General John Sheehan, retired four-star general of the U.S. Marine Corps and former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, is back in the news with more bigoted anti-repeal talk about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Readers may remember Sheehan as the man who while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March suggested that the integration of gay soldiers in the Dutch Military was responsible for the Srebrenica massacre.
Sheehan said that the Netherlands’ allowance of gay men and women to serve openly caused them to be ill-prepared on the battle field and unable to stop the Srebrenica genocide by the Serbs in 1995. He later had to walk his comments back after the Netherlands slammed his absurd comments, saying that his memory about the massacre was ‘inaccurate.’
Now Gen. Sheehan is back, having teamed up with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in an op-ed on Politico. His assertion now?
Letting gays in the military will spread AIDS to the troops.Sheehan and Perkins go way down the rabbit hole in their op-ed on Politico, throwing everything they can think of against repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
Yet homosexuality carries with it profound behavioral implications. Sexual attraction among members of the same sex — living, exercising, fighting and training alongside one another in the closest of quarters — could devastate morale, foster heightened interpersonal tension and lead to division among those who, more than virtually any other group in society, need to act as one.
In addition, the medical implications of Obama’s proposal are compelling. According to data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual men are 50 times more likely to have HIV than heterosexual men. This would be devastating for military resources already stretched thin, and it has pronounced implications for battlefield blood transfusions.
This proposal is not about bigotry. Race is a superficial and benign element of one’s humanness, while homosexuality is a matter of behavior. Homosexuality is not about civil rights but conduct detrimental to the discipline, trust and combat readiness of what has been — and still is — the world’s finest military.
So letting gay men and women serve openly will cause a surge of HIV infection in the military because of battlefield blood transfusions, thus decimating the military? Could they squeeze any more ludicrous and insulting assertions in this bigoted, fact-less screed?
Study after study has shown that open service in the military has no effect on morale, unit cohesion, or troop retention. So now the far right lunatic fringe is saying that those disease carrying gays will infect and kill off the rest of the troops? That’s the argument they are hanging their hats on.
For a retired general to team up with Tony Perkins is bad enough, but to include such horrifically bigoted, hateful rhetoric about LGBT soldiers is beyond the pale. Absurdity like this shows just how desperate the far right is to defend their bigotry and how they will throw facts and logic out the window in their quest to legislate their twisted version of morality.