Thursday, December 30, 2010

1993 U.S. Senate Debate on Homosexuality in the Military: " the development of cohesion, the needs of the group must be placed ahead of the rights of the individual."

"Military personnel policies on homosexuality have developed in a long history, history that has taught the lessons of war and peace, readiness and failure. The ban did not begin in the 1980's. It was codified after decades of experience. That experience led to a conclusion: Homosexuality is incompatible with military life, for practical reasons and for experiential reasons. Our Armed Forces have concluded that the presence of homosexuals undermines their ability to: First, maintain discipline, good order, and morale; second, our Armed Forces have concluded that the presence of homosexuals undermines their ability to foster mutual trust and confidence among service members.

They have concluded that this policy is necessary to ensure the integrity of the system of rank and command; that it is necessary to facilitate assignments and worldwide deployment of service members, who frequently must live and work in close conditions affording minimal privacy; it is necessary for recruitment and retention of members of the military services; and finally, it is necessary to maintain public acceptability of military service.

That is a direct statement from current military policy, at least the policy as it was before the interim policy was directed in response to the President's initiative to change that.

The courts, in turn, have consistently upheld this policy because they judged that its basis was rational, that the military had a rational basis with which to make these conclusions and, therefore, draw the policy as exclusion of homosexuals from the military.

So when the President proposed to overturn the standard, I came to the floor and made a statement and also issued a challenge. I said that the burden of proof in this matter was squarely on the President's shoulders. It ought to be the advocates of change of a system that is deemed not only effective but the most effective the world has ever seen who must overcome the lessons of history. It is those advocates of change who must positively discredit an experience that is far different and far wider than their own.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has conducted an extensive process to examine the roots of this policy. Senator Nunn designed a process that was fair and balanced. Staff interviewed thousands of military personnel on 21 bases. In six hearings, including field hearings, talking with soldiers, sailors, airmen where they live and work, thousands of pages of testimony were collected. Many Members of the Senate have not followed these matters as closely as those of the committee and, as I said, I would like to provide a summary of what we found so it can be a basis for evaluation by Members of the Senate as they look at these proposed policies.

Let me address this in a topical way. The most important criteria was this whole question of cohesion and morale. In the Armed Services Committee, we devoted a great deal of attention to the importance of cohesion in the military. It is something that those who have not served need to understand before they can render judgment.

Dr. David Marlowe, a military psychiatric expert, gave cohesion a very clear definition. He said:

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In its simplest form, cohesion could be viewed as that set of factors and processes that bonded soldiers together and bonded them to their leaders so that they would stand in the line of battle, mutually support each other, withstand the shock, terror, and trauma of combat, sustain each other in the completion of their mission and neither break nor run.

Dr. Marlowe concluded:

I think it was best put by a soldier I knew once who said the flag, patriotism, mom and apple pie are what bring you into the army. When the first bullet comes down the range, the only thing you are concerned with are your buddies.

Experts then told us that cohesion between those buddies is based on trust and shared values. They stressed over and over the importance of the shared-value system that is necessary to form the unit, the cohesion, the team that can effectively do what Dr. Marlowe has said, and that is withstand the shock, terror, and trauma of combat.

Dr. William Henderson testified before the committee:

A significant characteristic about a cohesive unit is the constant observation and evaluation of the behavior of unit members. Any deviation from unit norms, values, or expected behavior brings immediate and intense group pressures to conform to group norms. If the behavior is not corrected, then cleavage results in the group and cohesion is weakened.

One submariner with 12 years in the Navy commented: `Every sub I've ever been on has been like a close-knit family. If you feel uneasy about somebody within the family, you separate the family.'

As I said, this is not something that we normally relate to in our everyday lives because we live and work in an entirely different atmosphere, an entirely different way than those in the military. Those on deployment, those living in close quarters on submarines and ships, those living in tents overseas, those in training experience a far different living relationship, working relationship than those of us in civilian life. It is important to understand the distinction, and it is important to understand the difference, and it is also important to understand the concept of unit cohesion which can only be formed through, as these experts have testified, shared values and a unique type of bonding.

We heard that in the development of cohesion, the needs of the group must be placed ahead of the rights of the individual. Most of our work on the Senate floor and most of the legislation that we evaluate have to do with individual rights, and when we talk about military units, we subrogate individual rights in favor of group rights. It is something that is foreign to a lot of our thinking and a lot of our evaluation."

Reflect very carefully on this coherent and irrefutable argument: "It ought to be the advocates of change of a system that is deemed not only effective but the most effective the world has ever seen who must overcome the lessons of history."  The Obama White House and those who wish to cater to the radical homosexual lobby, have not made their case.  In fact, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) is beginning to bear fruit already.  They have not "overcome the lessons of history."  The old axiom applies here with emphatic force: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Related reading: Pederasty is the dominant form of homosexuality.


Derek said...

Obama and other supporters of the DADT repeal are really saying "the hell with military morale and unit cohesion....all that matters is that homosexuals serve openly and are able to flaunt their lifestyle. The mission be damned"!

Positively frightening.

Alex said...

Derek, President Obama is undermining the strength of our armed forces with his social experiment. Instead of catering to the fringe elements of society, he should listen to commanders like Stormin Norman Schwartzkopf, generals who have actual combat experience and who have warned that a repeal of DADT would negatively impact military capability.

Anonymous said...

The new policy is "If it ain't broke, then break it."

Thomas Coolberth said...

This is similar to the move to foist homosexuals into the seminaries.

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