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Lt. Dan Choi Discharged- Why Won’t He Admit It?

07/22/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Lieutenant Daniel Choi has been more than willing to hide the fact that he was discharged on 29 June. On 8 July, Choi even claimed “I am paid by the Army and the Veterans Affairs (50% service disability)” in a text exchange between him and Dr. Paula Brooks. He was informed of his discharge by Lieutenant Colonel Paul A. Fanning by phone on that day. He was informed by certified mail as well, and someone by his surname signed for that letter. According to the letter, a memorandum dated 21 June 2010 concerned “withdraw of Federal Recognition for 1LT Choi, Daniel W., New York National Guard.” Choi was discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This means that he is no longer paid by the military.

Why has Choi been unwilling to admit that he was discharged until tonight? Why has he not been willing to admit it until tonight? His discharge would have been the ultimate propaganda coup for him and his group, but then, it creates a bigger problem for Choi. It has been twenty-four days since Choi was officially discharged, and certainly been more than willing to wear his uniform in public. Indeed, he may have been in violation of the law by doing so since it is a violation for anyone who is not within the military to wear an official military uniform.

Daniel Choi has disgraced his uniform by continuing to wear it despite being discharged, and he has used it in such a manner which is, ultimately, a prop for him in the political theater that he has engaged in with Get Equal. He has been more than willing to wear his uniform while handcuffed to the White House fence, angering many servicemembers and even turning them against the cause of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Choi’s constant use of his uniform as a costume for his appearances in public have, ultimately, turned many within the military against him, and likely even made it harder for many leaders within the LGBT movement to approach the military chiefs in a manner which could have and even were making them at least less hostile towards repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

The tactics used by Dan Choi, who claims to have no affiliation with Get Equal, and the group he has been arrested the most with, namely Get Equal, have been problematic at best. While it may seem like targeting Senator Harry Reid may feel nice, stopping traffic in one of the most heavily trafficked areas in his state is not the best way to get people on our side. Instead of targeting the swing votes on legislation like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Choi and Get Equal have done their best to attack those who are ardent supporters of the LGBT movement. Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid cannot move on legislation that they do not have the votes for, and by targeting them instead of targeting those who do not support pro-LGBT legislation, all Choi and Get Equal do is waste valuable time and energy.

While it is regrettable that Dan Choi was discharged, he has chosen to act in a manner that is beyond disrespectful of the women and men who serve in the military. These are the women and men he is suppose to be trying to help, and instead, he had done so much to make repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell that much harder, and made it that much harder for them while in the service.

He has also hidden his discharge from the eyes of the public. This is a man who has been strongly and adamantly in favor of repealing DADT, and yet, when he is discharged, he is silent until tonight on The Rachel Maddow Show. He refuses to admit to having been informed at the time, and has said that he was informed by the media at a later time. The question is, why did he have to hide this until tonight?

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16 Responses to Lt. Dan Choi Discharged- Why Won’t He Admit It?

  1. Zoe Brain

    July 24, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    The certified letter notifying him of his discharge was sent to the address of his (estranged) father.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

      Thank you. It still does not negate the fact that he was called about his discharge, and that the Lt. Colonel who phoned him has stated as much.

  2. Zoe Brain

    July 24, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    It appears that the reason he didn’t publicise his discharge is because he wasn’t informed of it. They sent the certified letter to the wrong address, and the recipient didn’t inform him.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm

      Zoe,

      The Lt. Colonel informed him on the phone that day, and according to the military, someone by his last name signed for it. I am not sure where the information about it being sent to the wrong address is coming from though.

  3. Josh

    July 24, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    “he has chosen to act in a manner that is beyond disrespectful of the women and men who serve in the military.”

    No. Fuck you.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Josh,

      My grandfather served in World War II. He would be appalled at what Choi has done. In fact, I know many a servicemember- including several who were discharged under DADT- who are furious with the way in which he has treated his uniform and his service to our nation. Many of them wanted his ass thrown in jail where he could rot for all they cared. One soldier suggested leaving him up on the White House fence to rot, just put a screen in front of him and gag him.

      He has chosen to act in a manner which is beyond disrespectful to the women and men who serve in our military, and next time, try having a damned argument instead of using an expletive. Choi has dishonored his uniform, his service, and the service of our soldiers. He has made life worse for those who have to live with this law by making it harder for them to get it repealed. Sorry to rain on your parade here, but your hero is a dishonorable, dishonest, money grubbing sorry excuse for an ex-soldier.

      And, unlike Choi, Colonel Fahrenbach has honorably worn his uniform, and honored his service by not wearing his uniform as a prop.

  4. DCInsider

    July 23, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Hmmmm, Dan claims he doesn’t have a job yet is bragging around DC that he is going to buy a condo at the Floridian off of U Street. How can an unemployed man get a mortgage? 

