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DADT Survey leak: most troops don’t care

Timothy Kincaid

October 29th, 2010

The survey of troops and their families about their attitudes on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been completed and the results have been compiled. And while the analysis of the results continues and the report will not be available until December 1, some information has been leaked to the media. (WaPo)

A majority of active-duty and reserve service members surveyed by the Defense Department would not object to serving and living alongside openly gay troops, according to multiple people familiar with the findings.

The survey’s results are expected to be included in a Pentagon report, due to President Obama on Dec. 1, regarding how the military would end enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving in uniform.

Some troops surveyed – but not a majority – objected strongly to the idea of serving with gays and said they would quit the military if the policy changed, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly share details of the survey.

Terms such as “a majority” and “some troops” are probably useless at this point for anything other than political positioning, but considering that it had been feared that only those most motivated by anti-gay animus would answer the survey, I am encouraged by this leak and am hopeful that the end result will not be a document that will allow Senator McCain much ammunition in his war against openly gay soldiers.

Comments

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Tom
October 29th, 2010 | LINK

What a dissapointingly clueless post. The key issue is what is “some”? If “some” troops are so opposed to repeal that they will resign or refuse to reenlist and if “some” means as little as 10-20 percent, then this “study” will be authoritative proof that repeal would be disruptive to cohesion, recruitment and retention. It would be a disaster for repeal.

And that is what it was intended to be. In Washington DC, if you want to kill legislation and you don’t have the votes outright, you delay as long as possible in the hopes that political fortunes will shift, link the legislation to other, less popular proposals, and bring in as many “stakeholders” as possible in order to delay the process and increase the potential for opposition. This isn’t something new; it is the way things have been done in DC for decades.

The entire pattern of repeal established by DoD- taking a whole year to decide that it needed a study, which would in turn take another whole year, linking repeal to the recognition of gay couples and the provision of housing, targeting the release date of the study for after the midterms, and including in it a survey of 400000 troops and “their families” is a classic delay-and-kill approach. There is no question that the “some” referenced above will be anywhere from 20-45 percent and it will be more than enough for opponents to argue that repeal would be disruptive.

The failure by HRC, SU, and SLDN – not to mention the gay blogosphere – to take down this sham survey before the results come out, is epic. The consequences will reverberate for years.

Larry
October 29th, 2010 | LINK

I hope the report will tell the percentage who did not reply at all. This would be an indicator of lack of concern. Also, I would bet that the majority of those who said they would quit the military if DADT were repealed would not actually do so.

Ryan
October 29th, 2010 | LINK

Yeah, Tom’s right. This is terrible news. If “some” is more than two or three percent, this is all the ammo McCain and his ilk need. Frankly, the odds of repeal happening were tiny to begin with. Now they’re gone completely.

Hayden
October 30th, 2010 | LINK

If the percent of people who claim that they wouldn’t serve with a gay troop is 10 to 20% McCain and his ilk will have MORE than enough ammunition to scare the masses into a fearful frenzy.

DADT repeal is as good as dead, just as Obama and the joint chiefs planned it.

Jeff
November 1st, 2010 | LINK

But they serve with gay people now. If service men and women are that afraid of gay people then maybe they shouldn’t be in the service at all? The reason for enlisting should be to serve the country, not date or sleep with your fellow service memebers.

If all the other modern countries of the world can have straight and gay people in their militaries, why would we as a country that can’t fight a war without outsourcing it, be so against people that want to serve their country.

The Obama whitehouse has let us down. They should not have appealed the decision of the judge and DADT would have been over. If the president thinks that by appealing the DADT ruling that this will help him win a second term, then he is further removed from the pulse of the public than it appears.

For all the good he has done, and I think there have been good accomplishments, its doubtful there is anything he can do in the next two years that could repair the public’s confidence to support him for a second term.

It may have been under President Clinton, who de-regulated the banking and investment industries and elimated the controls put in place after the Great Depression, that put the wheels in motion for the economic problems of the past 5 years but if anyone thinks we’re going to get positive change from the Republican party, then I would ask where you were for the 8 years Bush was in charge. A small government doesn’t mean that it can save money any better than a large government. A small government can attempt to limit people’s freedom just as easily as a large government, and they generally do by pandering to fear and the religious right.

The American people wanted change immediately and I think that we were desperate enough to accept hardship to achieve it. Unfortunately, no one can wait 18 months or 48 months. In this culture we want it now. I feel that President Obama might have had a chance at becoming a great president like FDR but think that now he will probably only be remembered as the first President of color.

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