The results of the Pentagon’s ten-month assessment of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have now been released. Here’s the money quote:
“Based on all we saw and heard, our assessment is that, when coupled with the prompt implementation of the recommendations we offer below, the risk of repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to overall military effectiveness is low. We conclude that, while a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will likely, in the short term, bring about some limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention, we do not believe this disruption will be widespread or long-lasting, and can be adequately addressed by the recommendations we offer below. Longer term, with a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism, and respect for all, we are convinced that the U.S. military can adjust and accommodate this change, just as it has others in history.”
In remarks today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates endorsed the report’s findings and strongly urged “the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to the president for signature before the end of this year.”
“Given the present circumstances, those that choose not to act legislatively are rolling the dice that this policy will not be abruptly overturned by the courts,” Gates said, warning that a court-imposed change would be “by far the most disruptive and damaging scenario I can imagine, and the one most hazardous to military morale, readiness and battlefield performance.”
The country is ready. The military is ready. The time for waiting has passed; the time for acting has finally come.
“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’” an impatient Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham jail. “It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This ‘Wait’ has almost always meant ‘Never.’ We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied’.”
No more waiting. No more excuses.