Waymon Hudson

General John Sheehan Says Gays in Military Would Spread AIDS

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 18, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Family Research Council, gays in the military, HIV/AIDS, Politico, Tony Perkins

General John Sheehan, retired four-star general of the U.S. Marine Corps and former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO, is back in the news with more bigoted anti-repeal talk about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Readers may remember Sheehan as the man who while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March suggested that the integration of gay soldiers in the Dutch Military was responsible for the Srebrenica massacre.

sheehan.jpgSheehan said that the Netherlands' allowance of gay men and women to serve openly caused them to be ill-prepared on the battle field and unable to stop the Srebrenica genocide by the Serbs in 1995. He later had to walk his comments back after the Netherlands slammed his absurd comments, saying that his memory about the massacre was 'inaccurate.'

Now Gen. Sheehan is back, having teamed up with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins in an op-ed on Politico. His assertion now?

Letting gays in the military will spread AIDS to the troops.

Sheehan and Perkins go way down the rabbit hole in their op-ed on Politico, throwing everything they can think of against repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

alg_john_sheehan_gesture.jpgYet homosexuality carries with it profound behavioral implications. Sexual attraction among members of the same sex -- living, exercising, fighting and training alongside one another in the closest of quarters -- could devastate morale, foster heightened interpersonal tension and lead to division among those who, more than virtually any other group in society, need to act as one.
...
In addition, the medical implications of Obama's proposal are compelling. According to data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gay and bisexual men are 50 times more likely to have HIV than heterosexual men. This would be devastating for military resources already stretched thin, and it has pronounced implications for battlefield blood transfusions.

This proposal is not about bigotry. Race is a superficial and benign element of one's humanness, while homosexuality is a matter of behavior. Homosexuality is not about civil rights but conduct detrimental to the discipline, trust and combat readiness of what has been -- and still is -- the world's finest military.

So letting gay men and women serve openly will cause a surge of HIV infection in the military because of battlefield blood transfusions, thus decimating the military? Could they squeeze any more ludicrous and insulting assertions in this bigoted, fact-less screed?

Study after study has shown that open service in the military has no effect on morale, unit cohesion, or troop retention. So now the far right lunatic fringe is saying that those disease carrying gays will infect and kill off the rest of the troops? That's the argument they are hanging their hats on.

For a retired general to team up with Tony Perkins is bad enough, but to include such horrifically bigoted, hateful rhetoric about LGBT soldiers is beyond the pale. Absurdity like this shows just how desperate the far right is to defend their bigotry and how they will throw facts and logic out the window in their quest to legislate their twisted version of morality.


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Fine, don't let anybody HIV+ in the military, they've already got other medical reasons not to let somebody in.

Oh, and about the race thing, I'm sure he (doesn't) realize black individuals are most at risk for HIV (http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/images/race_chart.gif)and that the very same argument he's applying here could apply to black servicemembers.

Sheehan's statement suggests he doesn't know that gay people are in the military already. The question before us is whether they will be able to serve openly. It is hard to see how removing the need for secrecy will endanger the blood supply.

So HIV doesn't affect personnel that are not openly serving? Interesting "logic". If the General's point had any merit then we should return to the old policy of not only refusing open service to gays, but find them and kick them out. Both the Sheehan and Perkins know very well that's not going to happen so they offer this pathetic excuse instead to prevent open service. Well HIV testing is performed on all personnel regardless of whether their sexual orientation is known or not and open service would not change this. Personnel found to be HIV positive are put on restricted duty or removed from service. I fail to see how repealing the ban would make this any different.

This General does not even have a clue, it is truly sad that our officers in the Military are not educated and that they have so much fecal verbage. Does he not realize that HIV is rampant among Heteros.

a gay male | June 18, 2010 3:00 PM

wow. fail.

if service members had no fear of DADT-based discharge, that'd remove one barrier to honest communication with military medical personnel regarding donation, testing, and treatment. I can't imagine a single way in which open service would be worse than closeted service as a policy if their concern is HIV issues?

I think homophobes and bigots are the ones who devestate morale. evens soldiers who aren't gay have to live in fear that any gender non-conforming behavior (real or imagined) is suspect... shouldn't they be focused more on, oh I don't know, doing their jobs?

Sadly, AIDS does not discriminate. Its strikes who ever is exposed. The military already DOES deal with service members with AIDS. Everyone gets an HIV test every 2 years minium and if you admit to having unprotected sex or are known to be exposed to HIV then you have tests every 6 months for the next 2 years.
If a service member is found to have HIV, they are not allowed to re-enlist. They do get a medical discharge at the end of the current enlistment.
Part of it is protecting the walking ready blood supply.
Part of it is the fact that feilding an infected military member with a known life threatening illness is ...well, a potential war crime.
The majority of service members who have HIV/AIDS are hetro. (all of this is from general military training or GMT)

Thanks Gina...didn't know rules. I knew they had them. Thanks Waymon sharing.

Maybe General Sheehan needs a GMT refresher.

Saddly, many command level officers don't bother to attend GMT because they beleive that since they're 'the big kahuna' that they're above all of that.

Funny isn't it? Something the lowest ranked enlisted person knows the 4 star is ignorant on. I've had to smack some sense in to more than one flag officer before the did something flat out ignorant.

Don't worry, I'm sure someone will come along shortly and smack him down from the Pentagon.

The general likes to omit certain key details that render his argument virtually moot. The services consider HIV positive military personnel permanently non-deployable to overseas locations. Since we haven't been in combat with a foreign force on U.S. soil since….oh, the 1800s….no known HIV + military personnel should be in a combat theater.

Yes, men who have sex with men have a higher HIV infection rate; however, HIV is an equal opportunity virus and infects heterosexual personnel too. In 2007, a US Army paper on HIV in the military showed that the majority of HIV cases during deployments (overseas) were from heterosexual soldiers, not teh gays.

Something tells me this Sheehan is being offensive just to get a rise out of people. Because he's made some seriously stupid comments.

It's more likely that Gen. John Sheehan would be spreading AIDS in the military.

How do you spell 'bigot'? J-o-h-n S-h-e-e-h-a-n.

Methinks the general has some unresolved sexual issues of his own.

The same gutless coward
who sat in his office as a smll contingent of Dutch soldiers armed with blue UN helmets were overrun by the Drina Corps armored column and then blamed the gays in the Dutch unit?

Get over yourself, General, you tactically incompetent retired desk jockey trying to buff up your marine creds by gay bashing.

YOU screwed up and got 8,500 killed and thousands of women and girls raped while you sat on your ponderous Marine *ss

YOU could not save the men, boys, women and children fo Bosnia so you are trying to redeem yourself "saving the corps?"

Too late; your fiasco forever taints the reputations of Marine officers.

John Kennedy wrote a book on the beginning of WWII called "Why England Slept"

I should and may write one on the Bosnian massacres and rapes called "While Sheehan Slept"

Ought to be a best seller with the European and US Army brass who loathe you

Rick Sours | June 19, 2010 4:45 PM

Twenty-two (of the twenty-six nations) that are part of NATO allow open Lesbian, Gays and Bisexual to serve.

Why is it an issue with the US military?

troybear74 | July 7, 2010 6:16 PM

Maybe if the U.S. military commanders could actually keep their asses out of wars, then there wouldn't even be anything to worry about regarding blood transfusions!