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    January 19, 2008

    Déjà Bill all over again

    Posted by: Chris

    Powellclinton It's beginning to feel a lot like the '90s. All of Bill Clinton's campaigning on behalf of Hillary has allowed to us to relive some of the highlights and lowlights of his two terms in office, including his (very instructive) betrayal of campaign promises on gay rights.

    Now the Log Cabin Republicans have issued a statement condemning Clinton -- Bill, not Hillary -- for rewriting history on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  According to LCR:

    On the campaign trail Thursday for his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former President Clinton said, "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' as articulated as I worked it out with Colin Powell, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meant literally that...that people would be free to live their lives as long as they didn't go march in gay rights parades or go to gay bars in uniform...in uniform...and talk about it on duty, they would be all right.  Now, as soon as he [Colin Powell] left, the anti-gay forces in the military started using it as an excuse to kick people out."

    The entire Log Cabin press release, which hasn't been posted to the group's website, is available in the jump to this post. Kudos to LCR for raising the issue, but demerits for not offering a link to Clinton's comments or some hint of where they can be found. (My own Internet search turned up squat, so let me know if any of you find it.)

    If the Log Cabin quote has it right, then Bill Clinton definitely got it wrong. LCR leader Patrick Sammon hits the former commander in chief and would-be first gentleman pretty hard:

    "President Clinton's latest attempt to re-write history and deny the reality of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an insult to the thousands of gay and lesbian service members who have been kicked out of the military because of the failed law he signed in 1993," said Sammon. "President Clinton either didn't understand the legislation he signed or he's lying."

    If anything, I would hit Clinton even harder. His recollection of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has things completely bassackwards. In fact, the policy makes a point of saying that service members can go to a gay bar or march in a Gay Pride parade without violating the policy. What they cannot do is acknowledge that they are gay or, as Clinton put it, "live their lives." Because if they had a same-sex boyfriend or girlfriend -- even kept in private -- then they violated the policy.

    Why? Because Clinton and Defense Department lawyers led by Jamie Gorelick portrayed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as a "homosexual conduct" policy. A soldier or sailor who acknowledges they are gay is in violation not because they are gay -- that's not prohibited under the policy -- but because by publicly acknowledging as much, they are presumed to be engaging in "homosexual conduct" -- i.e., sodomy, same-sex kissing and other gay yucky stuff (protected by the U.S. Constitution).

    This fig leaf rationale was employed to hide the real reason for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell": the Pentagon brass knows gays can serve honorably but was worried about the effect on "combat readiness" if bigoted heterosexual soldiers became aware of gays with whom they served. So rather than acknowledge and deal with anti-gay bigotry, Bill Clinton and Colin Powell gave it the effect of law (another constitutional violation), and punished the gays for it.

    Not surprising, then, that Clinton is misremembering reality today, as even his wife advocates the repeal of his policy -- albeit while defending its enactment as a necessary "transitional" measure.

    This is what you get with the Clintons, folks. Why would we want a repeat?

    Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 16:28:56 -0500
    From: Log Cabin Republicans <news@logcabin.org>

    News Release
    For Immediate Release
    January 18, 2008
    Contact:  Scott Tucker
    Log Cabin Republicans-Washington, DC Office
    (202) 347-5306
    stucker@logcabin.org

    President Bill Clinton Tries to Re-Write History of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

    Clinton Blames the Pentagon Instead of Taking Responsibility

    (Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans sharply criticize former President Bill Clinton for his latest attempt at re-writing history-this time offering a new explanation for his failed 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law.  "President Clinton should be embarrassed," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon.  "Bill Clinton's political games are insulting to voters.  He needs to take responsibility for the legislation he signed, instead of trying to blame others.  What will he do next-blame 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on a 'vast right wing conspiracy'?"

    On the campaign trail Thursday for his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former President Clinton said, "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' as articulated as I worked it out with Colin Powell, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meant literally that...that people would be free to live their lives as long as they didn't go march in gay rights parades or go to gay bars in uniform...in uniform...and talk about it on duty, they would be all right.  Now, as soon as he [Colin Powell] left, the anti-gay forces in the military started using it as an excuse to kick people out."

