For nearly three years, I participated in a little forum populated by a lot of good people, but a few die-hard Republicans who had little need for a gay, ex-Air Force guy around them. Particularly the guy who ran the forum, affectionately known as The Despot, who was a straight ex-Navy guy who thought I, as a gay ex-Air Force guy, was a criminal because I lied to the recruiter when I joined the military and was nothing but a fraud because of it. Really!
Of course, it didn’t help that I frequently and loudly pointed out the blatant (or thinly disguised) homophobia and racism sometimes voiced on said forum either…which finally led to my being banned. The good news is that little bit of censorship resulted in this blog and now I have thousands of people reading my rants instead of twenty. And thankfully, you, my readers, seem to appreciate my words and for that I’ll be forever grateful.
Being the only gay guy on the forum amongst a lot of chest-pumping, heterosexual, (mostly) God-fearing, sometimes racist bunch of guys and gals wasn’t always fun but I actually made one or two lasting friends over there, especially Kelly, who caught a whole hell of a lot of grief for coming to my defense time and time again as I posted my words and thoughts time and time again. Probably even to this day and especially after this post.
I don’t miss those who hated me and continue to have a great friendship with those that miss me…so I guess it’s obvious now who came out on top.
All that leads up the this, the latest edition of The Howey Truth Squad.
Back in May, I started a thread on the forum celebrating those whom I feel are true American Heroes: folks like Daniel Choi and Victor Fehrenbach and thousands upon thousands of other gays in the military who are forced to live a lie in order to serve their country and fight for your freedom.
Somehow, in the course of the conversation, I found an interesting article from the SF Gate, reporting on the suspect recruiting tactics of the Armed Forces and the lax, very lax, standards the military is using to recruit soldiers to the point that, today, gang members and members of racist hate groups, are working alongside the young men and women of our military while honorable, nee honored, gay soldiers are being discharged from the military under DADT for no reason other than they are gay! From the article:
Last month, the Sun-Times reported that a gang member facing federal charges of murder and robbery enlisted in the Marine Corps “while he was free on bond — and was preparing to ship out to boot camp when Marine officials recently discovered he was under indictment.” While this recruit was eventually booted from the Corps, a Milwaukee police detective and Army veteran, who serves on the federal drug and gang task force that arrested the would-be Marine, noted that other “gang-bangers are going over to Iraq and sending weapons back … gang members are getting access to military training and weapons.”
This weekend, the Stars and Stripes, not a liberal rag, underscores my point:
But there’s one other thing that dozens of members of newsaxon.org, a white supremacist social networking website, have in common: They proudly identify themselves as active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, the Montgomery, Ala.-based watchdog group that tracks extremist hate groups, has compiled a book containing the online user profiles of at least 40 newsaxon.org users who say they are serving in the military, in apparent violation of Pentagon regulations prohibiting racist extremism in the ranks.
On Friday, the SPLC will present its findings to key members of Congress who chair the House and Senate committees overseeing the armed forces and urge them to pressure the Pentagon to crack down.
“In the wake of several high-profile murders by extremists of the radical right, we urge your committees to investigate the threat posed by racial extremists who may be serving in the military to ensure that our armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists,” Morris Dees, SPLC co-founder and chief trial counsel, wrote to the legislators.
“Evidence continues to mount that current Pentagon policies are inadequate to prevent racial extremists from joining and serving in the armed forces.”
Can I make a suggestion to the President, Congress and the American people? Can we at least get an Executive Order suspending DADT? Especially when the majority of Americans, Democrat and Republican, support it?
Perhaps then the President, Congress, and the American people can be assured that at least our tax dollars are being used to ensure our military’s not training future terrorists on our dime.
And keep the real liars, frauds, and criminals out of our military.