Sunday, September 02, 2007

Slate points out parallel between Craig's hypocrisy and "Do Ask Don't Tell"


Slate.com has featured an editorial by William Saletan. It was printed in The Washington Post on Sunday September 2, 2007 as “Craig’s Lust: Hypocritical: Don’t Ask,” on p B2, Outlook. One version online is here:

Saletan points out that Craig helped create the notorious “don’t ask don’t tell” law for gays in the military in 1993. (Link: He then points out that, as SLDN has often documented, the effective policy is “do ask don’t tell.” (Officially it was more like, ask, if necessary.) He cites several horrifying examples. A lesbian Air Force Reserve member was outed by former partner. Another man overseas was pursued for being in a gay bar. When he denied that he was gay, he was threatened with prosecution for perjury. The article gives some other examples. One involved a private letter written in a foreign language.

The behaviors cited in the letter probably should not have triggered “investigations” because they would not have met the “credibility” standard of the February,1994 regulations published by the Pentagon.

To study the regs, go here at the Stanford Law School site. Link: and look for “statutes and regulations” for example:

I recall a provision that “going to a gay bar is not a crime.” (One can write a sentence like this with a "straight" face.) The regulations were supposed to be construed to allow gay servicemembers to “have a life.” Of course, in those days, “privacy” was still a concept on top, and no one quite grasped what would happen once there was an Internet and search engines.

Some military commanders, however, simply “pursue” because they believe they can get away with it. There have been other abuses outside of the gay issue, as a female commander ordered into psychiatric treatment for questioning authority,

The editorial points out the irony that Sen. Craig is the “victim” of his own witch-hunt mentality – in his case, he imagines entrapment.

Remember, it’s hard to accept a policy like DADT, particularly the way some commanders “enforce” it, without it having a slanderous effect on gays outside of the military. If the “presence” of a gay servicemember violates the consent or “privacy” of other servicemembers in the barracks or on a submarine (the contention in 1993 of Sen. Sam Nunn), what about the “consent” of a disabled child getting personal care in a school system?

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