West Point grad Lt. Dan Choi, an Iraq War veteran and Arabic linguist, is gay. He came out recently on The Rachel Maddow Show. And today he had his discharge hearing. Because if you’re in the U.S. military, and you’re gay, and you get found out, you get kicked out. That’s the way “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” works.
Today, in Syracuse, NY, a military board recommended Choi be discharged for being gay. It is not the final step. The Post-Standard reports:
“The recommendation is not a final decision. Another recommendation will be made by the Commander of the First Army, a regional branch of the army. The chief of the National Guard Bureau has the final decision.
“I’m disappointed,” said Choi at a news conference tonight.”Today was a setback for me.”
But Choi said he plans to appeal to higher ranking officers. “I refuse to lie about my love relationship,” he said.”
Here’s a shot from Lt. Choi’s Twitter page, taken just moments ago:
Choi became a bit of an LGBTQ celebrity, thanks to his intelligence, passion, and dedication to his country. I had the honor of hearing him speak recently at the NYC Gay Pride Rally. He was truly impressive. One of the most impressive things about Lt. Choi is that he has said repeatedly that if he is discharged, and DADT is repealed, he will be the first in line to re-enlist.
Here’s Choi on The Rachel Maddow Show:
There was surprisingly little news about today’s events. Leading up to today, Courage Campaign posted an online petition to save Lt. Choi’s job. Over 260,000 people have signed it. Here’s the only news we have, via Knights Out, the organization Choi and others founded for LGBT military members. Here’s what Choi wrote, in reverse chronological order, I believe:
“More updates…expected verdict soon.
More from Dan Choi:
About three hours of deliberation and no vrdict yet. Every witness on both sides said I was an asset to the unit and the only evidence were statements of homosexuality . My statement included Arabic poem, I am gay, refuse to lie, my duty to ensure the message to every gay soldier that they are not alone.
Message from Dan Choi….2:50pm
â€œStill awaiting their verdict… I’ve received support text messages from around the world, and most importantly the members of my unit. My statement talked about Army values of integrity and sending a message from Knights Out to all the deployed soldiers or anyone who feels isolated, that indeed NO soldier stands alone. (Outside the hearing room is a poster with that exact message.) I also said I am gay. I refused to lie, and told them I refuse to stay silent, particularly since the soldiers in my unit respect honesty above personal gain. I recited the Iraqi poem of historic fame and of course translated it myself. In Arabic English and transliterated English. I presented the total 260,000 support letters and signatures to include statements by generals, admirals, and congressmen. I refuse to go quietly, and explained this as my duty.”
Updates from the hearing…from Sue Fulton…communications director
10:55am: Still no word from Dan, but 2 local tv stations are outside the gate. Marg, Pen, and I have a press rm set up @ the hotel.
11:41am: Dan at lunch break and afterwards the board plans to deliberate. Margaret suggests calling governor and president asking for immediate intervention! Tell them 3 brave women were prepared to support and stand up for Dan…why won”t they? Call now!
11:46am: Dan had just come out and talked to reporters so thank God I stayed off camera. CNN-NBC affiliate was happy so that’s good.
1:30pm: Back at the Best Western awaiting news from Dan. Inside now so it stopped raining again
1:43pm: Last night Margaret helped Dan print out OVER 150 letters of support! Plus 250,000 petition signatures.
At 8:00 am on Tuesday, June 30th, in Syracuse, NY, a board of Army Officers will convene to determine the fate of 1LT Dan Choi’s military career.
The address is 6900 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY.
NOW is the time for FULL CITIZENSHIP for all Americans – for all the rights and responsibilities that some Americans take for granted – including the right for LGBT individuals to serve in the military.
Please continue to check the website for updates. If you can attend a protest rally in Syracuse, contact SpiritCPT@knightsout.org”
The post is dated Mon, 06/29/2009 – 06:53, but it seems that’s the original date and it was updated this afternoon a few times.
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Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police
A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.
“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”
“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.
“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave
Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.
Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.
Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.
Today, I signed bills into LAW to reform ERCOT & weatherize & improve the reliability of the state’s power grid.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 8, 2021
On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.
In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.
“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”
BREAKING: ERCOT is now asking people to conserve electricity through Friday, saying there are a significant number of power plants offline and expecting possible record use for June. pic.twitter.com/zWZkf0bkPq
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 14, 2021
Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.
— Heather (TX) 🇺🇸 (@hka003) June 14, 2021
Thanks to @GovAbbott, on one of the first hot days, we’re already being told to conserve electricity.
They didn’t FIX the grid because they were too busy legislating women’s vaginas & stopping POC from voting.
VOTE @GregAbbott_TX out in 2022 to save TEXAS!!! #AbbottFailedTexas https://t.co/a97aR7DO2u
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 14, 2021
So now ERCOT ‘CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT’. Someone should check the flight logs to Cancun bc I’m sure Cruz is already on his way there. And fuck Abbott too #AbbottFailedTexas
— Amelia (@agerson24) June 14, 2021
…are you FREAKING KIDDING ME, Texas?!
ERCOT: Our grid wasn’t built for temperatures this cold!!!
ERCOT: uhm….it’s too hot! How could we ever have anticipated this! https://t.co/vlqcXW6wUN
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) June 14, 2021
— KiKi ♡✌🇺🇸🌊👑💙📣 (@KLoYo77) June 14, 2021
What could go possibly wrong with a combination of Texas’s summer power outages and its new conceal-carry for all law?#AbbottFailedTexas
— Truth Integrity Logic Fully Vaccinated (@LogicIntegrity) June 14, 2021
ERCOT has issued a new warning to Cancun that Ted Cruz might be back sooner than expected.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) June 14, 2021
If you listen closely, you can hear Ted Cruz booking a flight to Cancun https://t.co/gmPLkaeMXi
— Nunca Trumpismo (@NeverTrumpTexan) June 14, 2021
— Rachel (@Rachelmoor29) June 14, 2021
— ₚₒₗᵢₜᵢcₐₗ ⱼₒᵢₙₜ™ (@PoliticalJoint) June 14, 2021
We need Beto.
While Abbott prattles on about a bloody wall, we need our grid repaired now. This is going to a long, hot summer.
— ToutdeSuiteLaSinner (@ToutSuiteSinner) June 14, 2021
FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers
The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.
Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.
The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.
This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.
CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.
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