    "President Clinton's latest attempt to re-write history and deny the reality of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an insult to the thousands of gay and lesbian service members who have been kicked out of the military because of the failed law he signed in 1993," said Sammon.

    "President Clinton either didn't understand the legislation he signed or he's lying," said Sammon.  "If he actually thought the military wasn't correctly implementing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' why didn't he do anything about it for the seven years he served as President after signing the legislation?  Clinton apparently forgets he was Commander-in-Chief," said Sammon.

    A 1993 Department of Defense release announcing the new policy explicitly stated that one of the reasons for separation from the armed forces would be "statements by an individual that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual."

    "From the very beginning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' there was no doubt what the law meant-gay and lesbian Americans could only serve if they lied about their sexual orientation or kept it a secret," said Sammon.

    "This is another example of the Clintonian excuses and re-writing history that we've come to expect from this president-a man who gladly took support and money from gays and lesbians and then delivered 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act,'" said Sammon. "And in 2004, he encouraged then presidential candidate John Kerry to support anti-gay state constitutional amendments.  President Clinton's record illustrates how important it is in this election year for LGBT Americans to hold both parties accountable when it comes to fundamental issues of basic fairness."

    ###

    Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time offices in Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

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    1. Log Cabin Faults (Bill) Clinton for Attempting to Rewrite History of Dont Ask/Dont Tell from Gay Patriot on Jan 21, 2008 2:27:49 AM

      Just as his wife attempted to rewrite the reasons for her husbands support for the Defense of Marriage Act in the Logo Debate (claiming it was to stave off an amendment enshrining the traditional definition of marriage in the federal constituti... [Read More]

    Comments

    1. Double T on Jan 19, 2008 1:43:01 PM:

      Oh yes, reliving the 90's.

      If Hillary gets elected that will mean the return of the "Gay-Clinton-Bashers" also known as the Log Cabin Republicans.

      I noticed that as long as the Clintons were in power Republicans welcomed the "Gay-Clinton-Bashers"(LCR). But once the Clintons left the oval office the GOP couldn't think of one good reason to keep that illegitimate redheaded stepchild(LCR) in the tent.

      A Hillary win could be a great thing for this quasi-political group to return from “hiding”. I use the phrase quasi-political because they really DIDN’T make political change; they didn’t bring people together. A real political group can stand the test of time. They were just a “tool” to be used to attack a sitting President.

      The obvious failures of this group explain why they have no following, do not own an office building in D.C. and aren’t taken seriously by their own party. But come November that could all change, breathe new life into this dead horse.

      To the Queer Uncle Toms, rejoice, your sunny days maybe returning and your life will again have purpose.

      Happy Bashing.

    1. Kevin on Jan 19, 2008 8:00:56 PM:

      So typical. When you can't argue against the points, attack the messenger, just like the Clintons. Use name-calling like "uncle toms" and "tool". Say they aren't a "real" political group. Keep it up. It just proves you got zilch, you coward.

    1. Double T on Jan 19, 2008 10:46:36 PM:

      I'm sorry if I've hurt your feelings. I was merely trying to stick to the facts.

      Talking about arguing against the "points" I noticed you steered clear of all my "points" and then called me a coward.

      It must be like looking in a mirror.

      And let's be clear, I did not call you an Uncle Tom.

    1. Kevin on Jan 19, 2008 11:08:03 PM:

      This post was about DADT. The points were about statements by Bill Clinton himself about DADT. Chris laid them out. LCR laid them out. Bill Clinton's statements and his track record are all out there in public. Your response? A load of name-calling and attacking the credentials or right of LCR to even speak (coming from an anonymous poster - real courage there, boy. Good for you.) I say: typical. Typical of what is wrong with the gay movement today.

      Chris is, once again, right on the points and right in joining with LCR (and many others, mind you, in the Democratic gay world) to raise very legitimate questions about what the Clintons are saying about their record in the 90s, and what they say they stand for today. When people can't handle the truth, they try to change the subject. The Clintons. You. How about answering the points in the post?

