Leading up to Congressional debate on â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ earlier this year, SLDN organized â€œStories from the Frontlines: Letters to President Barack Obama,â€ 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 â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ (DADT.)
This week SLDN is continuing these letters, but with different recipients. Weâ€™ll be sharing them with you every morning this week.
With the Pentagonâ€™s family survey now in the field, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ (DADT), will release a letter each day this week from family members and spouses of former service members impacted by DADT. As the Pentagon reaches out to 150,000 straight couples on how their lives are impacted, these letters will share the perspective of those forced to serve under this law alongside their loved ones. SLDN is urging supporters of repeal to call, write, and schedule in-district meetings with both their senators as the defense budget, which contains the repeal amendment, moves to the floor just weeks from now: www.sldn.org/action.
August 24, 2010
Hon. Jeh C. Johnson
General Counsel, U.S. Department of Defense
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group
General Carter F. Ham
Commanding General, U.S. Army Europe
Co-Chair, Comprehensive Review Working Group
Dear General Ham and Mr. Johnson:
My name is Nancy Manzella and I have been a mother for 34 years.Â My husband and I live in rural Western New York where we have made our home at a grape vineyard and have raised three wonderful sons.Â We now have beautiful daughters-in-law and grandchildren.Â We are proud to say that we are the all American family.
I also was a military mom for six years.Â Our son, Darren Manzella, served two tours in the Middle East in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Soldier in the United States Army.Â He was promoted to sergeant, was a team leader of a medical squad, and conducted more than 100 12-hour patrols in the streets of Baghdad, treating wounds and evacuating casualties of sniper fire and roadside bombs.
Darren was awarded the Combat Medical Badge, honoring him for treating American and Iraqi troops while under fire.Â He saved lives while putting his own in precarious situations by treating gunshot wounds to blast injuries and more.Â He was â€œout thereâ€ and our family knew he was in constant danger.
As anyone who is familiar with our military knows, service takes tremendous sacrifices, not only for those who serve, but for their loved ones they leave behind.Â Our family was always concerned for Darrenâ€™s safety, as all military families are for their sons and daughters in uniform.Â We were also concerned for him because he was openly gay while he served his second tour.Â We knew that anyone in a war zone was at risk of being harmed at any time, but we also understood that because of â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell,â€ Darren was especially vulnerable.Â He could be fired, forced out of the Army, and potentially face harassment and abuse.Â The stress was incredible.
â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ not only affects the gay and lesbian service membersâ€™ lives, but also throws their loved ones, friends, and all family membersâ€™ lives into a stressful nightmare.Â We cannot get to them if they need us for support, as they are thousands of miles away.Â The ban impacts so many lives adversely.Â It causes unbearable stress on everyone concerned, especially with the constant fear that we may slip up, we might inadvertently â€œoutâ€ them even in a simple letter from home.Â The â€œAll American Familiesâ€ who have gay or lesbian service members serving are living with this stress every day.
As parents, this law offends us deeply.Â It tells us that our gay and lesbian children who are in uniform and putting their lives on the line every day, saving lives, are not good enough to serve their country.Â The law discriminates against family members, forcing fear and anguish into their lives.Â Our sons and daughters should be judged on their performance, loyalty to country and bravery, not their sexual orientation.
We need to support all American military families â€“ straight or gay.
Our son was fired under â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ and I still believe to this day he would willingly serve his country again if this law ended.Â I can tell this discharge not only affected his military career, but caused him to question his self-worth.Â Â Under the law it doesnâ€™t seem to matter how good you are at your job; how many lives you save or people you support; or how patriotic and dedicated you might be.Â If you happen to be gay or lesbian, this law says you are somehow â€œless than.â€
The Army teaches honor and integrity and holds those values dear.Â Despite these values, the Army still isnâ€™t allowed to let our gay and lesbian troops live up to that potential because of â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell.â€Â Under this law, troops are forced to be dishonest, to put integrity to the side, and to live in the closet â€“ with their families closeted beside them â€“ denying who they are.
They need the opportunity to â€œBe All That They Can Be.â€
I am urging you to support the repeal of this unjust law.Â The values that we gave our kids, and the values the Army told Darren they believe, are really the values we should strive for.Â But until this law is gone, those values are undermined by unfairness, discrimination and prejudice.Â I realize that our country is in the midst of great change having to make many crucial decisions.Â I also understand that the Administration has â€œa lot on their plateâ€ right now.Â Iâ€™m an American, too, and have many concerns about our country.Â But, â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ repeal cannot and should not be pushed down the road.
Nancy S. Manzella
CC:Â Â Â Â Â Â U.S. Sen. Carl M. Levin
Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee
U.S. Sen. John S. McCain
Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman
Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
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‘The Law Is Clear’: Appeals Court Rules Trump Handpicked Judge Should Never Have Appointed Special Master
A three-judge panel on the conservative 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Donald Trump, and effectively against his hand-picked federal district court judge Aileen Cannon in the ex-president’s “special master” case.
The judges, all three conservatives, two of whom appointed to the bench by Trump himself, ruled that Judge Cannon should never have agreed to Trump’s request to appoint a “special master” to review all the items the Dept. of Justice removed from his Mar-a-Lago residence by executing a legal search warrant.
