A new study reveals the number of military service members who quit over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the ban on openly-gay people serving in the military — as this week marks the one-year anniversary of the repeal actually going into effect.
In 2010, one of the repeal of DADT top opponents, Senator John McCain, said,Â â€œI hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage, and we could possibly and probably â€” as the commandant of the Marine Corps said and Iâ€™ve been told by literally thousands of members of the military â€” harm the battle effectiveness, which is so vital to the support, to the survival of our young men and women in the military.â€
That same year, Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council, said,Â â€œWhen youâ€™re in training situations, where you have an individual that has the power, really, of life and death, in some circumstances, over individuals, there can be a lot of coercion. And this can be a very dangerous situation and very intimidating situation. Itâ€™s just not healthy for the well-being of the military.â€
Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, today writing at Slate, reveals the military’s troop loss over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: two. Not two unit, not two hundred, or two hundred thousand, but two people.
During the debate over â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€â€”which ended one year ago this weekâ€”Sen. John McCain insisted that ending the gay ban would do â€œgreat damageâ€ to the military, and the commandant of the Marine Corps said it could â€œcost Marinesâ€™ lives.â€ One think-tanker agreed that weâ€™d be taking â€œa risk with our lives, property and freedom.â€ Another declared breathlessly that, â€œultimately all of civilian life will be affected.â€ Then there was the dire prediction that one-quarter of the military, or 500,000 troops, might quit in protest.
Underlying the debate were competing moral visions, but the claims over harm to the military were where it often played out, on both sides. Gay rights proponents countered by pointing out that there was never any evidence that openly gay service would hurt the military, and thatplenty of research from foreign countries suggested the opposite. Even studies conducted by the U.S. military itself, and by the Government Accountability Office, suggested readiness would not suffer if gays served openly. The trouble was that the research was predictive, not descriptive. No one could actually say for sure what the impact on the military of ending DADT would be.
Until now. A newÂ UCLA study, which I co-authored with other academics including military professors from all four U.S. military service academies, has assessed whether ending the gay ban has indeed harmed the armed forces. It hasnâ€™t. Our conclusion is that ending the policy â€œhas had no negative impact on overall military readiness or its component parts: unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.â€
We surveyed 200 active-duty troops before and after repeal of â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ about cohesion in their units, and analyzed data from two other surveys. We also looked at recruitment and retention figures released by the Defense Department. We interviewed dozens of military scholars and officials, gay and straight troops, and policy experts, and we examined hundreds of media stories on the issueâ€”reading every relevant piece we could find in a systematic search. We made a special effort to uncover any damage to cohesion, morale or readiness by reaching out to all known opponents of openly gay service. This included contacting anti-gay advocacy groups who would surely be listening for, and eager to publicize, any harm that occurred, and writing to over 500 retired generals who signed a 2009 letter predicting that repeal would â€œundermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.â€(A â€œstandards of evidenceâ€ discussionÂ in the studyÂ explains how we weighed the different data types we found.)
In one survey, more than 750 active duty troops were asked three months after repeal about their morale, housing, perception of officer and troop quality, and overall quality of lifeâ€”factors considered key components of military readiness. All the figures were the same or slightly higher than in a parallel survey administered in the months before repeal, meaning readiness did not drop after repeal. Recruitment and retention figures throughout the military have remained steady, and survey responses indicate that troops are just as likely to re-enlist after repeal as before. The military confirmed the premature departure of two service membersâ€”not 500,000.
Lifting the ban, we found, improved the ability of the military to do its job by removing needless barriers to peer bonding, effective leadership and discipline.
In December of 2011, marking the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the repeal act,Â The New Civil Rights Movement wrote an article titled, “Top 10 â€œDonâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t Tellâ€ Repeal Lies That Never Came True,” highlighting the worst liars who fought repeal.
Tony Perkins, Senator McCain, Elaine Donnelly, Peter Sprigg, General Amos (who at least changed his opinion), General Mundy,Â Mackubin Thomas Owens,Â Frank Gaffney, Jr., and all the others whose lies diminished our service members, and our nation, weâ€™re waiting. Apologize. It really is the very least you can do.
Not one ever has.
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Watch: Beto O’Rourke Swears at Heckler for Laughing at Uvalde Deaths: ‘It May Be Funny to You … But It’s Not to Me’
Just like his speech in a sweltering Cleburne, Texas gymnasium Wednesday morning, it was also standing room only Wednesday night when Beto O’Rourke, positioned in the center of the room and surrounded by hundreds of people at a town hall in Mineral Wells, Texas, swore at a heckler who laughed when the former U.S. Congressman mentioned the Uvalde, Texas elementary school mass shooting.
“It may be funny to you, motherf—er,” shouted O’Rourke, a former Democratic Party presidential candidate now running to unseat GOP Governor Greg Abbott, “but it’s not funny to me.”
The tall 49-year old father of three shared his profane remarks to massive standing applause, cheers, and the waving of black and white signs that matched the candidate’s black Levi’s and white long sleeve woven shirt.
He didn’t miss a beat.
O’Rourke had passionately reminded the audience that it’s now been “eleven weeks since we lost 19 kids and their two teachers, shot to death with a weapon originally designed for use in combat, legally purchased by an 18 year old who did not try to obtain one when he was 16 or 17, but followed the law that’s on the books ladies and gentlemen, that says that you can buy not one, you could buy two or more if you want to. AR-15s, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and take that weapon that was originally designed for use on the battlefields in Vietnam to penetrate an enemy soldier’s helmet at 500 feet and knock him down dead up against kids at five feet.”
