Tempers are flaring (in a manly way, of course) among the military folk. Sam mentions a report, and Major #1 interrupts, "We know the report. A lot of those cases you're talking about, of the gays being discharged, came from voluntary statements." Sam says that a lot of the statements were not voluntary, according to standards in any civilian court. He says, "It's not a voluntary statement when it's given to a psychotherapist, as in the case of former Marine Corporal David Blessing. It is not a voluntary statement when it's made in a personal diary, as in the case of former West Point cadet Nicole Garrison. It is not when it's made after being asked, as in the case of Master Chief Petty Officer Diane Kelli!" Bring it home, Sam! Testify! "And it is not, when it's been coerced out of a service member through fear, through intimidation, through death threats, and threats of criminal prosecution, as in the case of former Air Force Major Bob Kiddis, former Marine Gunnery Sergeant Kevin Keys, and four sailors aboard the U.S.S. Essex." Heh, he said "member." The names have been changed in Sam's version, but you can read about the cases Sam is describing in Conduct Unbecoming: The Fifth Annual Report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue." Major #1 insists, "You take care of your guys, we'll take care of ours." I have no idea what he means. Sam replies, "You're not taking care of your guys, Major; your guys are out looking for jobs." Major #1 says, "Those weren't our guys." Enter Admiral Fitzwallace, who introduces himself around the room. One of the congressmen says that it's an honor to meet him, and Fitzwallace responds, "I imagine it would be, yes." ["Fitzwallace rocks." - deborah] He grabs a danish, and asks the majors what they thinks about gays in the military. Major #1 is a bit nervous, and tries to avoid answering, but the Admiral insists on hearing their opinion. Major #2 finally says that they aren't prejudiced against homosexuals. Fitzwallace concludes, "You just don't want to see them serving in the armed forces." Major #2 agrees. Fitzwallace notes that having openly gay servicemen would threaten unit discipline and cohesion, and says that "the military wasn't designed to be an instrument of social change." He goes on, "The problem with that is, that's what they were saying about me fifty years ago. Blacks shouldn't serve in the military. It would disrupt the unit. You know what? It did disrupt the unit. The unit got over it. The unit changed. I'm an Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Beat that with a stick." Fitzwallace discards the remains of his danish and exits, but Sam follows him out to thanks him. Fitzwallace says, "You're not gonna get anywhere." Sam says that the Prez just wanted "exploratory meetings." Fitzwallace strides away, possibly to see about getting a spin-off.
Episode Report CardStrega: B | 800 USERS: C+
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