Has Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos just come out for the whole Marine Corps? Why else would he be wiling to imply that the soldiers under his command are so inept and undisciplined that they’d become distracted by the outness of gay fellow soldiers unless he believes they harbor uncontrollable homolust? Or is this more about the General’s alleged BDSM fantasies? Maybe he wants to see how bad he has to be before his Commander in Chief disciplines him. (Don’t hold your breath on that one General, unless holding your breath is part of what gets you off.) Here is what Amos said earlier today about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”:
“When your life hangs on a line, on the intuitive behavior of the young man… who sits to your right and your left, you don’t want anything distracting you,” Amos told reporters at the Pentagon.
“I don’t want to lose any Marines to distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (hospital) with no legs,” he said.
He added that “mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines’ lives. That’s the currency of this fight.”
Just what does basic training in the USMC consist of under Gen. Amos’s guidance, insubordination drills and aphrodisiac injections? Maybe we should send in Peter LaBarbera to investigate.
All kidding aside, I have friends and family who have been or are currently in the Marines, and to say that this insubordinate bigot dishonors their service is a mammoth understatement. Here is the response of Aubrey Sarvis, Army veteran and executive director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:
General Amos needs to fall in line and salute or resign now. He implied that repeal will lead to Marines losing their legs in combat. Those fear tactics are not in the interest of any service member. The General’s goal is to kill repeal no matter the consequences, perhaps at the dereliction of his other duties. He had his say before the Senate and House. General Amos needs to stop lobbying against his Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. If he cannot do that, the President should ask for his resignation.
Update: President Obama keeps covering for the General according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (H/T Wonk Room):
Pressed by the Advocate’s Kerry Eleveld on whether Obama was worried about having his own appointee “constantly raising opposition to his own stated belief the the policy needed to be changed,” Gibbs simply reiterated the administration’s talking point on the issue:
GIBBS: I think the President’s views and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s views and the Secretary of Defense’s views are fairly well known. I think the President as Commander in Chief has a strong viewpoint. I think backed up by the survey conducted by the Pentagon as to the attitude of the men and women in our military that this can be done in a way that strengthens our national security, preserves the best fighting force in the world, and most importantly, does away with a policy that he doesn’t think is just.
ELEVELD: I mean, the Commandant is continually challenging the assumptions of the Commander in Chief…
GIBBS: No, I mean, look, I think their views are very well known, just as the Commander in Chief’s views are very well known. I think if you look at the Commander in Chief, the head of the Pentagon, and the head of the Joint Chiefs, you’ll find unanimity in the belief that it’s time to do away with this policy and that’s exactly what the President is working to do.
POLITICO reports Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili’s reaction to Gen. Amos’s absurd statements:
Retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the 1993 law was first implemented, said Amos’s claims that repeal would risk the loss of life in combat is “grounded in a selective reading of the evidence.”
“General Amos has acknowledged that he is the only Service Chief who has not spoken to colleagues in foreign militaries about their experiences with gay and lesbian service members,” Shalikashvili said in a statement to POLITICO. “Based on conversations with our overseas allies and openly gay U.S. Marines, as well my reading of the extensive research on the topic, I can say definitively that along with Admiral Mullen, I believe that repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ will improve the military rather than posing additional risk to the troops.”
By the way, Speak of the House Nancy Pelsoi tweeted this a few hours ago:
The House will vote on Rep. Patrick Murphy’s standalone #DADT repeal bill tomorrow-Senate action on #DADT is long overdue.