Connect with us

Dear Mr. President, I received a piece of paper saying I was no longer fit for military duty due to “homosexual conduct.”

Published

on

Editor’s note:

The author of today’s letter, David Hall, participated in a live blog chat today with Scott Wooledge (aka Clarknt67) at Daily Kos. You can read the transcript here.

“Stories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama” is a new media campaign launched to underscore the urgent need for congressional action and presidential leadership at this critical point in the fight to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT). Every weekday morning as we approach the markup of the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, SLDN and a coalition of voices supporting repeal, will share an open letter to the President from a person impacted by this discriminatory law. We are urging the President to include repeal in the Administration’s defense budget recommendations, but also to voice his support as we work to muster the 15 critical votes needed on the Senate Armed Services Committee to include repeal. The Defense Authorization bill represents the best legislative vehicle to bring repeal to the president’s desk. It also was the same vehicle used to pass DADT in 1993. By working together, we can help build momentum to get the votes! We ask that you forward and post these personal stories.

May 13, 2010

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

It has been almost eight years since I was discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Every day another American patriot who volunteered to serve our country is discharged under this unjust law. Now is the time for you to show the leadership expected from our Commander-in-Chief and work with Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. How many more careers will be ruined before we see repeal?

I was fortunate to grow up as an Air Force brat. My dad and stepdad both retired from the Air Force after serving 20 years. It only made sense that I would eventually follow their footsteps and serve as well. I didn’t realize I was gay when I joined the Air Force in March 1996 and never gave any thought to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

There was nothing I enjoyed more than wearing the uniform and was very proud to be serving my country. I did everything right to ensure I had a successful career in the Air Force. I loaded missiles on F-15’s at Langley AFB where I received Airman of the Quarter, Load Crew of the Quarter, and was even handpicked for a no-notice deployment to Kuwait when I was deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Southern Watch. At Elmendorf AFB, I was selected to work at the Weapons Standardization Section where I trained and evaluated load crews on loading bombs and missiles on F-15E aircraft. I was promoted to SSgt on my first try and graduated as a distinguished graduate from Airman Leadership School.

After reenlisting for another four years I decided to apply for Air Force ROTC and was selected under the Professional Officer Course – Early Release Program. I was discharged from active duty in August 2001 and signed my ROTC contract the next day. One of the proudest moments of my life was when I received my pilot slot. I was so excited; not only was I going to be an officer in the Air Force but I also had the chance to be a pilot. All my hard work was paying off.

But everything changed a few months later. A cadet went to my commanders and told them I was gay and dating a fellow cadet. During the investigation that followed I made no comment to the JAG officer conducting the investigation. I was eventually called into my commander’s office and disenrolled from ROTC in August 2002. I received a piece of paper saying I was no longer fit for military duty due to “homosexual conduct.” You can’t even imagine how that feels. Almost 8 years later, I still remember wearing my flight suit for the last time and handing my ID card to the NCO who was trying not to cry.

Mr. President – I assure you I am fit for military duty and so are the 66,000 lesbian and gay service members currently serving. Please keep your promise and stop discharging patriotic Americans. I did my part; now, sir, please do yours!

Respectfully,

Former SSgt. David Hall

United States Air Force

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Republicans Grind House to a Standstill After Democrat Says ‘Trump Is Not a King’

Published

on

Republicans ground the House to a halt Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN) objected to remarks made by Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), during which he delivered a short overview of the 88 criminal charges Donald Trump is facing, and civil court findings including one deeming him an adjudicated rapist.

“Take down his words,” Congresswoman Houchin declared, interrupting Rep. McGovern. “I demand that his words be taken down.”

For more than one hour, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram, the people’s business stopped as Republicans, angered by the Democrat’s factual remarks, had them investigated by the House Parliamentarian.

“Donald Trump might want to be a king, but he is not a king,” Congressman McGovern observed. “He is not a presumptive king. he’s not even the president – he’s a presumptive nominee.”

