Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

On the Eve of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Hearings, a Few Updates

Some notes on the eve of the Pentagon's "major announcement" and initiation of hearings to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell':

2_dadt The AP reports that fewer troops were discharged under the failed policy last year: "The Defense Department last year dismissed the fewest number of service members for violating its 'don't ask, don't tell policy' than it had in more than a decade. The 2009 figure, a sharp decline from the previous year, comes from President Barack Obama's first year in office...The lower number continues a trend since 2001 in which fewer troops have been dismissed as the services struggle to fight two wars.

Members of the Joint Chiefs held a meeting today to discuss the beginning of the repeal: "The closed-door meeting is considered exceptionally sensitive, the sources say, because the chiefs -- each of whom heads a military service -- are said to be concerned that changing the policy would be too disruptive to military forces."

Repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy does not appear in the fiscal year 2011 budget package.

Firedoglake reports: "On a conference call just now, OMB Deputy Director Rob Nabors said that DADT 'does not have a budgetary impact,' and is therefore not addressed in this budget. However, he said, the President will have a lot to say about repealing the policy in the coming weeks. In general, he didn’t want gay rights advocates to read anything into the issue."

The blog notes, however: "A University of California study showed that discharging gay service members cost the government $363 million dollars over a ten year period from 1994-2003."

John Aravosis at Americablog asked OMB Director Peter Orszag why it wasn't in the budget, and he said that the amount was so small it amounts to a "rounding error".

Aravosis notes: "First off, we shouldn't have to ask the Department of Defense why the President's expressed policy of repealing DADT is not in their budget submission to Congress. Of course, given their druthers, DOD wouldn't put the repeal in their budget ever. They've been trying to undercut the President's promise from day one. The question is why the President didn't overrule the people who work for him over at the Pentagon and included the repeal in the budget. As for DADT being a 'rounding error,' if it were so insignificant a policy, the President would just do it, and the Defense Department wouldn't be bordering on rank insubordination in their ongoing efforts to stop it."

Finally, David Mixner says "shame on John McCain" for leading the charge against the repeal.

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Comments

  1. All this is too early to comment on. If no movement has taken place in a year's time, then it's time to raise a sh*t storm ...

    Posted by: Rodney | Feb 1, 2010 8:19:58 PM


  2. Just remember: this is total bullshit. The British Armed Forces have allowed gays to serve since 1997 with no impact on troop moral.

    In fact, having out gay personnel has improved their moral to the point that for years now they have openly recruited at London Pride, etc.

    And don't try to tell me the British Army isn't tough. They make Marines look like schoolboys.

    Posted by: elcamino | Feb 1, 2010 8:44:58 PM


  3. It's not too early to comment on because it HAS been a year since Obama told Gates to get the fuck working on it... whatever that means, really, since Obama says a lot of other garbage that never happens either.

    Posted by: Grimmlok | Feb 1, 2010 8:45:29 PM


  4. I hope Obama realizes that the reason we elected him is because he is able to take action on stuff like DADT.

    At any rate, DADT is unfair because it takes away options from gay people, which than make them second class citizens.

    Posted by: Gyeong Hwa Pak | Feb 1, 2010 8:56:13 PM


  5. "A year's time"?????

    Just put down the fucking Kool Aid, Rodney, and step away from the Obamamobile clown car!

    Posted by: Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | Feb 1, 2010 9:22:55 PM


  6. It's really hard for me to believe that the Joint Chiefs of Staff honestly believe repealing DADT is going to do anything but save money.

    It's not as though swarms of gays will suddenly join the military, and I'd bet that repeal would make only a third or perhaps half of current members come out in the next five years (in many cases surprising none of their peers). These excuses are so tiresome.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 1, 2010 9:30:15 PM



  7. Gay Closeted Officers in the military -- until you have had to stomach hanging out with that bunch (pre-war so hats off to those serving now) ... what a bunch of smug scammers.

