Advertisement

The Bell Curve: Fighting useless fronts of morality, legality

July 14, 2010|By Joseph N. Bell

So the military brass has found a battle they think they can win back home. While they fight real wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, they have enlisted a corps of copy machines as their choice of weapons at home. There they have printed and are circulating 400,000 copies of a survey to current military service members allegedly designed to determine the potential effect of lifting the ban on homosexual men and women serving openly in our military. And critics are saying that recipients, who were neither hostile nor confused about the prospect of fighting alongside a gay comrade, may well likely be both now.

The director of the Palm Center research organization at UC Santa Barbara, Aaron Belkin, put the criticism succinctly when he said: "There are some things you don't poll the troops about."

The information gleaned from the survey, according to Pentagon PR, will be incorporated in a report due in December that will help the Pentagon take a position on lifting the ban and identify the changes that would be required if this action is ordered.

Advertisement

The Los Angeles Times got a copy of the survey and printed several of the questions in last Saturday's issue. Following is a typical example:

If "don't ask, don't tell" is repealed and you are assigned to share bathroom facilities with an open bay shower with someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian service member, which are you most likely to do?

Take no action; use the shower at a different time than the service member thought to be gay or lesbian; discuss how we expect each other to behave and conduct ourselves; talk to a chaplain, mentor or leader about how to handle the situation; talk to a leader to see if I had other options; something else; don't know.

About this and similar questions, Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and a former U.S. Army interrogator, told a Times reporter: "It is simply impossible to imagine a survey with such derogatory and insulting wording going out about any other minority group in the military."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|