On The Eve Of Christmas, A Navy Rabbi And Lesbian Army Captain Reunite To Bear Witness To DADT’s End
Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff:Â A Trumpet for Justice
There is a synchronicity to the rhythm of life when justice finally arrives. And so it was that my favorite rabbi in the world, and dear friend, Arnie Resnicoff, would deliver the invocation at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill signing, marking the beginning of the end of DADT–a “beshert” moment–the Hebrew word meaning destiny in all its perfection, and a story come full circle.
One week after Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President of the United States in 1992, in the absence of less developed policies, Clinton’s campaign pledge to allow gays to serve openly in the military dominated all news headlines and broadcasts–the news media had gone into a berserk frenzy about homosexuals in the ranks.
Less than two weeks later, by the time I took my seat as a discussant on a panel about diversity in the military at the Naval War College, (in my debut representing the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,) Clinton’s proposed policy to reverse the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military transcended all other issues to be discussed — including racism in the ranks and the controversial topic of women in combat — with an audience of several hundred senior Navy leaders in attendance.
On this auspicious occasion I met Navy Chaplain Rabbi Arnie Resnicoff, whom I would come to know as a strong supporter and advocate for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. He has been morally brave over the course of many years by directly confronting the opinions of many of his peers and superiors and by challenging the military’s chaplain corps to always serve the troops first, without regard to a service member’s sexual orientation.
During the nearly three hours of “discussion,” I was personally attacked and relentlessly harangued by the Navy’s finest senior leaders, until its conclusion, when I mustered enough strength to push myself away from the table and walk to the back of the stage where I cried my heart out. Rabbi Resnicoff comforted me, as he put his arms around me and said, “You were so brave. I am so sorry this happened to you.”
In this awful moment, Rabbi Resnicoff, Arnie by this point, conveyed the compassion and generosity of a stranger, and affirmed the dignity of my personhood during an experience of profound cruelty and humiliation. It was a connection of a lifetime.
Arnie has always felt guilty about the way his fellow Naval officers treated me that day. On the eve of this week’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal act signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., which we would both attend, he wrote to me once more about this incident 18 years ago:
“I have been thinking about the conference at the the Naval War College where I first met you: the shabby way you were personally treated, and the way the ugly face of discrimination and prejudice showed itself in the words and actions of so many people around me…
“And, just as I believe that changes in the military had an impact on the larger issues of race relations in our nation, I feel that same can happen now…I think back at how hard it must have been for you to participate in that conference. There are combat zones away from the battlegrounds overseas, and that was one of them, back then.”
As I said, there is a synchronicity to the rhythm of life when justice finally arrives. In his beautiful prayer, Rabbi Resnicoff applies a healing salve to the psychic wounds we have sustained as second-class citizens, and reminds us of the greatness of America in believing that life can improve, as he calls upon divine wisdom to lead us into an unknown future of change.
“O Lord who made a world of change, You challenged us to mend, repair and change the world.
“Some lose faith and think that things will never change, But we Americans–of every faith–religious faith or not–Refuse to give up hope or abandon that most American of dreams: That we can make a difference, and that the future can be better than the past.
“Today we make a change as President Obama signs this bill into law, Today we recall that unity, not uniformity, is our goal, That we need not fear differences, Among those united to defend our nation’s freedoms and its dreams.
“Today we honor ALL brave men and women, Including those who served so long without the honor they deserved.
“O Lord our God, and God of generations past, Help us move forward, Toward a nation a little more united, more indivisible, A union a bit more perfect, founded on a great deal more respect.
“Let us pray that if the day has not yet dawned, When we can see the face of God in others, Then we see, at least, a face as human as our own.
“Lord, help us keep faith the day will dawn, When justice flows–for ALL–like mighty waters, When liberty will be proclaimed throughout the land, When every man and woman can stand tall, And none shall be afraid.
“And may we say, Amen.”
