Friday, December 14, 2007

New Military Policy: Do Tell, Go Back to Work?

Is the shortage of soldiers making it harder to get kicked out of the military for homosexuality?

After leaving Iraq, he says he started receiving anonymous emails warning him about his openness that suggested he was being watched, so he went to his commander to head off an investigation he felt was coming.

"I didn’t know how else to do it,” he tells Stahl, acknowledging that he initiated an investigation of himself by violating the policy. “I felt more comfortable being the one to say, ‘This is what is real,'" Manzella says.

He then says his commander reported him, as he was obliged to do, and then “I had to go see my battalion commander, who read me my rights,” he tells 60 Minutes.

He turned over pictures of him and his boyfriend, including video of a passionate kiss, to aid the investigation.

But he tells Stahl he was surprised by the outcome.

"I was told to go back to work. There was no evidence of homosexuality," Manzella says.

"'You’re not gay,'" he says his superiors told him.
Randy Shilts wrote in Conduct Unbecoming that discharges for homosexuality commonly decline in wartime. This war is no exception with discharges down 50 percent since 2001. Another theory is that, like other Americans, soldiers have become more tolerant and just think this is a dumb policy.