Wednesday, February 3, 2010

McCain on Truth: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

While I hope for implementation more quickly than it appears, I was most please to learn that America’s top military brass has come out in favor of repealing DADT.

McConJob_Busted The US's two highest-ranking defense officials have thrown their weight behind President Barack Obama's call to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bars homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that repealing DADT was "the right thing to do," while Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the committee that the policy would be enforced leniently while the Pentagon studies options for how and when to end it.

"Mullen's line is perhaps the strongest statement to date from a top military official at the Pentagon in support of a 'Don't ask, don't tell' repeal," The Hill reports. The New York Times called Gates' and Mullen's announcements "a major step toward allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the United States military for the first time in its history."

During his State of the Union address last month, President Obama said, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."

While gay-rights activists applauded the president's move, some were alarmed by the fact that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were present at the address, sat silently instead of applauding when Obama made the remark. Some saw this as a sign the military brass weren't behind Obama's plans. But today's announcement signaled that top military officials are willing to work on the policy.

In his comments before the committee, Adm. Mullen said it was his "personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do."

"I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens," Mullen said. "For me, it comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an institution."

Mullen added that he believed military culture had evolved to the point where "the great young men and women of our military can and would accommodate such a change" -- though he admitted that he did not "know this for a fact, nor do I know for a fact how we would best make such a major policy change in a time of two wars."

Human Rights Campaign, one of the leading gay-rights groups pushing for the repeal of DADT, called today's testimony "a historic step forward.

"When the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense, who also served under President Bush, direct the military to mitigate the pace of discharges while moving toward implementation, we know that Don't Ask Don't Tell is on its way out," HRC said in a statement emailed to the press.

For his part, Secretary Gates made it clear he is following the orders of his commander-in-chief.

“We received our orders from the commander-in-chief, and we are moving out accordingly,” Gates told the committee.

The Pentagon has launched an 11-month study of DADT, which will report back at the end of 2010 on how best to proceed with a change in the policy. Some observers say this means the law won't be changed this year, as Obama had implied in his State of the Union speech.

News reports this week indicate that the Pentagon will take a more lenient approach to enforcing DADT while the policy is reviewed. The Pentagon is expected to limit dismissal of serving members who are outed by third parties, and not by their own actions.

But the move is already attracting criticism from some corners. Sen. John McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it was the role of Congress, not the Pentagon, to change the policy.

"You are embarking on not whether the military should make a change, but how best the military should prepare for it," McCain told Mullen. "In my view, and I know that a lot of people don’t agree with that, the policy has been working and I think it’s been working well."...

Inserted from <Raw Story>

What makes McConJob’s outburst so distasteful is that in 2006, his position was the exact opposite of what it is today.  This must be particularly sweet for Rachel Maddow.  The glee sparkled in her eyes as she rubbed McConJob’s nose in his own hypocrisy.


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Did he make a fool of himself or what?  Furthermore, Traitor Joe LIEberman and and two other GOP goose steppers proved their own idiocy as well.


the walking man said...

I like Levin, have voted for him in every single election and his brother Sander as well.

But that said it is well past time to depose ALL of the aging boomers who have lost touch with the emerging reality of the kids that they are asking to go and fight the wars they approved of and started.

I read a line once and the McCains & Chambiliss' of the world make it more true than when I first read it forty years ago.

"Just because you suck a little cock, doesn't mean you're a cocksucker"

But being a United States Senator I think qualifies most of them.

TomCat said...

Mark, with few exceptions (Bernie Sanders for one, I suspect you are right on your first point. I'm certian you are on the second.

Lisa G. said...

10 months? WTF? This has been studied to death both here and in other countries. Get it done now.

Stimpson said...

Where DADT seemed most counter-productive (my polite way of saying "STUPID" in this case) was in the cases of English-to-Arabic translators getting bounced because they're gay. There's a skill the U.S. military really, really needs in Iraq, and yet it was tossing people with that skill for something that has no bearing on their job. Unbelievable.

TomCat said...

Lisa, it appears they will cut way back on enforcement in the meantime, but I agree. The problem is that it's still the law until Congress repeals it. That they could do by attaching it to the next Defence measure.

Stimpson, I agree. It's insane.