DADT Protest on 4/20?
The video below was taken yesterday outside the White House. It shows NPS Park Police ordering people out of Lafayette Park.
This move by the Park Police was due to a group of uniformed service members who had handcuffed themselves to the fence surrounding the White House in protest of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
If this sounds awfully familiar to the LT Dan Choi and CPT Jim Pietrangelo incident from March 18, 2010 that is because it is. Yesterday though, 6 people handcuffed themselves to the White House fence. At first glance it seems Choi and Pietrangelo got re-arrested along with 2 sailors, an airman, and a marine.
For those unfamiliar with military law, it is a crime to participate in a political action while in uniform. While the actions of Choi, Pietrangelo, and the others may seem brave to the civilian world, I must condemn their actions. Choi was given the greatest opportunity of any soldier, he was found out to be gay and was still retained by his unit. Twice now he has fucked up and gotten arrested while protesting in uniform. I see no way that the Army retains him and he will likely face both civil and military prosecution.
So I thought about the reason I came down on LT Choi so hard last week, and I realized the answer is simple. In my opinion, Choi has thrown away something that so many other people want: to serve in the Army (or more broadly the Armed Forces).
Choi always claimed that he wanted to stay with his NY National Guard unit. However, his actions these past few months have not backed up his claims.
When I was threatened with dismissal from the Army, it might have been the scariest few weeks of my life. I won’t reveal why I was going to be dismissed, but I will admit that the threat was enough for me to make a couple life altering decisions about myself. I feel like I made the commitment to fight to stay in, so I don’t know why Choi isn’t doing so either.