Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Robert Gates | Robert Gibbs

Defense Sec'y Gates Warns of Abrupt Dismissal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', Says Courts Should Not Set Policy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke out today on Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling barring enforcement of the military's ban on gays in the military:

Gates "Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences. A day after a judge in California ordered the Pentagon to cease enforcement of its policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, Gates told reporters that the question of whether to repeal the law should be decided by Congress, and done only after the Pentagon completes its study on the issue. 'I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,' said Gates. 'It has enormous consequences for our troops.' The defense secretary said that besides the changes in training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings."

The BBC adds: "At the White House on Wednesday, spokesman Robert Gibbs described 'don't ask, don't tell' as 'a policy that is going to end'. But he declined to answer whether the Obama administration preferred to seek a stay of the injunction and appeal against the ruling."

The Department of Justice has until December 16 to appeal the ruling.

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  1. The President needs to grow a pair and fire this guy.

    Posted by: CGD | Oct 13, 2010 1:33:38 PM

  2. now the defense secretary is a legal expert
    obama should fire his ass he is a holdover
    from the bush administration who isn't doing a real good job why keep him

    Posted by: walter | Oct 13, 2010 1:37:54 PM

  3. Fuck you, Gates.

    Posted by: ichabod | Oct 13, 2010 1:38:14 PM

  4. the president would have to ask michelle to borrow a pair first much like bill had to ask hilary

    Posted by: walter | Oct 13, 2010 1:40:41 PM

  5. Excuse me Mr. Gates, is that not why we have three branches of our government? It is to keep each in check with the other. And the last time I checked, the military was NOT one of those three! So, as Walter said, above! lol

    Posted by: RandyO | Oct 13, 2010 1:40:51 PM

  6. The "study"...yeah, a bunch of questions that essentially ask "aren't you horrified at having to shower with the icky gays?" Obama could do the right thing and just let this ruling stand but apparently the administration will appeal. Obama's record on gay rights really couldn't be much worse.

    Posted by: Butch | Oct 13, 2010 1:42:00 PM

  7. Every moment that our leaders do not stand up and declare this type of entrenched homophobia to be wrong is a moment they decided to do nothing.

    /looks around for "fierce advocate"

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 13, 2010 1:43:18 PM

  8. Fuck Gates and his "only after the Pentagon completes its study on the issue".

    Once again, FUCK YOU!

    We're tired of waiting!!!

    Posted by: John | Oct 13, 2010 1:47:22 PM

  9. Gates is just the messenger. He's saying what his boss told him to say. So if you're pissed, aim it at the right person, Obama. If that's not true, then who the fuck is running the country? are we a republic or a military junta controlled banana republic? Both options are equally infuriating.

    Posted by: gaylib | Oct 13, 2010 1:53:42 PM

  10. Our nation's military must really be fucked up if it is such an insurmountable hardship for them to stop hunting for gays and kicking them out.

    Just stop doing it! What's the big deal?

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Oct 13, 2010 1:56:03 PM

  11. Gates is trying to publicly outflank his boss, which strikes me as incredibly uncool. If he has something to say, he can say it privately...but this is ultimately Obama's call. Gates' job is to make it happen (should that be the decision) or resign.

    Posted by: DraneSpout | Oct 13, 2010 1:58:04 PM

  12. This is cover for the president, our fierce defender, who will now be able to say this is why he is appealing the DADT decision despite agreeing with it.

    Posted by: Don | Oct 13, 2010 2:02:37 PM

  13. We have the requisite data to implement repeal right now. There are many studies which deal specifically with the implementation of repeal that have been conducted since DADT was enacted. The study was a political smokescreen to delay repeal and actual efforts to that end, yet demonstrate some kind of commitment to the rhetoric of repeal in the absence of any effective leadership and progress on this matter in congress and the executive. Waiting on congress, especially after the dems lose control of the house in november, is a bad strategy, because it's not going to happen; moreso, it didn't happen even when the dems controlled congress. All this could do is force the military to reassess the timetable of policy change that is already sufficiently understood. The defense secretary is echoing the political strategy of his boss rather than a genuine concern for preparedness and troop wellbeing. To that end, he loses credibility, as the administration has also lost, due to ineffective and largely rhetorical efforts.

