Bill Clinton disavows DADT

Timothy Kincaid

September 22nd, 2010

Bill Clinton is not pleased when reminded that he signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy into law. Talking to Katie Couric following the failure of yesterday’s repeal effort, Clinton recalled his role as being a cork tossed on the storm.

The president said he resorted to “don’t ask, don’t tell” when it became apparent that both houses of Congress would enact an absolute ban on gay people serving in the military unless he did something else. He also said that Powell misrepresented how the policy would work.

I agree that Clinton does not deserve to be saddled with the blame for the policy, but his role was perhaps not as passive as he is now presenting. I seem to recall the White House advocating for a “compromise”.

Clinton also claims that he misunderstood exactly what Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would mean.

Now, when Colin Powell sold me on ‘don’t pass, don’t tell,’ here’s what he said it would be: Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren’t in uniform, getting gay materials for any of the places they went or any of the things they did, as long as they didn’t talk about it. That was what they were promised. That’s a very different ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ than we got. What we got as soon as Gen. Powell retired was this vicious mid- and lower-level officer feedback where they, for a year or so, made it worse than it had been before. Then they sort of settled down. But, the reason I accepted it was because I thought it was better than an absolute ban, and because I was promised it would be better than it was.

Well, rather than get snarky, I think I’ll just note that times have changed. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was considered too much of a concession at the time by many Americans and now, 17 years later, most everyone (except Republican legislators) consider it to be ill advised and discriminatory.

Rob San Diego

September 22nd, 2010

Times have changed, just not the bigots in high power nor has our military itself.

th

September 22nd, 2010

The Rhodes scholar misunderstood the Army guy… yeah, right!

Bubba is such a jackass!

gar

September 22nd, 2010

I wrote President Clinton a very pointed e-mail about what an absurd double-standard DADT is, but never heard back from anyone. Sadly, his administration took their base for granted very much like the current one does.

Richard W. Fitch

September 22nd, 2010

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Colin Powell now advocating strongly for the repeal of DADT himself?

BMan

September 22nd, 2010

Let’s not forget that Bill Clinton was the first president in the U.S. to support gay rights and paid a price for attempting to make good on his promise within his first year in office. I will never forget his support. It was more than brave, and many of us were stunned and felt that perhaps he could have waited. Imagined that. Today we’re tired of waiting and want everything…yesterday!

Jennifer

September 22nd, 2010

Well lets not forget, Bill Clinton also signed DOMA into law. Has he explained that yet?

Matt

September 22nd, 2010

If only WE could disavow Bill Clinton…

Rob San Diego

September 23rd, 2010

DADT passed because they added it to the Defense Authorization Bill back in 1995

customartist

September 23rd, 2010

Well now’s a fine time.

Kinda like Laura Bush if you ask me.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

Today's Agenda Is Brought To You By...

Today In History, 1965: Second White House Protest

Today In History, 1981: "Polyester" Premieres

Today In History, 1987: Barney Frank Comes Out

Today In History, 2005: "Current Mood: Depressed"

Born On This Day, 1934: Nancy Cárdenas

Born On This Day, 1947: Gene Robinson

Born On This Date, 1959: Rupert Everett

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.