Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Fri 10 December 2010 by Kevin van Haaren

A few nights ago (but I just watched tonight) Jon Stewart had General Hugh Shelton on for the interview segment. It went long and they put the full interview on the web (and in the iTunes episode, which is how I watch them.)

One of the topics they discussed is Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). General Shelton was against repeal of DADT right now, saying it needed to be studied a bit more. His reasoning for saying it needed a bit more study was because the Marine Infantry and Army Infrantry, when surveyed, were the most likely to say it would affect unit cohesion. And because the infantry units are the core foundation those arms of the military DADT should not be repealed until further study into unit cohesion in the infrantry is complete.

I think the General is wrong, but we'll get to that in a minute. I just want to say that General Shelton had the best argument for a delay in this whole moronic debate. He had a reason for the delay, he had facts from the study, he presented it well. Meanwhile John McCain is over in the senate acting like he's terrified of the gays and desperatly grasping at straws for reasons to delay (the economy was the last reason. Are you effin serious?)

The reason I think General Shelton is wrong is because he's really arguing against gays being in the military at all. DADT doesn't keep gays out, but it forces those gays that do serve to lie (and lies of omission are still lies), and it creates taboo subjects for military to talk about. When people in military units are keeping secrets, I'm pretty sure that has an affect on unit cohesion, right now. Delaying the repeal just keeps the lies coming.

Other effects of DADT affect the security of the nation, making gay service personal keep secrets just gives more ways to blackmail. Being able to start a witch hunt against anyone by making implications they're gay is another good way to threaten unit cohesion. All around DADT is a bad policy. It was the delay needed to study the affects of gays being in the military, and it's pretty clear that except when they're hounded and hunted down, or can't take lying to their fellow soldiers anymore, it works out pretty well.  Take away the lies.

Interview from the Daily Show (DADT part starts at 11:20):