After years of defending the non-governmental Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a “valuable resource,” the Department of Defense has finally scrubbed the left-wing activist organization’s resources from its training materials:
Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.
Controversy arose in late 2013 and early 2014 when Read more
Buried deep in the proposed Defense Department Budget for 2017 (PDF, 5MB) was a little noticed comment on discrimination in the US Army [emphasis added]:
The Army remains committed to ensuring the dignity and respect of Soldiers, civilians, and their families…The Army will provide every Soldier and civilian equal opportunities to rise to the level of their merit regardless of their gender, their race, or their self-identity.
Just what is a “self-identity”? Good question, since it isn’t defined in the budget nor apparently in a Defense Department policy, and it hasn’t appeared in any prior DoD budget. It’s also not a Federally-protected class. Given the context of current events, it seems likely it is intended as a reference to the Army’s foregone plan to repeal the ban on transgender troops, though the Army seemed to dispute anything unique about this year’s new budget wording: Read more
Update: Also at OneNewsNow, where Judicial Watch claims Michael Weinstein has had an “adverse affect on religious freedom in the military,” and LifeSiteNews.
Judicial Watch announced it has filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Defense seeking information about its relationship with Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, following his now-infamous meeting with Pentagon officials in April:
Judicial Watch…filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit…against the Department of Defense seeking “all records and communications” between the Pentagon and Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) founder Mikey Weinstein, a controversial activist who has compared evangelicals with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and has called for the court martial of Christian chaplains (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense (No. 1:13-cv-01372 )).
Judicial Watch said they Read more
If you’re a member of the US military and you’ve ever Facebook “Liked” President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney, you’d better pay attention, because the Department of Defense just issued guidance that restricts that very thing.
Contrary to the conclusions of a prior article, the US DoD has just recently published official guidance on “political activities” in association with social media, and they’re fairly explicit. The undated but very recently released “2012 Public Affairs Guidance for Political Campaigns and Elections” says:
- You can express yourself on issues and candidates:
An [active duty] Service member may generally express his or her own personal views on public issues or political candidates via social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, or personal Blogs, much the same as they would be permitted to write a letter to the editor of a newspaper.
- But, if you are “reasonably identifiable” as a member of the military, Read more
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has reportedly ordered the entire Department of Defense to review its military education materials for content that might be offensive to Islam.
The order was precipitated by an elective course called “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism,” offered Read more
…or maybe it does. The report, entitled Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, was released yesterday (available here, or at the DoD DADT website). The following is a list of highlights from the report.
Statistics and Questions
As noted previously, fun with numbers will likely allow both sides of the DADT debate to cite the report in favor of their position.
For example, one of the most frequently cited statistics (as here and here) is the statement that
When asked about how having a Service member in their immediate unit who said he or she is gay would affect the unit’s ability to “work together to get the job done,” 70% of Service members predicted it would have a positive, mixed, or no effect.
However, using precisely the same numbers, one could also say
When asked about how having a Service member in their immediate unit who said he or she is gay would affect the unit’s ability to “work together to get the job done,” 62% of Service members predicted it would have a negative or mixed effect.
Obviously, the second statement holds quite a different meaning than the first – yet both are entirely accurate.
One of the main disconnects is that many reports have conflated Read more