Friday, July 23, 2010

Why Did Dan Choi Sit on His Discharge News For 4 Weeks?

As I reported here on Wednesday, Lt. Dan Choi, the poster boy for DADT, was discharged from the Army National Guard on June 29th. Gay City News and DC's Metro Weekly first broke the story and verified with the Army that they attempted to contact Lt. Choi several times by phone and letter that he'd been booted out.

Now the gay blogosphere is all abuzz about this story that LezGetReal is claiming they broke.

So why is Choi pretending he didn't know? Why did he sit on the news for four weeks? Why did he continue to wear his uniform in public and represent himself as an active duty service member, when he knew it was a federal crime to do so?  Inquiring minds deserve to know.

The image here is a copy of Choi's discharge memo, courtesy of LezGetReal. (Click on it to enlarge.) In the accompanying article, LGR's Paula Brooks reveals that she interviewed Choi via text message on July 8 -- the very day the Army says they notified him by phone of his discharge. Choi told Brooks, “I am paid by the Army and the Veterans Affairs (50% service disability)”.


Along with thousands of others, I heard Dan Choi speak at the National Equality March last year and like millions more, I've seen him on countless news programs. My feeling every time I hear him is that Choi loves the spotlight and is more committed to extending his 15 minutes than he is to fighting for DADT repeal. The hubris and false bravado are, at times, nauseating to watch.

Lt. Choi first burst on to scene early last year when he outed himself on the Rachel Maddow Show. Last night he returned to the scene of the crime, fully armed with all the false modesty he could muster. Rachel does not ask Choi why he sat on this news for a month. 

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