Will ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Move Faster Now That Obama is Sending 30,000 More to Afghanistan?


Wonder how many of these cadets aren’t telling?

The White House was asked about troop levels with regard to the Afghanistan announcement and where Defense Secretary Gates was on his review of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (via  transcript).

GIBBS: Well, I have not heard an
update from the Secretary on that. I know that obviously the President
wants that policy changed. In terms of — I mean, obviously it’s not
just Army. This is Army and Marines, as well as — well, Army and
Marines. They are — this was very specifically asked in terms of
whether force flow options would interrupt either Marine or Army
policies that have been instituted to give longer breaks for tours of
duty and then return home. The Joint Chiefs, to a commander, all told
the Commander-in-Chief that they could meet the force requirement
without interrupting what they had instituted in order to provide that
time at home and away from the tour of duty.

Q But the troops are stretched thin. I mean, it’s not —

GIBBS: No doubt. And I think that the President was very clear in
wanting to see the Joint Chiefs to, quite frankly, ask them very
directly whether that was the case. There’s no doubt that there has
been for many, many years a strain on our forces; that that strain has
caused repeated tours. And only recently has Secretary Gates and others
instituted policies that ensure that we had time outside of a theater
of war and that they believe was necessary to maintain an all-volunteer
force, which they think obviously is tremendously important, as well as
just dealing with the stress physically and mentally on them.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


  1. LincolnLounger says

    The simple answer is no. Obama is a phoney and has no heart for our issues. The next excuse will be health care. And then it will be immigration.

    The people who still believe Obama will be our savior are living in a state of denial.

  2. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    Because the answer is so obviously, “NO!” I was going to pass on commenting in this thread until my olfactory lobe alerted me to the odor trail of an Obambot doing what they do best: LIE in the name of the leader of their pathological personality cult.

    In case you you have a cold and can’t smell the crap between the lines of what Brian in TexASS wrote, the implication is that ONLY Congress can do anything about DADT and that, just because he’d be doing the right thing by signing something anti-DADT Congress passes Obama is the Messiah they’d have us believe.


    1. Though he has created his own “Credibility Gap” approaching LBJ’s darkest days by PRETENDING he has no legal authority to do anything about discharges, once again I will speak truth to the power of the Obambots and point out that he DOES:

    Congress gave the Presidency power in 1983 to ignore ANY law in order to suspend ANY discharges that he feels are contrary to national security in times of national emergency.

    Legally, we are in such time now [Obama extended it in September] and Obama HIMSELF declared at that infamous tea party for the gays at the White House in June that discharging qualified gays “WEAKENS NATIONAL SECURITY.”

    So, why, in the middle of having to add troops to Afghanistan when recruitment goals continue to be so unfilled that the Pentagon has waived bans on enlistees with felony records and is bribing foreign nationals with high signing bonuses and the possibility of American citizenship to enlist would the Commander-in-Chief not taken the opportunity to “sell” ending the ban to the 40 million Americans who were watching Tuesday night? [Remember some 70% ALREADY support ending DADT!]

    BECAUSE the same Pentagon dinosaurs sitting in the front row that have convinced him to send more Americans to die in Afghanistan have convinced him that we can’t do it with out fags, even though, for instance, tax-payer trained linguists like DADT casualty Alex Nicholson of Servicemembers United has said he’d reenlist in a second if allowed.

    …even though some 4000 [undetected] gay servicemembers a year leave the military rather than continue to have to serve in silence. Since DADT became law 16 years ago, that would mean, theoretically, that the military would be 64,000 servicemembers stronger….more than twice the number being sent to Afghanistan…were it not for this indefensible, homohating law

    2. Congress HAS tried to do act on DADT, but Obama Inc. has stopped or ignored them, from Cong. Alcee Hastings & 70 some others asking him to use the leeway in DADT regulations to stop discharges and Hastings effort to amend the defense budget bill to do the same….scared off by the strong arm of the White House….to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking Obama to use his executive powers [described above] to stop discharges.

