Come to think of it, what happened to the loud and widespread demand that gays be allowed to serve in uniform? Surely that was not just a Clinton-era campaign to be dropped in favor of gay marriage at just the time when the country needed troops in Afghanistan (generally agreed) and in Iraq (much disputed)?
I don’t intend a taunt in the above sentence (it’s more of a tease, really, as well as a serious question to which I have heard no answer)
If you haven’t heard an answer, it’s because you aren’t paying attention, Mr. Hitchens. Pretty much every progressive blogger I know has written numerous posts about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” hurts the war on terror (mine are here, here, and, here). It was also addressed by Wesley Clark and John Edwards during on the Democratic primary debates a year and a half ago.
Since it didn’t sink in the first hundred or so times, here’s the crux of the liberal argument. According to various inquiries into the 9/11 attacks, the government’s lack of qualified Arabic translators is “one of the most serious issues limiting the Intelligence Community’s ability to analyze, discern, and report on terrorist activities in a timely fashion.”(PDF), yet gay translators are still being discharged. This is a serious issue that goes well beyond gay rights, yet the President is too cowardly to stand up to the hateful segments of the Republican party do the right thing. Considering that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a Presidential order away from being overturned, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the George W. Bush’s homophobia is hurting national security.