Marc Ambinder has the most interesting bits from the now-infamous Rolling Stone article in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal claims that President Obama was unprepared for a meeting with military officials and takes jabs at National Security Adviser Jim Jones and Vice President Joe Biden. A reportedly furious Obama has summoned McChrystal back to Washington and is expected to reprimand McChrystal for insubordination.
And while the General’s comments about Obama are certainly inexcusable, his aide’s remarks about gay people are no less offensive. They should also receive the requisite public condemnation and the yet-to-be-identified aide should be promptly dismissed:
“Who’s he going to dinner with?” I ask one of his aides. “Some French minister,” the aide tells me. “It’s fucking gay.”
The comment underscores the existing locker-room style homophobia in the armed forces and explains why we won’t be seeing gay pride parades or a mass coming out once Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed. But these remarks are also as insubordinate as anything McChrystal said about Obama’s military strategy because they come in the midst of the administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, a goal Obama officially announced earlier this year at his State of the Union address.
If Obama is serious about building a more tolerant military culture he will demand that McChrystal publicly distance himself from these remarks, fire the offending aide, but also demand sharp assurances from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen that they will institute a non-discrimination policy once DADT is repealed. After all, a military that discriminates against gays is of course going to breed this kind of homophobic rhetoric.