Status of DADT

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Re: Status of DADT

Postby madsglen » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:39 pm

Poor John McCain. While I kinda liked him about 10 years ago and even flirted with voting for him at one time, he certainly has been at loose ends after two failed campaigns. And he can't even get his curmudgeon act right. He's just so afraid he'd going to lose his Senate seat that he's drunk the Glenn Beck kool-aid (and tea party) kool-aid, ('facts be damned', let alone integrity). Maybe he's afraid if he doesn't keep pandering to the hard-core conservatives and stay in the Senate his wife will pack up the kids (and of course all her money) and move on to greener pastures.

Sad thing is, this letter ('Fact checkers? We don't need no stinkin' fact checkers!...') will of course become another 'talking point' for Republicans...

Letter Paraded By Senator McCain In Opposition Of Don’t Ask Repeal Problematic At Best
03/04/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
Apparently the letter waved around by Senator John McCain in opposition to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is not as solid as it appears. There are some major problems with this letter that is supposedly signed by one thousand “distinguished retired military leaders”, including the fact that three of them are dead, and one was dead at the time he signed the letter.

The signature of Gen. Louis Menetrey was not forged, but rather his wife signed it under the power of attorney. General Menetrey was robbed of his faculties by Alzheimer’s six years ago and passed away before the letter was published.

The average age of the signers is 74, with the oldest being in his nineties, but that is not the bigger problem. The overwhelming majority of this letter’s signers retired before 1993. According to Servicemembers United Executive Director Alex Nicholson, only a small fraction of these retired admirals and generals served after 1993. This makes it unlikely that they understand or know about the current military.

Adding to the woes, one signer on the letter has since disavowed it. Indeed, according to DCAgenda, this particular person now believes that gays and lesbians should serve openly in the military so long as they adhere to the military code of conduct. Several others have come forward to say that they were never asked about this issue and never signed the letter.

Some others were discharged after they were involved in scandals which ruined their careers. General Carl Mundy stated on 60 Minutes “minority officers do not shoot as well as the non-minorities.” Rear Admiral Riley Mixson was discharged after being censured for not taking action over the Tailhook scandal. According to the story at the time, “Mixson was cited for failing to take action when he saw a woman drink from a dispenser made to look like a rhinoceros’ penis and men shaving women’s legs.” Another signer on the letter, Brigadier General Darryl Powell was involved in a spike of medical malpractice lawsuits when he was commander of Madigan Army Medical Center. In one case, a woman was injected with formaldehyde instead of her medication and she and her unborn died.

The fact that the majority of the people attached to this letter retired before the law went on the books is an indicator that it is not valid for arguing against repealing DADT. In fact, given the problems associated with this letter, it should be filed away and forgotten.


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Re: Status of DADT

Postby olywaguy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:01 pm

Well, there seems to be new stop-gap measures in order to prevent firing of openly gay military.


Military to tighten rules on gay firings

The Obama administration is expected to take the first steps toward dismantling the ban on gays in the military Thursday, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announces rules to make it tougher for service members to be fired for being gay.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to take the first steps toward dismantling the ban on gays in the military Thursday, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates announces rules to make it tougher for service members to be fired for being gay.

President Obama has called for repealing the military's 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, with support from Gates and Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation's highest-ranking military officer.

Repeal requires congressional approval. But with lawmakers divided over the policy and policymaking stalled by fallout over passage of the health-care overhaul, Gates is moving to roll back those provisions he can control without legislative action.

Under the new guidelines, firings of enlisted personnel who violate the ban must be approved by officers who hold a rank equivalent to a one-star general or above. Testimony provided by third parties also should be given under oath, the plan says, according to two defense officials who declined to be identified.

The officials said the goal was to ensure the existing law was applied fairly and consistently across the military. The plan also is aimed at eliminating flimsy testimony by third parties.

Under existing policy, military officers are not supposed to inquire about sexual orientation or seek to know it, while service members are to keep quiet about it. The law also requires officers to act if they learn a subordinate is gay, however.

About 80 percent of those forced out have been service members acknowledging they're gay; the other 20 percent are individuals whom third parties brought to the attention of commanders.

