Saturday, May 1, 2010

Defense Secretary Gates to Gays, "Stay In The Closet!"

The military policy, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," has been in the news a good bit of late, including a recent story that some Democrats do not want to wait for the study Obama proposed to conclude December 1, conveniently after the election.

Well, they might as well stop trying. This story just out (h/t to Sowsear), Military Tells Congress To Keep Gay Ban For Now. Well, that headline pretty much says it all, but here is the justification:
Senior Pentagon leaders on Friday warned Congress not to tamper with the ban on gays serving openly in the military until they can come up with a plan for dealing with potential opposition in the ranks.

In a strongly worded letter obtained by The Associated Press, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told the House Armed Services Committee that forcing policy changes on the military before it's ready would be a mistake.

"Our military must be afforded the opportunity to inform us of their concerns, insights and suggestions if we are to carry out this change successfully," Gates and Mullen wrote to the panel's chairman, Missouri Democrat Ike Skelton.

Gay rights advocates want an immediate freeze on military firings of openly gay service members, and some senior Democratic senators have said they want to offer such a bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said the Obama administration should suspend enforcement of the law until the Defense Department completes its study and Congress can act to change it.

But other lawmakers, including Skelton, have said they are uneasy about lifting the ban and don't want to act before the force is ready.

The letter provides Skelton and other unsettled Democrats political cover not to press the issue until after this year's midterm elections. Earlier this week, Skelton asked Gates in a letter to outline his views as the House committee prepares the 2011 defense authorization bill.

President Barack Obama has said the 1993 law, known as "don't ask, don't tell," unfairly punishes patriotic Americans and asked Congress to repeal it.

In a statement released late Friday, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama's commitment to repealing the law remains "unequivocal" and that Obama "is committed to getting this done both soon and right."

First of all, how insulting is it that the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs do not think our military is as capable of serving alongside openly gay people as the UK, or Israel, or a host of other countries??

Second of all, nice political cover for the Democrats, especially Obama. It is disingenuous for the White House to claim Obama really, really wants to change this law. If he wanted to, he already would have. And, considering his Justice Department lent their hefty support to keeping "DADT" using outdated quotes from Colin Powell that even HE doesn't agree with anymore, it just makes this laughable. Or would, if it wasn't people's lives and service at stake.

This is also a bit hard for me to believe:
Gates says he supports lifting the ban but wants to survey the troops first on how it should be done. He has ordered a study by Dec. 1 that will look at whether housing arrangements would have to be altered and gay partners would be allowed military benefits.

If Congress acts before then, "it would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns and perspectives do not matter," he and Mullen wrote to Skelton.

The letter prompted immediate protests from gay rights groups.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said that if Congress doesn't act this year it would send the message to gay troops that "the impact on them and their families does not matter to the military leadership, including their commander in chief."

This is one reason why I left the HRC - the belief by people like Solmonese that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama gives a damn about GLBT people. Wake the hell up already, Joe - ask Donnie McClurkin or James Meeks what Obama REALLY thinks of us. Sheesh.

Doesn't it just gripe you when people continue to believe promises made with absolutely NO basis? Does me.

And here's the part where they basically call our military personnel a bunch of homophobes:
Defense officials hope the protracted timeline will also help troops adjust to the idea of serving with openly gay colleagues before they have to accept the change.

Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, is expected to propose in the 2011 defense authorization bill a moratorium on gay firings in the military.

In the House, Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., is considered the most likely to offer the legislation.

Just more bullshit from this White House and those who serve it. More broken promises. More, "Hey, I really WANT to do it, but gee - I'm just the president, what do you want from me?" Spare me.

The only acceptable justification for NOT allowing gays to serve in the military comes from The Onion (that's your alert that this is SATIRE):

Hey, if I'm not laughing about this, I'm crying, especially when I think of all those who have served proudly, wish to do so, but have been dismissed. I'm just shaking my head in disbelief. How about you?

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