Skip to comments.Army Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguists
Posted on 11/15/2002 3:58:07 AM PST by Churchjack
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Nine Army linguists, including six trained to speak Arabic, have been dismissed from the military because they are gay.
The soldiers' dismissals come at a time when the military is facing a critical shortage of translators and interpreters for the war on terrorism.
Seven of the soldiers were discharged after telling superiors they are gay, and the two others got in trouble when they were caught together after curfew, said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a group that defends homosexuals in the military.
Six were specializing in Arabic, two were studying Korean and one was studying Mandarin Chinese. All were at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, the military's primary language training center.
The government has aggressively recruited Arabic speakers since the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We face a drastic shortage of linguists, and the direct impact of Arabic speakers is a particular problem," said Donald R. Hamilton, who documented the need for more linguists in a report to Congress as part of the National Commission on Terrorism.
One of the discharged linguists said the military's policy on gays is hurting its cause.
"It's not a gay-rights issue. I'm arguing military proficiency issues they're throwing out good, quality people," said Alastair Gamble, a former Army specialist.
Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the Army Training and Doctrine Command at Fort Monroe in Tidewater, Va., confirmed the dismissals occurred between October 2001 and September 2002, but declined to comment further on the cases.
He said 516 linguists enrolled in the Arabic course this year at the Monterey institute and 365 graduated.
The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy allows gays to serve provided they keep quiet about their sexual orientation.
Gamble and former Pfc. Robert Hicks were discovered in Gamble's room during a surprise inspection in April, Gamble said.
After their discharges, Gamble and Hicks applied for other federal jobs where they could use their language skills in the war on terrorism, but neither was hired, Gamble said.
How do you say operational compromise in Arabic? We ain't gonna miss'em. Security before correctness. I prefer my country be defended by the mentally healthy and morally upright--they tend to be more dependable. Next!
Now, that's funny.
We should be protecting America from terrorists who want to kill us, not gays who want to decorate the barracks. When Muslim terrorists bring down the Sears Tower because we didn't have enough linguists to read intelligence transcripts sitting right in front of us, maybe someone will rethink this.
That's likely the result of the "don't ask; don't tell" policy of the clintbag administration.
"Caught in the act" should be far enough to dismiss; there has got to be a level
of civility, homosexual or heterosexual. But rules are not made to be broken.
If admitting one is gay is enough to cause dismissal, then it's time to change
I think that you are mistaken. The folks who fessed up were just trying to escape the pressure. Even twenty years ago it was happening, at the DLI. I would not be surprised if none of the seven are actually gay.
More than that, your premise is mistaken;
1)that orientation does not matter. It does. Ask any attractive woman in the military how distracting it is for other military folks to be constantly hitting on her;
2)the transcripts you refer to were not relevant anyway, they can be interpreted as direct threats only by Leaky Leahy.
I'll submit that for you as "Quote of the Day".
I disagree that people should be dismissed simply for their orientation, especially when we need ever intelligent and talented linguist we can get right now. If someone gets out of line with another soldier, discipline them, gay or straight.
I think this is a much more likely senario as to why we have several making the claim of being Gay at the same time, rather than a sudden change of conscience.
Does anyone recall at the start of the Gulf War a female physician who had let the US Army pay for her education, but when her reserve unit was called to duty, she developed "serious contientious objections to military service" despite the fact that as a Doctor, she would be a non-combatant.