Barney Frank | Bill clinton | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News

Unhappy 17th Birthday 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' — Watch ABC News 1993 Report on the Military Gay Ban


"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was announced seventeen years ago today. More than 13,500 service members have been discharged under the military gay ban since 1994.

Watch the July 19, 1993 ABC News report on DADT, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. If Bill Clinton had an ounce of decency, he would have apologized for helping to introduce this DADT abomination. Instead, he's gallivating around the world giving speeches and making lots of money for himself. He's an abominable turd, no doubt about it.

    Bill, you are a vile, vulgar, backstabbing opportunist who was more interested in getting his cock sucked by a gummy intern.

    Posted by: jason | Jul 19, 2010 9:31:10 AM

  2. Sickening then and sickening now... almost more so now, now that we know even the Obama administration is running as fast as it can away from this in spite of having promised to end DADT... When will equality and justice ever be a reality here?

    Posted by: CKNJ | Jul 19, 2010 9:34:14 AM

  3. Bill Clinton was a loser then and now...he fucked over Gays and ROYALLY screwed the American economy by opening up trade almost exclusively with China...

    Posted by: True Words | Jul 19, 2010 9:50:40 AM

  4. I remember it well, and I remember that I viewed it as sort of a stealth victory, because DADT was so obviously absurd I was certain it would never pass judicial review. By then it would be impossible to go back to the prior policy, so all would be well. So much for that theory. (and DADT is STILL obviously absurd to anyone with half a brain.)

    Posted by: BoxerDad | Jul 19, 2010 10:30:29 AM

  5. The difference between Clinton and Obama in this regard is that Clinton came into office genuinely wanting to lift the ban and then caved to the military while Obama came into office already having caved to the military.

    Dr. Nathaniel Frank in "Unfriendly Fire": "Looking back, we can see that don't ask, don't tell was the result of three different forces operating together and reinforcing one another-and all three rested on a belief that homosexuality was morally objectionable. The first was the conflicted feelings of the American public and, even more so, the military population. ... The second was the powerful empire of conservative Christian groups that made maintaining the gay ban into their cause célèbre. The extraordinary alliance of the religious right laid the elaborate groundwork for the successful campaign that convinced America that it would let gays serve their country at considerable peril. And the third source was the personal opposition to gay service of academic, political, and military leaders such as Charles Moskos, Sam Nunn, and Colin Powell. ... The new Clinton White House and the existing cadre of gay advocacy groups were totally unprepared for the opposition they would encounter.... In the hands of the religious right, Moskos's privacy concerns quickly morphed into sweeping homophobic declarations that homosexuality threatened to destroy the military and, ultimately, Western civilization. With the help of Sam Nunn and Colin Powell, Christian conservatives [would] stave off Armageddon for a little while longer."

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 19, 2010 11:14:33 AM

  6. @Michael

    "The difference between Clinton and Obama in this regard is that Clinton came into office genuinely wanting to lift the ban and then caved to the military while Obama came into office already having caved to the military."

    This is probably the only time that I have ever disagreed with you.

    I think Clinton was just as "caved" when he took office. Neither has any scruples when it comes to the subject of gays in the military and will pander to whatever group they must prior to getting into office and an entirely different group after the votes are counted. The only person who would might be willing to place his reputation on the line "in this particular instance", would be a gay or lesbian President.

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Jul 19, 2010 2:12:10 PM

  7. @ Jubal. With respect, the documentation, such as that in the quote above from DADT history expert Nathaniel Frank, proves differently, though Clinton did cave too quickly, and, to some degree, still hasn't faced today that it was rotten from the start.

    Less than two weeks after being sworn in, Clinton sent this memo to his SECDEF Les Aspin...who had already started undercutting him and should have been fired for it as should have been Colin Powell. But Powell was a huge American "hero" at the time from the first Gulf War with an approval rating 10% higher than Clinton's.

    "January 29, 1993

    Memorandum on Ending Discrimination in the Armed Forces

    Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense

    Subject: Ending Discrimination on the Basis
    of Sexual Orientation in the Armed Forces

    I hereby direct you to submit to me prior
    to July 15, 1993, a draft of an Executive order ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in determining who may serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. The draft of the Executive order should be accompanied by the results of a study to be conducted over the next six months on how this revision in policy would be carried out in a manner that is practical, realistic, and consistent with the high standards of combat effectiveness and unit cohesion our Armed Forces must maintain.

    In preparing the draft, I direct you to consult fully with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military services, with other Departments affected by the order, with the Congress, and with concerned individuals and organizations outside the executive branch."

    CONTRAST: Less than two weeks after Obama was sworn in, the "Boston Globe" reported on February 1, 2009:

    “One senior officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said staff officers for Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been told it will be several months at the earliest - possibly not even this year - until the top brass will be formally asked to weigh in on a change in policy. And even then, he said, the military has been assured it will have wide latitude to undertake a detailed study of how a change in the policy would affect the military.”

    A year and one day later, that's exactly what his SECDEF Gates announced, with the result that AT BEST discharges could not stop as a result of "repeal" ... IF repeal even happens ... until roughly Feb. 1, 2011.

    In the interim, Obama still refuses to use his unequivocal legal authority to freeze discharges in the name of national security, and is in court again this week defending DADT in the same homophobic terms used to turn the old ban into the new law.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 19, 2010 2:36:59 PM

  8. What's with the Clinton bashing? Did I miss something? Prior to Dadt there was an all out ban and superiors could ask and seek out gays. While I agree it shouldn't exist, it is better than the previously held alternative. Those that say Clinton had no decency or gumption on this issue, clearly do not recall the climate with which dad came to be in 1993. So typical of most of the negative comments on this site.

    Posted by: Tofer david | Jul 19, 2010 7:41:21 PM

  9. "End witch hunts" - yea, that didn't happen. Sam Nunn is evil. This video shows Clinton really did want to remove the ban, it's cowards like Nunn and other conservative wackos that pushed him to this failed DADT policy. What a disgrace.

    Posted by: KFLO | Jul 19, 2010 10:25:12 PM

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