Darren Manzella | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Duncan Hunter | Military | News

Duncan Hunter Defends Gay Ban: U.S. Needs "Hardened Warriors"


If you missed 60 Minutes and its feature on Army Sgt. Darren Manzella and the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy last night, you can watch it here.

The show featured some particularly repulsive remarks from GOP presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter.

HunterFrom the show's transcript: "'We aren't the Brits. We're not the Europeans. We're not the Swedes,' says Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. Hunter argues that gays do not belong in the U.S. military because American troops need to be hardened warriors, unlike soldiers in the 15 NATO countries where gays serve openly. 'The Fallujahs of the world, the Ramadis of the world that require heavy combat and lots of fire-fighting capability - those are the places the Americans go. The other countries tend to go to the so-called peacekeeper zones, where they have fewer fire fights and less contact with the enemy,' Hunter says. 'And the European nations show little will to send large contingents of their military people into dangerous places.'"

Admiral Alan West, who headed the Royal Navy when the military gay ban ended in Britain, feels that it has helped their military. West responded to Hunter: 'I think American troops are very brave and I think British troops are very brave. But we do it in a little bit of probably a quieter way generally, you know? We don't have to go 'Huh, huh, huh' and shave our heads off and shake hands very hard. You can still kill someone without having to do that.'"

60 Minutes to Cover "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Wartime Policy [tr]

Military Soft On Don't Ask, Don't Tell? [60 minutes]

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  1. FYI....republican quasi-front-runner Mike Huckabee said that he'd like to have Duncan Hunter as Secretary of Defense (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/12/magazine/16huckabee.html).

    In that hellish world, even the flawed DADT would probably be withdrawn and replaced with completely a discreminatory "NO GAYS" policy.....

    Posted by: DCGuy | Dec 17, 2007 10:38:25 AM

  2. I know plenty of fags who could kick Duncan Hunter's pasty fat ass.

    But why get angry? It's just par for the course. Republicans always pander to the worst possible instincts of the mob. It's worked for decades. It'll probably work again this time. I just hope they figure out what bigotry they're going to pander to next, because homophobia won't be a viable option for too much longer. Once the sanctimonious baby boom starts to die off, we'll have to find another boogie man.

    Posted by: Brian | Dec 17, 2007 10:42:54 AM

  3. thanks, andy, for my laugh of the day. is miss hunter for real? hardened warriors indeed, i've had a couple of flings with some military men and let me tell you they were hard all right, ha! so were the greeks and the spartans for that matter, pretty tough cookies when it came to mixing combat with homosex. reminds me of when mae west went to visit the inmates at san quentin, she sashayed up to the warden and said, ummm mae's in town, i want to see a hardened criminal...

    Posted by: the queen | Dec 17, 2007 10:43:55 AM

  4. I'm following the news, and I've not actually even heard of Hunter, but it sounds like he's doing a good job of sabotaging his campaign.

    Posted by: Luke | Dec 17, 2007 10:54:37 AM

  5. He is such a moron. But he and his buddies in Congress unfortunately have the power to send soldiers into senseless wars.
    This attitude is so rotten and arrogant - and I do hope that the Europeans get on his case, demand clarification and just tell him and his buddies to flight these dirty, bloody wars with their hardened warriors without "pussy support" from Europe.

    These people - Hunter, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee, Bush, Roumsfeld... make this disgusting image of America and the rest of the world is turned off. America wake up!

    Posted by: Martin | Dec 17, 2007 10:55:41 AM

  6. Ok, on the superficial tip: Jared the Korean linguist. Hello.

    Posted by: Taylor | Dec 17, 2007 11:00:21 AM

  7. ...i mean, honestly, is it just that these old farts need to DIE off...? it's all becoming unbelievable on so many levels...why must the U.S. be dragged kicking and screaming into present day mentality...i thought we were supposed to be the educated ones...

