Pentagon pushes back on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Timothy Kincaid

January 14th, 2010

A day after the President hinted that repeal of Don\’t Ask Don\’t Tell may be part of the 2010 defense authorization bill, news comes out that hints that the Pentagon may decide to be recalcitrant on the issue. The Navy Times says

Lawyers for the nation\’s senior military officer are recommending a delay of at least a year in beginning the process to repeal the ban on openly gay military service, which could push a decision by Congress to the middle of the next presidential election.

This may be Mullen’s own perspective. It appears that some in the Pentagon disagree.

Other advisers at the Pentagon, however, argue that lifting the ban would not cause unmanageable problems or divisions among the uniformed military, according to two U.S. officials.

Mullen’s position may be due to a lack of support in the military’s top leadership. It seems some choose not to agree with the idea of lifting the ban. The New York Times reported

A one-page memorandum drafted by staff members as a discussion point for the meeting said that the chiefs could adopt the view that “now is not the time” because of the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the military would be better off delaying the start of the repeal process until 2011.

But what troubles me, perhaps more than their position on institutionalize discrimination, is the apparent assumption that the Military is a separate institution that answers only to itself. Its leadership will decide whether to implement the policies on which the electorate chose a president and it will dictate policy to the representatives of the people, rather than the other way around.

Joint Chiefs legal advisers recommended delaying the start of the repeal process into 2011, with the Pentagon sending a proposed replacement law to Congress by late summer of that year. That would be after the White House says it will begin bringing troops home from Afghanistan, and a few months before all U.S. forces are due to leave Iraq.

Congress would follow with debate lasting six months to a year, the legal advisers wrote, meaning repeal would be unlikely until 2012.

I know that Congress is deferrential to the Pentagon on military matters. As they well should be. But it troubles me that the presumption is that the military leadership would write legislation about when and if gay Americans can be free and equal and send it over for formalization. There are few countries whose history does not include lessons about what happens when the military sets itself outside civilian control and gets comfortable with the idea of making national decisions.


January 15th, 2010

I am still amazed at the fact that we can not serve openly in our military. I, as a Former Marine with an Honorable Discharge and a Persian Gulf War Vet am constantly writing my elected officials about this (and other equality) topics. I had even gone so far as writing McCain and got a snarky response from him.

Although I do foresee nothing happening until the next POTUS election and once again using a gay issue to divide the country and the Democratic candidate trying to dip into our purses and expect us to help the campaign making promise after promise of equality, only to be blown off because something else came up.


January 15th, 2010

According to the folks at Americablog, not only should we NOT get our hopes up on this, but we should get even further incensed at HRC:


January 15th, 2010

I thought Obama was going to get rid of DADT.

But it looks like Mr Charisma is willing to spend political capital on health care but not gay rights.

I know health care is vital, but repealing DADT is supported by the public and even the majority of Republicans, so the political capital involved would be small…


January 15th, 2010

Yes I served in the Army in the 60’s.
But during that era you didn’t let it known you were gay. Thats why Clinton screwed us when he was in office.
Just like I have told my congress men
that gay people have been serving in the military for centuries.


January 15th, 2010

This is a total BS excuse. We’re ALWAYS at war so they’ll ALWAYS have this excuse. The bigoted “senior military officer” voicing this opinion might as well come clean and admit they never want it to happen.

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