Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Rachel Maddow

Former Sec'y of the Army Alexander: End 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Now

Alexander

Rachel Maddow is sticking to her coverage of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. Last night she hosted former Secretary of the Army Clifford Alexander, who laid into those objecting to the repeal of the military gay ban.

Says Alexander: "The hypocrisy of this is that you ask people to act as if they are not what they are. I said at one point that it's a little like asking a Jewish person to pretend to be a Muslim during his or her service, or during life generally...The no-necks who keep pushing this policy really need to have it changed, not studied, not long hearings, but changed. And it needs legislation,  it needs people in the House and the Senate to come forward and say this is time to make America be what America says it is."

Maddow then mentions what the Palm Center concluded, that the President can sign an executive order to halt discharges.

Dan Choi's organization Knights Out is urging people to call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 on Tuesday and make it known that now is the time to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. "When John McCain says this how would he know?"

    We're loving some Clifford Alexander today! Only small wince was when he referred to sexual orientation as 'preference'.. but I can easily overlook technicalities. His message overall, especially for encouraging non-gay people to get involved in having this hypocrisy overturned, is fantastic.

    Posted by: sparks | May 12, 2009 7:12:18 AM


  2. As if we needed any more proof that John McCain is homophobic, here it is. Maybe his daughter can inform him that it's 2009, and his mindset is in the minority.

    Posted by: David in Houston | May 12, 2009 7:39:58 AM


  3. I do admire a good speaker.

    "Too fast was yesterday"

    Fabulous, and so true.

    Posted by: Sparky | May 12, 2009 8:19:24 AM


  4. At least most people, even those who favor DADT, have moved past saying that gays don't make good soldiers. They know that pig won't fly. Now their main argument is that integrating gays into the military would disrupt unit cohesion.

    Well, when Harry Truman desegregated the military, you caan be sure it "disrupted unit cohesion." Guess what? They got over it. Today's military will also adjust and move on.

    Posted by: Bill S. | May 12, 2009 8:44:53 AM


  5. Obama needs to push Congress to change the policy. He should not just sign an executive order or decline to enforce the law.

    It was bad when Bush evaded the law and the principle still holds for Obama, even if the ends are more acceptable to most of us here.

    Posted by: Chester | May 12, 2009 9:03:53 AM


  6. Rachel has been doing a great job with this

    kudos to all the courageous military people who have sat down with her :)

    Posted by: sundog | May 12, 2009 9:04:58 AM


  7. "The only reasons they have left are prejudice and discrimination." - Leonard Matlovich, 1975.

    That's right. He said that THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO!

    The Palm Center's Nathaniel Frank reports in the recent "Unfriendly Fire" that the late Charles Moskos, an arrogant, sexually insecure pseudo intellectual who conspired with his old friend cracker fascist Sam Nunn to fashion and parade the "unit cohesion" argument in Nunn's 1993 televised dog and pony show [in which Nunn would not allow Barry Goldwater to testify because the conservative icon was against the ban], said in an interview seven years later, "Fuck unit cohesion. I don't care about that."

    He added that what drove him most, obsessed him, was the other argument he'd used in the Senate hearings: straight discomfort around gays was justification enough for discriminating against us.

    In other words, straights have a right to deny equal treatment to gays simply because of homophobia...just like military racial segregation was justified by the racism of white soldiers 45 years before.

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 12, 2009 9:27:56 AM


  8. Another high-ranking official decides to decry homophobia just exactly when they are no longer in a position to do anything about it. Too little too late, assholes.

    Posted by: Roscoe | May 12, 2009 9:44:19 AM


  9. Another FORMER chief calls for the end of discrimination? Can't any of these guys find their balls BEFORE they retire?

    Posted by: Rick in Robbinsville | May 12, 2009 11:56:13 AM


  10. "I do think it is very important that people who are not gay get into this fight."

    This is probably the most important thing he said. The people most affected by this policy are the people who are least able to express their discontent.

    If someone in the military says, "I think it's fine for gays to serve," the immediate assumption is that you're gay. Gay servicemembers can't afford to take this stance because doing so would cost them their careers.

    Gay civilians don't carry the weight with the military, so the conservatives perceive them as out of touch or unaware of the military life. For straight civilians, the argument is much the same.

    The only people who can make this go away from the grass roots perspective are current servicemembers who have nothing to lose by coming forward in support of lifting the ban. That's why we need legislative of executive action--to give a voice to the people who can't speak for themselves for fear of persecution.

    Posted by: Matthew | May 13, 2009 9:34:49 AM


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