Barney Frank Says He Was Misunderstood on White House Opposition to ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal


Rep. Barney Frank claims he was talking about the Pentagon, not the White House, when he discussed opposition to the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld.

Barney Wrote The Advocate: "Like many pro-repeal advocates, Frank has consistently pinpointed the National Defense Authorization Act as 'the only vehicle' for overturning the ban legislatively. When I noted that the White House has failed to designate the defense authorization bill over a stand-alone bill as its preferred method for repealing the policy, Frank responded, 'That’s because they don’t want it done this year, not because they want it done separately.'"

The Hill reports: "Rep. Barney Frank on Monday appeared to dispute a quote he gave saying that he believes the White House does not want a policy banning openly gay people in the military repealed this year…Frank told The Hill that he was talking about the Pentagon's stance, not the White House's position on the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy.

'I said that about the Pentagon, the quote may have gotten garbled,' he said in a phone interview…Frank said that the White House has been 'ambiguous' about its desire to see the policy repealed this year but did not say they are openly against it like he believes the Pentagon is.

'I wish the White House was more adamant,' he said. 'I'm still waiting for the White House to speak out. When people say that they want to implement a change, their answer should be that they want to pass the bill.'"

And, well, "ambiguous" pretty much sucks as well.

In a new statement to Eleveld, Frank clarifies: "In a recent interview, I misspoke and garbled my answer to a question posed by reporter Kerry Eleveld. I was trying to cover too many issues at once and, in fact, I did not mean to imply that the Administration has opposed moving forward with the repeal of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.' However, the Administration has been ambiguous about it, and that ambiguity has allowed some to interpret Secretary Gates’ argument for a delay in implementation as a delay in adopting the legislation. I believe that the Administration should make clear that it supports legislative action this year, and that while implementation is being worked out, it will carry out the policy in the way it was originally intended, which would reduce the number of discharges, in my view, by over 90%."


  1. bobbyjoe says

    I vividly remember Obama on the campaign trail and at the State of the Union; can’t we all still hear his memorable words, ringing in our ears: “My fellow Americans, I stand completely ambiguous on the question of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In other words, ‘Don’t Ask’ me! [pause for laughs] I can’t ‘Tell’ what I think! [more laughs] What should I do? [makes comic shrugging gesture] I haven’t got a f*cking clue!”

    Ah, yes, I remember it well.

  2. ichabod says

    Methinks Brother Barney got a phone call from the White House when they got wind of his quote. I honestly don’t trust anything that any of our elected officials tell us. It’s all one big board game to them. The fact that these men and women are elected to serve the best interests of the people of this country is completely forgotten once they get inside the beltway (if not long before).

  3. walter says

    barney frank is as much for gay rights as any other politican. he will get to it when he gets to it. remember he has nothing to gain . he has everything he needs a good paying job, health insurance and the best retirement package. why put yourself out. hed rather stick with obama no matter what course he takes than fight the powers that be. just another self serving politican

  4. Jeff In Boston says

    Bullshit. Barney is very committed. But he works within a very confined system with rules and egos, and within a gay community that seems in a very large part to think that marches are an effective show of political strength.

  5. Norm D PLume says

    Fuck Barney Frank. He is a rich queer who is NOT like the rest of us. He’s been enjoying the perks and priveleges of power for nearly three decades. He has the soul of Goldman Sachs and the voice of Elmer Fudd. Barney Frank is a coward and an enemy of the lgbt community. Those who look to him as a leader are full of shit and lying to themselves and to their fellow queers. Barney Frank pulls his pants down and spreads his flabby hairy ass cheeks whenever a Wall Street bank demands cash, but refuses to do a thing for lgbt rights. If you stand with Barney Frank, you stand with homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry.

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