February has been a very queer month for the US military.

Early this month, the Defense Department admitted (in a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee) that its TALON (Threat and Local Observation Notice) surveillance program engaged in "inappropriate" domestic spying on anti-war groups. As NBC News reported late last year, military intelligence labeled UC Santa Cruz’s Students Against War a "credible threat" after they shut-down a recruitment visit and returned a few months later to spy on a kiss-in against the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Likewise, the FBI spied on a demonstration against military recruiters organized by NYU’s OUTLaw. The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (along with the ACLU) has filed a lawsuit requesting more information on the program and its impact on LGBT organizations.

On February 14, a 12-member commission assembled by the University of California (which included Clinton’s Defense Secretary William Perry and Reagan’s Assistant Defense Secretary Lawrence Korb) concluded that the GAO has severely underestimated the cost of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The panel found that the total cost of implementing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (including discharging and replacing troops) during its first decade was $364 million, almost double the GAO figure of $190 million.

Among the revelations in the torture documents released by the ACLU on February 23, is the apparent use of gay porn as a torture tool in Guantanamo. In a series of e-mails, FBI agents working at Guantanamo complained about military interrogators’ techniques to their supervisors. One e-mail notes that the Bureau and Army intelligence have "parted ways" and then reports:

Last evening I went to observe an interview of __ with __. The adjoining room, observable from the monitoring booth, was occupied by 2 DHS investigators showing a detainee homosexual porn movies and using a strobe light in the room. We moved our interview to a different room! We’ve heard that DHS interrogators routinely identify themselves as FBI Agents and then interrogate a detainee for 16-18 hours using tactics as described above and others (wrapping in Israeli flag, constant loud music, cranking the A/C down, etc). The next time a real Agent tries to talk to that guy, you can imagine the result.

You can access the results of the ACLU’s FOIA here.

Finally, culminating a month-long investigation, on February 25, army officials recommended that seven paratroopers from the famed 82nd Airborne Division stationed in Fort Bragg be discharged after appearing on a gay pornographic website — which gay bloggers quickly concluded was www.activeduty.com. (I won’t make this link hot as a courtesy to those who are unwilling or unable to view gay porn at work!). More serious than a discharge under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, three of the soldiers face court-martial on charges of sodomy, pandering and "wrongfully engaging in sexual acts with another person while being filmed with the intent of broadcasting the images over the Internet for money." (Yes, while sodomy is perfectly legal for civilians after Lawrence v. Texas, military appeals courts have upheld military sodomy laws). Four others were demoted and penalized for underage drinking, drunken driving and adultery.

This confluence of events presents the unlikely but completely plausible scenario in which 1) military boys star in gay porn which is 2) subsequently used by military interrogators in Guantanamo to torture prisoners in violation of international law then 3) these same military boys are prosecuted for acts which are perfectly legal under civilian law but remain punishable offenses under a silly and discriminatory set of military policies while 4) the torturers and their supervisors get off totally scot-free. Ain’t that America.