    1. Lucrece on Jan 20, 2008 12:12:07 AM:

      It isn't just the Repugs bashing the Clintons, dear Double T.

      Check out Pam's article on the topic.

      This is not a partisan issue. This is about one hell of a liar and panderer who so shamelessly triangulates his way through uncomfortable situations.

    1. Double T on Jan 20, 2008 1:46:46 AM:

      To address the points mentioned.
      1) this link didn’t work for me so I could not read all of Mr. Clintons comments. But I’ll assume good faith here.
      2) I agree that the law(policy) is poorly written. The way I read it, you can be gay in your heart but it better not go anywhere else.
      3) I could however, understand how someone focusing on certain aspects and assuming that the policy would be executed in the spirit of which it was written, could draw those(Bill's) conclusions. I’ll have to give the former President the benefit of the doubt.

      P.S. Kev, If my observations of 1990’s offended I’m sorry. I will try harder to be more mindful of my shortcomings. And thank you for exercising the restraint not to call me a f—ing sh-tbag motherf—er. I know it wasn’t easy for you and I appreciate that.

      P.P.S. ** FACT CHECKER ** Chris, I’ll check with HRC to see how many Republicans are on the membership rolls. My fear is that HRC could actually be… nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans.
      (Though officially HRC works, as much as humanly possible, to remain politically neutral).

      I highlighted some items, but I seem to have lost them via the "cut & paste".

      …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

      New York Times
      The Pentagon's New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military
      Published: July 20, 1993

      Discharge Policy
      Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender.

      Investigations Policy
      No investigations or inquiries will be conducted solely to determine a service member's sexual orientation. Commanders will initiate inquiries or investigations when there is credible information that a basis for discharge or disciplinary action exists. Sexual orientation, absent credible information that a crime has been committed, will not be the subject of a criminal investigation. An allegation or statement by another that a service member is a homosexual, alone, is not grounds for either a criminal investigation or a commander's inquiry.

      Activities
      Bodily contact between service members of the same sex that a reasonable person would understand to demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts (e.g., hand-holding or kissing in most circumstances) will be sufficient to initiate separation. Activities such as association with known homosexuals, presence at a gay bar, possessing or reading homosexual publications or marching in a gay rights rally in civilian clothes will not, in and of themselves, constitute credible information that would provide a basis for initiating an investigation or serve as the basis for an administrative discharge under this policy. The listing by a service member of someone of the same gender as the person to be contacted in case of emergency, as an insurance beneficiary or in a similar context, does not provide a basis for separation or further investigation. Speech within the context of priest-penitent, husband-wife or attorney-client communications remains privileged.

      Off-Base Conduct
      No distinction will be made between off-base and on-base conduct.
      From the time a member joins the service until discharge, the service member's duty and commitment to the unit is a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week obligation. Military members are required to comply with both the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is Federal law, and military regulations at all times and in all places. Unacceptable conduct, homosexual or heterosexual, is not excused because the service member is not "at work."

      Investigations and Inquiries
      Neither investigations nor inquiries will be conducted solely to determine an individual's sexual orientation.
      Commanders can initiate investigations into alleged homosexual conduct when there is credible information of homosexual acts, prohibited statements or homosexual marriage. Commanders will exercise sound discretion regarding when credible information exists, and will evaluate the information's source and all attendant circumstances to assess whether the information supports a reasonable belief that a service member has engaged in proscribed homosexual conduct. Commanders, not investigators, determine when sufficient credible information exists to justify a detail of investigative resources to look into allegations.

      Credible Information
      Credible information of homosexual conduct exists when the information, considered in light of its source and all attendant circumstances, supports a reasonable belief that a service member has engaged in such conduct. It requires a determination based on articulable facts, not just a belief of suspicion.

