Thursday, March 18, 2010



Earlier today, Lt. Dan Choi hijacked a Human Rights Campaign event featuring Kathy Griffin. The HRC event, billed as a Rally Against DADT, was scheduled to follow today's congressional hearings on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Robin McGeehee, of the group "Get Equal," asked HRC president Joe Salmonese if Lt. Choi could also speak. Reportedly, Salmonese rebuffed McGeehee, telling her that "this is Kathy's rally." Kathy Griffin was there to film an episode of ther television show, LIFE ON THE D-LIST.

But as Griffin concluded her usual stand-up act, Dan Choi took the stage anyway, declaring, "DADT is not a joke!" He then read the following statement.

“Hello. My name is Lt. Dan Choi. I am being discharged from the US Army because I am gay and dared to say it out loud.

Today, I am here on a mission with Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, and we are asking you all to join us. We’re calling you to action because we are at a turning point — a moment in time where talk is no longer enough, and action is required.

Equality is not going to happen by itself.

You have been told that the President has a plan. But Congressman Barney Frank confirmed to us this week that the President still is not fully committed to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year.

And if we don’t seize this moment it may not happen for a very long time.

Some may tell you that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been welcomed back by my unit with open arms. And it would be easy for me to stay quiet and hope that change will happen.

But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is — hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly.

Capt. Pietrangelo was honorably discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2004 and I will be subject to the same shortly. As officers we are here today fighting for those in the ranks, and we need our Commander in Chief to do the same.

Our fight is not here at Freedom Plaza, it is at the White House. We are walking to the White House right now to send the President a message. So…take out your cell phones and your cameras. Document this moment. Join us as together — we make history.”

Choi and Pietrangelo then led hundred down the street to the White House where he and Pietrangelo chained themselves to the White House fence while rotesters chanted, "Hey hey! Hi ho! DADT has got to go!" As many as twenty secret service police immediately taped off the area with yellow tape while Choi and Pietrangelo stood crucified upon the fence. Robin McGeehee was arrested on a charge of "disorderly conduct" for helping the two soldiers handcuff themselves. Protesters were told by secret service police to disperse, that if they remained on the sidewalk before the White House they would be arrested, also.

Neither Joe Salmonese or Kathi Griffin followed the crowd to the White House and were nowhere to be seen at the rally.

CNN reporter Rick Sanchez discussed the protest and the soldiers' arrest on his "Talk Back" television program, also. Here is the CNN footage:

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