    That’s why the answer to Towleroad’s question is “NO!!!” and Brian is a TexASSHAT.

  3. kujhawker says

    Wonder how many of these cadets aren’t telling?

    I don’t know but will be happy to go up and figure it out which of those cadets aren’t telling! 😉

  4. BMF says

    Sigh. More anti-Obama screeds. Did anyone read the NY Times article on gay marriage? CA, Maine, NY all defeats. Some of the most socially liberal states and gay marriage lost. It is possible– just possible– that Obama isn’t some sort of turncoat, but trying to balance a heavy agenda when America is clearly not there yet on gay rights.

    I don’t see Obama as a savior or an implacable enemy. He isn’t Neo and this isn’t the Matrix. He’s just a man and a politician. Period.

  5. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    BMF: is it possible, just possible, that you’ve been in a coma for the past two years?

    1. In CA last year, in Maine last month, and in the New York Senate yesterday, Obama’s oposition to marriage equality, his inappropriate in a CIVIL servant declaration that he opposes it because “God is in the mix” was used to justify votes against us. In CA, robo calls of recordings of him saying it were sent to millions of voters by the homohaters.

    2. We didn’t just wake up one morning and think, “Hmmm. There’s this guy named Obama running for Prez. He’s been silent on gay issues but let’s demand he give us what we want anyway.

    HELLOOOOO! Obama has been seducing the gay vote all for years, all the way back to his first run for office. And never more explicit or proactive than in 2007 and 08:

    “I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans.
    Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. JOIN WITH ME, and I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP.”

    And, of his MANY promises to LGBTs during the run for President, none was more detailed than his promise to IMMEDIATELY begin dismantling DADT the moment he took office.


    Like so many, you confuse our protests as being about the PERSON [“more anti-Obama screeds”] when they are about what he has done or hasn’t done contrasted with what he promised to do.

    In short, grow the fuck up!

  6. Brian in Texas says

    So Obama signs an executive order halting further discharges. Then the next president will come along and simply undo his executive order. The law needs to be changed, the President supports this and hopefully DADT will be included in the next Defense Authorization Bill.

    The President shouldn’t spend his political capital on a temporary measure when Congress will inevitably pass a bill to repeal DADT and he will sign it into law. He needs to focus on health care, job creation, and getting our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Signing an executive order now will cause a huge controversy across the country…think tea parties and town halls times 1000.

    He has just escalated the Afghanistan War, the last thing he needs is divisions and criticisms from the right when the country needs to be united behind the military effort and the Obama Administration’s foreign policy strategy.

    I want DADT repealed just as much as anyone else, but it just wouldn’t be a politically smart move right now.

    So go ahead and call him a phony, call him Barry, and bitch and whine because he hasn’t yet taken up YOUR pet issue and then let him be a one term president and see how well you fare with Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, or whatever right winger gets into office because you wanted Obama to be Mr. left-wing liberal not even a year into his presidency.

  7. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    You must have an awfully big barn down there, Brian, because you keep shoveling steaming horseshit.

    1. “So Obama signs an executive order halting further discharges. Then the next president will come along and simply undo his executive order. The law needs to be changed”

    Who the fuck said the executive order would end it all, dickwad? Step one of two. Again, SUPPORTED by no less than Harry Reid…or is he a “pet issue” radical, too?

    Further, by your ILlogic we shouldn’t pursue repeal either because ANOTHER Congress could come along and just restore the ban.

    2. “the President supports this”??? NO, he SAYS he does and ACTS just the opposite, including defending it in court briefs THREE times so far … and NO he doesn’t have to.

    And, as I documented, but you didn’t even bother to read or think by ignoring makes it not true, his minions stopped Alcee Hastings from trying to stop discharges through…wait for it….this year’s defense budget. But you click your heels together and assert that next year he’ll suddendly support using the defense budget to get rid of it and for some reason you don’t explain the nutters won’t care then.

