Don’t ask don’t tell that I have no clue: Jim Moran’s response to my letter
No, this is not really one of those April fool’s Day jokes. Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) did send me an email today. Perhaps it is a joke but I wasn’t laughing. There is something about picking inconsistencies in people’s writing that always appeals to me and he did not disappoint. And yes, I did send Jim Moran a letter dated January 25 2010 that has gone unanswered until today, however just as I was about to give him a little credit (I was hoping for one of those go to hell letters) I got something completely different. My letter which I published in its entirety on this site entitled We are not the Taliban: A letter to Jim Moran, addressed in painful detail (to him maybe, I like my epic letters) why I am strongly against his support of bringing Riduan Isamuddin, (aka Hambali, the Bali Bomber) for trial in my home of residence of Alexandria, Virginia. I was clearly upset and wanted him to know I would not support trials for any enemy combatant on US soil. No answer. The story died as quickly as it surfaced in the media.
Let me know if you can find a problem with this response and don’t be shy to post comments. I will be addressing his email shortly.
Dear Ms Leclerc,
Thank you for writing me concerning the repeal of the U.S. military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy (WTF?? I didn’t write you about the gay ban!).
I am a cosponsor of the “Military Readiness Enhancement Act” (H.R. 1283), and an advocate for replacing DADT with a policy of non-discrimination (You’d co-sponsor condoms for crickets if it were feasible). If enacted, this legislation would prevent a person’s sexual orientation from being used to prevent his or her service in our country’s armed forces. As you know, President Obama called for a repeal of this policy in his State of the Union address and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mike Mullen expressed their support for repeal in recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Those who continue to support DADT argue that allowing openly gay and lesbian soldiers to serve next to straight soldiers would hurt unit cohesion. Recent studies by the Armed Forces and the experiences of other nations do not support this assertion. A report published in Joint Forces Quarterly late last year concluded that “there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that unit cohesion will be negatively affected if homosexuals serve openly.” A recent study by the Palm Center (Sure, why should anyone accept the conclusions of a left-biased organization. There must be other orgs capable of doing this research or have already done so but you’re not presenting that counterargument, right?) examined the experience of other countries that have repealed bans on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. (If Canada or the UK says jump you jump, right? Why would I care about what other countries are doing?) It found that none of the 25 nations that currently allow open service (including Canada, Great Britain, Israel, and Australia) experienced any negative impact on morale, recruitment, retention, readiness or overall combat effectiveness despite predictions of major disruptions prior to enactment.
The military spends, on average, between $22,000 and $43,000 to replace each person discharged under DADT. In 2006, the Blue Ribbon Commission(More looney left people. Smacks of the Star Chamber) from the University of California at Santa Barbara – which included former Department of Defense Secretary William Perry and other defense experts – estimated that the first decade of the policy cost the military $364 million. By now, those costs have likely reached at least a half billion dollars. DADT is a fiscal money pit. (Hey, how about you tell me how much it’s cost us to replace military personnel with life-long experience who were forced to retire since the 1990s at the end of the Gulf War? Before many were brought back from retirement, even medical retirement as trainers because most of our pool of knowledge had been dried! Look at the costs of adjusting their retirement pensions/retainer pay. Doesn’t that cost a lot?)
To date, DADT has resulted in the discharge of nearly 14,000 gay and lesbian soldiers, including engineers, linguists and other critical occupations. Each of these soldiers agreed to make the same sacrifices asked of any soldier, in turn wanting nothing more than to serve their nation honorably and honestly. Unfortunately, the current DADT policy makes this impossible. I believe our nation’s security will be best protected when all service members are allowed to serve without fear that their sexual orientation could become known and result in their discharge.
Late last year, I sent a letter signed by 95 of my House colleagues to Defense Secretary Gates requesting monthly updates on the number of service members discharged because of DADT. Through these routine disclosures, Congress and the American public would have consistent reminders of the careers ended and harm done to our national security because of DADT (And I thought harm done to our national security came from ignoring Afghanistan for a year – and McChrystal, badmouthing Bush – who’s been gone a while, dissing Israel when it needs us the most while sucking up to the Persians and shutting down the F-22 jet production and paring down the Navy’s fleet, silly me. Let me stop now before my eye twitches until I have a stroke). The Department of Defense finally released the 2009 discharge numbers on February 1st, revealing that 428 additional soldiers were fired because of their sexual orientation. I will continue to push for monthly disclosures going forward (How about you disclose other matters regarding funding for projects nobody needs within District 8?).
On March 3rd, I held a press conference to call attention to the soldiers (You won’t even visit units returning from deployment, but you meet with some gay ex-service members, what’s the difference right?) who are directly impacted by this antiquated policy (Do I have to tell you who came up with this antiquated policy?). I was joined by three homosexual service members, two of whom were discharge under DADT and one who, throughout her decorated 30 year service, maintained a lingering fear that at any time she could be outed, ending her career. Unfortunately, often times lost among the statistics, the testimony of our military leaders, and the debate over the political implications of repeal, are the soldiers themselves – (Their service is really not the issue, it is sacrificing the integrity of the services to push social change that’s not needed. They already serve!) those who want nothing more than to serve their nation honorably and honestly. It is for those individuals that DADT is not just a discriminatory policy with a silly name, but a constant threat with severe consequences.
While I commend Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen (Drones!), and the U.S. military for initiating a review of how to best implement a repeal of DADT and for the issuance of revised guidelines that tighten investigations and discharges under DADT, these developments should not stymie repeal itself. The DoD review will not provide any relevant information to help determine whether DADT should be repealed; for that purpose numerous studies (show me the independent studies, name them!) already exist, each one pointing in the direction of repeal. With the facts and the American public on our side, now is the time for Congress to finally honor the sacrifice of all of our service members by repealing DADT. Rest assured I will do all I can to support this effort.
Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue (Again, I’ve never written you about this. Do I have it correctly and whoever reads your mail can’t figure out what to send out?).
James P. Moran
P.S. I invite you to visit my website at www.moran.house.gov that contains information on many topics of interest and allows you to sign up for the Moran e-News.
Oh yes indeed, I will visit…let me roll up my sleeves. I can play this game all day.