Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Michael Mullen | Military | News

McCain Circulates Service Chiefs Letter Urging Congress to Hold Off on DADT Repeal Vote, While Mullen Stresses 'Moral Courage'


Joint Chiefs Chair Mike Mullen made a veiled reference to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in a speech to graduating Air Force cadets. At least that's how the AP is interpreting it.

Said Mullen: 

"Few things are more important to an organization than people who have the moral courage to question the direction in which the organization is going — and then the strength of character to support whatever final decisions are made."

Mccain Meanwhile, several of the Service Chiefs have issued a letter to Congress today, distributed by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), The Hill reports:

...the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines urged Congress to hold off voting until the study is done.

“I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, that the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law," wrote Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

That position was echoed in separate letters from Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Gary Roughead, and Commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. James T. Conway.

“I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward," Casey wrote.

And now seems like a good time to recall Mullen's powerful statement against the military gay ban at "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hearings in February.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Moral courage = lying about your sexual orientation to keep your job

    Moral courage = betraying your comrades' sexual orientation

    Moral courage = living a lie

    I find it the height of irony that that phrase has been used in the fight against the repeal of DADT.

    Posted by: Steve | May 26, 2010 5:25:08 PM

  2. and Kip Williams heckles Obama. Sigh.

    Posted by: John | May 26, 2010 5:27:12 PM

  3. DADT needs to go. acceptance of glbt persons in the military is implicit in the constitution. arguments to the contrary are absurd. john mccain is being a turd on this because he's facing a challenge from someone more to the right than he.

    Posted by: nic | May 26, 2010 5:31:17 PM

  4. McCain is a weaselly bastard. The man has absolutley NO moral authority. Any gay person who works for him should feel real proud about now...

    Posted by: ColinATL | May 26, 2010 5:38:36 PM

  5. I hope McCain gets his ass handed to him.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | May 26, 2010 5:54:48 PM

  6. Obama is Commander-in-chief. The joint chiefs should keep their mouths shut or be told by Obama to keep their mouths shut. The military chiefs are there to take orders, not direct legislation.

    Posted by: Anonymous | May 26, 2010 6:07:49 PM

  7. The problem is not McCain or the militay, its Obama and the Democrats. Ineffective leadership and lack of convection to do the right thing along with a gay community that has tied its civil rigths to a this group that continues to promise and fails to deliver.

    Posted by: Major707 | May 26, 2010 6:15:29 PM

  8. Probably when it passes Congress and DADT is totally gone, people will still find ways to blame Obama and not McCain and the republicans, who will mostly vote against it. We would not even be having this discussion if McCain/Palin won. Not for another 4 years.

    Oh, and Steve: Mullen's on OUR side. He's talking about the moral courage to come out AGAINST DADT.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 26, 2010 7:02:10 PM

  9. "The problem is not McCain or the militay, its Obama and the Democrats."

    Delusional thinking. The problem IS McCain and complete Republican obstruction of any progress on gay rights issues. Every person who votes against us is a problem. The Republican shift even further right to appease the nutty teabaggers is a problem because the few Republican moderates with independent minds are going extinct.

    None of which excuses Obama's failure to be the fierce advocate he promised to be or the weak-willed Dem's tendency to compromise or cave altogether. But let's keep it real here. Unless progressive candidates start getting elected, any progress we make will be because of the Dem's and the smart lobbying and pressure we put on them.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 26, 2010 7:06:09 PM

  10. “I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward," Casey wrote.

    What about the views that can't be told?

    Posted by: Joshua | May 26, 2010 7:18:19 PM

  11. Jesus Fucking Christ: is the addiction of some gays to Kool Aid incurable???

    These are the FACTS to recall about Mullen:

    He repeatedly TOTALLY endorsed Gates' phony "study" about the potential "negative impact" of letting the fags out of the closet even tho he also said that in 42 YEARS in the Navy he'd NEVER seen any negative impact of serving with some known to be gay. What? Gays might be MORE disruptive now than 42 years ago?

    Mullen COSIGNED the letter with Gates that original DADT cosponsor Ike Skeletor dreamed up DEMANDING Congress not touch repeal even WITH delayed implementation until after the "phony study" was in...making HIS position the SAME as the other homophobic chiefs who, like Gates, are simply hoping the conclusion of the "study" is "HELL NO, don't let the fags out!" and then they could all be left alone to continue shitcanning the gays and not even have to PRETEND anymore they're for out service but just "done the right way."

    Wake up and smell the BULLSHIT!

    Posted by: Michael @ | May 26, 2010 7:27:13 PM

  12. Don't Ask is a form of job discrimination. That is all it is. They can study this can of crap forever. It is job discrimination, pure and simple, and if you are for it, you are a bigot. McCain will go down in history as an unethical bigot. Serves him right. Oh, and his great military career was spent failing classes, coming in at the last place academically in West Point, crashing lots of planes and getting caught by the enemy. Not the kind of man I would want to follow.

