Focusing on the most irrelevant thing possible

Cliff KincaidHey, remember Cliff Kincaid? The guy who said Uganda’s proposed gay execution bill only includes death “for deliberately spreading AIDS and engaging in homosexual behavior that threatens children and society”, when the death sentence could actually apply to any gay person who’s had consensual sex more than once (“aggravated homosexuality”), and the majority of HIV infections in Uganda occur through heterosexual contact? Yeah. Well, guess who I got a shout-out from…

Military Homosexual Scandal Tied to WikiLeaks Treason:

Gawker cites evidence that Manning contacted well-known trans videoblogger ZJ via AOL Instant Messenger as far back as February 21, 2009, and said that he enjoyed the videos on the site. “He just said he enjoyed my videos,” ZJ said. “He told me that me and him were on the same page.”

ZJ is “Zinnia Jones” and the site is linked to a Facebook entry for “Queer and Queer-Supportive Atheists,” described as “A group for atheists and agnostics who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, or otherwise queer, as well as straight allies. We support LGBT rights and oppose the influence of religion in the government and the law.”

(Oh, dear. There’s “well-known trans videoblogger ZJ” again.)

Really, “Military Homosexual Scandal”? So is it a scandal about a person in the military who happens to be a homosexual? Or is it a “homosexual scandal” in the military? Either way, why does that have any relevance here? Sure, he may have leaked thousands of potentially compromising documents about an ongoing war… but he’s gay!

Kincaid’s entire article is a morass of unsubstantiated rumors and insinuations:

It is apparent that Manning, based on published reports, was a public homosexual activist for at least over a year. During this time he apparently came up with the idea of downloading and releasing the classified information to WikiLeaks as a way to get back at the United States military over its policy regarding homosexuality.

If he had actually read any of Manning’s conversations, it’s obvious he had a number of concerns that motivated him to release the documents, but never listed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as one of them. He had already mentioned DADT when he spoke with me, all the way back in February of 2009 when he hadn’t even leaked anything and didn’t indicate that he was planning to. And he really didn’t seem very worried about it.

In another bizarre twist, reliable reports suggest that Private First Class Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army Intelligence analyst accused of leaking the classified information to the WikiLeaks.org website, was not only a homosexual but was considering a sex change.

While it’s impossible to completely rule out that he’s trans, the support for this claim is extremely weak to nonexistent, and appears to rely solely on a creative interpretation of his conversations with Adrian Lamo. Nothing he said to me ever suggested that he was trans, or questioning his identity in any way.

The riveting Telegraph account of Manning’s growing rage and anger raises serious questions of how the soldier was able to flaunt his homosexuality despite the fact that the Pentagon still officially has a policy in place of excluding open homosexuals from military service.

So, it’s not really about his “growing rage and anger” – which would seem to be pretty important in terms of understanding his motives – but his homosexuality? Just think about this for a moment. Here’s two hypothetical scenarios:

  1. Manning was just as upset with the military, but he was also a heterosexual. Would his not being gay have been the only thing keeping him from making the same choice, under the same circumstances, for the same reasons? Why?
  2. Manning, while gay, was perfectly satisfied with the military and loved his job. Would his being gay have been enough to make him release thousands of classified documents, despite having no reason to? How?

Again, what makes this relevant to anything?

The dramatic revelations about Manning’s circle of friends and associates suggest that, rather than repeal the homosexual exclusion policy, as Obama is demanding, the prohibition on homosexuals should have been more strictly enforced and that it should be strengthened today. What’s more, it is clear that Manning should have been expelled from the Armed Forces long before he allegedly did his damage to U.S. national security.

How does a requirement of heterosexuality function as a reliable security measure? Are straight people inherently incapable of espionage? Does being attracted to the opposite sex guarantee loyalty, obedience, and a greater ability to keep secrets? This is what you would have to demonstrate in order to justify anti-gay discrimination as a useful method of threat reduction. Prove that you are a more capable person than us, because of who you love.

Would a more strictly applied anti-gay policy have kept Manning out of the military? Possibly. But what it wouldn’t do is ensure that a heterosexual wouldn’t have leaked the same material instead. It may end up excluding the gay soldier who would have turned that person in before they could do any damage, though. Do you see how this is a totally useless criterion?

It will be interesting to see how the pro-homosexual U.S. media deal with the shocking revelations about Manning – and whether they investigate whether he was part of a secret homosexual network in the military that is currently working with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, once part of a group called the “International Subversives.”

Oh, I see why he mentioned me…

What is this, the ’50s? It’s the Lavender Scare all over again! Really, if someone is crafty enough to infiltrate the military for the purpose of espionage, what makes you think screening out gay people would prevent this? If they can manage to stay under without being found out, how hard would it be for them to pass as straight? That would be trivial in comparison, and it’s exactly why excluding gay people fails to accomplish anything. And even if they could reliably keep out every gay person, do you really believe there would be no straight spies to replace them?

This is important because the Manning scandal provides ammunition to those who want to maintain the exclusion of homosexuals from the military. It proves in dramatic terms that homosexuals with gender identity disorders are potentially unstable and that their strange sexual preferences can subvert the military mission and cost lives.

Homosexuals are “potentially unstable”. Heterosexuals are “potentially unstable”. People with gender identity disorder are “potentially unstable”. People without gender identity disorder are “potentially unstable”.

It’s not about whether they’re “potentially unstable”, it’s about whether they actually are. And a person’s sexuality or gender identity is not useful information that would help in determining this. And since when is being attracted to men or women a “strange sexual preference”? Whichever you prefer, so does about half of the world population. How “strange”!

The only way this “provides ammunition” is if you’re a gutless hatemongering idiot. This is nothing but the same bigoted tactics we’ve come to know all too well: malicious generalization using one unflattering example to demonize an entire group of people, which is oddly never applied to all straight people based on the bad behavior of individual heterosexuals. So what makes it okay to mischaracterize gay people like that? Homosexuality and heterosexuality have nothing to do with it. Gay people serve in armies around the world, ours included. And they do their job as professionally and as competently as their fellow straight servicemembers. One prominent counterexample does not negate that.