Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, caused a stir at a Senate hearing Wednesday when he said he believes homosexual activity is immoral and should not be condoned by the military. Pace, who retires next week, said he was seeking to clarify similar remarks he made in spring, which he said were misreported.
"Are there wonderful Americans who happen to be homosexual serving in the military? Yes," he told the Senate Appropriations Committee during a hearing focused on the Pentagon's 2008 war spending request.
"We need to be very precise then, about what I said wearing my stars and being very conscious of it," he added. "And that is, very simply, that we should respect those who want to serve the nation but not through the law of the land, condone activity that, in my upbringing, is counter to God's law."
This is out of line. I don't care where Peter Pace stands on Don't Ask, Don't Tell and homosexuality in general, he should keep it to himself. The fact that an acting Joint Chiefs chairman would say something more befitting the now-defunct Crossfire than a Senate hearing is mind-numbing. Aren't military leaders supposed to maintain apolitical positions?
I don't care that Pace espoused a conservative stance: he's entitled to his point-of-view. He could have said he wants all the troops out of Iraq tomorrow. It would have been equally inappropriate.
Traditionalists may complain about the lack of discipline in today's military, but who would've guessed that would be manifest in the soapbox preachings of an out-of-line General at a Senate hearing?