    Pea brain, speech-impaired George Bush manipulated people’s anxiety about national security for 8 yrs. If brainiac rhetorician Barack Obama can’t do the same in equating THEIR security with ending the ban….AGAIN when the vast majority already support the idea….then the issue is not the way but THE WILL!

    Just have the balls, Brian, to admit that it’s not gay rights of any kind you give a flying fuck about but defending your fantasy boyfriend regardless of all the facts to the contrary….who, BTW, just isn’t that into you.

    and hopefully DADT will be included in the next Defense Authorization Bill.

    The President shouldn’t spend

  8. BMF says

    @ Michael@, etc., I’m not sure why you feel the need to make EVERYTHING into some sort of personal attack when people disagree with you. I disagree that Obama has been some sort of turncoat so I must be in a coma or need to wake the “expletive” up. Perhaps where you are from that’s considered debate, where I’m from it isn’t. And the hilarity of it is that I think you continue to marginalize yourself and your opinions the more you behave in such a manner. At this point your posts are so one-sided and so absolutist it’s mind-blowing. But, that is what it is.

  9. MicahSkin says

    @ BMF. How nice is it all up in Obama’s backside? Is there an echo when he lies to people, promising action and doing nothing? Given his statements, he’s not allowed to introduce any of the bills he’s promised, so what does he have to do all freaking day that’s taking up all of his time other than meeting with the Steelers, Chicago Bulls, a Harvard professor that was rightfully arrested, Kool and the Gang and a bunch of Def Poetry Slammers?

  10. BMF says

    @ Micahskin: that was an interesting post. A Harvard professor that was rightfully arrested, Kool and the Gang, and Def Poetry slammers. Hmmm. Does anyone else see a pattern there? Of course, there’s no bias in any of that. That aside, I imagine that part of his time is spent trying to promote an economic recovery, deal with the war in Iraq, address the war in Afghanistan, and pass heath care reform.

    I have no idea what Obama’s ultimate legacy will be. I do think that much of the anger has less to do with some sort of “objective” standard and a lot more about your perspective and expectations for Obama (or any other President). For my part, I think he’s trying to do a very difficult dance. I view his actions in that prism. You can conclude he’s no friend of gay people, but that’s not the only conclusion. And where that plays out isn’t in the he “is” or “isn’t” category, it’s in how you relate to what’s happening. That’s what I think is so interesting. It’s as if there is no air for any other perspective.

  11. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    @BMF…you’re being disingenuous.

    You didn’t simply “disagree”…you didn’t respond to criticism of Obama with your own counter facts…you BEGAN by trying to dismiss criticism period as simply being another pro-forma “anti-Obama screed” and then tried to change the subject to what others have, yes, failed to do re gay rights.

    Please note the title of the thread was issue specific…it wasn’t a question about either “gay marriage” which you inserted or the states which, please note, in any case, have no power over the federal law DADT…again the subject with OBAMA of the thread.

    @ Micahskin: you make some good points about the many ways Obama finds time to do anything but keep his promise to dismantle DADT …BUT Prof. Gates’ arrest was an outrageous abuse of police power that NEVER should have occured.

  12. BMF says

    @ Michael: respectfully, I think you’re projecting here. I didn’t dismiss your criticism. I asked a question as to whether there was another perspective about him being a turncoat. I also, effectively, said that I don’t see him as either a sinner or a saint. He’s just a man. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. And, I’m not exactly sure where I tried to change the subject and talking about what others have done with respect to gay rights in my original post.

    My point about gay marriage was intended to talk about the challenges that gay rights still faces for politicians.

    And I didn’t get into the substance of your original post, because why have a discussion with someone who’s so damned sure he’s right. Why would I debate “reality”? That’s crazy. For example, you’ve said that Obama is “pretending” that he doesn’t have power to suspend discharges. There’s been a lot of ink spilled about what Obama legally can and cannot do regarding DADT. And while I respect the view that he can act, there are other views. Given that Congress has spoken on the gays in the military by enacting a statue and Steel seizure line of cases, one could argue that a question about the limits of executive privilege could be created if Obama acts on DADT. If I were a Republican in Congress and Obama acted, I’d certainly think about a legal challenge.

