Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Human Rights Campaign | Michael Mullen | Military | News

Troops Tell Admiral Mullen They Are Ready for DADT Repeal;
HRC Issues Statement on Blog Swarm

Admiral Mike Mullen held a 25-minute question and answer session with troops in Amman, Jordan today. At the end of the session none of them had asked him about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so he brought the subject up on his own, McClatchy reports:


"As it turned out, none of the two dozen or so men or women who met with Mullen at Marine House in the Jordanian capital Tuesday had any questions on the 17-year-old policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military — or Mullen's public advocacy of its repeal."

McClatchy continues:

"At Tuesday's session, which included not only Marines, but members of the Army and the Air Force, both male and female service members explained why they were nonplussed by the issue: They'd already served with gays and lesbians, they accepted that some kind of change was imminent, and, they said, the nation was too engulfed in two wars for a prolonged debate about it. That there's been so little reaction raises questions about how much study the issue needs and whether the Pentagon study is meant to pacify its concerns — or Congress'."

Read the whole piece. Mullen says that since his testimony "not a single servicemember" has asked him about the issue and those gathered before him in Jordan "made it clear they've already accepted the idea of gays and lesbians serving among them."

HRC-square-logo  HRC insists (in a statement reacting to today's blog swarm) that there is "a clear path to repeal", however Pentagon sources recently told the AP that a repeal is "probably years away". Politico recently published an article quoting Rep. Anthony Weiner and Sen. Carl Levin which illustrates the confusion surrounding the timeline. Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi recently offered a parallel study/repeal track timeline, and a lack of one, respectively. Nobody's on the same page.

Said HRC's spokesman today: "There is a clear path to repeal, and that’s the one we’re on." Which is a pretty frightening statement when you consider all the reports that have been coming out of Congress.

Clearly the military is ready. Dick Cheney even thinks they are! The American people are ready too.

As noted in the earlier post about the blog swarm, there is a lack of leadership from the top. Our largest LGBT advocacy group is in Washington to demand it for us, and needs to stop making excuses for our self-described "fierce advocate" and demand that he be that.

Plenty more bloggers chimed in about today's call for action as well. Read the updates here.

HRC's full statement in response, AFTER THE JUMP...

HRC Statement from spokesman Brad Luna:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has to be repealed this year. That has been the Human Rights Campaign’s position from the start, and at this point there is no one in the White House who does not know it. We and the community to whom we are accountable agree: This is the year.

We firmly support including repeal in the annual Department of Defense Authorization bill, and have not only indicated as much, but continue to make that case, all while working to gain support for the Military Readiness Enhancement Act....

We have been lobbying the White House relentlessly, and we’ve seen more movement in recent weeks than in the previous 16 years. Our nation’s top defense officials testified, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be repealed. That did not happen in a vacuum.

These events are just the start. There is a clear path to repeal, and that’s the one we’re on.

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  1. I don't think that's a proper use of the word "nonplussed." Nonplussed means puzzled, flummoxed, bewildered, perplexed, unable to act. It does not mean "unconcerned," "disinterested," or "nonchalant in regard to the matter."

    Posted by: Word nerd | Feb 16, 2010 9:01:11 PM

  2. This is tremendous, further weakening the ground under which Gates has built his house of excuse cards.

    "Remember the major poll taken of enlisted personnel asking them if they felt like invading Iraq? The one that political leaders and military brass used to decide if they should pull the trigger or not? No, because there wasn't one. ... [T]his time around, obstructionists have sought to enlarge the numbers of their fellow opponents by adding 'military families' to the mix of people whose opinions should determine the fate of gay equality. As the 'unit cohesion' fable dies and opposition among troops crumbles, opponents of openly gay service need all the help they can get. But they're not going anywhere anytime soon. The rest of us must do all we can to keep them honest." - Nathaniel Frank, author "Unfriendly Fire."

    Posted by: Michael @ | Feb 16, 2010 9:04:22 PM

  3. So everyone's for repealing DADT .. even Darth Cheney supports the repeal. What else does the Congress want? A written letter of support from Jesus Christ?! Seriously, I agree with Rahm when he used the R-word to refer to Democrats. He shouldn't have apologized because it's true. Not that the Republicans are any better but there's just no excuse for the Dems with majority in the House and Senate.It's about fucking time to use the reconciliation method and get things done. Health care reform's a mess, immigration is nowhere to be seen, god wtf is wrong with this country!!

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Feb 16, 2010 9:59:56 PM

  4. Nonplussed has come to have two diametrically opposed meanings, just like "oversight" has.

    It's too bad, they were both great words.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 16, 2010 10:06:10 PM

  5. I'm nonplussed. Fire conway.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 16, 2010 10:12:55 PM

  6. No, non-plussed only has one meaning. It's a common mistake that it has the meaning of nonchalant! Widely used mistake. Non-plussed in fact means bewildered, puzzled, and at a loss of what to say. That's it.

    Posted by: Ben | Feb 16, 2010 10:32:08 PM

  7. "A written letter of support from Jesus Christ?!" sadly, that's pretty much the problem for now. time is indeed our friend...

    Posted by: MARKD | Feb 16, 2010 10:38:46 PM

  8. I agree with Rahm too. The democrats are retarded as is Obama. Do something Obama. The campaign is over. Your first year is over. You have no more excuses.

    Posted by: Name: | Feb 16, 2010 11:45:42 PM

  9. So the military will be a leader in GLBT rights - just like it was in interracial rights, just like it's always been in education. The steps are: (1) make a decision, (2) educate everyone about the issue, (3) implement the policy, and (4) don't tolerate violation of the policy. It worked in integrating the armed services. It will work for giving gays and lesbians their right to serve openly in the military.

    What are we waiting for?

    Posted by: steve | Feb 17, 2010 12:26:20 AM

  10. Absolutely ZERO leadership from Pres. Obama and congressional leaders.

    Oh, and Ben, 'nonplussed' does not have a dash in it. English is not a static language. As the nonstandard usage becomes more common, 'nonplussed' will eventually have dual meanings, and both will be recognized as standard.

    Posted by: Jimmy | Feb 17, 2010 2:32:30 AM

  11. maybe we should also be our own "fierce advocates" by swarming the white house

    Posted by: rick | Feb 17, 2010 2:55:54 AM

  12. The use of 'nonplussed' in the quote was like saying... They were bewildered that it was even an issue.. They were puzzled why it was an issue. What is left out of the text is the understood context subtext? (the issue of gays serving in the military or not). I think the way it is written, though, the author/reporter actually didn't know the meaning of the word and was incorrectly using it like one would in saying they would not impressed.. thinking non meant not and plussed meant impressed. Just another reason to stop home schooling and go to national educational standards.

    Posted by: gaga over gaga | Feb 17, 2010 3:02:08 AM

  13. national educational standards NOT CONTROLLED BY THE TEXAS BOARD OF EDUCATION!!!!

    Posted by: gaga over gaga | Feb 17, 2010 3:03:26 AM

  14. You gays are the useful idiots of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is lying to you, instilling in you this false hope of DADT repeal. The simple fact is that the Democrats want to keep DADT. They want to keep it so that they can have a wedge issue by which to keep "the gays" on the Democrats' side. When are you going to wake up to it?

    The Democrats are liars and frauds, and Obama is part of it. You've been tricked - you deserve everything you get.

    Posted by: jason | Feb 17, 2010 7:14:41 AM

  15. The Democrats actually like DADT. It gives them the political theater in which to display their supposedly pro-gay credentials. If DADT were to be repealed, they wouldn't have this option, and they wouldn't be able to point the finger at those "mean and nasty" Republicans.

    Wake up to it, gays. You're either stupid or misguided for believing anything Obama or the Democrats say.

    Posted by: jason | Feb 17, 2010 7:17:59 AM

  16. I love Mullen's wording that "the troops are ready for gays and lesbians to be serving among them."

    Here's the shocker! They ALREADY ARE. The military probably has a higher percentage of gays and lesbians among its ranks than you would find in civilian society. It seems that the only folks who aren't willing to acknowledge that are the guys with too much salad on their uniforms and our Commander and Chief, who now seems to be working by some secret agenda (which will come back to bite him in his ass when he wants something from 10% of the population that helped get him elected.)

    Posted by: Bart | Feb 17, 2010 9:13:35 AM

  17. jason - oh jason stfu

    It is under this DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT that this discussion is happening --- and the repeal is becoming a reality.

    Under the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT we lived under the constant threat of being made second class citizens in the CONSTITUTION!

    So like I said STFU.

    Posted by: Walter | Feb 17, 2010 10:03:24 AM

  18. @Walter: EXACTLY!

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Feb 17, 2010 11:29:47 AM

  19. jason, if your goal is to get "you gays" to stand by and defend the democrats, then you have succeeded - by virtue of your flaming troll stupidity. stfu indeed.

    Posted by: ant | Feb 17, 2010 1:00:18 PM

  20. DADT will not repealed this year or anytime soon. It is not going to be repealed by either democrats or republicans, and it is delusional to think otherwise. Vote third party.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 17, 2010 1:10:11 PM

  21. @Jason, I agree with Walter... STFU, Republican-apologist-troll!

    @Obama: Just DO IT already, none of this stupid 'let's examine it for a year' shit.... JUST FUCKING DO IT!!!!!

    Posted by: CKNJ | Feb 17, 2010 2:37:49 PM

  22. This just contridicts what the Republican's, like John McCain and Rep. Duncan Hunter are claiming.

    Posted by: CB | Feb 17, 2010 5:29:21 PM

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