    With that said, the best thing that could happen to Obama's reelection chances would be for the dems to lose control of at least one chamber, because the focus of economic and social criticism wouldn't fall on him and the dems. However, this conflict of interest clearly runs afoul of any significant progay legislation being passed; quite literally ending hopes of its occurrence for several years to come.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 13, 2010 2:11:16 PM

  14. I don't get it. DADT was made into law and implemented in 1 day. Why can't it be outlawed in one day. Simply put, it is unconstitutional, so why do people have to suffer under it for one more day....

    Posted by: Phil | Oct 13, 2010 2:15:51 PM

  15. And Gates is a born bureaucrat. If you believe that every press release he makes hasn't been thoroughly vetted by the "proper channels," and greenlighted from the top down, you don't understand how this is being played, or, quite frankly, how this cabinet operates.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 13, 2010 2:17:00 PM

  16. What a jerk! He has had time to study this issue to death. He should be fired.

    Posted by: Joel | Oct 13, 2010 2:21:24 PM

  17. Who can gay people rely on to "set policy"?

    Not the unbelievably shortsighted legislative branch. Certainly not the timid executive branch. Now after the judicial branch has done the right thing and cut through all the hysteria and blind, unfounded prejudice, the Defense Secretary says that judges should not set policy?

    Why doesn't Secretary Gates propose a policy change? How brave can this country's soldiers be if they are said to be afraid of some gay people?

    Mr. Gates needs to keep quiet. So does the President, the Senate and the House.

    Let the future come.

    Posted by: esther blodgett | Oct 13, 2010 2:22:06 PM

  18. I believe Bush II-holdover Gates is simply setting up the situation so his boss can order the DOJ to defend DADT. Now, really, Mr. President, is this the ballsy way Truman acted when integrating the military as a matter of justice and rights for our black citizens? I don't think so.

    Posted by: Rob | Oct 13, 2010 2:24:29 PM

  19. The Court did its job, which last time I checked, is not to consult with the Secretary of Defense on the constitutionality of a federal law. Gates needs to STFU and stop opining on things that are none of his business. If a federal court judge says a law is unconstitutional, Gates' job is to abide by the law as set down by the judge. This isn't a banana republic where the military dictates the rights of its citizens. A law is either constitutional or it is not. Gates has no business weighing in, since (1) we never elected Bob Gates, and (2) we have a Commander-in-Chief and it ain't Bob Gates.

    If the President had any backbone, which we all know he lacks, he'd call Bob Gates and tell him to STFU, and not speak about this or any other issue unless directed by his President. Of course, the President is so afraid of the military we have basically had a quiet coup since 2008, where the military dictates policy and the President obeys their commands. I could not stand George W. Bush, but he would never had permitted Gates to speak out on issues like this. Never. He may have been an idiot, but he had some backbone.

    I'm beginning to wonder if spineless and smart is better than tough but stupid.

    Posted by: salemlawyer | Oct 13, 2010 2:26:34 PM

  20. I don't recall electing President Gates.

    Posted by: Gridlock | Oct 13, 2010 2:41:16 PM

  21. Lying sack of shit. The injunction doesn't require them to DO anything. If they want to re-write regulations and re-design gay and straight restrooms in the Pentagon, they can take the next 5 weeks or 50 years to do it. All they need do to comply with the court that has authority over them is absofuckinglutely nothing. Halting discharges and separations is an act of omission requiring zero effort to implement.

    Oh, and the statement of the top military official that the third branch of government purposed with checking and balancing the others should be ignored is quite dangerous and reeks of, well, treason.

    Posted by: Zlick | Oct 13, 2010 2:47:42 PM

  22. Asshole! Shove that fucking homophobic survey up your ass! Virginia Phillips did exactly what she was asked to do; she ruled that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against American citizens who want to serve their country in the Armed Forces. Treat our citizens in the right way!

    Posted by: mad1026 | Oct 13, 2010 3:02:38 PM

  23. What planning and strategizing is needed? It's pretty simple. Those who are mentally affected by serving along side a gay soldier obviously has deep-seeded problems and prejudices that wont be solved by a Pentagon study.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 13, 2010 3:09:00 PM

  24. Has any other military in the world "redesigned" their buildings to let gays serve openly?

    I mean, I could see sprucing the place up, adding some color, but actual construction???

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 13, 2010 3:20:06 PM

  25. Wow, the military are now deciding what the law is or should be........

    Does the USA appreciate what a dangerous situation that is ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 13, 2010 3:25:49 PM

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