Sunday, July 25, 2010

Log Cabin director points out how DADT threatens national security

Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper has an important op-ed on p 21 of the July 22 Metro Weekly, “The Right Side of History: ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is a threat to the Constitution and National Security”, link here

Cooper points out that the lying and subterfuge encouraged by DADT could lead to security compromises and blackmail, an idea that used to be the “old chestnut” (those were Dick Cheney’s words) of security policy v. homosexuality. I had to deal with it as a civilian employee of the Navy in 1971-1972, despite my uneventful two years as a draftee in the Army.

The other part of the security argument is, of course, the loss of talent, especially in language translation. It’s even conceivable that with no DADT, 9/11 might have been prevented.

Cooper discusses and compares the military policy with the way “telling” is handled in civilian areas with high security clearances, where it is encouraged, and where gay discrimination has supposedly been eliminated. I wonder if the new USA network series “Covert Affairs” (my TV blog, July 16) will get into this subject.

It would be good to review a story by Katherine Shrader about the Bush administration and security clearances for gay civilians in the Washington Post, March 17, 2006, here. (“The Bush administration said security clearances cannot be denied "solely on the basis of the sexual orientation of the individual." But it removed language saying sexual orientation "may not be used as a basis for or a disqualifying factor in determining a person's eligibility for a security clearance.")

Back on August 4, 1995, August Purdum ran a New York Times story “Clinton ends ban on security clearances for gay workers” link here.

For a really detailed earlier discussion on the ban and the indirect effect on civilians, see Jun 26, 2008 on this blog.

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