John McCain Supports “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

At a NYC forum last week Senator John McCain came out in favor of keeping the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Mccain“I recently had a conversation with some other military leaders on this issue and their point to me was ‘It’s working, so leave it alone. Generally, overall, it’s working.’ I don’t think there’s any doubt that there are evolving attitudes in America about many issues, including this one, but every military leader that I talk to, I say ‘Should we change it?’ They say, ‘It’s working.’ And right now we’ve got the best military we’ve ever had – the most professional, best trained, equipped and the bravest. And so I think it’s logical to leave this issue alone. I really do.”

McCain doesn’t name the “military leaders” but he probably isn’t referring to Former General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili, who came out against the policy in January, or former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, who made a similar statement later that month.

Said Shalikashvili: “I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.”

In related news, Think Progress reports that retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military from 2003 to 2004, told Bill Maher that the current administration is “absolutely the worst thing that’s happened” to the U.S. Military:

“We are in the midst of recovering right now from a constitutional crisis where you had the executive trump the other branches of government,” Eaton said. “Thank god” Congress changed hands in November, he said, giving us “a chance to unsort and figure out how to get out from under this.”

Eaton lamented that so many service members believe that conservatives “are good for the military.” “That is rarely the case. And we have got to get a message through to every soldier, every family member, every friend of soldier,” that the Bush administration and its allies in Congress have “absolutely been the worst thing that’s happened to the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.”

Watch the clip at Think Progress.

You may have missed…
First Marine Wounded in Iraq Comes Out of the Closet Calls for Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” [tr]
Gay Vets ask Court to Reinstate ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Lawsuit [tr]


  1. sam says

    “It’s working?” In what way, precisely? Has anybody asked that? Is it working when gay and lesbian solders are forced to be dishonest if they want a military career? If they choose integrity and honesty, they’re kicked out.

    Is it working when thousands of qualified soldiers have been kicked out for a quality that has nothing to do with their ability to serve?

    Is it working when unknown numbers of soldiers, like me, voluntarly leave the military because they can no longer live with the hypocracy and deceit?

    Is it working when the taxpayers are forced to spend millions of dollars on thousands of investigations into “homosexual activity,” administrative hearings, and the costs of training new soldiers to replace the gay soldiers kicked out?

    Is it working when qualified, experienced, trained soldiers are kicked out and the military has to recruit replacements who take years to develop the same level of experience?

    Is it working when commanders launch witch hunts to root out gays and military police investigators interrogate soldiers suspected of homosexual activity and promise leniency if they provide names of other gay soldiers?

    Is it working when soldiers are beaten and killed for being gay in a profoundly homophobic environment that is encouraged by an official policy of discrimination against gay people?

    Just how is it “working,” Senator?

  2. Wayne says

    McCain has sold out and it won’t matter in the long haul… he’s so far behind Guilliani already, and if Thompson and Hagel announce this week (as expected) then he’ll lose to them too. I used to have respect for Sen. McCain but all of that is left as his mind began to eat itself.

  3. Jonathon says

    I don’t get it. How is it “working”? What does that even mean? Does it mean “it keeps the faggots and dykes out of the armed forces”? I can only think that is what they mean.

    DADT IS A FAILED POLICY! It was a failure the second that Clinton signed it into law. It was an abject slap in the face to all of those in the gay community who supported his presidential campaign and it reinforces the view that we are second-class citizens.

    DADT needs to go. Most of our allies allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in their militaries, including our one last ally in Iraq – the British. If Prince Harry can serve alongside a queen, why can’t GI Joe?

    One more thing: Senator McCain, SCREW YOU AND THE OLD TIRED ASS YOU RODE IN ON. I can’t wait until you are enjoying retirement and the rest of us can get on with running this great nation.

  4. John says

    I wasn’t voting for him anyway. Here’s someone who’s willing to say whatever, as long as his people perceive it as helping him get votes. His people have been wrong before.

    There is no there there.Nobody’s home, etc.

    Having said that, I just hope he’s not elected to any higher office.

  5. ShawnSF says

    McCain is a pathetic mess. He spent too many years in a cage. Can someone please send him out to pasture? When these seriously brain damaged individuals are allowed to make public policy it’s beyond scary!

  6. Leland says

    As Towleroad’s Resident Cynic, I thought that it wasn’t possible for McCain to stoop any lower, Hell, CRAWL on his belly to try to get to the White House than deep throating Bush at the 2000/04 conventions even after Bush thugs vilified him, than attacking gay marriage and shoving his head up the asses of religious fascists he’d once condemned. But never let it be said that I can’t admit I was wrong.

    It’s clear that the skin cancer has spread to his brain. Some may recall that McCain spoke at a memorial service for Mark Bingham, the out gay member of the group of passengers who prevented the hijackers of Flight 93 from crashing their plane on 9/11 into anything more than a Pennsylvania field. Bingham would be turning over in his grave, if enough of him were left to bury. As one courageous lawyers said to McCarthy during his witch hunt hearings [there’s a gay angle, but that’s for another time], “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

  7. Bill says

    McCain needs to go away now. He’s laughable. He has at one time or another supported and than not supported almost every cause there is. He’s a weasel.

  8. Jordan says

    McCain knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows that he needs to court the social conservatives to win the nomination, and that’s what he’s been doing – meetings with that blimp Falwell and now this nonsense.

    God, I hope Giuliani trounces him.

  9. Da says

    “Is it working when the taxpayers are forced to spend millions of dollars on thousands of investigations into “homosexual activity,” administrative hearings, and the costs of training new soldiers to replace the gay soldiers kicked out?”
    Posted by: sam |

    This made a light bulb go *ding!* above my head.

    Could this all be about MONEY? They say money is the root of all evil, and I would not be surprised if the witchhunt against gays in the military wasn’t big business for whoever it employs and rewards for the job.

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