DADT Roundup: News and Updates

Summary of recent articles/news on the potential change to the law banning homosexuals from serving in the US military.  Below:

  • Oliver North on “who they are” vs “what they do.”
  • North again asking will DADT repeal improve the military?
  • The “no effect” of repeal compared with gender integration: A Navy commander fired.
  • Secretary Gates addresses the possibility of de facto repeal of DADT within the military.
  • CSM Marvin Hill, Petraeus’ top enlisted Soldier, reportedly “pushes” against the law.
  • Congress prioritizes DADT repeal higher than the parent Defense Authorization Act
  • Calls for Senator McCain to do the “right” thing…but how do you define “right?”

Oliver North previously wrote on the proposed policies that would allow open homosexual service in the military (“repeal DADT”), debunking yet another oft-cited quote:

This week in pressing Congress for urgent action to change the law, both Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, once again, raised the canard that Section 654 must be immediately repealed because it “forces young people to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” In fact, current law does no such thing. The law simply says that those who commit certain acts should not be permitted to join the armed forces. It’s not about “who they are.” It’s about what they do…

In his testimony on Dec. 2, while urging the Senate Armed Services Committee to act immediately on changing the law, Admiral Mullen told the solons that service in the military is a “meritocracy” based on “what you do, not who you are.” That of course, is the very argument many of us have been making against allowing active homosexuals into the ranks.

In a separate article, North made an astute observation, made here and in other places, that is often ignored:

In nine years of covering every theater of this global war for Fox News and in writing American Heroes in Special Operations, I have never met a single senior non-commissioned officer in any service who said to me anything like: “We need some homosexuals and lesbians out here to help us accomplish our mission.”

The Washington Examiner has an article noting DADT is “all about sex,” raising an interesting, if often overlooked, set of issues:

Repeal of DADT will damage good order and discipline. For example, when the Navy began assigning females to previously all-male ships, there was a tangible decline in combat effectiveness.

This was not because women are fundamentally inferior to men. They are equally intelligent and patriotic.

The answer is much more basic than that. It is all about sex.Confining young men and women to a ship for up to six months at a time inevitably led to love triangles, broken marriages, superior/subordinate fraternization, and more.

As if to prove the point, just a few days after this article appeared, the Navy announced it had fired a mine countermeasure ship’s Commander for fraternization with a female officer — his second in command.

While Secretary Gates expressed “frustration” at resistance to changing the law, and while some sites are implying the military is already moving to essentially abandon DADT, Gates said the current law would continue to be supported:

But despite worries about court action, Gates said it “would be a serious mistake to start training and preparing before the law is changed, because I think it will just confuse the troops.”

Some of the policies may already be lending to confusion.  For example,

Back in March, Gates put an end to what were referred to as the “vendetta outings” of gay troops by third parties who might be nursing a resentment or gripe.

Despite apparently noble intentions, the potential that homosexuals might not be discharged because they were “outed” in a vendetta is not considered in the law.  The law simply says homosexuality is inconsistent with military service.  It says nothing about asking or telling — or being told on due to resentment.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey reportedly supports lifting the ban, but he recommended Congress not “repeal” “during wartime.”  He acknowledges there is a “moderate risk” to allowing homosexuals to serve openly.

The senior enlisted Soldier serving under General David Petraeus in Afghanistan is now also on the record “pushing for” repeal — and saying those who don’t like it can leave:

“If there are people who cannot deal with the change, then they’re going to have to do what’s best for their troops and best for the organization and best for the military service and exit the military service, so that we can move forward – if that’s the way that we have to go,” Command Sergeant Major Marvin Hill.

Notably, CSM Hill’s comments were not Congressional testimony, as with General Mixon.

In an astonishing display, the recent failure of the Senate to move forward on the Defense Authorization Act with the DADT repeal rider had an interesting result:

Lawmakers who supported the repeal vowed to reintroduce the effort as a stand-alone bill in coming days…

The military still hasn’t been funded, largely because of the DADT attachment to the military authorization bill.  Rather than pulling the DADT clause and passing the NDAA, they’re instead focusing on an independent DADT bill.  Priorities?

The Arizona Daily Star says Senator John McCain needs to “do [the] right thing” and let homosexuals serve.  The irony in demanding a “moral” response while simultaneously claiming “morality” is irrelevant is apparently unintentional.