    Posted by: RJP3 | Feb 1, 2010 10:21:32 PM


  8. Paul, it's about giving gays the same options to be participating citizens. If gay people choose not to join fine whatever. But they should be allowed the option. And those service men who quits just because gays are in too . . . well it speaks very negatively about their motives to join.

    Posted by: Gyeong Hwa Pak | Feb 1, 2010 10:54:33 PM


  9. I think it's time when Whoever is in control realizes the reality........Get over it Mother fuckers Queers are a big part of your military!

    Posted by: John Normile | Feb 2, 2010 12:28:53 AM


  10. Continued study is bullshit. It's a delaying tactic to see if Dems lose more seats. There are already gays in the military so just lift the ban. Nothing will change for the most part. If other members of the service don't like it let them leave, just as the integration of blacks was accomplished. There is no need for gradual implementation. How would you do that? You'd have to ask everyone if they were gay.

    Posted by: James Poppinga | Feb 2, 2010 12:35:45 AM


  11. Michael,

    You're such a fucking hateful bitch
    (Obamamobile clown car) You don't even fucking like the man. If he did lift it right now you'd probably be an arrogant faggot to say he didn't do anything. And you still won't like him. Because Clinton is all you see in your view!

    All your facts you love to post does make sense. But since you have so much anger at him and anyone who supports him they have to be Obots, etc. Why would I take you seriously and also once it's lifted are you planning on enlisting into Uncle Sam's Military?

    BITCH just remember you still won't accept the fact that your boy WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON signed this shit. Just like Obama can do an executive order to end it as you say. Clinton could have not signed it.

    But you'll still blow hot steam because of your love for The Clinton's so I guess when Marriage equality really takes more steam. I guess you protect her(Hillary)from the fact that she said she doesn't believe in that also!

    YOU'RE JUST SIMPLY AMAZING!

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 2, 2010 12:55:44 AM


  12. Yes, let's take another year to study this, because it's not like they've had nearly TWENTY YEARS and countless "studies" of the g*ddamn thing.

    Maybe this time the study will give the DOD the results they want, like "Oops, Obama's out of office, too late to act!"

    Obama has to act like President Obama, not Junior Senator Obama, and he has to pipe up the pressure and be on their case about this, or the DOD will stall, stall, stall and nothing will happen.

    Saying they're gonna "study" it some more is a terrible sign. It's test-time for the DOD and this administration. Study time's over.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 2, 2010 1:31:27 AM


  13. I agree that Obama needs to push hard on Gates and the Joint Chiefs. That said, I also think that there will be trouble in the Air Force. It's filled with right wing xians who think that gays are evil sinners.

    @ CHRIS: You go girl!

    Posted by: David R. | Feb 2, 2010 1:31:37 AM


  14. If they repeal, should they give straights the options to leave if they don't want to serve with openly gay men and women?

    Posted by: MickW | Feb 2, 2010 2:11:37 AM


  15. This is a political issue and always has been.

    If you look at the literature, I think you will find few sociologists who have anything good to say about DADT. That was true in 1993 and it is probably even more lopsided now. As more countries lift such restrictions, the evidence for repealing DADT grows ever stronger. There's broad consensus among scientists that it is nonsense. But rather than accept the judgment of the experts, the Pentagon spends a whole lot of taxpayer money commissioning their own studies - conducted by evangelical Christians handpicked by homophobic generals - to refute the "liberal eggheads" in academia.

    In essence, our government has been engaged in a propaganda campaign against itself. The federal government, through the National Science Foundation and Department of Education, subsidizes universities to conduct this sort of research for them. Then Defense Department money goes to debunking those same studies.

    No wonder Obama and Clinton are confused!

    Posted by: John | Feb 2, 2010 3:40:58 AM


  16. @BobbyJoe

    "Obama has to act like President Obama, not Junior Senator Obama..."

    Completely agreed on that and not simply in this case.

