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Rummy — stop discharging gays, save $200 million

Rumsfeld has run our military into the ground. Representative Martin T. Meehan of Massachusetts (D-MA), is submitting legislation next week that to force “a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

While the British Navy is actively recruiting gays and lesbians, we have our dumbass Pentagon spending $200 million to sign up and train folks to replace the homos that are shoved out by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Remember, Arabic translators were given the boot recently under the policy, so we lost resources that cannot just be replaced overnight. If our government is serious about Homeland Security, then this policy needs to go. Now. (NYT):

The review by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, was requested by more than 20 lawmakers who were concerned about the costs of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy instituted in the Clinton administration, particularly for service members with “critical occupations” and “important foreign language skills.”

The accountability office plans to release its review on Friday. The New York Times obtained it from a member of Congress who had requested the study.

In the last 10 years, more than 10,000 service members have been discharged because they did not keep their sexual orientation to themselves as required, according to the Service Members Legal Defense Network, a gay rights group that monitors the armed forces.

…The department [of Defense] does not track the specific costs of investigating or discharging gay service members, counseling and providing pastoral care for them or for handling legal challenges and reviews of dismissals, the report says. But the accounting office estimated that it cost the Pentagon nearly $100 million, $10,500 a person, to recruit replacements for enlisted service members who were discharged from 1994 to 2003 for being gay.

Investigators said that the cost to the Navy to train the replacements was $49 million, $18,000 a service member. The report said the Air Force estimated its training costs at $16.6 million, or $7,400 a service member, and the Army said its costs were $29.7 million, or $6,400 a service member. The investigators said the Marines declined to provide estimates

…The investigators also said they could not quantify the cost of losing personnel discharged after having been trained in certain areas of expertise like intelligence or languages like Arabic, Chinese, Farsi or Korean. “The principal limitation of our analysis is that for privacy reasons we did not review separated service members’ personnel records, including training histories, which has implications for estimating training costs,” the investigators wrote.

A lawmaker who sought the study, Representative Martin T. Meehan of Massachusetts, ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Conventional Threats and Capabilities, has drafted legislation that would repeal the policy on gays in an effort to enhance military readiness.

The measure, which Mr. Meehan said he would introduce next week, calls for the armed forces to enact “a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” the first time Congress will consider such a proposal since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was approved on Nov. 30, 1993.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said the Bush administration will not revisit the policy, but numerous pending suits are trying to overturn it.

Mr. Meehan called the policy “senseless and counterproductive,” saying it undermined the strength of the military by “discharging competent service members at a time when our troops are already stretched thin.”

See item below on the first memoir by a gay soldier that was in the military during the implementation of DADT

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding