Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) speaking with reporters on the Hill moments ago and testily challenging the assertion that military policy actively seeks to identify homosexuals in service — who would then be subject to discharge.
“Now ma’am, I know the military very well, and I know what’s being done. . . [T]hey are not seeking out people who are gay. And I don’t care what you say, I know it’s a fact.”
In response to questioners off-camera who suggested the military was searching private e-mails for evidence of homosexuality, a defiant McCain repeated, again and again: “It is not the policy. It is not the policy. You can say that it is the policy. But it is not the policy.”
Bob Costa on the camera.
UPDATE: From a reader:
Regarding the video of Sen. McCain, I, too, know the military. I was a USMC legal officer. Part of my job it was to administratively discharge Marines in 1990-1993 from the School of Infantry. The favorite discharge du jour for those who wanted desperately to get out of the Corps was by reason of a Personality Disorder, with all psych evaluations reading the same: torturing animals as a child, bed wetting, etc. As soon as DADT came into effect, the By Reason of Homosexuality was the new discharge favored among the troops, with so many of them suddenly ‘discovering’ others in compromising positions. These were young men who wanted to get out and they would say whatever they needed to in order to do so. So when these discharge figures are quoted by the media, I always wonder what the exact percentage is for those who used it as a means to exit.
UPDATE: Another reader:
McCain is right. I was a Judge Advocate from 2004 to 2008 in the USMC and am a currently a reservist. I was a defense counsel in the Corps for almost two years. I can tell you personally that one gay Marine I repped was Summary Court Martialed and adsepped from the Corps….for meth use. One female Marine came to me b/c her command wanted to NJP her for kissing another female Marine. But she wasn’t kicked out. The truth is, not that many Marines really care if another Marine is gay. Which is not the same as being for the repeal of DADT. However, I can tell you this: The USMC, in my experience, was certainly not an any witch hunt. As far as that reporter’s comment about “going thru private e mails”—well, what is she referring to? The military can’t go thru your personal e mail, as far as I know. And your gov’t e mail…well, those e mails aren’t really “private.” Bottom line…McCain was right. The media hates the military, and like Bill Clinton put it, “loathes” the military as well.