    I would think that many of our NATO allies already have a blueprint as to how to get this done. (Not that there won't be any problems). And if the military leadership doen't want to do that than Obama has to be President enough to tell them that they need to hit the damn road.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Feb 2, 2010 11:45:34 AM


  17. Remind me why I'm supposed to get excited about the possibility of serving a country that doesn't extend me the same rights as its other citizens?

    Posted by: Donald | Feb 2, 2010 12:36:44 PM


  18. I was a 4 star Col. Maj. in The British Armed Forces back in the 70s and they all knew I was gay.

    Posted by: hinbww | Feb 2, 2010 5:52:47 PM


  19. The cold hard truth that Obama's apologists refuse to face is that Obama could have put a complete stop to all discharges and investigations stemming from DADT with the stroke of a pen. He refused to do so. That means something. He is only moving now because the needs of his war machine coincide with the demands of the movement. It's time for us to pressure the FUCK out of HomophObama and demand he immediately stop all investigations and discharges until the DADT policy has been replaced. If we allow him to do nothing in the mean time, we are sending him a loud and clear message that we are not willing to fight for equality and he can ignore us for the next three years.

    Posted by: Lonnie | Feb 2, 2010 8:41:58 PM


  20. I like how everyone is so ready to repeal "the don'ask,don't tell policy" without looking at the ramifications of such action. Yes, I think it is despicable That the United States Armed Forces is the only country in the world that allows this Discrimination but,it this has been happening for years now. A form of institutionalized Hate, that is taught and maintained" YOu have to sign a "Moral" waiver, when you enlist. I have served the last 8 years in the United States Army(E-5) and I've seen and heard many hateful, anti-Homosexual remarks. I personally think that this repeal would incite violence within the ranks and I can say without a doubt that the United States Military is not prepared to deal with it. I just want everyone to think about the ramifications and can come to some middle ground

    Posted by: Taree Johnson | Feb 18, 2010 11:04:25 AM


  21. I have tried and tried to get my version of why the repeal of DADT is important RIGHT NOW. At the age of 17 when I was in Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood I was singled out and raped by a Drill Instructor. I reported it once I got to my permanent duty station and C.I.D. spun it of course and blamed me for "seducing him" atleast I was Discharged Honorably because I threatened them with Senator Arlen Specter being a family friend. I again tried to go after him during the Navy's Tailhook scandal I wrote JAG at Fort Wood, I also wrote some gay attorney group in CA. No reply from either. Requested my full military records no mention of rape allegations whatsoever not even in the medical records it formally states "PVT-2 Harding was admitted to Triple Army Medical Center at the request of his command for EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS." WTF
    The real jaw dropper in all of this is I did not have any homosexual urges until age 21 and this horrible experience had happened with two other also senior ranking NCO's at Schofield Barracks, HI. Had the constraints of identifying oneself as "homosexual" not been such a formidable roadblock, I would have had access to mental health counseling, my superiors would have been throughly investigated by J.A.G. and or C.I.D. they would have been court marshalled, I would still have my career though with stigma but with Justice. And I am now again attempting to pursue these three all known by name to me, when I ran my Drill SGT first guess what? Retired after 24 years of decorated service, collects his pension and VA benefits (while I have none) AND he went to Sarasota Florida to become a JROTC Drill. You guessed it sexually raped and assaulted three of his cadets, was found guilty by civilian court and is serving 12 years in the Florida state prisons. JUSTICE? I think not. I informed my command of these three in February of 1990 yeah so how many basic training cycles before mine and after mine did he commit sex crimes? My guess with a conservative estimate at least 40. How many other JROTC didn't come forward and what about all the other places he had command assignments and been stationed? Predatory there too? If anyone has suggestions on this I would greatly appreciate a post or an email I will not rest until I have JUSTICE and not only for me but his other victims as well!

    Posted by: Jamey Michael Harding | Mar 23, 2010 12:08:43 AM


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