Obama's handwritten letter regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 8, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    This is hopeful to me. This is the Barack I've come to know.

    This is also a first for a U.S. President:


    Second Lieutenant Sandy Tsao is a Chinese-American young woman, 24-years-old, in the United States Army. She made the decision to come out as gay, knowing full well this might jeopardize her job. Sandy wrote a letter to Barack Obama in January when she made this decision to come out of the closet, asking the President to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.


    Her letter closed with this:

    "We have the best military in the world and I would like to continue to be part of it. My mother can tell you it is my dream to serve our country. I have fought and overcome many barriers to arrive at the point I am at today. This is the only battle I fear I may lose. Even if it is too late for me, I do hope, Mr. President, that you will help us to win the war against prejudice so that future generations will continue to work together and fight for our freedoms regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin or sexual orientation."

    --------------------


    Three days ago, Tuesday, May 5th, Sandy received a package from the White House. Inside, was a personal handwritten note from Obama.

    http://glaadblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/picture-1.png


    "Sandy - Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful letter. It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment. — Barack Obama."

    --------------------


    Sandy’s last day in the army is May 19. She's being discharged under the DADT policy. Tsao expects to receive an Article 15 honorable discharge because of homosexual conduct.

    Yes, merely stating you're gay is considered "homosexual conduct" under the current policy.
     
  2. Industrialsize

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    I take him at his word.
     
  3. Guy-jin

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    I don't see how it could not be repealed at this point. Even the military leadership thinks it should be repealed, don't they?
     
  4. Flashy

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    Since you have "come to know" him, WT, is this the Obama you know?

    Obama and the 9/11 Families - WSJ.com

    the fact is, Obama is nothing more than a politician...and a very good one. But no different.

    Obama's little note to that nice lady aside, whose service i greatly appreciate, I will believe it when i see it done.
     
  5. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    So do I. And while Flashy is correct, Obama is a politician and a pragmatic one, he knows how things work and how he needs to work to get the things he believes in done. I believe he is personally committed to repealing DADT and I believe he will make it happen.
     
  6. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Thank you for reminding us of this. :smile:
     
  7. pym

    pym New Member

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    IN Response to Flashy's WSJ post

    RUSH LIMBAUGH'S thoughts on the matter. Frankly.....i hate this Fat Fuck.
    But i do not know what to make of this......and i seriously doubt "HE" wrote this himself. Either way.....who is getting the put down here?
    I myself expected NOTHING for my personal service to my country......but i think that i am a dying breed.


    By Rush Limbaugh:


    I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in Uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by
    because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of
    this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're
    going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of
    $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.?
    If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action,
    the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable.
    Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get
    $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to ascreeching halt.

    Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining
    that it's not enough.?Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.?
    Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers. (Actually, soldiers are put in harms way by politicians and commanding
    officers.)
    We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have
    started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families
    are getting.. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the
    embassies are now asking for compensation as well.
     
    #7 pym, May 8, 2009
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  8. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    WillTom: I watched the Rachel Maddow Show when they talked about two prominent Military officers who were both discharged for saying they were gay on a news show and they showed the letter that Obama wrote in his own handwriting and signed. Part of me wants to believe that we may see DADT repealed, but only time will tell.

    Sometimes I wish all Gay & Lesbian people around the world should go on strike all at once for a month. That way, certain homophobic people may come to grips as to how many people are in the workforce and provide many of the things people need to survive.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    I'm with Flashy on this. Ultimately it'll be the actions, not the words. And as of right now two more servicepeople have been discharged because Bill Clinton reneged on a campaign promise and wimped out under the stern eyes of people like Sam Nunn and Colin Powell.

    DADT and DOMA are two of the biggest reasons (though by no means the only ones) why I am Independent: with friends like that, who needs Republicans?
     
  10. Flashy

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    bingo...well said Bb.

    Obama is not going to waste any political capital he might need for bigger fights, on this particular issue, especially not while 150,000+ US Soldiers are at war...not a chance that he would provoke this fight anytime until well after troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan fully...

    he cannot risk a semi-PR disaster like Clinton had early on on this same issue, regardless of the justness of the cause...

    I support gays in the military, but only a fool would attempt it anytime very soon considering the fragility of the current situation overseas, and with his bigger battles on health care and energy still to come...

    sad to say, but most of those counting on Obama for this topic, will likely be disappointed, as he knows he has the gay vote sewn up anyway, considering the alternative choice (republicans) and he knows that in terms of the most important issues on his agenda, this one is significantly lower than others...

    as Barry Goldwater once said: "You don't have to be straight to be in the military, you just have to be able to shoot straight."



    but as always, Obama is a politician, and nothing more...and he is a smart enough one that he will calculate the potentital damage he may suffer from that particular fight, and, eventually, when he cannot move on it, he will claim that congress simply "does not have the support for it" which will not allow him to move on it...it will be inaction by default, with an ability to spread the blame in a way that he will not be too badly injured by the failure to bring it about.

    frankly, i think Obama will have to put this very far on the back burner, as it is simply not worth the political capital the bruising fight he will encounter will take considering the other more "important" parts of his agenda.

