News stories dated March 16, 2010 reported an eleven percent increase in sexual assaults in the U.S. during calendar year 2009. Defense Department officials claimed that sexual assault in the ranks might actually be more common than the numbers suggest because some victims choose not to report incidents for fear of retaliation from superiors. Included in these numbers were 173 cases of men reporting assaults by other men, a startling forty percent increase over the previous year. News stories dated March 26, 2010 reported that the Defense Department will soon implement new measures to make it more difficult to discharge openly gay men and lesbians from military service.
What the reader can gather from these two news items is fairly clear. First of all, if sexual assault is rising in the military, the uniformed services are suffering a breakdown in discipline and order. Secondly, the politically correct Troika of President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs of staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen opted to ignore this evidence and to impose concrete policies that will exacerbate the problems. Under the guise of “extending protections” to gay service members they are opening a Pandora’s Box, the likes of which few can imagine and none hope to see.
The Obama Administration has already determined, in the middle of two wars and nearly universal deployments, to repeal Section 654, Title 10 U.S. Code, the 1993 statute known colloquially as, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”. The Administration does not intend to study the problem, to evaluate the issues involved, or to pass an informed judgment. They simply intend to repeal the statute and this “extension of protections” is a declaration that the Pentagon is now actively undermining existing law and bringing practicing homosexuals into the military. This action is a classic case of the Democratic Party pandering to its base, as the President is tossing a bouquet to his supporters in the Gay Rights movement. This very casual political afterthought is, however, fraught with dangerous portents for the future.
The deep thinkers who have decided to dispense with the current policy have not thought through the implications of the coming change. When the military starts accepting openly gay members what will happen when the ordinary razzing that is common among young adults is turned against gay recruits? Will such heckling be considered a violation of federal hate crimes statutes? Will military personnel, specifically officers and senior NCOs suffer official sanction for permitting hazing of this sort? Do the services want to deal once again with the type of furor that erupted at The Citadel in 1995, when the first female cadet showed up forty pounds overweight and suffered a mental breakdown due to the stresses of Plebe week? There is also the very real possibility that substandard enlistees will use charges of harassment and mistreatment to manipulate peers, drill instructors and superiors, particularly officers. In the post-“Don’t ask, Don’t Tell” military we might find that all are equal but some are more equal than others.
Along these same lines we must think of the near future. If the military permits actively gay members to serve openly we will very likely see an attempt to create programs to vigorously recruit gays into the services, to promote them quickly, and to monitor their ascent. If one thinks that this possibility is unlikely it would be wise to consider the fact that certain large metropolitan police forces already have these types of programs in place. What position will the Pentagon take on gay marriage? If the Department of Defense opts to sanction such unions will military chaplains be forced to perform marriage ceremonies? Will same-sex partners receive spousal benefits? Finally, will those who are AIDS/HIV infected qualify for VA disability pensions?
Lastly, what about the long-term future? If gays are extended the privilege of military service is there any rationale for denying this privilege to NAMBLA members? The nascent polygamist movement will also demand their share of the action, as will those who enjoy sex with others who might not happen to be consenting adults. Once the Pandora’s Box is open we will not easily slam it closed.
The Obama Administration has once again decided on a course of action heedless of the consequences. In this instance their recklessness is abetted by a Defense Secretary and an Admiral who owe their status to their ability to play the game in a politically correct manner. Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen have already warned the officer corps “…that they face reprimand or worse if they go outside the official Pentagon review and publicly advocate maintaining the policy”, according to the New York Times. The Left has now declared open season on the military, because it is one of the few institutions that has, up until now, successfully defied leftist heterodoxy. This assault will destroy the best fighting force of modern times in the name of reform.