I am a retired Air Force veteran.
Recently, Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC-TV talk show host, interviewed an Army lieutenant who was discharged because he violated the Army's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The lieutenant was a West Point graduate and had served in Iraq. He openly admitted to his superiors that he was gay. Also, the show pointed out the Army had discharged more than 12,500 soldiers for violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
It appeared to me the purpose of the show was to portray discharged gay Army personnel as victims of an unfair policy. Rachel Maddow wanted the viewers to be sympathetic to the discharged soldiers and to disregard the oppressive facts.
The facts are that the discharged lieutenant and the more than 12,500 discharged soldiers were lawbreakers. They were discharged not because they were gay, but because they were fools. They made a conscious decision to violate an Army policy. Victims they are not. Lawbreakers they are.
The lieutenant is the bigger fool because he is a West Point graduate and should have exercised better judgment. As an Army officer, he was expected to model a law-abiding example for his subordinates. He did the opposite.
Army officers cannot selectively disobey Army policies that are not in agreement with their lifestyle.