Thursday, May 24, 2007

Military Discharges More Gay Arabic Linguists

As activists continue to urge Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Associated Press reported yesterday U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan [D-Mass.] and other lawmakers may call upon the Pentagon to testify before Congress about the recent dismissal of yet more gay Arabic linguists. Meehan continues to spearhead the effort to repeal this policy former President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1993. He stated in his letter to House Armed Services Committee Chair Ike Skelton [D-Missouri] "At a time when our military is stretched to the limit and our cultural knowledge of the Middle East is dangerously deficient, I just can't believe that kicking out able, competent Arabic linguists is making our country any safer."

Indeed; the military has reportedly discharged 58 Arabic linguists under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This fact is simply alarming as Meehan suggests. One can make a clear argument a lack of understanding of the Iraqi people, Iraqi culture and the broader Arab world continues to contribute to the failed campaign in the war-torn country. These linguists play an invaluable role in this war regardless of their sexual orientation. To discharge these men solely on the grounds they are gay simply makes no sense and highlights the need to repeal this flawed policy once and for all.

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