Pam and Shakespeare's Sister are right. Nothing shows how completely unprepared America is to fight a war better than our willingness to kick heroic homosexuals out of the service. Doesn't matter if they know Arabic, doesn't matter if they're the real-life manifestation of Rambo, doesn't matter if they shoot lasers from their eyes and make things explode through mental effort, if they prefer dudes to chicks the Army doesn't want them. And it doesn't need them at the exact same moment that it desperately needs more troops.

During Vietnam, the thirst for bodies superseded the country's casual bigotry and dudes in dresses were sent as surely as the conscripts who showed up in fatigues. We were fighting a war. Presently, we're forcing perfectly good, able, and willing fighters from advancing the national interest because they pursue a lifestyle that is in no way illegal. That point can't be overstated. Being gay is no less legal than being brown-eyed, or long-limbed. The Supreme Court, in fact, not only ratified the constitutionality of being gay, but of doing gay things. So neither homosexuality nor the sodomy that often comes with it is in any way contrary to the law. And yet, somehow, this wholly legal lifestyle is reason enough to be ejected from the Armed Forces.

Imagine that. The defenders of liberty, the toughest, strongest, most deadly-dangerous aspect of the world's superpower gets the vapors when gays ask to join. All these macho men, all these Navy SEALS, all these front-line defenders of freedom are, we're supposed to believe, rendered so queasy by the thought of dudes kissing that they could no longer protect the country. And the right accuses us of being unserious?

Actually, it goes far beyond seriousness. It hits straight at the heart of efficiency:

A recent congressional study on the impact of "don't ask, don't tell" said that hundreds of highly skilled troops, including many translators, have left the armed forces because of the rule, at a cost of nearly $200 million, mostly for recruiting and training replacements for 9,500 troops discharged between 1994 and 2003.

$200 million. So the soldiers tasked with defending our country will never be exposed to the danger of guy-on-guy action. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

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