The survey distributed to 400,000 armed service men and women asking their opinion about the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell was anonymously leaked to the press last night.
Critics are claiming that after the first few pages of very general questions, the survey quickly becomes tilted in favor of negative answers.
Questions included in the survey:
'If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are assigned to share a room, berth or field tent with someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member, which are you most likely to do?'
'If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do?'
'If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and a gay or lesbian Service member attended a military social function with a same-sex partner, which are you most likely to do?'
Lose your mind? Explode? Or, I don't know, get over it? These last three aren't listed as options.
Maybe they should be.
Actual response options from those surveyed range from 'Take no action' to 'Talk to a leader to see if I have other options' to, ominously, 'Something else.'
Ironically, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
has recommended that gays and lesbians currently in the military should refuse to answer the survey, for fear of making themselves vulnerable to dismissal. But how, the Network asks, can gay soldiers be fairly represented if they can't even participate in the survey that most affects them?
Meanwhile another GLTB organization, Servicemembers United
, bluntly responded: 'The survey isn't even just slightly bad. It's far more skewed than we even expected it to be, given the working group's commitment to staying neutral.'
Some critics are calling it the military's 'fair and balanced' survey, a back handed swipe at Fox News' tag line, implying that it's anything but.
Reading it, and just reflecting on its very existence, makes you wonder if its composers think Truman missed a huge opportunity to ask troops how much the feared or hated African Americans back in the 1940's.