Those who were forced out by other service members' complaints often say they were the targets of grudges. Some women have said they were exposed after rebuffing the advances of male colleagues.

Since "don't ask, don't tell" went into effect, roughly 13,000 service members have left the military because of the rule.

Obama administration officials and Gates' spokesman declined to comment on the new rules.

"It is the first step," said Rick Jacobs, chairman of the Courage Campaign, one of several national advocacy groups that support the repeal. "It's a concrete step. That's a good thing." At the same time, Jacobs said, "It's nowhere near enough."

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, has introduced legislation with backing from some Senate Democrats to allow openly gay military service. With two wars under way, however, some lawmakers have indicated they will oppose repeal, among them Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.



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Re: Status of DADT

Postby olywaguy » Sat May 29, 2010 11:27 am

Looks like the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell has passed the Senate and will be attached to a Defense bill. But, it looks like there is still some battle to get it done.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer

Editorial: Gay ban nears repeal

When President Harry Truman ended segregation in the armed services, critics argued that having blacks and whites serve side by side would disrupt the military.

Six decades later, naysayers on Capitol Hill have tried to use a similar argument to delay lifting a ban on allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military. But so far, they have failed. Congress took two important votes Thursday that may finally lead to repeal of the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law. Unfortunately, though, caveats added to the legislation may aid opponents' stalling tactics.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.,) an Iraq veteran and chief sponsor of the measure, has led the fight to lift the 17-year-old ban. The House and a Senate committee approved his bill. But it faces an uphill battle in the full Senate, where Republicans may filibuster it, even at the risk of the $760 billion defense spending bill that includes the measure.

During his campaign, President Obama promised gay-rights advocates he would reopen the debate about gays in the military. Now, he needs to show the fortitude necessary to settle the matter.

In a compromise with the Pentagon, the gay-rights measure was amended so that it won't take effect until the Pentagon completes a study of how the policy change will affect the military. That report is due in December.

It's difficult to understand what another study can say about a subject that has been debated for years. But if one more report is what it will take to end the current discrimination against gays and lesbians, then go for it.

The repeal can be implemented 60 days after Obama, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the secretary of defense certify it "will not hurt military readiness or unit cohesion."

The current policy certainly has had a negative impact, with 13,500 service personnel dismissed from the armed forces under the rule. They include high-ranking officers as well as Arabic translators and interpreters - the very experts vitally needed in the fight against terrorism.

Of course, there is apprehension among the troops about ending "don't ask, don't tell," but many have said they will serve alongside anyone - regardless of sexual orientation. A recent Gallup poll found 70 percent of Americans support lifting the ban.

It's time for change. Gays who want to help protect their country should be given the opportunity.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/ ... z0pKt1DcA8




From the Washington Post


Historic votes are cast, but hurdles remain for ending 'don't ask, don't tell'

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RECENT POLLS have shown that the American people overwhelmingly support allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military. Congress reflected that view late Thursday when a Senate committee and the full House of Representatives voted to repeal the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The vote was a victory for anyone who abhors discrimination. But it's not a done deal yet.

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16 to 12 to include the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in the massive Defense Department spending bill. The House then voted 234 to 194 to lift the ban on gays in the military. Key to passage was a compromise delaying implementation of the repeal until after the Pentagon Working Group delivers its report (due Dec. 1) on how integration of openly gay men and lesbians would affect the military and how such a nondiscriminatory policy would be implemented. President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must certify that lifting the ban would not negatively affect the armed forces.

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq war veteran, deserves high praise for his dogged determination to persuade enough of his colleagues to cast the historic vote. We also congratulate Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) for mustering the votes, including that of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), to get the amendment and the bill out of the Armed Services Committee. Sens. James Webb (D-Va.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) managed to say no and yes. Each voted against repeal but for the overall bill, which goes to the full Senate for a vote next month.

Two hurdles remain before the demise of "don't ask, don't tell" can be assured. The House version of the defense bill contains a provision for a jet engine program for F-35 fighter jets that Mr. Gates doesn't want and that has earned (rightly) a veto threat from the administration, reiterated by the president Friday. Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other Republicans are threatening to support a filibuster because the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" is in the bill.
ad_icon

Mr. McCain once said he'd accept the verdict of Pentagon brass on this matter. Now Mr. Gates and Adm. Mullen are on board, but Mr. McCain has vowed to "do everything in my power" to fight the bill. It's sad to watch.




from Seattle Times



House vote advances end to ban on gays in military

By JIM ABRAMS
The Associated Press

The House on Friday passed a defense bill that paves the way for gays to serve openly in the military for the first time, but advocates on both sides geared up for a fight in the Senate.

