- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 27, 2017

Comedian and CNN commentator Sally Kohn took to Twitter Thursday to express her surprise that the Pentagon, which is “literally tasked with killing people,” has greater respect for “human rights” than its commander in chief, President Trump.

“When the arm of the government literally tasked with killing people respects basic human rights more than the president,” Ms. Kohn tweeted shortly before 1 p.m. (ET) Thursday. Attached to her tweet was a screen capture showing a breaking news report that “no modifications” were in the works to its standing policy on transgenders serving in the armed forces.

In that news item, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford was quoted as saying that the Pentagon would “treat all of our personnel with respect” and that there was in fact no policy change on transgenders in the works.

In a follow-up tweet moments later, Ms. Kohn blasted a conservative Twitter user who defended Mr. Trump’s policy shift by saying that military service is a “privilege” and not a “basic human right.”

“Fascinating how the right wants government out of people’s lives EXCEPT when it comes to deciding who should be treated as people,” Ms. Kohn, who is openly lesbian, shot back.

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump announced he was reversing his predecessors decision to open the armed forces to transgender individuals.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… ….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming….. ….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you,” he wrote over a series of three tweets.

Critics have since questioned the extent to which Mr. Trump has consulted with military brass and/or whether the Pentagon was aware that the president would announce the abrupt policy change on the social media platform. 

It has been reported that Secretary of Defense James Mattis — a retired four-star Marine general — personally lobbied a key House Republican, Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, earlier this year, asking her to withdraw her amendment that would have barred taxpayer funding for gender reassignment surgeries for transgender military personnel.

Earlier this month, the Hartzler Amendment failed on the House floor after significant Republican defections.


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