      Security Clearances
      Questions pertaining to an individual's sexual orientation are not asked on personnel security questionnaires. An individual's sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, is a legitimate security concern only if it could make an individual susceptible to exploitation or coercion, or indicate a lack of trustworthiness, reliability, or good judgment that is required of anyone with access to classified information. The Threat of Extortion

    1. Kevin on Jan 20, 2008 11:45:03 AM:

      A very weak reply. And your 'observations' are none of the kind. It's the same borgian garbage that gets thrown out in place of real, honest debate: talk about "size" and use name-calling, and try (always unsuccessfully) to denegrate. Sound familiar? Sounds like high school, to be fair. And also, you desperately try to bait people rather than answer them - sort of like the latent homosexual who picks on the faggy kid. It's a form of avoiding the truth, and also a way to reveal how afraid you are of the facts. And if you start your games about trying to go after someone's personal life, like you and others have done on this site before, then expect to be called every deserved name in the book from me. Problem is, too many gays get away with posting anonymous slander on the internet (like you've tried to do against me on this site once before) - I don't tolerate it.

      Regarding the substance of this issue, check out the video clip and Chris' excellent update post. It points out very astutely why your reply on the points is awfully weak.

    1. Double T on Jan 21, 2008 12:57:45 AM:

      Kevin,
      Calm down

      1)I did not attack you or call you any name.

      2)My observations on LCR were totally valid. Chris is always worried about "calling people out" and "holding them accountable". So I asked for some accountability from LCR, the same as I would HRC. And yes, your reaction reminds me of my freshman year of high school.

      3)I didn't slander you before when I said you were throw out of the group you founded in 1992. You didn't tell me the name of the group, how could I slander you?

      And Kev, you and Chris miss the right point. Bill Clinton introduced a landmark policy. True, it isn't being followed. The Blacks were freed by Lincoln and then waited 150 to vote.

      First come policy, then practice. It doesn't just happen overnight.

      Why aren't you jumping up and down on the current President to improve the policy, instead of going after someone in retirement. Where's the sense there?

      Answer: Because of the last name, and we are the "Gay Clinton Bashers".

      Actually, now this reminds me of Jr. High.

    1. tov on Jan 21, 2008 1:43:59 AM:

      As to the above(Kevin)and the LCR...que porcaria!!

      Hope you enjoy Rio...why no visa for your partner?
      Has the law changed...Ciaozinho

    1. Kevin on Jan 21, 2008 10:26:09 AM:

      Double T:

      You know, whoever-you-are (still hiding for some reason), it's a real shame that in the midst of most of your garbage, there are glimmers of intelligent points to be made. If you bothered sticking to the substance of the discussion and debate, you'd really make some progress in whatever it is you say you want to accomplish with your surfeit of anonymous posts on this blog. Here's a suggestion: give up the snide, personal attacks and the baiting/switching of subjects, and just support and defend your substantive views and maybe folks will engage you on that level.

      And yes, you full well did engage in a libelous statement and did it again just now by claiming something about my past employment history that is not only untrue but ridiculous. All because you seem to be too afraid to either name yourself or stand by your arguments on their merits. The fact that you do it anonymously certainly doesn't boost your moral standing on this site; it only soils whatever good you mean to contribute and whatever substance you might offer. This is your second warning about that - give it up.

      Peeling away all the garbage, tho, it is fair to say that every group should be held accountable. So I put to you -- give me some good examples of where HRC held the Democratic Party or the (Bill) Clinton Administration or Senator Hillary Clinton accountable for anything they have done wrong. I can give you literally scores of examples where LCR did so of the Republican Party, the Republican leadership in Congress between 1994 and 2006, Republican presidential candidates in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004, Republican governors, state legislators, state party chairs, mayors, city council members, and candidates for all such offices mentioned - even GOP precinct captains. It's all on the public record, and I myself personally wrote many of the letters, press releases and news items for these many cases.

      And don't try to say that it's simply because the Democratic Party hasn't done anything wrong. Nobody will take you seriously. Be honest. When Paul Yandura stood up to the DNC over its failure to live up to its "fight on the ice" promises for gay rights and screwed the community over in a number of state referendum fights, his partner was fired in retaliation, and HRC said NOTHING in defense of their former staffer. Threw him under the bus in the name of party loyalty. And then there is DOMA, DADT, the HIV immigration ban, the ENDA disaster and on and on.

