Dec. 2 Update: Link to DADT hearings live blog
The U.S. Department of Defense has released the report of its comprehensive review of issues associated with the prospective repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, instituted during the Clinton administration. Since its implementation in 1993, approximately 13,000 service members have been discharged under DATD. Repeal of the law will permit open service of gays in the military.
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November 30, 2010
The Defense Department will release the “Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ” today at approximately 2:15 p.m. EST at http://www.defense.gov/dadt.
DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conduct a press briefing at the Pentagon discussing the public release of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Comprehensive Working Group report on Nov. 30, 2010. (DOD photo: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)
Gates: Time to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ (NBC “Today,” Dec. 1, 2010) – On the heels of a new military survey, Pentagon chief Robert Gates says the time has come to accept openly gay servicemen and women. NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports. (01:54)
December 1, 2010
WASHINGTON — A Pentagon study on gays in the military has determined that overturning the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” might cause some disruption at first but would not create any widespread or long-lasting problems. …
“We are both convinced that our military can do this, even during this time of war,” wrote the study co-chairs Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Army Gen. Carter Ham.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, said Congress should act quickly because of a recent effort by a federal judge to overturn the law.
Findings: Two-thirds don’t care if ban is lifted
Overall, the survey found that some two-thirds of troops do not care if the ban is lifted. Of the 30 percent who objected, most were on duty in combat areas.
Opposition was strongest among combat troops, with at least 40 percent saying it was a bad idea. That number climbs to 58 percent among Marines serving in combat roles.
A summary of the report says 69 percent of respondents believe they already have served alongside a gay person, of which 92 percent said their unit was able to work together and 8 percent said the unit functioned poorly as a result.
“We have a gay guy. He’s big, he’s mean and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay,” the report quotes a member of the special operations force as saying.
The report predicts that many gay troops would be likely to keep their sexual orientation quiet even after the ban is lifted. That discretion probably would be even more common in the military than in the civilian world, in which some but not all gay people choose to reveal their orientation at work, the reports authors said.
Of those who said they are gay, only 15 percent said they would want that known to everyone in their unit. …
Existing policies could stay in place
Gates said he didn’t think the Pentagon would have to rewrite its regulations on housing, benefits or fraternization to accommodate gays if they were allowed to serve openly.
“Existing policies can and should be applied equally to homosexuals as well as heterosexuals,” he said, adding that the change could be addressed through increased training and education.
Though some troops suggested during the study that there should be separate bath and living facilities for gays, the report recommended against it because it would be a “logistical nightmare, expensive and impossible to administer.”
Further, separate facilities would stigmatize gays and lesbians in the way that “separate but equal” facilities did to blacks before the 1960s, it said. …
The survey is based on responses by some 115,000 troops and 44,200 military spouses to more than a half million questionnaires distributed last summer by an independent polling firm.
The House already has voted to overturn the law as part of a broader defense policy bill. But Senate Republicans have blocked the measure because they say not enough time has been allowed for debate on unrelated provisions in the bill. …
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 30, 2009
One year ago today, I provided links, graphics, and video to supplement a report by Michael White of the British newspaper The Guardian, who — pointing to Rep. Michele Bachmann — said what troubled him about the U.S. today is that “public reaction to the Obama presidency is irrational, emotional, and ignorant.”
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — November 30, 2008
Two years ago today, on Nov. 30, 2008, I reported on the fallout from a three-day terrorist rampage that killed nearly 200 people in Mumbai, India.
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