Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not only do they think people choose to be gay...

By Edward Copeland

This story has been circulating for a couple of days, but I couldn't resist commenting on it. In case you missed it, the Pentagon has officially rejected a plan to build a "hormone bomb" designed to turn enemy combatants gay. As recounted by Emil Steiner at The Washington Post:

The proposal came from the Air Force's Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, which requested $7.5 million to develop a so-called "gay-bomb." Using the Freedom of Information Act, Edward Hammond, director of the U.S. office of the Sunshine Project, obtained a copy which was "part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons." If completed, the bomb would release a chemical aphrodisiac "and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical... soldiers would become gay." This would cause their units to break down as the troops "became irresistibly attractive to one another." In addition to a "gay bomb" the proposal also mentions using chemicals which could make bees angry so that enemy forces would be attacked not only by our troops but also swarms of stinging insects.

Before leaping to the conclusion that this scheme was something only the loons in the Bush administration could come up with, the original plan dates back to 1994. The whole notion is crazy on so many levels: First, assuming that someone's sexual orientation can be changed by infecting them with the right hormones; and, second, that if fighters "turned gay," they'd suddenly lose interest in warfare because they'd be so preoccupied with getting some action.

Using that logic, why didn't they drop Playboy centerfolds behind enemy lines? It'd be cheaper than trying to develop new technology and the presumably "straight" soldiers would still be distracted by their lusty desires. Even assuming that this was a plausible or worthwhile idea, how would this play with the right-wing Republican base? (Picture James Dobson saying, "We want to stop the enemy, but we don't want more homosexuals running around. We'd rather kill them as heterosexuals than risk them coming over here and converting our children.")

When I hear things like this and see Republican candidates still debating evolution, I want to check my watch, but it unfortunately only gives me the time, not the century. Though it makes sense that the Pentagon would ultimately reject this plan during the Bush administration: After all, they aren't that big on science in the first place.

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