    as Goldwater said in the 90s:

    After more than 50 years in the military and politics, I am still amazed to see how upset people can get over nothing. Lifting the ban on gays in the military isn't exactly nothing, but it's pretty damned close
    Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar. They'll still be serving long after we're all dead and buried. That should not surprise anyone.
    But most Americans should be shocked to know that while the country's economy is going down the tubes, the military has wasted half a billion dollars over the past decade chasing down gays and running them out of the armed services.
    It's no great secret that military studies have proved again and again that there's no valid reason for keeping the ban on gays. Some thought gays were crasy, but then found that wasn't true. then they decided that gays were a security risk, but again the Department of Defense decided that wasn't so-in fact, one study by the Navy in 1956 that was never made public found gays to be good security risks. Even Larry Korb, President Reagan's man in charge of implementing the Pentagon ban on gays, now admits that it was a dumb idea. No wonder my friend Dick Cheney, secretary of defense under President Bush, called it "a bit of an old chestnut"
    When the facts lead to one conlusion, I say it's time to act, not to hide. The country and the military know that eventually the ban will be lifted. The only remaining questions are how much muck we will all be dragged through, and how many brave Americans like Tom Paniccia and Margarethe Cammermeyer will have their lives and careers destroyed in a senseless attempt to stall the inevitable.
    Some in congress think I'm wrong. They say we absolutely must continue to discriminate, or all hell will break loose. Who knows, they say, perhaps our soldiers may even take up arms against each other.
    Well, that's just stupid.
    Years ago, I was a lieutenant in charge of an all-black unit. Military leaders at the time believed that blacks lacked leadership potential - period. That seems ridiculous now, as it should. Now, each and every man and woman who serves this nation takes orders from a black man - our own Gen. Colin Powell.
    Nobody thought that blacks or women could ever be integrated into the military. Many thought that an all-volunteer force could never protect our national interest. Well, it has, and despite those who feared the worst - I among them - we are still the best and will continue to be.
    The point is that decisions are always a lot easier to make in hindsight. but we seldom have that luxury. That's why the future of our country depends on leadership, and that's what we need now.
    I served in the armed forces. I have flown more than 150 of the best fighter planes and bombers this country manufactured. I founded the Arizona National Guard. I chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee. And I think it's high time to pull the curtains on this charade of policy.
    What should undermine our readiness would be a compromise policy like "Don't ask, don't tell." That compromise doesn't deal with the issue - it tries to hide it.
    We have wasted enough precious time, money and talent trying to persecute and pretend. It's time to stop burying our heads in the sand and denying reality for the sake of politics. It's time to deal with this straight on and be done with it. It's time to get on with more important business.
    The conservative movement, to which I subscribe, has as one of its basic tenets the belief that government should stay out of people's private lives. Government governs best when it governs least - and stays out of the impossible task of legislating morality. But legislating someone's version of morality is exactly what we do by perpetuating discrimination against gays.
    When you get down to it, no American able to serve should be allowed, much less given an excuse, not to serve his or her country. We need all our talent.
    If I were in the Senate today, I would rise on the Senate floor in support of our commander in chief. He may be a Democrat, but he happens to be right on this question.
     
  11. SlickWilly

    SlickWilly Member

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    I was reading a blog on the Sacramento Bee's website regarding Lt. Choi's "outing" and subsequent dismissal from the military, along with some of the other West Point grads.

    The blog posts were equally fascinating... and disturbing. I was surprised at how many comments came from our military (and ex-military) and believed DADT should be kept in place. A relatively large percentage seemed overly concerned with being "checked out" while undressing or in the showers... and did NOT want to be in a foxhole with a "gay guy".

    I find this somewhat hilarious... that these highly-trained, hyper-masculine warriors get so squeamish over the possibility of something like this happening (homosexual panic???). Straight guys: please, PLEASE get over yourselves. If anyone happened to check you out whilst in the shower, you should be flattered. And if anyone were to make an unwanted advance, are you not capable of protecting yourself? What is it with straight guys & these shower fantasies? Sheesh... I doubt there's a band of gay soldiers just waiting to gang-rape you in the shower. (tho it might help relieve all that built-up tension you've got inside)

    A lot of the article (and the comments) discussed whether or not his dismissal was appropriate. He knew what the policy was when he signed up... he broke it... therefore dismissal was justified. I do have to agree with this part.

    My personal opinion is that he outed himself as a political statement... and I commend him for doing that. He may have sacrificed his career, but the subsequent discussions surrounding his case may pave the way so that others can serve openly in the future.

    Even more interesting is the comment "why can't they just keep it to themselves"

    I can only imagine how difficult that would be, day after day... year after year. When everyone else is talking about their personal lives, what they did & how many chicks they screwed on leave, etc... what are you supposed to say? And if you say nothing, that's even more obvious. It's a no-win situation. If you're honest about who you are, you're thrown out. If you choose to live a lie, your self esteem goes into the crapper & you still may get thrown out.

