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Old 03-15-2004, 10:46 PM   #16
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Pardon me for not being born.

Either way, it sounds so highly unlikely that this draft will ever bee needed, much less allowed by Congress....
Should I pardon you for not doing your homework and making assumptions based on a lack of knowledge?

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Old 03-15-2004, 10:55 PM   #17
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Originally posted by martha

Should I pardon you for not doing your homework and making assumptions based on a lack of knowledge?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is adamant that he will not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is remote.
Congress, which would have to authorize a draft, has shown no interest in taking such a step.

Kathleen Long, a spokeswoman for Sen. Carl Levin, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said a draft has little support among lawmakers.
On Capitol Hill, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would reinstate the draft. The legislation has minimal support with only 13 House lawmakers signing on as co-sponsors. A corresponding bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Fritz Hollings, the outgoing South Carolina Democrat, has no co-sponsors.
Like Melon said, it doesn't sounds like Congress is interested and only they get to decide.

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Old 03-15-2004, 11:15 PM   #18
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In addition, recruitment at all levels continues to exceed requirements compared to the difficult recruiting situation back in 1999. The stress load on the 10 division (active) army and 3 MEF Marine force are big. If more troops are needed to relieve the burden, it would be better to simply expand the numbers in the current volunteer Army and Marine Corp. Adding 4 Army divisions and another Marine MEF would give the military nearly another entire force to rotate into Iraq at the present levels. Problem is that this will take some time to build, a few years, by which time, the US presence in Iraq will likely be 50% of what it is today or headed in that direction.

Which brings up another point as well. The best way to reduce the burden that the Iraq occupation places on the military is to continue to rebuild Iraq's own Police, security services and military as quickly as possible.

The 87 Billion dollar package that the President requested and got passed last year is very important in speeding up this process. Its unfortunate that John Kerry disagree's and voted against it.
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:16 AM   #19
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Originally posted by martha
Which makes it even easier to throw caution to the wind and pretend any draft at all is acceptable.
No. All she said was "it's all part of being a citizen of the US". Is that not acceptable? Does this statement make her young and uneducated?
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:47 AM   #20
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Maybe the "selective draft" should ask whether people are gay or not, so they can prevent everyone from wasting their time getting discharged...

Despite Increased Post-9/11 Need, Military Fires
37 Arabic Translators For Being Gay

December 5, 2003

The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy has led the Pentagon to fire 37 Arabic translators at a time when the military needed them more than ever. We talk to Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara. [Includes transcript]

A recent post in the Washington Post began:

Kathleen Glover was cleaning the pool at the Sri Lankan ambassador's residence recently when she heard the sound of Arabic drifting through the trees. Glover earned $11 an hour working for a pool-maintenance company, skimming leaves and testing chlorine levels in the backyards of Washington. No one knew about her past. But sometimes the past found her.

Glover recognized the sound instantly. It was the afternoon call to prayer coming from a mosque on Massachusetts Avenue. She held still, picking out familiar words and translating them in her head.

She learned Arabic at the Defense Language Institute (DLI), the military's premier language school, in Monterey, Calif. Her timing as a soldier was fortuitous: Around her graduation last year, a Government Accounting Office study reported that the Army faced a critical shortage of linguists needed to translate intercepts and interrogate suspects in the war on terrorism.

"I was what the country needed," Glover said.

She was, and she wasn't. Glover is gay. She mastered Arabic but couldn't handle living a double life under the military policy known as "don't ask, don't tell." After two years in the Army, Glover, 26, voluntarily wrote a statement acknowledging her homosexuality.

Confronted with a shortage of Arabic interpreters and its policy banning openly gay service members, the Pentagon had a choice to make.

Which is how former Spec. Glover came to be cleaning pools instead of sitting in the desert, translating Arabic for the U.S. government.

In the past two years, the Department of Defense has discharged 37 linguists from the Defense Language Institute for being gay. Like Glover, many studied Arabic. At a time of heightened need for intelligence specialists, 37 linguists were rendered useless because of their homosexuality.

To discuss this, we are joined by Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow at the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also an adjunct professor of history at New York University and New School University.


AMY GOODMAN: Well, we are joined right now by someone who has looked closely at this issue, Nathaniel Frank. He is a senior research fellow at The Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an adjunct professor of history here in New York at New York University and New School University.
Welcome to Democracy Now!


AMY GOODMAN: The significance of this, the story just coming out now, and can you explain what is happening?