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“At some point,” McGovern told his congressional colleagues, “it’s time for this body to recognize that there is no precedent for this situation. We have a presumptive nominee for President facing 88 felony counts, and we’re being prevented from even acknowledging it. These are not alternative facts. These are real facts. A candidate for President of the United States is on trial for sending a hush money payment to a porn star to avoid a sex scandal during his 2016 campaign, and then fraudulently disguising those payments in violation of the law. He’s also charged with conspiring to overturn the election. He’s also charged with stealing classified information and a jury has already found him liable for rape and a civil court. And yet, in this Republican controlled House, it’s okay to talk about the trial but you have to call it a sham.”

The decision to strike McGovern’s “offensive” remarks appears to have come from U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL), who was presiding over the chamber. He cited House Rule XVII, which Pergram reported “says House members are prohibited from impugning the motives of fellow House members, senators or the President. And in this case, the former President.”

Earlier, before Rep. Houchin demanded his remarks be stricken, McGovern also blasted Republicans for traveling to New York in their “cult uniforms,” to show support for Donald Trump at his criminal trial in Lower Manhattan.

The Massachusetts Democrat told his colleagues, “my friends over the other side of the aisle have pandered to their most extreme members over and over and over again. They let the extremists kick out their own Speaker. They let the extremists dictate the agenda on the House floor. They let the extremists take down seven rule votes since January 2023 – a stunning indictment of their ability to get anything done. And speaking of indictments, Republicans are skipping their real jobs to take day trips up to New York to try to undermine Donald Trump’s criminal trial. No time to work with Democrats, but plenty of time to put on weird matching cult uniforms and stand behind President Trump with their bright red ties like pathetic props.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

“Maybe they want to distract from the fact that their candidate for president has been indicted more times and he’s been elected. Maybe they don’t want to talk about the fact that the leader of their party is on trial for covering up hush money payments to a porn star for political gain, not to mention three of the criminal felony prosecutions he’s facing. Now I understand why my Republican friends want to distract from Donald Trump. They don’t want to talk about how Trump had the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, how we sold out our allies and empowered our adversaries. So they bring silly things like this to the floor to deflect blame and distract from the fact that they have no real vision, just division, and no real plans to make life better for the American people.”

But removing McGovern’s remarks procedurally required the Clerk to read them aloud:

Later, Rep. McGovern on social media remarked, “The point I was making is that saying Trump’s trial is a sham is *in order* on the floor. But simply saying there *is* a trial is against the rules. You can only talk about the trial on the House Floor if you’re using it to defend Donald Trump.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Incomprehensible’: More Classified Docs Were Found at Mar-a-Lago, Unsealed Court Filing Reveals

Continue Reading

News

‘Not Going to Comment’: Johnson Dodges Trump-Stormy Daniels Allegations

Published

on

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is refusing to comment on the allegations at the center of Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, that he paid “hush money” to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

“You’ve been very clear about your disdain for the hush money case, but what about the underlying alleged conduct of paying off a porn star to keep this extramarital affair allegedly quiet?” CNN’s Manu Raju asked Speaker Johnson Wednesday (video below). “You’re a deeply religious man, a moral man, does that alleged crime cause you any concern about the former president’s character?”

Johnson, a Christian nationalist who has said the Bible is the basis for his “worldview,” and, “I am a Bible-believing Christian,” would not weigh in on the indicted ex-president’s alleged infidelity.

“At least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, with allegations stretching back to the 1970s and running through 2016,” Business Insider has reported.

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“Melania gave birth to the couple’s only son, Barron, in March 2006,” BI continues. “Adult film star Stormy Daniels alleged that she and Trump had a sexual encounter just four months later, in July 2006,” and “Playboy model Karen McDougal alleged that she started an affair with Trump even closer to the birth of Barron in June 2006.”

Trump has denied all the allegations.

Johnson ignored the 34 felony charges brought by the State of New York. They include falsification of business records with the intent to cover up the hush money payments to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election.

Instead, the Speaker claimed District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “going after” Trump “for who he is.”

