Although women make up a small percentage of Army and Air Force personnel, nearly half of all discharges last year related to “don’t ask, don’t tell” were of women. The Pentagon could not explain to The New York Times why the numbers were so much higher for women, but it continues to stand by the policy.
That’s the number of Arabic linguists who have been discharged from the Army for being gay. Fifty-five. (We missed this fact when we blogged about the latest dismissal—interview here—but it’s so shocking we felt we had to bring it up now.) If the military were serious about winning Iraqis’ hearts and minds, it would find a way to keep most of these linguists in the service.
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was discharged after an investigation determined that he was gay. He alleges his commanding officer blatantly violated the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and that investigators asked him if he had close friends who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. Thank goodness our military is on top of things. We’ve got too damned many Arabic linguists in the service these days.