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Dec 17, 2007 11:05:08 AM

  8. I'm following the news, and I've not actually even heard of Hunter, but it sounds like he's doing a good job of sabotaging his campaign.

    Posted by: Luke | Dec 17, 2007 10:54:37 AM


    what are you talking about? this will help his campaign, he is a republican for crying out loud, it will only spoil his campaign if he was a democrat.

    Posted by: johnosahon | Dec 17, 2007 11:16:48 AM

  9. "Hardened warriors? OMFG. Paging Dr. Freud! Paging Dr. Freud!

    Honestly, this idiot quote will be all over the Euro press and the news anchors there will have a field day with it. And this knuckle dragging troglodyte, this medieval gnome, will do further violence to Americas sanding.

    Since the trick to getting the GOP nomination seems to be a race between elderly white males to prove that you're the most hateful cu*t in the nation, this is no doubt just a further example.

    Between creationism, anti-gay bigotry, President Bush and the whole Bring Em On era, the nation is in trouble and is SEEN to be so.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Dec 17, 2007 11:30:11 AM

  10. I'd like to see Duncan Hunter tell the Israeli army that they aren't hardened warriors. Israel dropped the ban in 1993. Oops, inconvenient fact.

    Posted by: STEVER | Dec 17, 2007 11:46:06 AM

  11. "'We aren't the Brits. We're not the Europeans. We're not the Swedes,'"--that's very true, alas. Maybe we should take lessons?

    His idea that fags may be ok in their fake froufrou armies while they just don't belong in our real macho military is as disgusting as it is ludicrous. It might even be humorously wacky if it weren't such an insult to the gay men and women who have served honorably and, in some cases, sacrificed their lives for the likes of creeps like him.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 17, 2007 11:53:03 AM

  12. I could use a hardened warrior like Darren Manzella. Right about now, in fact.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 17, 2007 11:59:48 AM

  13. Mr Hunter seems to forget that the US military of "hardened warriors" already contains gays and lesbians - they are just not allowed to be out and talk about it. DADT is not a "no gays" policy, it is just a "you can't talk about it policy". Every arguement supporting DADT breaks down when forced to deal with this detail (such as the whole ridiculous "they have to shower together" arguement). Gays and Lesbians are already serving, they are just forced to lie about who they sleep with, and yes, they are already in the showers with everyone else.

    Just because some soldiers may be uncomfortable with gay people is not enough reason to handicap our military by kicking them out. Mr Hunter came off so idiotic in the interview that I can't believe anyone takes him seriously (sadly, though, many do). As long as Republicans continue to win elections on the backs of gay people, we will continue to see this kind of fearmongering. This is another example of why the GLBT community should take a stand and use our votes and money to support those who support us (are you listening Log Cabin?)

    Posted by: Chad | Dec 17, 2007 12:07:29 PM

  14. I'd pay anything to see a drag queen drop-kick Duncan Hunter's stupid ass! All the while wearing pumps and not once smudging her lipstick or breaking a nail.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Dec 17, 2007 12:28:23 PM

  15. I met this loser once...wish I knew he felt this way about Gays in the military. His ignorant remarks on the issue really show how out of touch Republicans are on the issue.
    These people - Hunter, Tancredo, Romney, Huckabee, Bush, Roumsfeld... make this disgusting image of America and the rest of the world is turned off.

    Posted by: Fabrizio | Dec 17, 2007 12:28:25 PM

  16. How long will it be before Mike Jones reveals that Hunter was one of his clients?

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Dec 17, 2007 12:32:34 PM

  17. While I support the troops (ALL of them)...I honestly don't understand why Gays and lesbians would want to Join such a Bigoted Countrys military anyways...Fight & Die for your country, but be TREATED as 2nd Class citizens while in the service and at Home.....I'll always support the troops, but let the breeders die for this Mis-administration!

