Major Mike Almy, a 13-year veteran of the Air Force who was relieved of his duties after a routine search of computer files uncovered emails to his same-sex partner, appeared on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show this evening to respond to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) rather hysterical allegations that the military does not seek out gay soldiers or search private emails. That exchange, with journalists Kerry Eleveld and Chris Geidner, occurred only moments after Republicans successfully filibustered the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.
“I was literally quite stunned when I first heard it,” Almy told Maddow. “As you know, I testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March and told my story”:
ALMY: Senator McCain was there. He sat 20 feet away from me and he listened to every word of my testimony. For him to make that statement today that the military does not search private e-mails tells me that he either didn’t listen to my testimony in this past March, he forgot what I said, or he’s being deliberately deceptive with the American public about the true nature of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and using partisan politics over the interests of national security. The simple truth is the Air Force searched my private e-mails in 2005 in Iraq. During the height of the insurgency they launched an investigation solely to look into my private e-mails, solely to determine if I had violated Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and to find whatever evidence they could use against me. [...]So for Senator McCain to make that allegation, I’m just dumbfounded about where he comes up with that type of explanation, that type of an answer to a reporter and to be quite honest with you, I’m very angry at that statement today.
Earlier in the show, Maddow spoke to DADT scholar Nathaniel Frank about what the Democrats can now do to eliminate the policy. Frank laid out three paths: the Senate can try to pass repeal during the lame duck session, President Obama could issue an executive order ending implementation of the policy, or the Justice Department could refuse to appeal a recent federal district court decision which found DADT unconstitutional. “The court case, I think, is one of the more likely now, for the President to say, this actually is unconstitutional and although there is a tradition of defending standing law, it’s not obligated to defend a policy that it believes is unconstitutional,” Frank said.