      In comparing what you call a "tool" and a "quasi political group" with less than a tenth of the budget of HRC - how do you account for the incredible failure of HRC to deliver accountability?

    1. Double T on Jan 22, 2008 2:20:29 AM:

      My Dearest Kev,

      Thank you for your threat of libel. Go back and re-read.
      I didn't name you, any organization or any mention of anyone's employment history. Nice :)

      I'll just put this behind me and move forward, shall we?

      If I'm taking up too much space with my postings, I'll move them to your site if you'd rather.

      Now I totally agree with you. The business of "changing the subject" is rather rude. So we'll stick with what was in the original posting. Now in that post I used the phase Queer Uncle Tom which appears to have hit a nerve. Let's talk about that, here's a definition of Uncle Tom in case you arent' familiar with it,

      Uncle Tom - is a pejorative for an African American who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation. (Wikipedia).

      Now when I see the LCR takes a stand, that it is better that gay Republicans not publicly support any candidate for President because a gay endorsement would hurt that campaign, can you come up with a better label?

      Next [ "quasi political group" with less than a tenth of the budget of HRC ]. Now really, whose fault is this? There have been studies done that show party affiliation in the gay community follows closely as a percentage to the straight community. If gay Republicans are not interested in supporting a group you call “political”. Then I call it “quasi”, because without support from the people the group claims to represent, then is it not only a resemblance of a true political group?

      And yes, unless you can give me a good reason, not a rant, I’ll keep using my nom de plume.

    1. Kevin on Jan 22, 2008 8:28:08 AM:

      I give up.

      I really have no idea what your personal agenda or game is here, other than simply trying to play mind games with people who simply have a different point of view than you, and have the guts to put their names to a blog that expresses those views. Any objective person who reads all your threads clearly can see what you're up to.

      Whether you're some person who knew Chris from the U.S. before, or not, or whatever your deal is, it doesn't really interest me anymore. Do whatever you like. I confess it was a mistake to take the bait of a lurker, and I really have no interest in engaging you anymore, so I won't.

      To part on a somewhat up note, I recommend you write your own blog and put your name to what you write in the future. It will give you integrity.

    1. Double T on Jan 22, 2008 6:24:19 PM:

      Ok Kev,

      You win.

      I’ll stay away from this site, for a awhile, if I’m upsetting you so much. I made an observation about the Log Cabin Rep. Chris is always saying he’s looking for diverse opinions, not some “Amen Chorus” I believe is the term he used. It’s apparent you’re not interested in different opinions.

      And what is up with your obsession over my name??? Let it go. After your thinly veiled threats of a frivolous law suit, why on earth would I give you my name?

      Please forgive me for “baiting” you, I couldn’t help myself, it was all part of the Moderate Conspiracy.

      So fine, I’ll leave you and your “Mutual Admiration Society” alone.

    1. Matt on Jan 23, 2008 2:40:38 PM:

      Double T: First of all, you're probably best just to drop this whole libel discussion with Kevin, because it is clear that you don't have the first clue what libel and defamation laws are about. You don't have to give endless specifics about someone to have libeled them. Generally, all it takes is an implication.

      To the substance of this, what I will never understand about leftist gay partisans like you is how you can bash Log Cabin as some supposedly evil organization. They are about trying to elect friendly Republicans, and trying to make the Republican Party friendlier. What's wrong about that?

      What's especially ironic is that Log Cabin doesn't get much love from gay conservatives because they are seen as being too LIBERAL and accommodating of Democrats. (I would refer to an email I was recently on involving several conservative gay bloggers that referred to Log Cabin as "the enemy," a statement that I strongly rebutted.) It's really enough to make a reasonable centrist want to tear out their hair by the fistful.

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 30, 2011 1:58:30 AM:

      It's really enough to make a reasonable centrist want to tear out their hair by the fistful.

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