No excuse for keeping “don’t ask, don’t tell”

It’s past time to end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the unconscionable policy that forces gay troops to lie about their sexual identity in order to put their lives on the line for their country. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked that Congress end the policy during its lame duck session.

Now, the long-awaited survey of troops — commissioned, allegedly, to find out how rank-and-file soldiers, sailors and airmen would respond to the prospect of gays serving openly — is in. And, according to sources who have read it, it reveals that ending DADT wouldn’t affect the military’s ability to fight wars. From The WaPo:

A Pentagon study group has concluded that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to two people familiar with a draft of the report, which is due to President Obama on Dec. 1.

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate.

The Marine Corps remains the service most adamantly opposed to ending DADT.

Among other questions, the survey asked if having an openly gay person in a unit would have an effect in an intense combat situation. Although a majority of respondents signaled no strong objections, a significant minority is opposed to serving alongside openly gay troops. About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, according to one of the people familiar with the report.

Marines are no doubt taking a cue from their homophobic chief, Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, who has openly defied orders by publicly criticizing the effort to end DADT. If he cannot follow orders, he should be cashiered.

Republicans, following the retrograde instincts of their base, are prepared to fight to keep the policy. But it will end sooner rather than later.

When President Truman ordered that the military be integrated (during a raging war in Korea) there were dire predictions about military readiness. Now, black soldiers, sailors and airmen are among the most respected officers in the service. The same will be true of gay troops when DADT ends.

453 comments Add your comment

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
7:39 am

I’m with ya’.

End DADT now, by executive order if need be.

Oh, and the Marine Commandant who says nope….fire him.
A Marine who can’t take orders needs to go.

Keep up the good fight!

November 11th, 2010
7:45 am

Right on, Granny!

Peadawg

November 11th, 2010
7:47 am

“Republicans, following the retrograde instincts of their base, are prepared to fight to keep the policy.”

That’s not entirely true. The reason it was defeated a few months ago was b/c it was in a bill with a whole lot of other stuff. Put it in its own bill, all by itself, and see what happens. Don’t try and be slimy and put it with a whole bunch of other things then cry, “The GOP didn’t repeal it”.

Aquagirl

November 11th, 2010
7:49 am

Cue raging homophobes in 3…2….1….

Oh, and if I can’t be first, “IT’S ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE!!!!11!!!” There, now that’s out of the way.

Keep up the good fight!

November 11th, 2010
7:51 am

Pea…I have no problem with a separate bill (and I’ll ignore the comments about the political game playing as if its only one side) and a straight up and down vote. But dont think that the Republicans will let it get past filibuster in the Senate.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
7:54 am

Peadawg

Since it was attached to the defense spending bill what other stuff did the GOP object to?

Certainly it wasn’t food, shelter or clothing for our troops?

It had to be one of two things.

DADT

or

“The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation ‒ pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL] ‒ that can solve this hemorrhaging injustice in our society. Under the rigorous provisions of the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.”

Jimmy62

November 11th, 2010
7:57 am

I agree, there’s no excuse for it. Two things I agree with Cynthia on, pot and gays in the military.

Peadawg

November 11th, 2010
7:57 am

granny, I’m guessing it’s the dream act. Why the hell was that in with DADT and defense spending?

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
7:58 am

This being veterans day I want to stop and thank all of you who have served our nation in uniform.

Special thanks to Mr. G, 1st Air Cav, Vietnam, Christmas 1968.

Special thanks to my Pop, US Air Corp, Black Panther Squadron, Pacific Theater WWII

Proof positve that men who face war can become strong men of peace.

Keep It to Yourself

November 11th, 2010
7:59 am

Your sexual orientation is really none of my business.

However, abstinence is really the best option for all:

– No dinner to buy

– No messy breakups

– No worried trips to the free clinic to treat those “mysterious sores”

BTW:

Dear Ultra-Aggressive Atlanta Panhandlers:

Don’t Ax Me for No Free Money.

Don’t Tell Me Your Fake Sob Story That Constantly Changes, Depending on Your Intended Sucker.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:01 am

The offer of a conditional path to citizenship with 2 years of military service makes it appropriate for a military spending bill.

Makes more sense in there than say a bill on agriculture or credit card refom.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:05 am

refom?

gee whiz

reform

Peadawg

November 11th, 2010
8:08 am

Ok ya got me there granny. But my point still stands. If you want DADT repealed, put it in it’s own bill and vote on it and see what happens. It’s not that hard.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:11 am

Well, Peadawg, perhaps the new GOP House will come to our aid.

That would be a happy thing.

Contact Mr. Boehner here

Good Grief

November 11th, 2010
8:11 am

CT, I am so proud of you. In one half of an article (let’s be honest, you cut & pasted 50% of it), you managed to hit all your favorite talking points: hit out against Republicans, bring up race (in an article about gay soldiers no less), hit out at some part of the military.. I could go on, but this is simply astonishing. Well played.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:15 am

Good Grief

Thanks for your opinion on Ms. T’s piece, now do you have an opinion on ending DADT?

