Trump tried to hide bigoted policy that hurts the military
Trump is attempting to enshrine bigotry in the armed services via a ban on transgender service, and he is trying to do so under the radar.
ABC News reports that the Pentagon "quietly" released its new policy on transgender service on Wednesday in an attempt to avoid the backlash that came with Trump's initial announcement of the discriminatory policy.
"The Pentagon sent a copy of the policy directive to defense reporters, but it came without a statement of support from the White House, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, or even the Pentagon's press office," ABC noted.
Reporters were also invited to a 30-minute discussion with two officials from the Department of Defense but were not allowed to attribute information they received in the call to anyone at the Pentagon by name.
By contrast, when President Barack Obama dropped the ban on transgender military service, it wasn't done under cover of darkness.
Then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter went before cameras and openly discussed how allowing transgender service would benefit the country. He noted the policy would remove barriers preventing America "from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who can best accomplish the mission."
Trump's ban on transgender service, if implemented, is likely to hurt the military and degrade American safety while enshrining bigotry in government policy.
"Based on my experience, both as a combat arms officer and a medical provider, the answer is unequivocally is that my transition, and those of so many others, has dramatically increased the readiness and lethality of every branch of the Armed Forces," said U.S. Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik, in a recent conference call with reporters.
Stehlik is a transgender woman and served with the Army in Afghanistan.
"Soldiers matter to me, and it's soldiers who are going to miss out and suffer if medical providers and leaders like me are not allowed to stay in the military or are banned from future service," she further explained.
Trump's ban would hurt the military by excluding some of the people best prepared to defend the country. Americans dislike officially supporting this brand of discrimination, and the backlash to that bigotry is why Trump's administration tried to hide the rollout of its new, ill-advised, plan.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Oliver Willis.