Empty Promises Put Service People in Jeopardy

Once again, President Barack Obama has promised to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT)—and once again, there’s no course of action and no deadline.

By not stating a deadline, Obama has left the gay people on active duty in jeopardy. The country’s been whipped up into a fever pitch by “entertainers” like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Loaded phrases such as “liberal fascist” and “socialist” along with talk of conspiracy theories have been used to build the perception that the people in their audience are “losing something.” Beck in particular is a dangerous man—go on his web site and look at the T-shirt he’s peddling. It features a paramilitary-looking logo with a shield and attack dog. The connection between iconic attack dogs, the Civil Rights Movement and the first Black president is right there in your face.

Non-veterans Limbaugh and Beck have had plenty to say about DADT. By raising the issue again, the president has made our homosexual men and women on active duty even more vulnerable to oppression.

Oppression of gay and lesbian service members is a real problem. I recently received an e-mail from a lesbian woman on active duty who wrote that she was being extorted by a heterosexual coworker to have sex—or else he would “out” her.

Besides sexual extortion, there’s the constant oppression of not being treated like everyone else: Retired Navy Captain Joan Darrah—who was at the Pentagon on 9/11 when it was attacked—told me about her deep concern that if she were hurt or killed, her partner of many years would not be notified.

Darrah also told me of her fear every time she was called into her boss’s office: Was this the day she would be outed

Although this has been going on since DADT was passed into law, the stakes have been raised. After a summer of being whipped up into a froth over healthcare, I believe we’re in a very dangerous place as a country. The president put gay and lesbian service members directly in the sights of haters. It’s time for him to lead. Make an executive order immediately stopping people from being processed out under DADT. Support Rep. Murphy’s bill and Sen. Reid’s letter. Directly ask the chairman of the Joint Chiefs for a plan to end DADT by a specific date—and ask for that plan NOW (mind you, the president must not ask IF the military can do this; he must demonstrate conviction and leadership by simply asking for a plan on how it will get done).

By taking away any debate on DADT, the people currently serving our country will be much less of a target.

Delay means terror for the very people who’ve signed up to defend us. This is a monumental breaking of trust between government and the people and it needs to stop immediately.

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