JKL2

November 11th, 2010
8:20 am

CT- Thanks for the Veteran’s Day tribute. You really know how to make those in uniform feel special.

We have the greatest fighting force in the history of civilization. Democrats solution: Defund and screw with them. I’m all for change except when being lead by a clueless apologizer.

Aquagirl

November 11th, 2010
8:21 am

Keep…there’s a lot of homeless Vets, try to remember that when they “ax” you for something.

Keep up the good fight!

November 11th, 2010
8:23 am

JKL….assuming all other factors are the same (military support for change, study in support, popular support, etc.) your post means if Bush had done this, you would be okay. But since Obama is for it, that being the sole change, you are against it?

Good Grief

November 11th, 2010
8:24 am

Granny – I’m all for ending practices that either keep people from serving or being employeed because of a belief/tendency. That’s the Libertarian in me. But it doesn’t stop with the military. There are all kinds of places in this country, and even the world as a whole, where these practices continue. When I was younger, I worked at a grocery store as a cashier. I was sent home early one day because a customer had complained that I was pushing religion on them. Their complaint: I was wearing a WWJD? bracelet. That was it. For that simple display of a belief/tendency I was sent home. All I’m saying is, why stop with the military? If we’re going for it, then let’s go for it.

James

November 11th, 2010
8:27 am

Maybe DADT still around because our leadership is NADC- aka not around don’t care

Today is Veterans Day. Do you know where your president is?

With his feeble flame of “hope” thoroughly doused here in the United States by last week’s elections, President Obama has set out around the globe in search of throngs still enthralled by his flowery rhetoric.

Jethro

November 11th, 2010
8:27 am

Happy Vets Day Pop – ‘Nam 65-66.

“We don’t want no ‘poofters’ in our foxholes.” Haven’t we all grown up a little by now? Does it matter when bullets are flying and bombs are falling? I think not.

Anyone who wants to serve our country and potentially sacrifice their lives so that we may continue to pursue our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be allowed to do so with our gratitude. And if some poor, ignorant slob of a redneck wants to besmirch a gay soldier to his face, I say let him. That redneck will lose his last three teeth.

Joel Edge

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

I would love to see how the votes for this went. Without being being filtered through the military PC machine. And yes, there is a military PC machine. I took the AKO survey. As far as I know the results weren’t posted.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

Good Grief

Thanks.

I think wearing a WWJD bracelet is no reason for being sent home from work. Thank heavens you weren’t proselytizing.

James

November 11th, 2010
8:28 am

By the way- to all liberal conservative moderate used to be strong now over weight etc etc Veterans. Many many thanks and God bless you and your family

Gale

November 11th, 2010
8:31 am

Hey Vets, thank you.

Call it like it is

November 11th, 2010
8:31 am

Its a non-issue, who cares, and way to much time being spent on it. And yes lets just fire a Marine Commander because he doesnt want to deal with all of this sh*t. Nothing wrong with DADT, as long as it applies to “everyone.” Let it go people. And I am not coming down on the Marines, but you are taking young men fresh out of highschool, training them to be killers, and then you really want to introduce the element that one of their bunk buddies might be checking them out in the shower, and they have that right???? If you don’t think there will be beatdowns you are in a dream world. Again let it go.

Liberal Chicks are UGLY

November 11th, 2010
8:32 am

Oh I know! On Vetran’s Day and VE day, let’s concentrate on minutia! Because there aren’t real issues to dicuss.

Let’s take small issues and make a really big deal about them; that’s the liberal way.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:34 am

And the young men who perform “beatdowns” get washed out.

Hard and fast.

Good Grief

November 11th, 2010
8:34 am

Amen and Agreed to all previous comments thanking the veterans.

Thanks to both of my grandfathers, one was Army and the other Air Force, during the Korean Conflict. Thanks to my great-uncle who served in Vietnam. Thanks to the elders of my church who fought and sacrificed during World War II.

God Bless you all.

I pray this country never forgets your sacrifice.

JKL2

November 11th, 2010
8:34 am

keep-

There’s more to military than DADT. You can see the humor in that being the government’s biggest priority. Saddam raping children and cutting off body parts was OK. US troops taking embarrassing photos is evil. Bush talked with his military leaders and sought their advice on situations. Obama just sees them as something he unfortunately has to deal with on occasion.

Keep up the good fight!

November 11th, 2010
8:38 am

JKL…you ducked the question. Again, everything else the same, you are against this because Obama is for it but if Bush were to have done it, it would be ok?

BlahBlahBlah

November 11th, 2010
8:38 am

Granny, it makes the most sense in a bill that stands on it’s own, not in something Harry Reid conjured up to put folks on the spot. And yes, both sides do this.

2,000 page bills are bad. I agree with the other poster. Put DADT in a bill with nothing else and force a vote. Put the DREAM act in a bill with nothing else and force a vote (I like the general concept, but I’d prefer 4 or 6 years of service myself).

quod erat demonstrandum

November 11th, 2010
8:38 am

Just like with Pres. Truman re-integrating the military after Pres. Wilson segregated it, repeal of DADT will need years to complete.

