Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dan Choi

After appearing on The Rachel Maddow show and admitting that he is gay, Army National Guardsman Lt. Dan Choi received this letter from the Army:
"This is to inform you that sufficient basis exists to initiate action for withdrawal of Federal Recognition in the Army National Guard for moral or professional dereliction. Specifically you admitted publicly that you are a homosexual, which constitutes homosexual conduct. Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard."
Lt Dan Choi is a graduate of West Point and is fluent in Arabic. He is one of about 12,500 servicemen ejected since the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was introduced in 1994. 60 of those ejected are Arab linguists. He was part of Operation Iraq Freedom and had this to say about his service "I loved being in the country. My fluency in Arabic enabled me to build strong relationships with the local people and the local government officials, with whom I worked on establishing security and rebuilding efforts."
Choi founded the group Knights Out, a group representing gay and lesbian West Point alumni. West Point's honor code states "A cadet will not lie" yet Choi felt forced to lie about who he was because of the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy and he felt he had no alternative but to come out even if it did mean he would be kicked out of the military.
Choi will be on the Rachel Maddow show again tonight to discuss his ousting from the military. Her show is on MSNBC at 7 Eastern time and again at 9. It follows another favorite show of mine on MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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