Outed by Email: An Army Sergeant’s Digital Discharge

Bleu Copas, a decorated Sergeant and linguist in the U.S. Army, was recently discharged under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” after his superiors in the 82nd Airborne received a series of anonymous emails from someone that Copas suspects “he mistakenly befriended and apparently slighted.” The accuser still has not been identified. If you’ll recall, the 82nd Airborne was the unit hit by the gay porn charges. Maybe that’s why they’re so paranoid.

BleuTo make his dismissal even more egregious, Copas says he never admitted to being gay, and his superiors asked him directly if he was gay, directly violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

The accuser, who signed his e-mails ”John Smith” or ”ftbraggman,” pressed Copas’ superiors to take action against him or ”I will inform your entire battalion of the information that I gave you.”

On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military’s policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.

But Copas declined to answer when they asked, ”Have you ever engaged in homosexual activity or conduct?” He refused to answer 19 of 47 questions before he asked for a lawyer and the interrogation stopped.

Copas said he accepted the honorable discharge to end the ordeal, to avoid lying about his sexuality and risking a perjury charge, and to keep friends from being targeted.

”It is unfair. It is unjust,” he said. ”Even with the policy we have, it should never have happened.”

That “community theater” admission must have been the kicker. I’m sure the next question was, “have you ever aspired to be a hairdresser?” Copas is taking his case to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records. Best of luck.

Army dismisses gay Arabic linguist ‘outed’ by e-mail [msnbc]

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  1. Aaron says

    Can anyone explain to me how this doesn’t violate the “Don’t Ask” portion of the policy?

  2. sam says

    Now, the US taxpayers will have to pay for another soldier to be recruited and trained, and he still won’t have SGT Copas’ years of experience. All that money spent, time wasted and lives disrupted just so the military can maintain its self-righteous bigotry.

    I was in the Army and the leadership is profoundly ignorant about gay people and believe all the stereotypes. That’s why the community theater question didn’t surprise me. An officer once told me that he wanted to start an investigation into a soldier he suspected of being gay because he “had cats.” That’s the level of intelligence we’re dealing with here.

  3. elliott says


    I hope that gay people somewhere in the world identify one another by asking, “So, you got cats?”

  4. Rad says

    It’s really sad to think that; many people go into the armed services for leadership role models. And this is the type of mentality training and watching them.

    Just wait until the Idiot in Chief is forced to restart the draft once Kim Jon Il and Iran begins invading.

  5. b mac says

    i wonder if i have cats because i’m gay, or gay because i have cats? shit, there goes another productive workday.

  6. GBM says

    These people are fuckers. It is incredible that they even thought to ask that theater question! This is our military’s infallible detection process for spotting and discharging homos? I can’t imagine what the other FORTY SEVEN questions were like. Well, if they are anything like: “Are you involved in community theater?”, then maybe we have a good idea. Some other discreet unbiased questions the U.S. might want to add to their list:

    1. Are you seeing anyone, if so, what’s his name?
    2. How many times a month should one shave his balls?
    3. What is your favorite Broadway Show? Own the soundtrack?
    4. Do you like classic Madonna and new Madonna, or just classic?
    5. Please read this sentence: “Sassy Soup-Sipper’s sister stops sussing Sue Simpson.”
    6. If you had to be Hollywood femme fatale circa 1950, who would you be?
    7. Speaking of poles, have you smoked any lately?
    8. Just how many animal print thongs do you own?
    9. Have you ever baked with your mom? Did you enjoy wearing an apron?
    10. What amount of crystal meth or poppers do you take before engaging in anal sex parties?
    11. Are gerbils just pets or can they be…something more?
    12. What is your take on anal beads?

    Very subtle, 82nd Airborne, very subtle.

  7. Gerhard von und zu Trubbe says

    I don’t get why there isn’t outrage that, in face of the so-called war on terror(ism), the army has discharged so many gay linguists who are specialists in languages vital to the so-called war effort. It’s like, people would rather that soldiers die or act on faulty or imperfect knowledge than get good information from a gay person. The death of a straight soldier is preferable to information translated or interpreted by a gay professional.

