Open the Military Closet

by Richard Cohen | The Washington Post

Back during the initial fuss about “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I went over to the Pentagon to see the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We mostly discussed the situation in the Balkans and the pressure on President Bill Clinton to militarily intervene. Then I asked about gays in the military and the chairman, who was opposed, asked me what I thought the reaction would be if two male soldiers took to the dance floor at some military base. No different, I answered, than if a black man danced with a white woman at the same base about 50 years earlier. Colin Powell seemed taken aback and I thought, naively, that “don’t ask don’t tell” was doomed.

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