But Johnson also promoted a Trump talking point, falsely claiming that “the case is patently absurd, you’ve had every legal analyst across the board acknowledge as much.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Not an Accident’: Trump’s ‘Unified Reich’ Video Alarms Historians and Fascism Experts

Continue Reading

News

‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

Published

on

Donald Trump and his allies are falsely claiming President Joe Biden, the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had a plot to assassinate his top political rival, the ex-president, during the execution of a search warrant in 2022 at Mar-a-Lago. Critics, including law enforcement experts, are blasting Trump and his MAGA associates for the “dangerous” lie.

On Tuesday a U.S. District Judge unsealed court documents in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Espionage Act case against Trump where he faces 40 felony counts, most over his alleged unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents including some of the nation’s top nuclear secrets.

One of those filings, as The Washington Post reported, was a law enforcement documents that included a standard statement reminding FBI agents on the Bureau’s policy on the use of deadly force, “which says officers may resort to lethal force only when the subject of such force poses an ‘imminent danger of death or serious physical injury’ to an officer or another person.”

But on Tuesday, Trump explosively posted on Truth Social, “WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE. NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY. HE IS MENTALLY UNFIT TO HOLD OFFICE — 25TH AMENDMENT!”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

Later, in a fundraising email Trump went much further.

“They were authorized to shoot me!” the subject line reads, according to an archive of political emails.

“TRUMP ALERT,” it begins. “BREAKING FROM TRUMP: BIDEN’S DOJ WAS AUTHORIZED TO SHOOT ME!”

“You know they’re just itching to do the unthinkable… Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.”

Attorney and former FBI Special Agent Asha Rangappa observed, “Including the deadly force policy [in] an ops plan is SOP [standard operating procedure]. But just so I make sure I’m following the plot, according to Trump’s position in court, what he is accusing Biden of would be perfectly legal and within the scope of his ‘official’ powers, right?”

Trump repeatedly has insisted presidents must have complete and total “absolute immunity.” His attorneys have argued in federal court and before the U.S. Supreme Court a president could order Seal Team Six to assassinate his political rival and it would be lawful, as was noted here:

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) was among the top allies who falsely characterized the court filing.

“The Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate Pres Trump and gave the green light,” she posted to her official federal government account on X. “Does everyone get it yet???!!!! What are Republicans going to do about it?”

She also wrote: “This is grounds for impeachment of Wray and Garland. Trump and team was cooperating the entire time with the FBI,” Greene claimed, both of which are false.

READ MORE: ‘Incomprehensible’: More Classified Docs Were Found at Mar-a-Lago, Unsealed Court Filing Reveals

“Was deadly force authorized against Biden for his docs? Were they going to shoot SS then Pres Trump, Melania, and Barron too??? Speaker Mike Johnson fully funded the DOJ and FBI plus new building and tied our hands behind our backs to hold them accountable. We have the power of the purse and Johnson has handed the purse to Chuck Schumer. All of this is unforgivable.”

Fox News Business host Maria Bartiromo also promoted the false claims Wednesday morning:

NBC News’ Ryan Reilly mockingly explained the situation: “GOP members of Congress think the feds wanted to assassinate Trump and so they did a raid on his place in Florida when they knew him to be in New Jersey because Mar-A-Lago was closed for the season.”

Meanwhile, critics are sounding the alarm on Trump’s and the GOP’s lies.

“This is wildly irresponsible, even for professional troll like Marjorie Taylor Greene,” wrote conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg. “FBI knew Trump wasn’t there. It was all coordinated with Secret Service in advance. This is deeply dangerous bullshit.”

“Trump wasn’t there,” said talk radio host Joe Walsh, a former GOP U.S. Congressman, responding to U.S. Rep. Greene’s remarks. “Everything was coordinated with Secret Service & local law enforcement. Even for you, this is a deeply irresponsible and dangerous thing to say.”

David Axelrod, the former top Obama strategist and White House advisor, remarked, “This is patently nuts…and dangerously provocative!”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Wack Pack’: Questions Swirl Over ‘Trump Uniforms’ and Who’s Funding ‘Weird’ Trial Surrogates

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.