    As for defending laws in Court, one can argue that he doesn’t have to defend laws with which he disagrees in court. If that’s the stance this Justice Department takes, what’s to stop the next Justice Department from defending a law that BENEFITS gays. I’m able to look at the same action, defending the law, and see a different conclusion. I’m not happy about anti-gay laws being defended and I’m not saying that it’s not possible to come up with a justification that would allow the Justice Department to refrain from defending the law. However, I don’t necessarily assume it’s because of some anti-gay bias by Obama or the Obama Justice Department.

    Again, I’m not saying– nor interested– in telling you that you’re wrong or dismissing your opinion. I love nothing more than to engage in discussions and exchange ideas. But, IMHO if you’re seriously trying to change opinion and/or advance gay rights, the personal attacks, and the refusal to even appear to be open to other gay people that in all likelihood share the same goal (I won’t speak for all of the other folks out there) isn’t probably the best way to do it.

  13. TANK says

    BMF, with all due respect, that’s complete and utter bullshit. All of that is meant to derail and sidetrack…”he’s just one mayun!” LOL! You’re a lackey. At least be honest about your disinterest in the truth.

  14. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    BMF asserts: “Given that Congress has spoken on the gays in the military by enacting a statue and Steel seizure line of cases, one could argue that a question about the limits of executive privilege could be created if Obama acts on DADT. If I were a Republican in Congress and Obama acted, I’d certainly think about a legal challenge.”

    Again, not paying attention…and don’t blame me for having to point it out.

    Anyone can huff and puff, but CONGRESS passed “10 United States Code 12305.” It is a “blanket” law that, until repealed itself, GIVES the President, as I clearly noted, AUTHORITY to ignore ANY of the other laws they passed before or after.

    “Authority of the President to Suspend Certain Laws Relating to Promotion, Retirement, and Separation: Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during any period members of a reserve component are serving on active duty pursuant to an order to active duty under authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title,
    the President may suspend any provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the
    United States.”

    Feel free to characterize this as something other than pretending he doesn’t have such authority. OBAMA: “I also want to make sure that we are not simply ignoring a congressional law. If Congress passes a law that is constitutionally valid, then it’s not appropriate for the executive branch simply to say, we will not enforce a law.”

    Ignoring the fact that the Supremes have NOT ruled on whether DADT is “constituionally valid,” THE PALM CENTER’s RESPONSE: “Why this needs to be corrected: Congress has authorized the President, via statute, to suspend any law regarding military separations during national security emergencies. Hence, an executive order would not be a matter of the President choosing to ‘not enforce a law’ but an appropriate exercise of executive authority granted directly by Congressional statute. An executive order would be consistent with, not ignore, standing law.”

  15. Windy says

    DADT will not be repealed.
    ENDA may pass.
    DOMA will remain intact.

    I’ve been in a loving relationship with my partner for 17 years, and I doubt that we will ever have all the state and federal rights and reponsibilities of marriage (oh hell, even a seperate but equal Civil Union) within our lifetime.

    I will support candidates which opening and work towards securing my equal rights, but…

    No money/time to Obama or the DNC.

    It’s easier to fight a known enemy in office, than to cope with the empty gestures and promises of a fair weather friend.

  16. BMF says

    @ Tank: Please read my post. I’m not going to debate the “truth” with you.

    @ Michael: thanks for citing the statute. Of course, you haven’t cited language from DADT itself.

    Some of that language from 10 USC sect 654 is:

    (6) Success in combat requires military units that are characterized by high morale, good order and discipline, and
    unit cohesion.
    (7) One of the most critical elements in combat capability is unit cohesion, that is, the bonds of trust among individual
    service members that make the combat effectiveness of a military unit greater than the sum of the combat effectiveness
    of the individual unit members.
    (15) The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that
    are the ESSENCE of MILITARY CAPABILITY. (emphasis added).

