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Military chiefs lobby for ignoring DADT compromise

Timothy Kincaid

May 26th, 2010

Senator John McCain (the newly crafted ultra-conservative unhesitatingly homophobic Senator John McCain who magically appeared during the last Presidential election, not to be confused with the previous incarnation of Senator McCain which was moderate, “maverick”, relatively gay friendly, and sought solutions rather than grandstanding) is leading the charge to oppose abandoning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. McCain is in a battle for his party’s continued nomination and apparently he’s decided that he’ll gladly throw his reputation as a statesman to the wind in order to serve yet one more term in the Senate. (yes, I’m bitter)

As part of his campaign in favor of retaining federally mandated institutional discrimination, McCain has solicited and received letters from the various chiefs of staff expressing their dissatisfaction with the compromise.

George Casey, Army

I remain convinced that it is critically important to get a better understanding of where our Soldiers and Families are on this issue, and what the impacts on readiness and unit cohesion might be, so that I can provide informed military advice to the President and the Congress.

I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.

G Roughead, Navy

I share the view of Secretary Gates that the best approach would be to complete the DOD review before there is any legislation to change the law. My concern is that legislative changes at this point, regardless of the precise language used, may cause confusion on the status of the law in the Fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading Sailors to question whether their input matters. Obtaining the views and opinions of the force and accessing them in the light of the issues involved will be complicated by a shifting legislative backdrop and its associated debate.

Norman Schwartz, Air Force

I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, that the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law. Such action allows me to provide the best military advise to the President, and sends an important signal to our Airmen and their families that their opinion matters. To do otherwise, in my view, would be presumptive and would reflect an intent to act before all relevant factors are assessed, digested and understood.

James Conway, Marines

I encourage the Congress to let the process the Secretary of Defense created to run its course. Collectively, we must make logical and pragmatic decisions about the long-term policies of our Armed Forces – Which so effectively defend this great nation.

Yes, gentlemen, I get it. You don’t really support the end of anti-gay bias in the Military, you just said that you do in the hopes of continuing the practice until the composition of Congress changes to one which will let it stay in place.

But for me, here’s the bottom line.

This policy is discriminatory. It is based in animus, presumption of superiority, and ignorance. It will change. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether Military leaders or enlisted personnel like it; ours is a civilian controlled military, not the other way around.

So I don’t care if ridding our Military of bigotry is personally inconvenient. I don’t care if it would be a hassle. I don’t give a whit if service personnel feel insulted that they aren’t consulted on federal legislation. And I really give absolutely no value to whether or not you personally favor anti-gay discrimination.

Because you have two jobs: keep our citizens safe, and advance the values of our nation. Not your values, not Senator McCain’s values, but the values protected by our Constitution and enjoyed by our people.

You don’t work for Senator McCain. And while you may report to the President (though apparently with contempt), you don’t work for him either. You work for us and it’s time that you recall it.

And the legislature doesn’t exist to do your bidding. They are elected by the people, they answer to the people, and they enact the laws and policies that the people demand. Sure your advice on military matters is of value, but your objections to their fulfillment of obligations that they made to us are offensive to our very democratic process.

We the people reject your discriminatory policy. You have no veto power. And if you cannot fulfill your duty, then it’s time for you to tender your resignation.

Comments

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David Roberts
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

Well said, and quite right.

Edwin
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

Very good Thimothy and you hit the nail on the head. This is still WE THE PEOPLE and they need to pay attention to us. If all these old bigots want start a was let them fight it and let our young boys grow up some and live there lives in PEACE.

John in the Bay Area
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

A real president would remember this when their terms are up and not reappoint any eligible for a second term. We don’t really have that kind of a president, but if we did…

TampaZeke
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

EACH and EVERY one of those letters talk about completing the study first to see IF the law should be repealed.

I think it’s becoming more and more clear that the whole point of this “study” was to delay until after the midterms so that repeal could be KILLED.

Every one of these men disgust me.

Ben in Oakland
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

Who, Zeke? The generals? Our congress people? Our president aka The Fierce Advocate, whp promised something in his SOTU speech?

This is not a compromise. It is merely a decision to revisit the question on 1993.

I absolutely agree with everything timothy says, and could not say it better myself.

I see only one solution unless our leaders in Congress and Gay Inc. actually grow a pair or two.

I wish every gay/lesbian soldier who can possibly do so to come out right in front of the white house, and demand to be either kicked out or have the law repealed.

Imagine THAT Army of Lovers?

paul j stein
May 26th, 2010 | LINK

When the military chiefs said they wanted to hear from the “military families” did that also INCLUDE Gay and Lesbian members of the Armed Forces and their FAMILIES? I think it is time that the Gay and Lesbian military “FAMILIES” stood up and were counted as members of Military “FAMILIES” without exclusion by hiding in the fringe due to fear of reprisal. That would make some news.

Scurbank
May 27th, 2010 | LINK

So I keep hearing that the soldiers aren’t getting a say in the DADT question, well, unlike the rest of us are they barred from the political process? Are they not allowed to vote? Are there no such things as absentee ballots? They have just as much say as we do and in the same democratic way. You nailed it Timothy, the democracy controls the military not the other way around and the rank and file have the right and the duty to vote as they see fit.

Rob in San diego
May 27th, 2010 | LINK

Tim I couldn’t agree with you more, this was one of your best commentaries ever. These old white military dudes just want to delay action till a new administration or a congressional shift to the republican side happens and then no action will take place. they will stone wall this till the last minute. I’m a little worried about the language in the bill since even after it passes, the President, Joint Chiefs, and Sec of Def. still have to sign off on it. I smell trouble in the wind.

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