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Colin Powell Thinks DADT Should Be “Reevaluated”; Ken Blackwell Thinks He Knows Better

Jim Burroway

December 11th, 2008

Former secretary of State and retired general Colin Powell has again voiced support for reevaluating “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. Powell told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria for Sunday’s GPS program that “We should be reevaluating it.” A clip from that interview was played on Wolf Blitzer’s The Situation Room today:

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Powell said:

We definitely should reevaluate it. It’s been 15 years since we put in DADT which was a policy that became a law. I didn’t want it to become a law but it became a law. Congress felt that strongly about it. But it’s been 15 years and attitudes have changed and so I think it is time for the Congress, since it is their law, to have a full review of it, and I’m quite sure that’s what President-elect Obama will want to do.

That clip was immediately followed by an interview between Wolf Blitzer and Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio Secretary of State who is running for chairman of the Republican Party. Blackwell is also a senior fellow the Family “Research” Council, a credential that Blitzer failed to mention.  Blitzer asked Blackwell whether he agreed with Powell that DADT ought to be reevaluated:

KB: No I don’t. I don’t have General Powell’s experience in the military, but I think that the present policy is working and should be held in place.

WB: Because a lot of gays don’t think it’s working. They think a lot of talented young men and women who happen to be gay, they’re getting kicked out even after the U.S. taxpayer spends hundreds of thousands of dollars training them for sophisticated missions.

KB: Well I think the legislative process works. I think this issue has been vetted, discussed, debated and decided upon, and it works.

Gen. Powell last addressed DADT in July during an inteview with the late Tim Russert. At that time, Powell demurred when asked about DADT, saying, “the country certainly has changed” since 1993, when DADT was enacted. “I don’t know that it has changed so much that this would be the right thing to do now,” he added.



December 11th, 2008 | LINK

“I don’t have General Powell’s experience in the military, but I think that the present policy is working and should be held in place.”

Um…working in what respect? Was our military in such shambles before DADT was in place?

December 11th, 2008 | LINK

This comment has been deleted due to profanity, in violation of our comments policy. — JB

December 11th, 2008 | LINK

Quite frankly General Powell is being less than truthful about his involvement in DADT. He was a very strong voice against equality for gay soldiers. He helped galvanize the forces that led to the enactment of DADT.

Even today, why not just come out and say that it should be overturned, it was a mistake in the first place and I regret my involvement in this act of bigotry against law abiding patriotic gay American soldiers.

I realize that many Americans like to fawn all over General Powell. I really don’t share their enthusiasm, because I always associate him with bigotry.

December 12th, 2008 | LINK

Ken Blackwell, with his howdi doodie / Stepford hubby smiling, is helping with the death nail to the Republican Party.
I am putting alot of faith in O’bama to pull our country into reality and out of it’s deluded woo-woo religious meanderings.
I certainly hope he wears a bullet proof vest, at all times.

December 12th, 2008 | LINK

or death knell (includes a bell in the background), take your pick.

Willie Hewes
December 13th, 2008 | LINK

“It works.”

How? Why? Why do you say that? What do you base that on? If you don’t have Powell’s experience, what do you have? Works at what?

“It works. I just said so. Didn’t you hear me? It works. Next question.”

Who is this guy?

paul J stein
December 13th, 2008 | LINK

As an OHIO GAY AMERICAN, Ken Blackwell is great news for GAYS. He cost the Republican party a LOT of seats in the State House and National government. He is one of the reasons for President Obama’s election. Ohio voters were moved to come out and NEVER let the bullshit happen again at the polls with Bush The Younger 2 “Presidential Appointments”. I was going to enlist in the Air Force at 17. The question came up “have you ever had any homosexual experiences”. I left it blank. The cute recruiter asked me why I left it blank. I replied that if he was asking on a personal level I would talk it over with him after he was off work and out of uniform. If he was asking as a agent of the US government, not his fucking business. Take me as I am and the talents I have to offer or back the f**k off. They contacted me repeatedly for 6 months to try to get me to lie about it and risk discharge at 19 years and 364 days of service. Makes me wonder what talents and benefits this country has lost/never realized due to this policy.

Ben in Oakland
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

What I find interesting is a comment of Colin Powell’s, something to the effect that gay people can be both patriotic and great soldiers, but nonetheless, could not serve their country. So it’s not about fitness to serve. DADT allows for gay people to serve as long as nobody knows they’re gay. So it’s not about the presence of gay people, or their ability to live with straight people even if those people know, guess, or assume that the gay people are gay. (And I don’t buy for a minute that people don’t try to figure out the sex lives of other people they live and work with).

In short, as we already know, gay people are kicked out of the military for no other reason than that they are gay– not for doing, on average, anything that a typical straight soldier might be kicked out for. It’s not really about gay people at all, but as usual, about how much the very existence of gay people bothers some straight people.

And those straight people (or wanna-be-but-ain’t) are willing to express mail our country to hell in a hand basket to prove their point. Firing scarce Arabic translators because they like dick? That doesn’t make any sense.When the anti-gays are honest, and they often have been, at least inadvertently, they will admit that this statement is true: “I so disapprove of/am wigged out by/hate/dislike/judge moralistically/etc. homosexuals that I could not possibly give up my prejudice, not in the name of tolerance, not in the name of compassion, not in the name of freedom, not in the name of fact and logic and experience and reason—and certainly, not in the name of UNIT COHESION.

Yet, so many people have, both in and out of the military, They find out it just doesn’t matter. It’s not important. I they have a little less negative and a lot more positive in their lives.

It is all about BIAS, and nothing but bias. frankly, I do not find that prejudice, bias, dislike, fear, hatred, stupidity, intolerance, and ignorance, or the insistence that those are good qualities to have, constitute a good basis for social policy, law-making, military preparedness, or anything else that might benefit our country.

I don’t need a study to tell me this. I just need to read a history book. It has not helped our society ever– racial, religious, ethnic, lingual, whatever prejudice is du jour– and this case is NO DIFFERENT. I repeat: Firing scarce Arabic translators because they like dick? Straight soldiers are dying for that reason. It doesn’t make any sense. 25,000 moral waivers to convicted felons, but upstanding talented patriotic gay people need not apply because it is GOING TO MAKE SOME BIGOTED, INSECURE IMMATURE, FEAR RIDDEN STRAIGHT BOY UPSET????!!!!

Who exactly is causing the problem?

The unit cohesion argument is just another version of Stanley Kurtz’s lame argument that if gay people are allowed to marry, straight people stop having babies, or some such nonsense. The argument shifts subtly and suddenly from gay people getting married to how straight people feel about that. what’s interesting to me is that in both cases, straight people act very badly (they stop having babies or can no longer fulfill their mission because they can’t get over themselves), and gay people get blamed for it, and must pay the price.

I think this is a very accurate description of the situation.soldiers die, our country suffers, George bush gets elected, talent is lost, time, energy and money are wasted that could be devoted to making our world and country better,and all in service to a prejudice.

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