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US military's gay policy 'costly'


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#1    Talon

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:37 AM

US military's gay policy 'costly'
The US military has had to spend around $200m over the last decade to replace service members lost under its policy on homosexuals, a report has found.
The service lost almost 10,000 gays and lesbians under its "don't ask, don't tell" policy, said the study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

A number of those had skills - such as languages in Arabic, Farsi and Korean - vital to the US war on terror.

The policy was introduced in 1993 by then US President Bill Clinton.

It was a compromise following controversy when Mr Clinton tried to lift the long-standing ban on homosexuals serving in the military.

The GAO study found that, since that time, the US military had lost 9,488 service men and women because of the policy.

Of those, 757 were in critical occupations such as interpreters and intelligence analysts.

Some 322 had proficiency in strategically important languages that the Pentagon has said are in short supply, the GAO concluded.

'Bin policy' call

The GAO said it was not possible to estimate the full costs of the Pentagon's policy on homosexuals.

But it said it cost around $190 million to recruit and train replacement personnel.

Democrats representative Martin Meehan said he would introduce a bill next week to repeal the policy, Reuters news agency reported.

"It is more apparent than ever before that, as we conduct a global war on terror and face tremendous personnel shortages, that the 'don't ask, don't tell' law is undermining our military readiness," he was quoted as saying.

Responding to the GAO report, the Pentagon said that of all the military personnel discharged for various reasons between 1994-2003, just 0.37% was because of homosexual conduct.

Under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, the US military does not ask about, and service members do not reveal their, sexual orientation.




Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/worl...cas/4296325.stm



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#2    Talon

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 01:38 AM

US army sacks gay Arabic experts

The United States Army has forced six linguists trained to speak Arabic to quit after they admitted that they were gay.
The decision comes when American military and intelligence services are suffering from an acute lack of translators and interpreters needed for their war on terror.

The US military has a policy on homosexuality among its personnel - known as "don't ask, don't tell" - whereby homosexuals are not barred from serving as long as their sexual orientation remains private.

Three other linguists, two specialising in Korean and one in Mandarin Chinese, were also dismissed - one for being gay and two for being caught together when they should have been in separate rooms.

Recruitment drive

All nine soldiers were at the Defence Language Institute in Monterey, the US military's foremost language training centre, Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that defends gays in the military said.

In the wake of the 11 September terror attacks in Washington and New York the US Government has been frantically trying to recruit more Arabic speakers.

"We face a drastic shortage of linguists, and the direct impact of Arabic speakers is a particular problem," said Donald R Hamilton, who told Congress of the need for more linguists as part of the National Commission on Terrorism.

Security at risk

One of the soldiers who was dismissed argued that the US military's hard line over homosexuals was damaging national security.

"It's not a gay-rights issue. I'm arguing military proficiency issues - they're throwing out good, quality people," said Alastair Gamble.

Mr Gamble said he was discharged alongside fellow army specialist Robert Hicks after the two were caught in Mr Gamble's room after curfew, during a surprise inspection.

Mr Gamble said that, keen to use their language skills as part of the battle against terrorism, they both subsequently applied for federal jobs, but were rejected.

A spokesman for the Army Training and Doctrine Command in Virginia, Harvey Perritt, confirmed the number of dismissals and said that they took place between October 2001 and September 2002.

He added that this year of the 516 Arabic specialist enrolled for training at Monterey, 365 graduated.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/2479777.stm

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#3    Seraphina

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:03 AM

QUOTE
the 'don't ask, don't tell' law is undermining our military readiness,"


Undermining their military!? It's absolute hypocracy!

"We're going to go and fight for freedom and equality throughout the world...now get lost you queers!"

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#4    Fluffybunny

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:35 AM

QUOTE(Seraphina @ Feb 24 2005, 06:03 PM)
QUOTE
the 'don't ask, don't tell' law is undermining our military readiness,"


Undermining their military!? It's absolute hypocracy!

"We're going to go and fight for freedom and equality throughout the world...now get lost you queers!"

View Post



You are right. It is just ridiculous, and I do not understand it at all. Who cares? When I was in the Army there were several guys who were gay that got along fine with everyone and did a good job only to be turned over to the command for being gay by some uptight redneck that was too uncomfortable with the concept.

With the shortages that are occuring in the military these days I find it so hard to believe that the staff is going after gays.

During Desert Storm, the same thing happened the gay discharges dropped down low during the actually fighting as no one could spare to lose the soldiers, but after folks started to return from tours the discharges started again.

It is just stupid and there is no reason for it.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#5    Subtemperate

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:37 AM

Things like this almost make me cry sometimes......

Knowing women didnt get the right to vote over here till only 10 or so years before I was born is depressing.....

Society moves on, its about time to say "In the land of equality, you are in fact equal"....

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#6    Fluffybunny

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:39 AM

QUOTE(Subtemperate @ Feb 24 2005, 06:37 PM)
Things like this almost make me cry sometimes......

Knowing women didnt get the right to vote over here till only 10 or so years before I was born is depressing.....

Society moves on, its about time to say "In the land of equality, you are in fact equal"....

View Post



It is if you are a straight white male. rolleyes.gif


Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#7    Seraphina

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:41 AM

It's wonderful how right wing America works...

