The Family Research Council has recently been uploading selected clips from the anti-DADT repeal webcast it hosted last week … and they are selecting which videos to highlight very carefully.
For some reason, they haven’t chosen to highlight Oliver North claiming that repealing DADT will lead to NAMBLA members being welcomed into the military or Perkins and Sergeant First Class Benjamin Ratcliff warning that soldiers might be reluctant to “spoon” in a life-threatening situation because they might have concerns about the guy next to them.
Instead, they are highlighting things like this clip of Ratcliff saying that the military should not be used to advance a social agenda and that if DADT is repealed, it’ll make it much harder to fill recruitment goals:
The interesting thing is that in between these statements that FRC edited together, Ratcliff stated that even if DADT was repealed, he would continue to serve in the military and that he would urge others to do so as well because even though he would disagree with the policy, he loves his country more. I even made a video of it, juxtaposing Ratcliff’s statement with the Bryan Fischer parroting this standard right-wing talking point during the webcast:
But FRC completely edited out Ratcliff’s statement – in fact, the statement they did include from Ratcliff saying recruitment would be made harder came about because Tony Perkins was trying to get Ratcliff back on message. Here is the transcript of the entire exchange:
MR. PERKINS: I’m sure this thought has come to you and you may have even been asked about it. If someone considering getting into the military were to ask you if this policy changes, what are you going to say to them?
BENJAMIN RATCLIFF: I would tell them to serve anyway. If all men of courage and men that had a moral compass were to leave the military, then we wouldn’t have a military. There’d be nobody left to serve and protect. So I don’t really – I would serve regardless of what comes out of Washington. Even though I disagree with it strongly, I love my country more. So I would understand if parents had concerns. I was recruited for several years and I sat and listened to parents’ concerns, talked with them. They asked me a lot of questions about the wars and a lot about the liberal agenda. But I would tell them, serve anyway, absolutely.
MR. PERKINS: But you bring up an important point, and I do think as long as there’s a country here and there are those who love this country, there are going to be those who are willing to serve. But as a recruiter, you know that in an all-volunteer force, it’s very difficult to meet those quotas to keep the ranks filled with the young men and women who are willing to serve. Is this going to make it easier or is it going to make it harder?
MR. RATCLIFF: Absolutely not. It’s going to make it very much harder; very much harder.
MR. PERKINS: And this is going to be at the forefront of many of those parents’ minds.
MR. RATCLIFF: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. And recruiting and retention is at the top of all the commanders’ lists. Every commander across all the armed forces, recruiting is a top priority for all of them, so this would definitely degrade that fight.
Ratcliff clearly asserted that he and others like him who love their country would serve in the military regardless of the status of DADT, but FRC selectively edited that bit out because it undermined their agenda.