WASHINGTON — The House on Friday passed a defense bill that paves the way for gays to serve openly in the military for the first time, but advocates on both sides geared up for a fight in the Senate.

Normally, defense bills pass by wider margins than Friday's 229-186 vote, but many Republicans and a few Democrats voted against it because of the repeal of the gay ban, which was added to the $700 billion bill in a 234-194 vote late Thursday.

Washington Democrat Jim McDermott on Friday joined Republicans in voting against the measure while Republican Dave Reichert joined Democrats in voting for it.

House approval of the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal was a victory for President Obama, who has pledged to change the policy, and for gay-rights groups, which have made it their top priority this year. The bill would give the Pentagon the rest of the year to study the issue before the repeal would take effect.

The Senate is expected to take up the defense bill this summer. Supporters likely will need the votes of 60 of the 100 senators to prevent opponents from blocking it.

While supportive overall, the White House on Thursday issued a veto threat because the House version includes $485 million for an alternative engine for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sought to eliminate the second engine program, saying it is wasteful. Supporters, in addition to protecting jobs in their districts, say that the competition will save money over the life cycle of the $100 billion project.

The second engine would be built by General Electric and Rolls-Royce in Ohio, Indiana and other states. The main F-35 engine is built in Connecticut by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a chief backer of changing the law, said at a news conference Friday most senators support ending the gay ban.

"I believe a majority of the Senate, just like a majority of the country ... favor changing this policy," he said. "It is a discriminatory policy."

He predicted it would be hard for opponents to filibuster the defense bill over the gay-rights issue because "there's so much in here for our troops."

That includes money for security projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan, anti-terrorism programs, billions for new ships, planes and mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles and money for ballistic missile defense. The House bill has a 1.9 percent raise for military personnel; the Senate bill 1.4 percent.


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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:50 pm

A status/update on DADT:

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Re: Status of DADT

Postby backpacker » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:07 pm

"Republicans block bill to lift don't ask, don't tell" Big shock there, well maybe in another 10 years...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100921/ap_ ... s_military
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby olywaguy » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:21 am

Well, looks like gay rights will take a back burner during the new Republican controlled House.

I'd suggest that the Obama administration not aggressively pursue the appeal the decision to get rid of DADT made by the federal judge. They need to let it go and that would get rid of DADT.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby backpacker » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:20 pm

Well supposedly the report they were waiting for came out so to speak and finds not much change to the military readiness if DADT is repealed. So now we just have to see if congress will do the rest.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:24 pm

backpacker wrote:Well supposedly the report they were waiting for came out so to speak and finds not much change to the military readiness if DADT is repealed. So now we just have to see if congress will do the rest.

I would expect that the Republican-controlled House will figure some way to kick this can down the road and delay completing work on it until nearer to the 2012 elections. It goes into the bag with all the other wedge issues (same-sex marriage, abortion, flag burning, prayer in school, etc.) that they usually pull out at election time to motivate their base and scare as much of the American middle as they can.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:53 pm

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Image

Tombstone of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, USAF
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:48 pm

backpacker wrote:Well supposedly the report they were waiting for came out so to speak and finds not much change to the military readiness if DADT is repealed. So now we just have to see if congress will do the rest.

You finally got your answer today from Ms. Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina. Citing "implementation" Graham says Republicans are "united during the lame duck session against repealing DADT." That means nothing can happen in the Senate this year, and in the next Congress when Republicans will have control of the House, nothing will happen then. See you in two years. Next subject please! May I suggest a thread on gay Republicans and hypocrisy?
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Daknee » Sun Nov 28, 2010 3:27 pm

Rico wrote:A picture is worth a thousand words.

Image

Tombstone of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, USAF


A great brief poignant message!
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:37 pm

Daknee wrote:
Rico wrote:A picture is worth a thousand words.

