A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Thursday, April 13, 2006

This Is An Internal Military Matter

This morning, when I was reading the paper (which we call the Socialist-Reivew), I turned to the front page of the local section and found this headline in big letters:

Lesbian reservist goes to court (reg. req.)

The military has rightfully attempted to discharge Margaret Witt, who lives here in Spokane, for being a lesbian. Of course, Witt has called in the ACLU, bastion of Liberal "values."

More from Stop the ACLU:

No matter where you stand on this issue, the law is the law. The Court is no place for this.

In 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton, bowing to his ultra left-wing supporters, established the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy relating to homosexuality. However, this policy is a big nothing if a homosexual relationship or encounter becomes general knowledge. Because it is still a violation of the enlistment contract or commission the service member agreed to when entering military service to be a homosexual.

Enter Maj. Margaret Witt, United States Airforce Reserve who has been engaged in a lesbian relationship for many years. Last month she was discharged from the Airforce Reserve because the relationship had become general knowledge.

The ACLU has taken up her case and is assisting her fight her discharge.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the U.S. Air Force Reserves' discharge of a decorated major and flight nurse who had been in a lesbian relationship for several years.

Major Margaret Witt, 42, of Spokane, was discharged last month, about a year and a half after the Air Force placed her on unpaid leave, telling her she could no longer take part in any military duties.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court here, seeks an injunction barring Witt's discharge and a declaration that doing so would violate her rights to engage in private activities without government interference. SOURCE
Applicable Articles of the UCMJ:
883. ART. 83. FRAUDULENT ENLISTMENT, APPOINTMENT, OR SEPARATION

Any person who–

(1) procures his own enlistment or appointment in the armed forces by knowingly false representation or deliberate concealment as to his qualifications for the enlistment or appointment and receives pay or allowances thereunder; or
(2) procures his own separation from the armed forces by knowingly false representation or deliberate concealment as to his eligibility for that separation;
shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

884. ART. 84. UNLAWFUL ENLISTMENT, APPOINTMENT, OR SEPARATION
Any person subject to this chapter who effects an enlistment or appointment in or a separation from the armed forces of any person who is known to him to be ineligible for that enlistment, appointment, or separation because it is prohibited by law, regulation, or order shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
When she accepted her commission, she understood at that point that homosexuals are not permitted to serve in the US Armed Forces. Therefore, either or both Articles 83 & 84 could be applicable in a case such as this.
925. ART. 125. SODOMY

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy. Penetration , however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
If Maj. Witt was involved in a lesbian relationship for many years, it can be assumed that she has engaged in sexual activities with her lover. This being the case, it is an act of unnatural carnal copulation and thus Sodomy. So Article 125 is applicable.
933. ART. 133. CONDUCT UNBECOMING AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
As a commissioned officer in the Airforce Reserve, she is bound by the UCMJ and the provisions of her commission to conduct herself in an honorable fashion. Under this provision, any officer conducting themselves in an honorable manner at all times. Open involvement in a homosexual relationship under the provisions of her commission is considered Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman (regardless of the officer's gender). So Article 133 is applicable.

And the catch all of catch alls, Article 134:
934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.
Openly homosexual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have the potential to create a morale and discipline problem within the unit and as such can be seen as being damaging for the good of the service. And conversely, the potential for sexual relationships among members of the same unit or command can also lead to a breakdown in discipline.

Many of us who have served in the military have lived in relatively close quarters with others. You do so in garrison and in the field. It cannot be permitted for members of the same unit to develop relationships. One major reason why is that relationships end.

Another reason has to do with injury in combat. What would it be like if you had two openly homosexual men in an infantry unit who were involved with each other. They go into combat and one of them gets shot. How would his boyfriend react on the battlefield? Instead of the unit being down one weapon, there is a potential of being down two as a result of one round. This is unacceptable.

So the military must operate under different conditions than society. Without a separate set of rules to live by, order in the military would collapse. You cannot have subordinates questioning their orders, you cannot have soldiers wasting military supplies, selling equipment, sleeping on guard, etc… etc… etc… Because if you do, the military would be unable to function.

Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are volunteers. They know the score going into the service. If they choose to conceal their sexual orientation knowing that homosexual conduct is a violation of the UCMJ, that is a risk that they take. If they are caught, then they should know that the military will apply the UCMJ because if they fail to, it would lead to a collapse of discipline.

It is no different (except in severity) than a soldier who falls asleep on guard. It is a violation and there is no room for latitude.

Whether agree with the provisions of the UCMJ or not, it is the law of the military. If you don't agree with those rules, then contact your elected officials. The Armed Services Committee may have some influence. But be forewarned, the UCMJ is developed by the Defense Department and approved by the President. Congress has very little input.

So the ACLU should keep their nose out of this matter. It has no business in a federal court. This is an internal military matter.

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