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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Newly-appointed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is poised to certify on Friday that gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces would not damage unit cohesion or retention or otherwise undermine the ability of the world’s most powerful military to wage war.

This comes in the wake of Congress passing and President Obama signing last December a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), the policy that made it illegal for openly gay people to fight for their country. The new law requires the president, defense secretary, and service chiefs to sign off before a 60-day wait period for equality to breach the ranks.

Of course, even Barry Goldwater, conservative icon, is known to have remarked, “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.” Too bad it took the GOP decades–and even then, only a few of their senators voted for repeal of DADT–to catch up with their 1964 presidential nominee on this issue.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)


Twitter has restricted access to a tweet posted Monday by Rep. Matt Gaetz, in which the Florida Republican called for what commenters described as extrajudicial killings of protesters.

"Now that we clearly see Antifa as terrorists, can we hunt them down like we do those in the Middle East?" Gaetz tweeted, joining Donald Trump and other Republicans in blaming anti-fascists for the violence across the country at protests over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for eight minutes, even as Floyd said he could not breathe. Autopsies have found that Floyd died of asphyxia.While Gaetz's tweet is still up, users have to click on it to see its contents. It's covered by a box that reads, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Democratic lawmakers called out Gaetz in response to the tweet and urged Twitter to remove it from the social media platform.

"Take the Gaetz tweet down right now @twitter. RIGHT NOW," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted Monday night. "The survivors of mass shootings are lighting up my phone. They are scared to death this will inspire someone to start shooting into a crowd tonight. They are right."

After Twitter took action against his tweet, Gaetz said, "Their warning is my badge of honor."

"Antifa is a terrorist organization, encouraging riots that hurt Americans. Our government should hunt them down. Twitter should stop enabling them. I'll keep saying it," Gaetz said in a tweet that he pinned to the top of his profile page.

Donald Trump has demanded that the antifa movement be labeled a domestic terrorist organization.

However, as factcheck.org noted, "There is no such official federal designation for domestic terrorism organizations." Even if such a designation existed, the site said, it would be "difficult or questionable" to categorize antifa in that manner because it is not an organized group with a hierarchy and leadership.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.