy as I interpret it. So long as he wasn't advertising, and was being more or less discreet, he should have been fine. In fairness though, using the DOD networks in that way would probably be a problem for straight people as well.
 
#13
Surely the best way to establish if this guy was causing an issue to his unit and colleagues as a whole... is to ask them?

If they say, "oh yeah, we we're really freaked out by him..." then fair enough, BUT if they say, "What? No, why? He's gay, yeah, but who cares?" then where's the issue?

Surely someone with his knowledge is essential to the US efforts at this point in time - the fact that he is gay shouldn't really matter.
 
#14
I'm with AH on this - was he really causing any problems by sending a fcuking message, secure system or not. Seems like a draconian over reaction to me.
 
#15
Oh, I'm all with you there. It is a text-book example of an overreaction. His colleagues seemed to have no problem with it, and I don't believe it should have been an issue.
 

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