  5. Gay4me

    July 23, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    It’s only one source, but Dan’s good buddy from GETEQUAL is now on vacation and no longer doing movement work. Check out this site for more info, http://tinyurl.com/2e445d8,

  6. Wake Up AMerica

    July 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I am still very disappointed in the fact that Lt, Choi and his agent will not help out our kids at Texas Tech University. He told the President that he wanted to be paid 7000 dollars up front to me that is just plain selfish B/S and That told me he could care less about those kids who are so discriminated against in west Texas!!! They needed his voice and he refused their cries!!!

  7. J Boda

    July 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Yeah, I get it. Choi is polarizing because of the way he chooses to be active on the issue of gays in the military. However, never forget, he actually volunteered, served in combat, and protected every Americans’s right of free speech, including his own – unlike 99% of the American citizenry. And unlike most of the LGBT community, he’s ACTIVE in repealing DADT. He sacrificed his career and said, “Take me”, so that the next generation of gay troops can serve their country with integrity. As a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and gay man – I can appreciate that, despite his non-traditional method of protest – even if I don’t condone his methods.

    BTW, I’ve heard the ‘making money off DADT’ remark several times. I’m not saying he isn’t, but how do you know that? Where’s your proof? It wasn’t in your post. I know for sure who’s making money off DADT… LGB advocacy orgs who fund raise with the issue, give themselves 6-figure salaries, and then compromise on repeal language filling it with loopholes making repeal a lot longer process and more difficult to get done.

    Lt Choi is not your enemy. The US government and the Deomcratic majority is where you need to focus your criticism – IMHO.

    LezGetReal… how ’bout you stop the gossip and actually GET REAL?

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

      J Boda,

      This is not gossip. And we do focus our attention on the Democrats and the US Government all the time. We also focus our attention on those who stand in the way of getting this law repealed.

      Incidentally, from every source we have heard from, Choi does not have a job. He claimed he was being paid by the military, but that ended over a month ago. How did he get to Las Vegas to get arrested again? Did he hitchhike there with Westboro Baptist or something? Despite the fact that Lt. Choi has claimed not to be affiliated with Get Equal or employed by them, he has no source of income and is constantly being arrested with those people.

      Incidentally, those of us on the inside of this actually were going to be able to get this repealed without the damned compromise until Lt. Choi got arrested in uniform.

  8. jj

    July 23, 2010 at 12:53 am

    If we’re gonna talk about disrespect, let’s first talk about the countless gay and lesbian soldiers booted unjustly from the force, and the utter disrespect to thm.  Or the disrespect shown to all Amricans and Amricans soldiers when able-bodied soldiers who happen to be gay are taken out, putting everybody mor at risk, just to appease the ignorant segment of society.  Or lets talk about the complete disrespect that military leaders show towards America when people who helped keep them safe are denied the very rights everyone else has? 

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 23, 2010 at 8:21 am

      jj,

      My best friend was wrongfully discharged under DADT. I know all about the evils of this law. Her sergeant trumped up charges of her being lesbian because she refused to sleep with him. She ended up on the streets, addicted to drugs, and struggling to cope with PTSD. She got a tainted needle while on the streets, and has AIDS. It has been one hell of a struggle for me and her fiancee to get her to the point where she is stable and clean. She has been clean now for six years. I still remember getting the call from her about her AIDS test coming back positive.

      I have been more than vocal about getting DADT repealed. I just have a very low tolerance for anyone who would sabotage those efforts in order to gain publicity the way Choi has.

  9. Melanie Nathan

    July 23, 2010 at 12:08 am

    I guess Dan was waiting a MONTH to give Rachel Maddow an exclusive tonight! Unless he realized his discharge was outed by Lez Get Real today and he had to rush to cover up that he waited a month to tell anyone,. What is going on I dont get it is Dan trying to hide something?

  10. Heather

    July 22, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I have no idea why Lez Get Real has allowed you to repeatedly attack Dan Choi but I’m sick of it. Right now, I’m so sick of it, I’ll probably take a week’s vacation from this website. I think you should be banned from writing about Dan Choi because you have a personal grudge and your statements made with all this hatred could lead to a libel lawsuit against this fine website. Your grudge isn’t worth destroying all that Lez Get Real has built up.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      July 23, 2010 at 8:15 am

      Heather,

      Nothing I have said is a lie or slander. I have, despite what Lt. Choi has said, stated nothing that is libelous. What he has done has undermined everything that we have tried to do, and it has hurt many of our soldiers. What Choi has done has been to use this whole thing to gain a lot of money. Neither he, nor Get Equal, have a plan. Voicing this is not libel or slander.

      As for holding a grudge against Choi, I am sure it seems that way. I just dislike people who are so busy attacking our allies and lying about their stances, affiliations, and status in the military. I have never met Choi in person, so saying that I hate him might be a stretch. As for being allowed to do this, I did this in consultation with Dr. Brooks, the site owner.