And so it is today, as we stand on transformed ground of our own making: Having realized the first dream of justice in America for gay and lesbian people–by the sheer dint of our effort, ingenuity and intelligence; by our anger and rage and by revealing our true hearts and dreams, others can and do see who we are–many, like Rabbi Arnie Resnicoff, are with us on this journey.Â I celebrate him today and share the wisdom and compassion of a true friend in our struggle.
May we always be so generously blessed.
Tanya L. Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs atColumbia University, who teaches about human rights in Eurasia and is aÂ Harriman Instituteaffiliated faculty member. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Domi worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including political and media development, human rights, gender issues, sex trafficking, and media freedom.
(photo by SammieÂ Moshenberg: Rabbi Resnicoff and Tanya Domi at the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal bill signing.)
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Will Santos Choose Jail? Judge Rules Names of Persons Who Provided His Half-Million Dollar Bond Must Be Made Public
A district magistrate judge Tuesday afternoon ruled the names of the three people who put up the $500,000 bond for U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) must be made public. Santos, under indictment on 13 federal charges including money laundering, wire fraud, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress, has said he would rather go to jail than allow the names to be released to the public.
Santos pleaded not guilty and was released on a $500,000 bond on May 10. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Law & Crime News’ Adam Klasfeld reports, “The identities of Rep. George Santos’s bond co-signers must be UNSEALED, a magistrate judge ruled. Santos has a brisk schedule for an appeal.”
Santos has until Friday at noon to appeal, or the documents and bond will be unsealed.
READ MORE: ‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss
The embattled New York Republican Congressman’s legal team has argued “the three people who helped provide Santos’ bond ‘are likely to suffer great distress, may lose their jobs, and God forbid, may suffer physical injury,'” CBS News reported Monday evening.
“There is little doubt that the suretors will suffer some unnecessary form of retaliation if their identities and employment are revealed,” the motion also says.
“My client would rather surrender to pretrial detainment than subject these suretors to what will inevitably come,” Santos’ attorney said in the filing.
CBS News adds that the House Ethics Committee is also requesting the names of the three people who helped the Congressman make bail be made public.
‘Isn’t There a Beach in Mexico Waiting for You?’: Cruz Mocked for Claiming Garland Will Indict Trump Over SCOTUS Seat Loss
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is being roundly mocked after claiming Attorney General Merrick Garland will indict Donald Trump because he “hates” the ex-president and because he is angry his early 2016 nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was blocked.
“They hypocrisy is massive,” Sen. Cruz declared on Fox News Monday night. “And mark my words: I believe Merrick Garland will indict Donald Trump. He wants to indict Donald Trump because he hates Donald Trump. He hates him – he’s angry – Merrick Garland is angry that he wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court. he wants to indict him.”
Cruz, who has a law degree from Harvard, is wrong on the basic facts, and he’s being widely mocked for it.
As many are pointing out, first, Attorney General Garland appointed Jack Smith as Special Prosecutor. Smith, who was appointed as Acting U.S. Attorney by Donald Trump in 2017, will make the decision on whether or not to present charges to a grand jury. The grand jury, not Garland and not Smith, will make the decision on whether or not to indict Trump.
Also, whether or not Garland has any anger about not being confirmed by the U.S. Senate, that anger would rightly be pointed to then Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took the unprecedented step of refusing to even allow a committee hearing to consider his nomination.
READ MORE: Jim Jordan Demands Merrick Garland Hand Over Documents Authorizing Special Counsel’s Trump Investigation
McConnell did that in early 2016, even before Trump was the GOP’s presidential nominee. Trump had nothing to do with blocking Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cruz: Mark my words, I believe Garland will indict Donald Trump. He wants to indict Trump because he hates Trump. He’s angry that he wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/fubdJlOAvt
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 6, 2023
“This is dangerous,” warned foreign policy and intelligence expert John Sipher, who spent nearly three decades in the Central Intelligence Agency’s National Clandestine Service. “He knows what he’s doing and he’s risking violence.”
After Cruz’s Fox News appearance, he posted video of his own remarks and baselessly tweeted, “Merrick Garland is the most partisan Attorney General in American history. He has corrupted the DOJ, the FBI, and the machinery of government. And now, out of nothing but a sense of hatred and political retribution, Garland is trying to indict Trump.”
