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DADT repeal process started

Timothy Kincaid

January 28th, 2010

The Hill is reporting:

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen will testify next week on the repeal of a controversial law preventing openly gay people from serving in the military.

“The Joint Chiefs and the Chairman understand perfectly the president’s intent to see this law repealed,” Kirby said. “They take very seriously their obligation to provide him and Secretary Gates the best military advice about both the impact of repeal and its implementation across the force. They look forward to developing their advice and providing their advice in the near future.”

This testimony will reveal the Pentagon’s strategy for lifting the ban on open service. (Fox News)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen will unveil next week a plan to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. military, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday.

The military officials will lay out their plan when they testify in front of the Senate Armed Services next Tuesday.

Morrell said the Pentagon is not bringing a legislative proposal to Capitol Hill, but rather an assessment of steps that need to be taken internally to get to the point to change the law.

This testimony may not yield complete agreement. However, the much noted response of the military leaders to Obama’s appeal to lift the ban may not be an indication of disapproval.

When Obama asked Congress to repeal the law in the speech, Gates stood and applauded, while Mullen and the Joint Chiefs remained stoic.

A source close to Mullen said the rest of the chiefs follow Mullen’s lead and will clap only when he does. On Wednesday night, Mullen did not feel it was appropriate to show either support or contempt for such a politically charged issue, the source said.

Next week’s testimony may provide insight to whether the issue will be contentious. The public overwhelmingly supports lifting the ban, but many legislators have used the Military’s opposition as a cover.

While many legislators may oppose lifting the ban out of anti-gay animus, if the Pentagon endorsed the proposal it will make it difficult to find an objection that can be portrayed to the constituents as both principled and supportive of the military.

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

What strategy do they need?

Repeal the ban and apologize.

Ray
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Steps. What steps did the take to implement it? How about taking a black magic marker and lining through those steps and write, “Deleted”, just like I used to do as a squadron clerk with regulations in Air Force manuals?

Matt
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

CNN’s got a good story on this here:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/28/gates.military.gay/index.html?hpt=T2

Interesting to see that “humanely implement” phrase pop up once again. Once again, trust but verify on this.

Meanwhile, if Obama’s serious about this, he should make like Truman and tell his generals, “This is what I’m doing as your CinC. If you don’t like it, I’ll expect your resignation letter on my desk by 0800.”

Matt
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Unlike in Truman’s case, segregation was not a U.S. Law. It was a policy. Thanks to the debacle in 1992, DADT is a LAW. Unless you think the President is above the law (thank you Mr. Nixon), the only power Obama has is to make enforcement difficult or to do something via a stop-loss. He CANNOT order a law to be overturned.

I think this is very promising news. Rather than have Congress initiate–which is how we ended up with this mess in the first place–let the Pentagon propose it and the yappers in Congress will be neutered since they would never ever — GASP! — disagree with the generals and admirals. I hope that Powell and the other retired flag officers who have voiced their concerns about the effectiveness of DADT (AFTER retiring) will help keep the Cons from turning back the tide.

Edwin
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Obama’s acting just like Clinton. Scared to put his foot down and say to do it the way I want it done. Clinton
should never of agreed to this stupid law. How many years have GAY’S been severing their country. Probably since
this country was formed. Democrats aren’t getting any of my money till I see some of our natural rights given to us

CPT_Doom
January 29th, 2010 | LINK

Steps. What steps did the take to implement it?

Actually, I can see a whole host of steps they’ll need to take. When Truman signed his Executive Order, the military had been experimenting formally with racial integration since about 1944. The military had experience with what kinds of issues they would face with individual military members and could proactively address those.

With DADT, there have been scattered instances of openly gay/lesbian service members serving, typically during the time it took to hold hearings and process their discharges, but nothing formal. The military will have to creating training programs, set procedures for dealing with homophobic commanders, determine how to deal with family members when the service member cannot get legally married – there’s a lot to deal with.

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