    Posted by: candideinnc | May 26, 2010 7:48:09 PM

  13. "Delusional thinking" you miss the point, the Republicans will always attack when they see weakness and ineffective leadership. They want the Administration to appear weak and unable to lead. And it works...the Democrats are afraid to lead. And we in the gay community are afraid to vote or support anyone but a Democrat.
    I was in the service when Clinton dreamed up DADT to get his ass out of trouble. He and Obama should have called the service chiefs in and told them that the Commander in Chief directs that he wants this ban against gays removed and if you can't follow orders give me your resignation and I will get someone that do the job. Sadly both do not have the leadership abilities to make this happen. The military is not a Democracy and is not run by committee. They know and respect leadership. Until the Democrats grow some balls we will never be rid of this mess.

    Posted by: Major707 | May 26, 2010 8:15:23 PM

  14. "The value of surveying the thoughts of Marines and their families is that it signals to my Marines that their opinions matter," Marine Commandant James Conway wrote in a letter to Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the panel's top Republican.

    What Conway's letter signals is that the only servicemembers whose opinions matter are those that agree with him. Because, of course, no gay or lesbian service member can testify freely and openly in opposition to DADT before John McCain's committee, without fear of being kicked out of the military.

    Conway's disingenuous and manipulative letter proves he is nothing but a vile deceitful neo-fascist, who believes in political rights only for straight people. He will use every despicable rhetorical device he can pull out of his bigoted ass to try to maintain his strategic edge.

    I suppose this is all that really matters to him as a Marine, is winning. But let us shout it to the rafters: He is the one who is deeply immoral, a conniving liar and manipulator, in denying a fair hearing to the LGB service members who have a close personal stake in the repeal of DADT, while claiming he just wants the opinions of "his" service members to be heard.
    If Conway is truly interested in making sure that the opinions of ALL service members
    matter, then he will permit an initial law or Executive Order to be implemented, prohibiting the dismissal from the military of any service member under DADT, who discloses his/her sexual orientation in the course of testifying before Congress.

    Posted by: RationalistMark | May 26, 2010 9:08:21 PM

  15. so, Michael-always-snatching-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory-Bedwell, when he says "allowing gays to serve openly would be the right thing to do," you assume he means the opposite?

    Would you rather everyone did nothing, like some people apparently would? Just so that we can continue to complain about how nothing ever goes our way? Compromises happen. Delays happen. They are not the same as defeat. We got Civil Unions in Vermont. Nobody wanted them. Were they marriage? No. Were they better than anything in any other state in the union? Hell yes.

    I won't count my chickens, but why everyone has to be gloom and doom all the time, I do not get.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | May 26, 2010 9:49:01 PM

  16. So Kevin, does that mean you yearn for the days when patients paid their doctors with chickens, too? Sounds it. In any event, a loser's position.

    Posted by: TANK | May 26, 2010 9:52:34 PM

  17. I am quite surprised that there is any debate all modern First World Western Democracies the USA....a public funded health care system and sexual orientation equality (and gender, religion etc etc) in the military are taken for granted. what's the big deal with Americans? I would assume from this that no naughty thoughts go through straight male soldiers minds when they see a hot straight female soldier and vice versa. Maybe they should consider only a same sex eunuch army instead. Actually this is sounding so like a Muslim fundamentalist situation it really isn't funny anymore.

    Posted by: DavidW | May 26, 2010 10:24:17 PM

  18. @KEVINVT: So you're saying the process of fighting for the best you could get through compromis(Civil Unions)was achieved. And then that helped to change attitudes and the politics in order to then allow it to be voted in and signed by the Governor. And now it doesn't even hit the radar of the public in Vermont.

    That sounds suspiciously like the evil "incrementalism" that many say doesn't work. Thanks for clearing up that "loser" position.

    Posted by: HawaiiBill | May 26, 2010 11:04:37 PM

  19. "'Delusional thinking' you miss the point, the Republicans will always attack when they see weakness and ineffective leadership."

    So John McCain and the Republicans would get in line and vote our way if only Obama and the Dem's led better? Please. The Republicans are virulently anti-gay because they're anti-gay and because the Republican base is now controlled by a group of crazy homophobic zealots. I absolutely agree that Obama and the Dem's lack leadership balls (well, Nancy has balls sometimes) and haven't adequately showed the military who's boss, but blaming Republican votes against us on the Dem's is as silly as excusing the Dem's endless wishy-washiness. The only help John McCain--and his Republican ilk--are to us is when they're out of office.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 27, 2010 10:47:26 AM

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