    Posted by: Rex | Dec 17, 2007 12:32:50 PM

  18. REX-

    I TOTALLY agree with you on both counts- in my support of our troops and in wondering why anyone who is Gay- whether you are accepting of yourself and who and what you are or not- would voluntarily join our Military organizations knowing FULL WELL what the consequences and possible outcome may be. I just can't put my head around it and would love to have heard one of those five boys interviewed last evening explain their thinking. I am not trying to be critical- i just need clarification.

    Posted by: virgoboy | Dec 17, 2007 12:55:20 PM

  19. I feel like "I support the troops" is something we say that has absolutely no meaning. It just sounds nice.

    Posted by: JLS | Dec 17, 2007 1:00:58 PM

  20. That Republican idiot will never know how many homosexuals in the military were his contemporaries--back in Viet Nam, Korea & World War II, and forever. The idiot can't understand that those gay males who also break traditional gender role norms are NOT the ones joining the military (well, I've met a few real queens who I'd say, "how the hell did they let you get through basic training, but not many). Gay men and Lesbian womean who join the military are prepared to be hardened...killers--if necessary (oooo, that sounds awful).

    Leslie Stahl is starting to look like an old HOllywood movie queen who won't go away, you know, like Norma Desmond. The make-up aint workin' at all, girl.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Dec 17, 2007 1:22:03 PM

  21. "Supporting the troops" has become an easy cliché, it's true, but supporting the right of gay men and women to serve openly in the military, if they so choose (and who am I to question their choice?) has no ambiguity about it. It's not a contradiction to support the right for someone to serve without hassles from within, even if I personally couldn't be more opposed to the war in Iraq.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 17, 2007 1:27:23 PM

  22. I'll join on with Rex, why would anyone who is loathed, hated and given second class staus want to fight for this country? Boggles the mind.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Dec 17, 2007 1:32:47 PM

  23. I'm not sure why LS interviewed Hunter instead of the Chairman of the committee (someone with actual legislative power and the ability to draft legislation to end DOMA) Democrat, Ike Skelton (who?). Why is no pressure put on Pelosi to end the ban?

    Here is a list of all the members:

    Why didn't they ask why gays could not serve openly in non-combat roles?

    Why didn't they track down some gi's who'd oppose gays serving openly and ask why they do?

    Why didn't they bring up the general who quizzed the Republican debators last week?

    60 Minutes, ugh!

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Dec 17, 2007 1:39:05 PM

  24. I understand why some would wonder why gay men and women would want to serve in a military that does not want them. I suspect that the reasons that gays want to serve are very similar to the reasons anyone wants to serve:

    -They love this country and want to defend it.
    -They see it as a way to earn a living and advance their career.
    -They see it as a way to earn money for future education.
    -They see it as a way to earn veteran's benefits and money for retirement.
    -They see it as a noble calling or a duty.
    -They see it as an opportunity or an opening to a better way of life that may not be available in their small town.
    -They see it as a way to escape from whatever might be holding them back at home.

    In other words, there are many reasons to join the military and I imagine that gay men and women are no different than any other American who chooses to serve - further strenghtening the case that we are really no different than our heterosexual neighbors.

    DADT does a huge disservice to men and women who want to serve this country. The conservative view that the "military helps protect our freedom" apparently does not include the freedom of speech used to tell your commanding officer that you are gay. DADT as a policy is in direct opposition to our Constitution and a US citizen's Freedom of Speech.

    Posted by: Chad | Dec 17, 2007 1:47:45 PM

  25. I just wanted to say that I completely agree with what everyone has said: gay people, don't join the military! There are other jobs, plenty even! Why voluntarily work for a boss that doesn't want you to be there. I've worked for a few of those but it was only after they got to know me that they didn't want me there.

    This is the same principle that I use for marriage. I tell all my straight friends, "I will not be going to your wedding or giving you a gift until I can marry my boyfriend... if I had a boyfriend, you know what I mean!"

    Posted by: junior | Dec 17, 2007 1:49:25 PM

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