    So the language from DADT, expressly states that homosexuals would adversely affect “military capability.”

    If on one hand Congress says Mr. President, you can do whatever you want on this issue to suspend laws in the interest of national security, and then says, gays will adversely affect military readiness, i.e., national security, how does that net out? Courts interpret acts of congress to be consistent. One way you get harmony is that the President could issue stop-loss orders, except for allowing gay people to serve because it affects military readiness.

    Do you see how there is ANOTHER interpretation? An interpretation that lends itself to a LEGAL CHALLENGE. Additionally, you’re asserting that there’s no logical basis for Obama to argue that a stop-loss order would violate the law. I’m not going to spend energy saying that you’re wrong. I’m only going to point out that the text of the statutes suggests a conflict.

  17. says

    It’s so frustrating — Obama acted different during the campaign and now he’s basically a moderate Republican — America’s first black Republican President? Is he really that different than George H.W. Bush? Now he talks about “changing” DADT when during the campaign he said he would repeal it.

  18. TANK says

    No, BMF–you’re not interested in discussing the truth at all, with anyone. You’re spinning. That last post of yours was pablum, and addressed none of what obama and his department of justice could do right now.

  19. BMF says

    @ Tank: I disagree with you and must be “spinning.” It’s “pablum.” That fine. However, I think you’re confusing “truth” with your opinion. Unfortunately, the problem with so many posters here is that they take their “opinions” as TRUTH and leave so little space or room for competing perspectives.

  20. TANK says

    Fool. The best you can do is suggest that they’d side with the reationale of dadt if a stop loss were ordered. Let them. Go away, you’re a moron and lackey. Adults talking.

  21. BMF says

    @ Tank: now I’m a “fool,” “moron,” and a “lackey” for actually reading the statutes and offering a different view. And as for it being “adults talking,” do adults really need to belittle each other with pejoratives?

  22. TANK says

    Yes, BMF. We know what the statutes say. For you to suggest that as a credible defense of DADT is not only despicable, but it’s demonstrably false. Bigotry isn’t simply an “alternative” or different view… Let those who defend DADT rely on those false accusations and homophobic rhetoric. There are mountains of data to refute them.

    Keep spinning.

  23. BMF says

    @ Tank: I REALLY expect better from you. So this next line of attack is to “spin” my positive statements into normative ones. Is that necessary? I didn’t write those statutes so please don’t try to tie that albatross around my neck. My point was that a stop-loss order from the President effectively doing an end-run around DADT could result legal in challenges based upon the language of the statutes and given the doctrines regarding executive privilege. Yes, you can argue that Obama should just pull the trigger and see what happens, but you can make a credible LEGAL (not moral) argument that the law binds his hands. Suggesting that he is intentionally lying or that he must be anti-gay because he’s said that his hands are tied just isn’t the ONLY way to view the situation.

  24. TANK says

    Bottom line: Obama can suspend discharges under DADT by issuing a stop loss order. He refuses to do that. That’s not fierce advocacy. The POTUS doesn’t have to defend cases he is personally opposed, such as DOMA and DADT. Clearly he’s not opposed to either.

  25. TANK says

    And honestly, if you think that’s a credible legal argument (based on the language of DADT…even), you’re incapable of identifying its opposite. If Obama were to find his balls and issue the stop loss, then we should welcome any legal challenge to the president’s executive privilege (because that’s what would be challenged) given that we’d wipe the floor with the opposition. Thank you buscho for creating the presidential monarchy…now if that coward would only use it for something good.

    There’s only ONE good argument against issuing the stop loss, and you’re so far from it you wouldn’t recognize it if you tripped over it.

  26. BMF says

    Tank, I am so intrigued that you keep trying to reposition what I am saying. Did I say that it was not possible? Reframing what your opponent has said is an interesting tactic. Please explain why you so are confident that we’d win and what is this argument is of which I am incapble of perceiving?

