In a press briefing following yesterday’s Republican block of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal in the U.S. Senate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) got a little testy when some pushy reporters insisted on refuting his statement of policy with actual fact. Check out the video and transcript:
Transcript from ThinkProgress.org:
MCCAIN: We do not go out and seek. Regulations are, we do not go out and seek to find out if someone’s sexual orientation. We do not!
ELEVELD: But senator, that’s not…
MCCAIN: That is the fact! That is the fact. Now ma’am, I know the military very well, and I know what’s being done. And what is being done is that they are not seeking out people who are gay. And I don’t care what you say, I know it’s a fact.
ELEVELD: It’s not what I say.
MCCAIN: I dont’ care what you say! And I don’t care what others say. I’ve seen it in action. I’ve seen it in action. I have sons in the military, I know the military very well. So they’re not telling you the truth.
ELEVELD: Senator, just to make sure…
MCCAIN: Just to make sure. We do not go out and seek out and find out….
ELEVELD: Private emails are not being searched? Private emails are not being searched?
MCCAIN: …See if someone is gay or not. We do not go out and see whether someone is gay or not.
ELEVELD: There are documented cases…
MCCAIN: They do not, they do not, they do not. You can say that they are, you can say [inaudible] it’s not true!… Yea, I’d like to see…
GEIDNER: It is the case of Mike Almy, Senators.
MCCAIN: Bring them to our office. It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy.
GEIDNER: But it is the case that it’s happening, Senator.
MCCAIN: It is not the policy, it is not the policy, it is not the policy You can say that it is the policy, sir if you choose to. It is not the policy. I would be glad to get that to you in writing.
Nice. A U.S. Senator who thinks he knows everything that’s happening in the U.S. military… Because clearly, this one man is aware of every action that is being taken across the ENTIRE Armed Forces. And he doesn’t care what you say, or what sworn testimony comes from actual military personnel who have been discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy… Because he knows he’s right.
Saying, “It is not the policy” over and over again like a mantra isn’t going to make that reality, Mr. McCain. Policy or no, testimony in your Senate Armed Forces subcommittee (YOUR subcommittee, for the record) clearly states that it IS happening, whether it’s the policy or not.
Sticking your fingers in your ears and refusing to listen when people challenge you on your claims isn’t going to make it go away.