Saturday, December 15, 2007

CBS 60 Minutes to cover "don't ask don't tell" Dec 17

CBS 60 Minutes is scheduled to air a report on the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy on Sunday Dec 18 at 7 PM EST. The CBS schedule for Sunday Dec 18 does not appear to have an NFL football game that would delay the start of "60 Minutes" as often happens. The main link for the show is this.

There is a preview 2 minute "Reporter's Notebook" segment by Leslie Stahl on the CBS website now. The story is "Military Soft On Don't Ask, Don't Tell? 60 Minutes: Is Military More Tolerant Of Gay Members In Wartime?" and the link, which the visitor can watch right now, is here.

SLDN plans to have a gathering in Washington DC to view the event, at the Duplex Diner, at 2004 18th St. NW., near U St.

Update: Dec. 16

The program did indeed hit pretty hard. One gay soldier has pictures from a vacation of his intimacy with his lover in his Army personnel files, but because his commander badly needs his skills (as a medic), his required "investigation" said "no evidence of homosexual conduct." Congressman Duncan Hunter said that the policy is necessary because one cannot force soldiers with moral or religious objections to bond to gays. Stahl asked why this didn't apply in 1948 with blacks, and the interview stalled. Other militaries in NATO accept open gays, and the British Navy now allows sailors to march in Gay Pride parades in uniform. Hunter seems to feel that other countries do not fulfill the role of the United States in military operations, an idea that could insult NATO allies. A lesbian who had left the Air Force and become a commercial airline pilot pointed out that the AF had thrown away two million dollars training her. (That could bring up the recoupment issue.) The example set by Sparta (ancient Greece) was mentioned, any supposedly Spartan culture was very homoerotic. Of course, neither Spartan or for that matter Athenian society would be emulated today.

Update: Dec 26

I created a related posting on my "retirement blog" that deals with the loss of retirement benefits if a servicemember is forced out under DADT. Included is another SLDN story, back from 2002 at Fort Bragg, NC, about the Army selectively keeping people who "violate" DADT.

Update: January 8, 2008

Andrea Stone has a story in US Today, Jan. 7 (published on AOL Jan. 8), "Many troops openly gay, group says," link here. Even though Sgt. Darren Manzella outed himself on CBS 60 Minutes in December 2007, he has heard nothing at his command. The story reports a growing list of soldiers who have told other soldiers or their commanders (while deployed) but who have not been discharged. A poll of about 50000 on AOL showed 75% accepting the idea of gays serving openly in the military, and 71% believing that "don't ask don't tell" is a failure.

Update: July 12, 2008

SLDN reports that Darren Mazella has indeed been discharged under "Don't Ask Don't Tell," in the aftermath of his December 2007 "self-outing" on CBS "60 Minutes." The press release story is here.

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