NATHANIEL FRANK: Well, the story is not just coming out now, but it's been updated since we now have this number of 37 linguists having been fired under the policy at a time of heightened national security. And last year when the story first came out, to take one example, the Army had 84 slots to fill of Arabic translators and could only fill 42 of them. So if you take this number, 37, it's a very high number of slots that could have been filled that the government is deciding shouldn't be filled because it's insisting on enforcing an outdated policy.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain exactly what the policy is today.

NATHANIEL FRANK: The policy, which has become known as "Don't ask, don't tell," requires that gay people refrain from expressing their sexual identity or engaging in any sort of homosexual conduct, which means essentially that they need to remain silent about their identity and celibate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on and off base, which is obviously not a regulation applied to straight soldiers. So the other part of the policy is the military is not supposed to ask or investigate without credible evidence that a service member is gay--which has not always been the case. But that's the "don't ask" part of it.

AMY GOODMAN: And has there been a case where the military is fully aware that someone is gay, but they allow them to remain?

NATHANIEL FRANK: Absolutely. And what we find is that during war time, the military's discharge figures almost always go down-- ever since Vietnam and probably beforehand, but Vietnam is when we have statistics about that. Every year since "Don't ask, don't tell" was implemented in 1994, after the debates in '92 and '93, the discharge figures have gone up, until 2002, the year that we are fully at war. That year, for the first time, the discharge figures went down. So there's a certain amount of discretion that commanders have, even though the law stipulates that they have to investigate and then discharge gay people. There's a certain amount of discretion that commanders have. For instance, they can simply say this statement of homosexuality is non-credible. And essentially they're saying when someone comes to them and says I'm lesbian, they will say, no, you're not, get back to work. There's a process by which people have to give documentation from their parents and friends and so forth, trying to prove that they're gay.

AMY GOODMAN: I'm looking at the Washington Post piece. It says that the Army says that the discharged linguists were casualties of their own failure to meet a known policy. "We have standards," said Harvey Parrot, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. "We have physical standards, academic standards, there's no difference between administering these standards and administering "Don't ask, don't tell." The rules are the rules."

NATHANIEL FRANK: What he didn't say here is what the standards are vis-a-vis gay soldiers. Even Colin Powell acknowledges that gay soldiers can be fine soldiers, and that they themselves are not the problem. In fact, the rationale for this policy at this point--and the rationale has shifted over the years as each rationale has been dismantled. But the rationale currently is that it's the discomfort of straight soldiers which requires that gay soldiers be discharged, and that if it's known that soldiers are gay, that straight soldiers will be uncomfortable and that will be a detriment to unit cohesion and combat effectiveness. There's actually not a shred of evidence to that at all. Our center has done extensive studies in Britain, Israel, Canada and Australia, on what happened over the past ten years when those countries each lifted their bans. What we have found was exactly what people expected to find, was that it's a non-issue, and that there is no correlation between the presence of known gay soldiers and any impairment of military effectiveness. So, the standards that he's referring to are certainly not standards that have anything to do with military effectiveness, and have much more to do with prejudice and with the tradition of insisting that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. Even Dick Cheney has called that rationale that gays are a threat to national security a bit of an old chestnut.

AMY GOODMAN: Dick Cheney's own daughter is a lesbian.

NATHANIEL FRANK: Yes, she is. And I think that that may curb some of the vehemence of the sentiment against gays, but he certainly hasn't taken any position that has facilitated the ending of this ban, or the--.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you see it changing at all?

NATHANIEL FRANK: I do see it changing. I think, you know, we -- we debate this issue often and sometimes people actually ask us to help find people who will debate the other side. We have a lot of trouble debating the other side. There are people out there, but very few people will come to the defense of this policy. I think the next time it's debated in earnest, when the political winds shift slightly or if there's another court case or, god forbid, another dramatic incident of harassment or beating, that the country will look anew at this policy and see that there's no evidence supporting its necessity and that, in fact, it's becoming clear that it's detrimental to national security, not just unnecessary.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Nathaniel Frank, senior research fellow, Center for Sexual Minorities in the Military, University of California, Santa Barbara, and adjunct professor at New York University and New School University. Your website

NATHANIEL FRANK: I hope I know it --

AMY GOODMAN: Thank you for joining us.

NATHANIEL FRANK: Thanks for having me in.
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Old 03-16-2004, 08:46 AM   #21
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Well we all know that someone's sexuality is much more important than our security.

I find it interesting that we as a nation are spending so much time and money saying we need more security and here we have someone who this nation needed and we fire them, yet all those that are being accused of rape and sexual assault will still serve while the investigations get dragged out as long as they can.

Before we start speaking of a draft I think our military needs to evaluate it's priorities and maybe we wouldn't need a draft.

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