    ... and straight guys: not every gay man wants to get in your pants. If he's looking at you, maybe he's thinking that tatoo was a BIG mistake, or that you could stand a few more crunches or squats... or maybe that you need to exfoliate, or get that back waxed, or that you should have TWO eyebrows, or that the hair in your ears & nose need to be trimmed just like that on your head, or that you need a loofah to help with those pimples on your ass. A lot of us gays have very high standards that a lot of you would not meet.

    Seriously, gay men are usually pretty good at picking out the homophobes. It seems highly unlikely they'd to risk a fight by coming onto you... unless you were giving signals to incite a fight.

    I guess straight men have issues just like gay men. See??? we're all alike.


    Now, I'm only partially serious about this. The whole thing just seems so silly to me. I can appreciate where some straight guys are coming from with their discomfort, but they also could stand to consider what it's like for their gay brothers-in-arms.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling... I seem to have this whole "stream-of-consciousness" thang goin on...

    off soapbox for now...
     
  12. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    It's about freaking time.

    Here's some interesting (welcome) news, This article was put out by the Associated Press today:


    AMA votes to seek repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

    Associated Press

    CHICAGO — The American Medical Association today voted to oppose the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and declared that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities.

    The nation’s largest doctors’ group stopped short of saying it would seek to overturn marriage bans, but its new stance angered conservative activists and provides a fresh boost to lobbying efforts by gay-rights advocates.

    “It’s highly significant that the AMA as one of this country’s leading professional associations has taken a position on both of these issues,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

    The health disparities measure “in the long run, will certainly help efforts to win marriage equality,” Carey said.

    Whether the AMA’s lobbying power will hasten efforts to overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law remains to be seen. President Barack Obama has said he is working with congressional leaders to end the policy, and the AMA’s stance will likely help, although gay rights issues have been upstaged by Obama’s health care overhaul battle.

    HeraldNet: AMA votes to seek repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’


    --------------------

    note: In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders (from the APA's Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders). That was an endorsement that had some weight, especially for changing hearts and minds.

    --------------------

    This article continues:

    The health disparities policy is based on evidence showing that married couples are more likely to have health insurance, and that the uninsured have a high risk for “living sicker and dying younger,” said Dr. Peter Carmel, an AMA board member.

    Same-sex families lack other benefits afforded married couples, including tax breaks, spouse benefits under retirement plans and Social Security survivor benefits — all of which can put their health at risk, according to an AMA council report presented at the meeting.

    also:

    Doctors who pushed the group to oppose ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ say the policy forcing gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret has “a chilling effect” on open communication between gays and their doctors.

    “A law which makes people lie to their physicians is a bad law,” said Dr. David Fassler, a University of Vermont psychiatry professor who attended the meeting.
     
  13. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    I'm glad Obama has taken time to write this type of note, I mean, why not get a few pen-pals when you have nothing else to be doing. Things are peachy! Have a beer with an old friend, cruise on over to Copenhagen, date night with Michelle, write little pithy notes, you know, the kinds of things most people do when driving the country off a cliff. Good job! No what about Afghanistan, the Economy?

    Every meeting with Barack Obama should be attended by the Ragin' Cajun, James Carville. The meeting should start and end with him addressing the president and those gathered at the meeting, by reiterating, "It's the economy stupid." If politicians would focus on what really concerns people, they would be serving the citizens and would be very likely to get re-elected. Ignoring what the majority of Americans (se Rasmussen) are concerned with does not help any politician's cause.
     
  14. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    So has this letter been exposed as a fraud yet?

    I mean, no real news outlet has picked up on it?

    Fail.
     
  15. Dave NoCal

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    It may not be a coincidence that several days ago americablog.com launched an internet campaign to get people to pledge to not donate to the Dem infratucture, or Obama, until DOMA and DADT are repealed, ENDA is passed. All of a sudden, they hava a timeline. This is the guy who stopped Dr. Laura's TV show in it's tracks, pressured Ford and affiliates to resume advertising in GLBT media, and forcee Microsoft to reverse itself and support domestic partnerships in Washington State. He kicks ass. To sign up, go to americablog.com. The GLBT ATM is closing until further deposits are made.
    Dave
     
  16. SilverTrain

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    This thread was started six months ago.

    Sigh.
     
  17. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    And so, it begs the question: What has Obama done about DADT? Even after his little note (if it were true) nothing has happened in 6 months. Not even a mention of it from him...

    Looks like another unfulfilled promise. Why break a perfect record?

    I wonder if the detainees in GITMO will get Christmas cards from the WH.
     
  18. SilverTrain

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    He's less than a year into his tenure, and your favorite refrain is "unfulfilled promises".

    I guess it's less asinine than "muslim terrorist".

    :rolleyes:
     
  19. slurper_la

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    Hey look - it only took Bush nine months to start an unnecessary war.
     
  20. Ericsson1228d

    Ericsson1228d Member

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    Nice diversion.Bush has NOTHING to do with Obama's lies.

    Keep beating on Bush, it's pretty much what Obama is counting on for the next for years, while he does nothing he promised, and continues to watch as the economy spins down the drain.
     
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