January 30, 2010
Foot-dragging in march for DADT repeal
Posted by: Chris
The Pentagon had been expected to announce its "plan" to implement repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell early next week, but now it appears that the plan is the announcement itself (I've highlighted the most depressing bits):
The Defense Department starts the clock next week on what is expected to be a several-year process in lifting its ban on gays from serving openly in the military.
A special investigation into how the ban can be repealed without hurting the morale or readiness of the troops was expected to be announced Tuesday by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
While the review is likely to take the better part of this year to complete, and even more time to implement, its initiation will advance President Barack Obama's goal of repealing the ban and bring a divisive issue for the military back to the fore.
At the White House, officials continued reviewing options to repeal the Clinton-era policy that the president vowed to repeal. The administration still believes that any repeal should start in Congress and have the backing of top military leaders.
To that end, Obama and Gates planned a meeting next week to discuss, among other topics, ending "don't ask, don't tell" policies. The president was also likely to speak with Mullen, who has signaled he would carry out a repeal if ordered by Obama and Congress.
So a full year after Washington welcomed a president and two houses of Congress in the hands of the "gay-friendly" Democrats committed to repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, itself signed into law by a Democratic president, we learn that nothing -- absolutely nothing -- has been done to the lay the groundwork for its repeal.
The "big announcement" next week is the formation of a "special investigation" that will take more than a year to complete. So what is there to specially investigate?
Can a soldier be forced to room with someone who is openly gay if they are the same sex? Would the military recognize civil unions and how much would it cost to extend benefits to a service member's partner? Would quotas be imposed to ensure openly gay service members aren't passed over for promotions?
These are the difficult questions? The second and third questions aren't even real issues. The federal government does not recognize gay relationships for any purposes right now, and no one -- no one -- is seriously suggesting that the mliitary has to take the lead in that regard at the same time they allow gays to begin serving openly. Quotas on out gay promotions? Really? This is a far-right, fear-mongering talking point that, again, no one -- no one -- is seriously suggesting.
The first question does raise privacy issues that are worthy of being thought through, but it is flatly ridiculous to suggest that doing so would take weeks, much less months, to sort through.
Keep in mind, for those worried about privacy for hetero soldiers and sailors, that Don't Ask Don't Tell is far more invasive of their privacy. Why? Right now, gays are guaranteed the right to serve and straight service members are prevented by law from knowing which of their comrades is homo. So if there's peeking going on in bunkers and barracks, they're far easier when no one knows who's gay.
Meanwhile, according to the Washington Post, "Democrats in Congress are unlikely to press the issue until after this fall's midterm elections." Of course they aren't, and why should they when no one is really holding their feet to the fire. The bottom-down, buttoned-down management of Gay Rights, Inc., almost all of whom are disgruntled Hillary-backers, have blamed the president for everything and let congressional Democrats almost untouched.
No Excuses? More like No Excuses Necessary.
(Top photo: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, prior to last week's State of the Union address. Photo via Washington Post; No Excuses tee shirt via Human Rights Campaign)
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