Sen. Sam Nunn, chief Congressional architect of the ban, reveals
that he believes his own policy is now
“getting in the way” of military readiness. Although Nunn said last
year that he would support taking “another look” at the policy, his
remarks in the book go much further by criticizing the policy as
harmful to the military.
According to witnesses and activists, Sam Nunn’s hearings about
gay service were “rigged” from the start. Judith Stiehm, a professor at
Florida International University, found that Professor Charles Moskos,
a personal friend of Nunn’s who is credited as the academic architect
of the policy, “had already found an agreement” with Nunn before the
hearings began. Nunn removed two witnesses when he learned they would
oppose the gay ban, retired colonel Lucian Truscott III and former
senator Barry Goldwater, and placed a virulently homophobic general on
an “academic panel” (he was not an academic).
Charles Moskos, chief architect of the policy, admits he defended his
policy in part because he worried he would disappoint his friends if he
“turncoated.” Moskos also admits in the book that “unit cohesion” is
not the real reason he opposed openly gay service; he says “Fuck unit
cohesion; I don’t care about that.” Despite rooting his public
opposition to openly gay service in unit cohesion, he says the real
reason is the “moral right” of straights not to serve with known gays.
In fact, Moskos told lawmakers that the principal
reason for the gay ban is to repress the homoerotic desire that is an
inherent part of military culture. This “homoerotic thesis” explains
why “don’t ask, don’t tell” does not bar the presence of homosexuality
but the mention of it, and gives the lie to the “unit cohesion” ruse.
Admiral William Crowe,
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Reagan and Bush I,
reversed course and opposed the gay ban last year just before he died.
Crowe is only the second JCS chairman to oppose the gay ban.
Admiral John Hutson, former JAG of the Navy and a supporter of
the gay ban in the internal Navy debates over gay service in 1993, says that senior military officers exaggerated the risks to unit
cohesion while minimizing the true religious and cultural basis of
their opposition to gay service. He says the Navy brass “declined” to
discuss the issue in terms of morality even though moral animus against
homosexuality was the real reason they resisted the change. In fact,
Hutson, who now opposes “don’t ask, don’t tell,” calls the policy a
“moral passing of the buck” because senior military and political
leaders tried to blame the supposed intolerance of young recruits for
the ban. None of the Navy officials responsible for helping formulate
the policy “had much of a sense of what was going on,” he says, and
“decisions were based on nothing. It wasn’t empirical. It wasn’t
studied, it was completely visceral, intuitive.” The policy was created
entirely “by the seat of our pants”.