Image

Tombstone of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich, USAF


A great brief poignant message!

I agree. Perhaps Matlovich's tombstone is an appropriate way end this discussion of the repeal of DADT at least for two years, or until the Republicans resurrect it as a wedge issue for the elections in 2012.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Marvinteck » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:53 pm

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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:32 pm

While listening to the testimony this week about DADT, I stumbled across this short music video produced with the help of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund. It's "Lover" by gay singer/songwriter Tom Goss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN56zvQTeWk
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Guinness Fan » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:36 pm

^^ Very moving Rico, thanks for posting.....
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby nimby » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:44 pm

Wow. :cry:
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Ashpenaz » Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:31 pm

Soldiers are trained to face life and death situations every day, yet they are terrified of working alongside a gay person. Does this mean that a clerk at J. Crew is braver than a Marine? :shock:
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby DeckApe » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:44 pm

The Senate Republicans have blocked the repeal of DADT.

What kind of logjam would it cause in the system if every gay soldier, sailor and airman announced themselves?
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Thu Dec 09, 2010 5:01 pm

DeckApe wrote:What kind of logjam would it cause in the system if every gay soldier, sailor and airman announced themselves?

We may actually get to see even more chaos if the U.S. Courts rule on this issue. That's why the legislation was so important. If they had legislatively repealed DADT, then the military could have in a deliberate and thoughtful way woven into their social fabric the new policy. Now, if the courts order the military to change policies on a dime, it could be quite chaotic.

I'm just about convinced that our government has become 100% dysfunctional. Thank goodness we have two huge oceans separating us from our enemies abroad because right now we seem to be easy pickings for just about anybody. What a bunch of assholes we must look like to the rest of the modern world!

Edited to add this: At the same time we have some of the worse political gridlock ever, and politicians from all sides are calling each other every bad name under the sun, and 40 Republican Senators just endorsed an evil discriminatory policy, Washington DC took time just now (5:20 PM EST) to light the national Christmas tree and listen to a young girl sing "Oh, Holy Night!" Yea. Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men. My ass. Maybe somewhere else, but certainly not here.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby olywaguy » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:02 pm

BTW, for those of you who are interested, here is the DoD report on DADT (Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”)...the one that McCain was hoping would support his views and which it did not.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby buccoman » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:08 pm

Looks like DADT is going to be repealed. The House passed a repeal and there appears to be a filibuster-proof majority of 62 Senators who will also support it. A potential big moment may be coming within the next couple weeks.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:36 pm

buccoman wrote:Looks like DADT is going to be repealed. The House passed a repeal and there appears to be a filibuster-proof majority of 62 Senators who will also support it. A potential big moment may be coming within the next couple weeks.

That would be good news but the clock is ticking. Reid has scheduled a Senate vote for tomorrow (Saturday). If the Senate fails to pass the bill exactly as written, without amendments, there is hardly a chance that there will be enough time to work out the compromises with the House before the end of the lame duck session. And with Republicans taking control of the House in January, that effectively kills the efforts to repeal.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby furface » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:10 pm

Cloture vote passed 63 to 33 limiting debate. The bill is expected to pass by Sunday.

Once signed, the President has to certify, in writing, the military is ready to proceed. 60 days later it's dead and gone.

Assuming all the i's are crossed and the t's dotted DADT will be history by 01MAR11.
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby nimby » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:47 pm

So, assuming that DADT is repealed, how will that change things? Will there be a mass comming out of gay soldiers already in the service? Will there be a run on enlistment by the flaming obvious? Could there be a mass exodus of straight guys and top brass from the service? A lot of straight acting gay guys are still not out to themselves or others, will they magically come out to their comrades?

What do you think will happen?
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Re: Status of DADT

Postby Rico » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:51 pm

I've been listening to the debate and watching the vote most of the day. The final vote should occur shortly after 3 PM EST, and based on the cloture vote, it will pass. It's a good day for America.

But I don't underestimate the opposition and their ability to wreak havoc in the next Congress, especially in terms of implementation of the the new policy. The DADT policy may be over, but I suspect the debate about gays serving in the military is not over....at least just yet.

Still, it's a victory worth celebrating...at least for this vet.
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