Cannon had ordered the special master to specifically review approximately 100 classified documents, and blocked the DOJ from accessing them while they were under review. That block halted its investigation into Trump’s likely illegal retention of the documents and other items – over 10,000 – he removed from the White House and was string at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN calls Thursday’s ruling “a major defeat for former President Donald Trump.” The appeals court’s ruling halts “a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate,” and “removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.”
“The law is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling Thursday, posted by NBC News’ Daniel Barnes. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so. Either approach would be a radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations.”
“And both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations,” they continued. “Accordingly, we agree with the government that the district court improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction, and that dismissal of the entire proceeding is required.”
They also wrote: “In considering these arguments, we are faced with a choice: apply our usual test; drastically expand the availability of equitable jurisdiction for every subject of a search warrant; or carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents. We choose the first option. So the case must be dismissed.”
“The district court,” meaning Judge Cannon, “improperly exercised equitable jurisdiction in this case. For that reason, we VACATE the September 5 order on appeal and REMAND with instructions for the district court to DISMISS the underlying civil action.”
Right Wing Social Media Platform Parler Announces Kanye West Will No Longer Buy It in ‘Interest of Both Parties’
After Kanye West‘s antisemitic and racist remarks last month, which led to him being deplatformed by Twitter and Instagram, the extremist artist and rapper announced he was purchasing the right wing “free speech” social media platform Parler, which performs little content moderation.
On Thursday, hours after West went on far right extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show and praised Adolf Hitler, Parler issued a statement saying by mutual agreement West would not be purchasing the platform.
But the Parler statement, which came from its parent company, also claimed the decision had been made weeks ago.
“In response to numerous media inquiries, Parlement Technologies would like to confirm that the company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler,” Parler said on Twitter. “This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.”
On Thursday, stunning many, West told Alex Jones, “I see good things about Hitler,” as Consequence reported. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
When West had agreed to purchase Parler, he stated, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
CNBC reported last month that “Parler, which initially launched in 2018, was swept up in controversy last year over the role it played in the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the Capitol building. That led a slew of tech companies, including Google and Amazon, to blacklist the service, rendering its app and website inaccessible.”
Owens, promoting nationalism, told young supporters in London, “Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler.”
“But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalise. He wanted everybody to be German, everybody to be speaking German. Everybody to look a different way. To me, that’s not nationalism.”
Hitler was responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people.
Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock
‘This Is Nazism’: Americans Outraged After Kanye West Praises Hitler – ‘This Is Not a Clown Show. It’s Dangerous’
“I see good things about Hitler,” West told Jones, as Consequence reports. “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”
In between those two remarks West launched into a plethora of lies about all the good things Hitler has done, including inventing the microphone (false) and highways (also false.)
West doubled down, exclaiming, “I like Hitler,” and said, “the Jewish media has made us feel like Nazis and Hitler have never offered us anything of value to the world.”
West, who brought a white supremacist with him to dine with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago last week, today also claimed he loves everyone but injected antisemitic tropes about contracts and pornography.
“I think most Jews are great people,” West said, while claiming, “I agree there’s a Jewish mafia.”
West, who goes by “Ye,” astonishingly “took credit for popularizing antisemitism,” Consequence reports, “saying, ‘No one in high school knew what antisemitic meant until Ye made it popular.'”
That, too, is a lie.
The outrage online is palpable.
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY) tweeted, “JUST NOW: ‘I see good things about Hitler, also. The Jews… Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.’
— Kanye West on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ InfoWars show.”
“This is Nazism,” he added. “When are we going to say ENOUGH?”
Many pointed to a wildly offensive tweet posted by GOP Congressman Jim Jordan, who heads the House Judiciary Republicans. After nearly two months it was removed within minutes of West praising Hitler.
U.S. Rep. Eric Falwell (D-CA) blasted Jordan, saying: “for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing.”
For 2 months Jim Jordan refused to delete this tweet. Even after Kanye declared war on Jews. As he usually does, Jim looked the other way. Only after Kanye praised Hitler today did Jim delete the tweet. We have the receipts, Jim. And for 2 months you were cool with Jew-bashing. pic.twitter.com/kqzwkNW2pq
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 1, 2022
Funny to learn exactly where the line is for the Republican party.
It’s not explicit but vaguely deniable antisemitism. No, it apparently only kicks in at openly praising Hitler. https://t.co/vMdJmG4Qci
— Dylan Reeve (@DylanReeve) December 1, 2022
Kanye had to literally praise Hitler and the Nazis before Jim Jordan’s House Judiciary Republicans deleted their pro-Kanye tweet. If you want to understand just how extreme the modern GOP is. https://t.co/il7QAg2EiO
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 1, 2022
Sam Stern of Politico and MSNBC took a wider view.
“We’re all gawking at Kanye saying he sees ‘good things about Hitler’ but i can’t escape the absolute dread that people who know no better and look up to this man and stumble upon this interview will be moved, even on the margins, by him,” he tweeted. “This is not a clown show. It’s dangerous.”
As did actor Josh Gad:
“It’s not what Kanye West says that scares me. It’s that he has 30 million followers who listen to his insanity on top of a cheerleader in the form of the current owner of this platform. No one who says “I love Hitler” should be allowed any oxygen on any social platform (period).”
There is video online of Kanye West’s vile remarks. NCRM will not post or link to it.
Image via Shutterstock
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