It only make sense to take it slow.

stands for decibels

November 11th, 2010
8:38 am

If he cannot follow orders, he should be cashiered.

yep.

stands for decibels

November 11th, 2010
8:39 am

Saddam raping children and cutting off body parts was OK.

And we have our first combo non-sequitor/strawman argument of the day.

BlahBlahBlah

November 11th, 2010
8:41 am

One of the few areas Ms. Tucker and I agree. DADT is an intolerant relic that does more harm than good. It needs to go.

Call it like it is

November 11th, 2010
8:42 am

Granny………Your being naïve, if every solider that got in a fight with another solider was thrown out, we wouldn’t have very many soldiers make it out of basic. Again the sexual orientation of someone does not have to be introduce into the military. What purpose does it solve for anyone. On base you’re a soldier, when your off base do what the hell you want. Too much time and money being wasted on this. DADN for everyone!

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:43 am

some folks just don’t get the concept of continual gradual improvement.

BLAH BLAH BLAH

I posted contact info above for John Boehner, please use the form and ask him to do just that.

Thanks

quod erat demonstrandum

November 11th, 2010
8:43 am

Speaking of veterans, why does Congress get a COLA (for those in mid-town – Cost Of Living Adjustment), but seniors don’t?

stands for decibels

November 11th, 2010
8:44 am

Since someone brought up Truman’s decision to integrate the troops, here’s an interesting tidbit:

With Gallup polls in 1948 finding that 82 percent of Americans disagreed with his civil rights program, President Truman faced an uphill battle integrating the military. Coming just 100 days before the national election, the order sparked a revolt amongst Southern Democrats led by Dixicrat Strom Thurmond. [Truman speech writer and long time West Virginia politician Ken] Hechler noted that during this time Truman penned a diary entry showing his resolve, writing “how far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?”

82% opposed to ending discrimination then; about 70% in favor of ending another form of discrimination now.

Just to keep this in perspective.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:46 am

Call it like it is

No son, you’re being naive.

If we don’t cashier soldiers who do not follow the rules, we end up with Armed Forces who think they run the nation.

Got junta?

Gale

November 11th, 2010
8:48 am

Call it @8:42, The point is that is exactly what gays want. They enlisted to be soldiers. When they are off duty, they want to live their own lives. Straights can have lovers, wives, husbands and families. Gays want the same thing.

Sean

November 11th, 2010
8:49 am

This would all have been settled if the justice department would not have appealed the decision. We having to have this fight AGAIN… because of a bone head move by the justice department…

JKL2

November 11th, 2010
8:49 am

keep-

Bush would have never asked for it’s repeal because he sees it as a “military problem” and not a “big brother government needs to tell you what to do because your too stupid to know what’s good for you” problem.

Can the Army function without DADT. Sure. The question is why you feel the need to screw with something that generally works well. My solution would be to allow gays but keep them out of combat arms. Many women are also capable of doing the job, but it’s an unnecesary distraction that doesn’t need to be shoved down the throats of our elite Soldier’s because you think they need to be more touchy feely.

quod erat demonstrandum

November 11th, 2010
8:49 am

At least the Commandant of the Marine Corps has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Congress and tell the truth about DADT. It does take time to reverse a policy like that. Let the studies take place.

jconservative

November 11th, 2010
8:50 am

This is one issue Cynthia and I have always agreed on.

And I agree with Peadawg, put DADT in a stand alone bill and see what happens. I predict it passes and is signed into law.

I am a small government conservative and I have a hard time denying a person who wants to enlist to serve his country the ability to do so.

If the military was turning away hundreds of thousands of applicants a year because they did not need them, maybe I could be talked into a change of opinion. But unfortunately, the vast majority of young Americans have no interest in serving their country. So the few that do want to serve, let them serve with sexual preference, along with race, religion and sex not being an issue.

Today is Veterans Day. Many Veterans who served, and who we honor today, were and are gay. Many dead soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who are buried in our cemeteries were gay.

I served in the US Army in the late 1960’s. I served with a few gays.
There were no problems. Each person did their job. End of story.

granny godzilla

November 11th, 2010
8:50 am

there’s that shoved down the throat thing again…..

isn’t that getting to be an old “gag”?

John

November 11th, 2010
8:51 am

@Call it like it is

“What purpose does it solve for anyone. On base you’re a soldier, when your off base do what the hell you want.”

That’s one of the problems with DADT. Gay soldiers are not allowed to do what the hell they want off base. They have to hide their identity both on and off base. The military has been know to snoop and read through private emails as well as listen to any report for anyone about the possibility of a soldier being gay.

James

November 11th, 2010
8:53 am

SFD- know that I am being sincere with the question- do you think this has as much to do with the question are you born “gay” or develop- ie that would be the differentiation in your 8:44 post re: ethnicity