Out of nowhere, a laugh from someone in the audience, apparently near where a few people were holding up signs for Gov. Greg Abbbott.
“It may be funny to you, motherf—er,” the Democratic nominee shot back, “but it’s not funny to me.”
“We’re gonna make sure that our kids who are starting their school year that they don’t have to worry about somebody walking into their school with a weapon like this,” he continued amid the applause and cheers, “that we take common sense steps we find the common ground, Democrats or Republicans gun owners non gun owners alike.”
Watch below or at this link:
.@BetoORourke to a Greg Abbott supporter who laughed when the gubernatorial candidate mentioned the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: “It may be funny to you motherfucker, but it’s not funny to me.” #txlege
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 11, 2022
‘A Bunch of New Yorkers in Addition to George Soros’: Greg Abbott Accused of Antisemitism
Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott is facing a challenging re-election fight against Beto O’Rourke, the popular and charismatic former U.S,. Congressman and Democratic presidential candidate who is now his party’s gubernatorial nominee.
Texas voters have had to face mismanagement of the state’s electric grid, with hundreds of Texans dying in winter after the snowstorm that sent Senator Ted Cruz to Cancun, the horrific elementary school mass shooting in Uvalde, and Abbott spending millions of taxpayer dollars on anti-immigrant programs, including bussing migrants to Democratic-controlled cities like Washington, D.C. and New York City. Not to mention his support of the vigilante abortion ban and a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, his failed promise to end rape, and the fact that Texas leads the nation in mass shootings.
But none of that has stopped the 64-year old from doubling down on his conservative bonafides.
On Wednesday over at Fox News, Abbott engaged in what many are calling some old-fashioned antisemitism.
“We will explain to our fellow Texans that the Beto campaign is being aided by a bunch of New Yorkers in addition to George Soros, and that will do nothing but harm his campaign,” Abbott told Fox News host Harris Faulkner.
Greg Abbott: “We will explain to our fellow Texans that the Beto campaign is being aided by a bunch of New Yorkers in addition to George Soros, and that will do nothing but harm his campaign.” pic.twitter.com/23O6TtLwTO
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 10, 2022
George Soros, who is Jewish, is a Democratic philanthropist and one of the liberals most-hated by the right, in large part because he funds left wing causes.
He also donated $1 million to help elect O’Rourke governor.
Two weeks ago polls showed O’Rourke gaining ground, striking with five points of his entrenched Texas Republican rival.
And now Abbott is being blasted for what many are calling antisemitism over his Soros statement.
“In this context, ‘New Yorkers’ and ‘George Soros’ are both signifiers for the alleged Jewish elite who supposedly control the world. Abbott is peddling antisemitic conspiracy theory rhetoric,” says writer and human rights activist Leah McElrath.
“When they say ‘Soros’ and ‘New Yorkers,’ they mean Jews,” notes freelance writer Henry Schulman. “It’s an old dog whistle and a code all the Trump-humping Nazis and their sympathizers understand. So add a new adjective besides ‘fascist’ in front of Abbott’s name. It’s ‘anti-Semitic fascist.'”
Others were even more direct.
“Just say Jews you coward,” tweeted a columnist for The Forward, Alex גדעון בן װעלװל.
“‘The bespectacled, bagel-eating, gefilte fish-slurping, globalist intelligentsia from the Upper West Side’ is what he’s trying to say, although the specifics of who that is maddeningly unclear,” mocked Aki Pertiz, an intel and national security expert. “Also, doesn’t Soros live in NY state? Why single him out hmmmmm.”
Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob explains: “Right-wing code is pretty simple. ‘New York’ and ‘Soros’ = Jewish. ‘Chicago’ = Black people.”
Former Governor of Vermont, DNC Chair, and 2004 presidential nominee Howard Dean blasted Abbott, comparing him to the Hungarian dictator and, some say, fascist.
“Abbott has become just another GOP whack job. He sounds like victor Orban,” Dean wrote.
‘Same Answer’: Trump Sat Across From the NY Attorney General and Pleaded the Fifth to Each Question For About 5 Hours
Donald Trump arrived at the New York Attorney General’s Office early Wednesday morning, around 9 AM. At 10:04 AM posted to his Truth Social account was a lengthy statement that says, “under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen.”
Trump was finally forced to appear after a subpoena ordering him to give a deposition on January 7 in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.
The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reported Trump “departed 28 Liberty at 3:20pm slumped in a black Secret Service SUV and peered out of the rear window as his motorcade crawled out of an underground garage past onlookers.”
At 3:42 PM Trump posted: “Just leaving the Attorney General’s Office – A very professional meeting.”
The New York Times reports “Trump and James sat across from each other for hours as he said ‘same answer’ again and again.”
Trump “read a statement into the record in which he called the inquiry a continuation of ‘the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country’ and accused Ms. James of having ‘openly campaigned on a policy of destroying me.'”
That statement is similar to the one posted to his Truth Social account.
Trump’s attorney, Ronald P. Fischetti, “said that over the course of about four hours, with several breaks, Mr. Trump answered only one question, about his name, toward the beginning of the interview.”
That statement Trump posted Wednesday morning attempted to merge the FBI’s Monday raid on his Mar-a-Lago home with his appearance for sworn testimony in a very different case.
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