Later, on Tuesday he added, “Merrick Garland has corrupted the Department of Justice and effectively turned it into an arm of the Democratic National Committee. The FBI and DOJ want to protect and insulate Joe Biden and the Biden family’s corruption.”
None of his allegations have any basis in publicly-known fact.
Cruz came under fire in 2021 after advising Trump’s legal team during the ex-president’s second impeachment, even though he would also be a juror – and supposedly impartial – in Trump’s Senate trial. In December of 2020 Cruz told Trump he would “be happy” to argue a proposed Supreme Court lawsuit designed to keep Trump in power despite having lost the election one month earlier.
Author Cliff Schecter labeled Cruz’s claims on Fox News, “Complete horses*t, which is Ted’s brand.”
READ MORE: ‘This Is It, Make No Mistake’: ‘Nihilistic Moron’ Trump Heading for Another Indictment Says George Conway
“But, if true, Garland would be doing more re his SCOTUS rejection than @tedcruz did when Trump called his wife ugly,” he added. “Ted doesn’t get why Garland wouldn’t just make hostage video phone calls for Trump’s campaign.”
Historian and author Kevin M. Kruse: “The line that ‘they’re only indicting Trump for the crimes Trump clearly did because they hate Trump’ is pathetic when it comes from Trump himself, but Jesus Christ, it is twelve kinds of sad when it comes from one of his lickspittles.”
Reporter and award-winning columnist David Lazarus noted, “Republicans keep insisting Trump is being investigated and prosecuted because people in power hate him. That’s one theory. Or Trump is being investigated and prosecuted because he kept breaking the law.”
Lincoln Project co-founder Jennifer Horn, a former New Hampshire Republican State Committee chair, blasted Cruz.
“I’m sure it has nothing to do with classified documents or inciting an insurrection,” she said, referring to the two major portions of Smith’s investigation. And referring to Cruz’s infamous exit during a state-wide crisis when he hightailed out to Cancun, she asked: “Isn’t there a beach in Mexico waiting for you?”
Watch video of Cruz above or at this link.
Jim Jordan Demands Merrick Garland Hand Over Documents Authorizing Special Counsel’s Trump Investigation
House Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan has sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding documents related to Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s two-tiered investigation into Donald Trump.
Chairman Jordan’s letter (below) comes just days before Smith’s grand jury is expected to reconvene after a short hiatus, and one day after Trump’s legal team met with DOJ investigators, including Smith.
Jordan is asking Garland to hand over an unreacted, full version of the memo that authorized Smith’s appointment as Special Counsel to investigate Trump, along with all supporting documentation. NBC News first reported on the existence of the letter.
Jordan, a staunch ally of Donald Trump, is claiming his request is part of his committee’s investigation into “the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) unprecedented raid of President Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022.”
READ MORE: ‘This Is It, Make No Mistake’: ‘Nihilistic Moron’ Trump Heading for Another Indictment Says George Conway
The letter in part states, “we write to request an unredacted copy of the memorandum outlining the scope of Mr. Smith’s probes regarding President Trump and any supporting documentation related to his appointment as special counsel. Accordingly, please provide the Committee with an unredacted copy of the memorandum outlining the scope of Special Counsel Smith’s investigations pursuant to his appointment on November 18, 2022, and any other document describing, listing, or delineating the authority and jurisdiction of the special counsel as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 20, 2023.”
Legal experts across the board anticipate Smith will ask the grand jury to indict the ex-president on a litany of federal felonies centered on his unlawful removal from the White House, retention, refusal to return, and possible sharing of classified and top secret documents. That indictment appeared even more likely after it as reported Smith has audio of Trump admitting he held on to a Pentagon document he knows is classified, and allegedly said he would like to be able to share it. Some experts say an indictment could come as early as this week.
Read Jordan’s letter below or at this link.
🚨 #BREAKING: @Jim_Jordan requests unredacted copy of the memorandum outlining the scope of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probes regarding President Trump. pic.twitter.com/LD3zMcWziW
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) June 6, 2023
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