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A Washington Post smear of Elaine Donnelly

Posted By Les Kinsolving On 07/29/2008 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

In 1989, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger appointed Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush appointed her to the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.

In 1997, she was the first woman to be awarded the New York Naval Aviation Commandery’s Admiral John Henry Towers Award, for her support of Naval Aviation.

At the 29th Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, she was given the Ronald Reagan Award for 2002.

And then, on July 24 of this year, Elaine Donnelly was editorially eviscerated by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbanks.

Mr. Milbanks wasted no time on either subtlety or restraint in getting right at this attractive lady, whom a Post photographer close-upped looking grim.

Understandably.

Milbank’s opening line (drive): “Don’t ask, don’t tell. And whatever you do, don’t ask Elaine Donnelly what she thinks of gays in the military.”

Then, wrote Milbanks:

“The House Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee made such a miscalculation yesterday. Holding the first hearing in 15 years on the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy, lawmakers invited a quartet of veterans to testify on the subject and also extended an invitation to Donnelly, who has been working for years to protect our armed forces from the malign influence of women.”

Note: As a matter of fact – which Milbank either missed or distorted – Elaine Donnelly was a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Armed Services, as well as a presidential commission examining the role of women in the military. Because Donnelly has worked to keep women out of combat, Milbank contends this is an effort to “protect our armed forces from the malign influence of women.” What a Washington Post distortion!

Milbank also wrote:

“Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of transgender in the military. She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading ‘HIV positivity’ through the ranks.”

QUESTION: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta still reports that the highest numbers of AIDS cases – and deaths – is among male homosexuals. Why in the name of common sense does the Washington Post publish this incredible denunciation of our armed forces because they do not want to recruit such lethal disease-spreaders?

MILBANK: “At the witness table with Donnelly retired Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, a lesbian, rolled her eyes in disbelief. Retired Marine Sgt. Eric Alvah, a gay man who was wounded in Iraq, looked as if he would explode.”

QUESTION: While Capt. Darrah and Sgt. Alvah were on active duty, did they tell of their orientations? Or did they wait until safely discharged before telling? (No information on this from the Post’s Milbank.)

Then, Milbank reported the treatment of Elaine Donnelly by three members of the Congress, whose approval rating (14 percent) is so much less than that of the president.

  • Democrat Vic Snyder of Arkansas called her statement “just bonkers” and “dumb” and her claims about the menace of HIV as “inappropriate.” (QUESTION: Is Arkansas devoid of AIDS and HIV cases?) “By this analysis we ought to recruit only lesbians for the military because they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country.” (No mention of the source for this claim, nor what categories have higher HIV.)
  • Democrat Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania (an Iraq veteran) called Donnelly’s words “an insult to me and many of the soldiers by saying they aren’t professional enough to serve openly with gay troops while successfully completing their military mission.” Retorted Donnelly: “What would you say to Cynthia Yost, the woman on a training exercise assaulted by a group of lesbians?” (MILBANK: “She neglected to mention that the incident was alleged to have occurred in 1974.” If this were only an allegation, can any thoughtful person believe that Donnelly would have mentioned it?)
  • Republican Chris Shays of Connecticut “pointed a finger at Darrah and glared at Donnelly: ‘Would you please tell me Miss Donnelly (Donnelly is married with two daughters), why I should give one twit about this woman’s sexual orientation, when it didn’t interfere one bit with her service?” (Because, apparently, Darrah was not asked and did not tell.)

    When Donnelly “said something about ‘forced intimacy’ Shays cut her off. ‘You’re saying she has no right to serve her country because she happens to have a difference sexual orientation than you.’”

This hardly courteous treatment of witness Donnelly by these three House members is another reason why Congress’ public rating is so low.

Then, retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, a black man, actually compared the restriction against homosexuals who tell – with racial segregation. Since there is no evidence whatsoever that anyone is born homosexual (as one is born black) – the general’s contention will understandably enrage many blacks.

The Post’s Milbank does report: “Retired Army Sgt. Major Jones, who argued almost as passionately as Donnelly for the need to keep the military straight:

“‘In the military environment, team cohesion, morale and espirit de corps is a matter of life and death … the only way to keep from freezing at night was to get as close as possible for body heat – which means skin to skin.’

“And Donnelly made a comparison to Sen. Larry Craig’s adventure at the Minneapolis Airport. She said admitting (self-announced) gays to the military would be ‘forced cohabitation’ and a policy of ‘relax and enjoy it.’

“That caused Democrat Ellen Tauscher of California to say she was ‘shocked’ and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire to say she was ‘embarrassed.’

“Chris Shays declared it was scurrilous of Donnelly to talk of the menace of homosexual misconduct because ‘it would be punished the same way the military punished heterosexual misconduct.’”

QUESTION: Will the parents of youngsters considering being recruited by our armed forces be comforted and reassured by knowing that if their son is raped by a homosexual officer or non-com, that this sodomist will be court-martialed?



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