  27. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says


    What part of “Notwithstanding ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW” and “may suspend ANY PROVISION OF LAW relating to promotion,
    retirement, or separation” DON’T….YOU….UNDERSTAND????

    It doesn’t say, “EXCEPT laws that relate to homosexuals. Nor EXCEPT laws we may pass in the future. Nor unless we suddenly decide to disagree WITH OURSELVES.”

    So what DADT says is irrelevant to your argument. In fact, it better serves mine because it includes implementing procedures that give the Secretary of Defense wide latitude in how to interpret who and when someone should be discharged…yet Gates, clearly with his boss’es consent [that would be Obama] is still how there claiming they are still LOOKING for a way to “be more humane” in applying the law YOU say they have no choice but to apply. He’s just trying to further narcotize gay protest because a 12 yr. old could find what he says he can’t.

    Finally: WHO exactly do you imagine could show legal standing that a court would recognize and let go forward to challenge the President implementing a law such as 12305 passed by Congress?

    Certainly not a member of Congress trying to sue over a law passed by Congress. How about Fred Phelps or Elaine Donnelly or Maggie Gallagher or Newt Gingrich or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck….nope, for they couldn’t prove in court that such implementation of law hurt them…even in a normal lawsuit let alone the higher standards required to sue the federal government.

    Again, if he did it IN the name of national security, which is EASILY demonstrable given the discharges of linguists such as Dan Choi and Alex Nicholson and pilots like Victor Fehrenbach no asshole would dare stick his redneck out.

    In fact, it is only proof that the tea baggers and the birthers and all the other cockroaches hate gays more than they hate Obama that they haven’t attacked him for NOT helping fight terrorism by ending DADT.

  28. BMF says

    @ Michael: there’s really no need to yell. I read the text, but you are trying to read that provision as being superior to DADT and I think reading statutes in a way that leads to result that you want without appreciating that another interpretation– however much you dislike it– is possible. Congress passes laws that have conflicting goals all the time. Courts routinely try to understand the intent of Congress when that happens. It really isn’t as simple as you make it out to be. And the prime example that it really is not that simple is the Palm Foundation report. The whole purpose of the report was to change the debate and provide a roadmap because the conventional wisdom was that president did not have authority to do what’s being suggested. It wasn’t until that report came out and people started blogging about it that the “Obama can do something” brigade came out. People hadn’t thought of using stop-loss as a means of dealing with DADT.

  29. TANK says

    “@ Tank: now I’m a ‘fool,’ ‘moron,’ and a ‘lackey’ for actually reading the statutes and offering a different view.”

    Do you have any evidence to suggest otherwise? I don’t see it, and I don’t think I’m alone here.

  30. KANSAI says

    Miss Michael if they put a stop loss, or lift the ban on DADT…Will your ass join the military since this shit is so fucking precious to you?????

    Just asking because he’s not my fucking messiah he’s the President just like Ronald, George, Bill, and George was.

  31. BMF says

    @ Tank: do you really want to keep going? Haven’t you reached a nadir? Now, I need to provide evidence that I’m not all of the things that you’ve called me and there are all of these other people that share your uncharitable view of me personally. And if other people share a view, that makes it true? How many people does it take before it becomes true?

    You know at one point in the past we had a discussion about religion. During that discussion, you actually apologized for trying to tear into me instead of responding to my points. We wound up having an interesting discussion– despite our different opinions on the subject. What happened?

    To my mind, if there is evidence of anything from the dialogue, it’s that your continued posts denigrating me say far more about you than me.

  32. LincolnLounger says

    BMF, comparing gay marriage referenda to a Commander in Chief leading on the issue of DADT are two very different things.

    I hope the Republicans take over both houses of Congress next year and “get behind” Obama in that special way. Then he will finally have an excuse for his lack of conviction and heart and can blame it on the Republicans. At least we know where they stand and they won’t keep spiraling our debt into the stratosphere.

    If he was a real leader who cared about the pledges he made to our community, he could have done a lot to show it with his huge Dem majorities.


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