So That’s Why Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Still Exists

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Homophobia in the highest ranks of the military, of course! General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday that he supports the Clinton era “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” program because homosexual acts “are immoral.” Pace analogized being gay to having an affair, and finished by saying — I think — he’d prosecute both homosexuality and adultery.

“As an individual, I would not want [acceptance of gay behavior] to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else’s wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior.”

You’re already thinking this, but I think it’s self-evident that anyone who had vocal and unrepentantly anti-Semitic or racist views would be immediately disqualified from being one of the nation’s top military servicemen. If Pace had said, “I would prosecute black people, because I was raised not to approve of them as people,” the calls for his dismissal would come flying from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

This was spotted in the Chicago Tribune, which elaborated on why the military needs gay servicemen and women now:

A 2005 government audit showed that about 10,000 troops have been discharged because of the policy. Among those discharged were more than 322 linguists, including 54 Arabic specialists, according to the Government Accountability Office report. The U.S. military, like the nation’s foreign service and intelligence community, faces shortages of foreign-language specialists.

“The real question is: What is moral about discharging qualified linguists during a time of war simply for being gay or lesbian?” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group.

Over half the country thinks gay people should be allowed to serve openly in the military. If you’re in that half, don’t get too angry about this — the Pentagon might start monitoring your emails.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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