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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)

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  1. 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 3, 2009 6:43:44 PM

  2. @ 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.

    Posted by: BMF | Dec 3, 2009 7:56:24 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 3, 2009 8:05:50 PM

  4. 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 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 3, 2009 8:13:15 PM

  5. 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?

    Posted by: BMF | Dec 3, 2009 8:33:53 PM

  6. @BMF

    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.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Dec 3, 2009 8:38:15 PM

  7. @ 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.

    Posted by: BMF | Dec 3, 2009 11:45:26 PM

  8. "@ 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 3, 2009 11:55:41 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: KANSAI | Dec 4, 2009 8:46:50 AM

  10. @ 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.

    Posted by: BMF | Dec 4, 2009 1:27:09 PM

  11. 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.


    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Dec 4, 2009 4:55:21 PM

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