An Arabic linguist has been discharged from the Army for being gay. Not only is this stupid, but it seems to violate even the stupid “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified.
Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was “outed” by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
…An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas’ honorable discharge on Jan. 30 — less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country.
So he wasn’t asked, and he didn’t tell. And he’s an Arab language specialist. Why on earth was he discharged?
The policy is becoming “a very effective weapon of vengeance in the armed forces” said Steve Ralls, a spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a Washington-based watchdog organization that counseled Copas and is working to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Copas said he was never open about his sexuality in the military and suspects his accuser was someone he mistakenly befriended and apparently slighted.
The Army wasn’t able to identify the accuser, but officials speculate it was a jealous former lover. So this man, with an exemplary service record and skills we desperately need, is no longer in the military, while the coward who sent anonymous emails goes unpunished.
…the GAO also noted that nearly 800 dismissed gay or lesbian service members had critical abilities, including 300 with important language skills. Fifty-five were proficient in Arabic, including Copas, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in California.
Discharging and replacing them has cost the Pentagon nearly $369 million, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Wow! That’s a mghty expensive way to protect our soldiers from The Gaytm. And there was absolutely nothing stereotypical about the questioning that Sgt. Copas endured. Uh huh.
On Dec. 2, investigators formally interviewed Copas and asked if he understood the military’s policy on homosexuals, if he had any close acquaintances who were gay, and if he was involved in community theater. He answered affirmatively.
Gay acquaintances? Community theater? Highly suspicious. Because, as we all know, The Gaytm will rub off on you if you get too close to it.
It is time for the military to dump “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and to start judging soldiers by their performance, not their sexual orientation.