  8. Lango Wango says

    I happen to be a translator for the private sector, and here’s another thing about gay linguist discharges that the army isn’t telling you: There is a fixed and small number of people who are qualified to translate material in languages like Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, etc. It takes 8-12 years to train someone to the level that they be effective translators and interpreters in languages like those. When the army discharges a specialist in a language pair that it needs, first it is creating a hole in its own capacity for language expertise that it cannot immediately refill. Second, in order to fill that hole, the army turns to the private sector. Translations are usually billed by the word, so when you pay the private sector for translations you are no longer paying someone a salary you are paying by quantity, and the going rate for Arabic is $0.25 per word, which adds up fast. So the government is not merely discharging qualified individuals and shrinking its own, already small pool of talent, it’s also tripling or quadrupling the overall cost of getting the translations done that the government needs.

    These gay linguists who get discharged can feasibly go from a low soldier’s salary to a private-sector translation gig and earn $75,000-$100,000 a year for exactly the same work.

    Don’t ask/don’t tell is one thing; but surely even Republicans agree that wasting collossal amounts of money like this is a inexageratable failure by the military as well.

  9. Steve-O says

    He enlisted 4 years ago…he didn’t know that DADT wasn’t working? I feel sorry for him but he is at least partly responsible for his predicament. DADT says no sex while you’re enlisted. He knew that going in. One jilted lover and BAM! your career is over. It’s stupid but true.

    If you agree to the rules, you have to follow them even if you don’t agree with the rules. Change them before you sign on the dotted line.

    In other news, judging from the picture, I can understand why he might have several jealous lovers.

  10. Anon says

    This is definitely Dave Cullen territory. You may want to visit his site for more info.

    Civilians working for the military don’t fall under the DADT policy, so Copas could just change hats in theory. It’s sort of a bureaucratic color change. He’d be doing the exact same stuff, but out of uniform and the military wouldn’t complain! (How weird is that!)

    It was because of cats that Ann Coulter KNEW that Bill Clinton was gay of course. She owns lots of cats too I imagine.

  11. tekay says

    I feel sorry for Bleu, he’s a pretty nice guy. I met him at a b-day party two years ago. He’ll survive this and be better for it.

  12. Outraged Jeff says

    This makes me sick. I hate what America is becoming. Good, law-abiding, tax-paying, educated citizens are placed in lower esteem than some fat, red-neck couch-potato who happens to be straight.

    Thanks to our moron “leaders” as of late, South Africa is leading us in freedoms and human rights (!) and virtually the rest of the world is leading us in technology.

    Wake up America we’re on the highway to the future going backwards!

  13. JT says

    It’s funny. I was a Russian translator in the Army back in the 70’s and 80’s. My being a flamer was known (but mentioned only infrequently, and never by the company’s First Sergeant). I always had a private room (unless there was a guy they wanted to fuck with by putting him in the room with the fag (who also happened to be a great soldier).

    There was a real respect for me (and the other gay and lesbian translators). Mind you, that was during a cold war when there was an actual perceived threat against America’s security.

  14. Damon says

    I know I might get flamed but seriously, I don’t understand why homosexuals are still signing up for the military. Let all the straight people enlist and die in foolish wars if they want, the burden is on the head of the rulers of this country.

  15. mark says

    I’m not in the military but I’ve had more than a couple of friends who are/were. From what I understand, the witch hunting depends on who is doing the hunting and where. In some parts of the armed forces, gay service men and women are well known but no one acknowledges it openly. These servicemen and women are treated with respect and dignity (aside from the obvious). However, in other camps, there is beurocratic bullshit and slack-jawed intelligence at work, not to mention some of the worst Witch Hunters are …. GAY THEMSELVES. It’s funny. When opponents of gays in the military use the excuse that the Military shouldn’t be used as Society’s test lab, it ALREADY IS. There is just as much denial, double standards and hyporcrisy in the military as American Sports, Law Enforcement and Religion. We Americans love our denial baked in a big fat apple pie, thank you.