Thursday, July 10, 2008

Time Magazine touts biased study on gays in the military

Every time someone brings up the issue of gays in the military, I think of the scene in the movie "Meatballs" in which Bill Murray and his friend land themselves in an Army recruiter's office. The recruiter, filling out his form, asks the two men a series of questions in a monotone, perfunctory voice, one of which is whether they are homosexuals. The two men look at each other for a moment, and then Murray turns to the recruiter and answers, "No sir, but we're willing to try."

Of course, in the new politically correct military, recruiters can't even ask that question any more.

In the new issue of Time Magazine is an article titled, "Gay Soldiers Don't Hurt Unit Cohesion" about a study conducted by the Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, an institution I know a little about since I hold two academic degrees from it.

Let's just say I'm not shocked.

Like most other "research centers" at public universities, the Michael D Palm Center is a left-wing advocacy group clothing itself in scholarly garb. In fact, if you go to its website you can see the latest news from the group about the publication of a new book by Dr. Nathaniel Frank, "the country's leading expert on 'don't ask, don't tell.'" "The book Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America," the site continues, "will be published in the winter of 2009."

Gee, I wonder where the Michael D. Palm Center stands on the issue.

In fact, the group has long advocated for gays in the military, a fact that the Time story conveniently failed to mention. "The study," says Time, in an attempt to portray the study as somehow objective, "was conducted by four retired military officers, including the three-star Air Force lieutenant general who in early 1993 was tasked with implementing President Clinton's policy that the military stop questioning recruits on their sexual orientation."

The article says the panel was "bipartisan," meaning, apparently, that it was made up of people who had already in favor of gays in the military from both parties.

Not only that, but if you actually read the report, it contains no information about whether the policy actually works. According to the Time article:
"Evidence shows that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion," the officers states. [sic]
But the "evidence" in the report itself consists exclusively of opinion polls of what different groups of people think about the policy, not on what the policy actually does. Among the stunning findings of the report, for example, is that (get this) journalists don't like the policy.

Woah! We be researchin' now!

And then there is this gem:

Alexander said at the time he was simply trying to carry out the president's orders and not take a position. But he now believes the law should be repealed because it assumes the existence of gays in the military is disruptive to units even though cultural attitudes are changing.

Further, the Defense Department and not Congress should be in charge of regulating sexual misconduct within the military, he said.

"Who else can better judge whether it's a threat to good order and discipline?" Alexander asked.

Right. As if keeping politics out of the military was what these people really want. What Alexander fails to mention is that the military was doing just fine until Bill Clinton repealed the original policy on this matter in almost complete disregard for what the Defense Department wanted to do. But that wouldn't look good in the group's press release, would it?

I will consider this one more piece of evidence that, when it comes to research by gay rights groups on any question having to do with gays, science is always subordinate to politics.

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