"We're fighting a costly and expensive war, that we can barely fund, or provide manpower to cover! But I promise to lower taxes anyway! While I'm at it, I'm going to start giving a whole lot less money to the troops that are risking their lives for my war, and then I'm going to start firing some of them because I don't live in the year 2005....heck, forget 2005, my beliefs havn't been updated in the past 40 years."

Just when you thought it was safe to watch the news again sad.gif

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#8    Subtemperate

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:43 AM

Of course.....

Society is equality where and when it suits us.....

Justice, only when we are the ones being offended......

And so forth....

"Not only do I not know the answer, I don't even know what the question is" - Metallica

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#9    DarkSinister

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 02:45 AM

It's sad to think that we're still discriminating against people who are gay and lesbian.  I finding it hard to believe that they're still discharging vital parts of the army when we're in such great need of it...appalling.


#10    joc

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 03:55 AM

QUOTE
The United States Army has forced six linguists trained to speak Arabic to quit after they admitted that they were gay


If they admitted they were gay then they broke the don't tell policy.  I doubt superiors asked them because they would then be in violation of the don't ask policy.
The military's position on gays in the military has not changed.  They are not allowed. But you can't ask so in a hush, hush, way...they are.  But if you make an issue out of being gay...you are asking for a discharge.

Before Clinton's 'Don't ask Don't tell', there was a restriction on gays in the military.  Men are in close quarters, use the same bathrooms, etc. and as most men are not gay, having gays in such close quarters with the majority of straight men...who by the way are trained to kill...was not conducive to a harmonious environment among the troops.
Yet, gays were still in the military.  I served in the Navy for four years beginning in 1977 and there were a number of homosexuals...one made quite obvious advances towards me and others and I can tell you that it was indeed uncomfortable...but that was the exception not the rule.  Many used the excuse of being gay as a ticket out of the military because they didn't want to fulfill their terms of duty.

Insert Bill Clinton and the new policy.

QUOTE
The GAO study found that, since that time, the US military had lost 9,488 service men and women because of the policy.


Before if you said you were gay...you were discharged.  Now, if you say you are gay...you are discharged.  I don't understand how the policy 'loses' service men and women.  Isn't it more reasonable to assume that gays have left the military because they are finding better paying jobs in the civilian market place?

QUOTE
"We're fighting a costly and expensive war, that we can barely fund, or provide manpower to cover! But I promise to lower taxes anyway! While I'm at it, I'm going to start giving a whole lot less money to the troops that are risking their lives for my war, and then I'm going to start firing some of them because I don't live in the year 2005....heck, forget 2005, my beliefs havn't been updated in the past 40 years."


I am baffled by your brilliance...rather the lack thereof...Bush has increased pay among the troops, his tax cuts turned this economy around,  and recently increased the death benefit from the measly 12,000 dollars of Clinton to $100,000.  Yet all you do is complain about things.  You are clearly one of many who have developed the habit of always seeing the glass as half empty. no.gif

Edited by joc, 25 February 2005 - 03:57 AM.

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#11    pallidin

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:14 AM

I don't care if your gay or straight, but if you approach me in an unwanted fashion then your ass is mine, no pun intended.


#12    Elfstone810

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 05:52 AM

Joc, have you read the news lately or heard anything about the budget?  Bush has NOT turned the economy around.  At best he's putting off an immediate crisis by building up to an even worse catastrophe down the road.  It's so bad that it's become a bi-partisan issue.  Republicans as well as Democrats are aghast at the state of programs like social security, and the proposed cuts to already bare-bones agriculture funding.  

Even if we don't spend a penny on Iraq or Afghanistan after 2006, and this is only if Congress adopts every cut requested by the President, within ten years the national debt is going to be at a staggering 3.6 trillion dollars!  What we're looking at is higher interest rates, inflation, a trillion dollar trade deficit every year, and sluggish economic growth.  And this is a president who came into office with a record budget surplus!  The man has shown absolutely no goddamn sense when it comes to spending our money!

Sorry.  I don't mean to lose my temper.  I just don't see how you can view this as a "glass is half full or half empty" matter.  The glass, in fact, is full of holes!

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#13    AztecInca

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 06:22 AM

This discrimination is holding the human race back, until everyone is treated equally and fair regardless of age, sex, sexuality, race etc.... we will never trully advance as a race or society!


#14    Stellar

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 06:24 AM

I can see perhaps why a persons sexual orientation might be judged... but I dont agree.

If a person in your unit is gay, the straight members may feel uncomfortable with him, and hence, they dont work as well together. However, they should learn to live with it.

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#15    Talon

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE
If they admitted they were gay then they broke the don't tell policy. I doubt superiors asked them because they would then be in violation of the don't ask policy.
The military's position on gays in the military has not changed. They are not allowed. But you can't ask so in a hush, hush, way...they are. But if you make an issue out of being gay...you are asking for a discharge.


And that makes it okay? Joc, gay people should not have to worry about keeping it secret. The entire concept of firing people based on their sexuality is just another fascist, bigoted, narrow-minded, insular, intolerant, small-minded, petty, prejudiced, discriminatory and, over all, pathetic aspect of the right-wing.

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -Plato




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