July 14, 2010
Back in April, Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo chained themselves to the fence of the White House in protest of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy (which by the way has still not been repealed). Last month, as they prepared for their trial on charges of unlawful conduct, they subpoeaned a powerhouse witness...President Obama himself. These two soliders stated they were merely following their Commander-In-Chief's orders from last fall to pressure him on the repeal of DADT, a statement Obama made in speaking about his intention to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
This legal manuever was a clever, headline grabbing ploy but, this morning, it appears the President is off the hook. The trial, which was supposed to start today, has been cancelled. AmericaBlog reports that everyone was in court this morning, Choi, Pietrangelo and all the officers and Secret Service involved in their arrest. But for reasons that are currently unclear, the prosecutor dismissed the charges. Clearly, they were wary of the trial becoming a showcase for Choi and Pietrangelo's crusade to keep the issue of DADT in the public consciousness.
At the end of the court appearance, Choi asked the judge if the "stay away" order from the White House was no longer valid. The prosecutor's answer was yes. So you can bet Choi and others will be back at the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue soon, demanding their right to serve openly and proudly in the armed forces.