Duncan Hunter Hub
The White House has responded to an amendment introduced last week by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) (pictured) intended to delay repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy by interfering with the certification requirements already set forth in the bill Obama signed in December. Those requirements state that after 60 days pass from certification by the president, the defense secretary, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, open service can begin.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye, responding to a request from Metro Weekly about President Barack Obama's position on Hunter's amendment, wrote, ''The President is working with the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to certify, pursuant to the repeal bill, that implementation of the new policies and regulations written by the Department is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.''
He added, ''We have serious objections to any amendment that would unnecessarily delay this process.''
Hunter's office released a statement to Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade suggesting the White House is "uncertain" about repeal:
Joe Kasper, a Hunter spokesperson, said the White House statement is “not much of a surprise” and called on the Obama administration to drop its objection to expanding the certification requirement for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.
“If the White House is so sure that the military leadership is behind the repeal, then there’s nothing to worry about,” Kasper said. “The White House’s statement just shows how unsure the administration really is with all this. And there’s always lots of talk about transparency and efficiency. So perhaps the administration will rethink it’s position and support the Hunter amendment.”
Hunter's amendment was adopted by the House Armed Services Committee but is unlikely to be made law before certification takes effect.
As part of a $553 billion defense bill, the House Armed Services Committee last night adopted several amendments intended to affect implementation of repeal of the military's gay ban, including one from Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA, pictured) that would "require that all four military service chiefs certify that implementation of the 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)' repeal won’t impact combat readiness and effectiveness." It was adopted 33-27.
Chris Johnson at the Blade reports: "The vote in favor of the Hunter amendment was mostly along party lines, although Reps. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) and Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) voted against the measure. Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) was the sole Democrat to vote in favor of the measure."
Several other measures were adopted as well, Johnson notes in his lengthy report:
Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) introduced an amendment mandating that marriage ceremonies on military installations must comply with DOMA and that chaplains can only officiate in their official capacity over such ceremonies if they comply with the anti-gay law...
Another amendment came from Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), whose measure restated that the definition of marriage under DOMA as a union between one man and one woman applies to Defense Department regulations and policies...
Another anticipated anti-gay amendment didn’t see introduction before the committee on Wednesday. Palazzo was expected to introduce an amendment that would require conscience regulations for service members who have religious or moral objections to open service. His office didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on why the measure wasn’t introduced...
The vote on Akin's amendment was 38-23, Hartzler's was 39-22.
Said Alexander Nicholson, Executive Director of Servicemembers United and a former Army Interrogator who was discharged under DADT:
“Despite the passage of [Hunter's] amendment within the ever-hostile House Armed Services Committee, it is highly unlikely that such an amendment would ever pass the Senate and be signed by the President. The offering of this amendment was a shameful and embarrassing waste of time. The service chiefs have unequivocally said that they do not want this extra burden forced upon them, so if Congress really values their advice on this issue they should take it and forget this unnecessary and unwanted amendment.”
Log Cabin Republicans Asks Court to Immediately Lift Gay Military Ban [tr]
Navy Revokes Guidance Allowing Same-Sex Marriages on Bases [tr]
GOP Proposes Amendment to 'DADT' Repeal to 'Protect' Religious Homophobes [tr]
GOP Serves Anti-Gay 'DADT' Amendments to House Defense Panel [tr]
GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter to Introduce Legislation Attempting to Impede Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
The Hill reports that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is planning on introducing legislation next week:
Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.
The repeal bill, signed into law Dec. 22 by President Obama, requires only the OK of the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman.
According to a congressional aide, 15 to 20 Republicans have committed to signing on to the bill.
*Apologies - an earlier photo was of Hunter's father.
If you missed 60 Minutes and its feature on Army Sgt. Darren Manzella and the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy last night, you can watch it here.
The show featured some particularly repulsive remarks from GOP presidential hopeful Duncan Hunter.
From the show's transcript: "'We aren't the Brits. We're not the Europeans. We're not the Swedes,' says Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. Hunter argues that gays do not belong in the U.S. military because American troops need to be hardened warriors, unlike soldiers in the 15 NATO countries where gays serve openly. 'The Fallujahs of the world, the Ramadis of the world that require heavy combat and lots of fire-fighting capability - those are the places the Americans go. The other countries tend to go to the so-called peacekeeper zones, where they have fewer fire fights and less contact with the enemy,' Hunter says. 'And the European nations show little will to send large contingents of their military people into dangerous places.'"
Admiral Alan West, who headed the Royal Navy when the military gay ban ended in Britain, feels that it has helped their military. West responded to Hunter: 'I think American troops are very brave and I think British troops are very brave. But we do it in a little bit of probably a quieter way generally, you know? We don't have to go 'Huh, huh, huh' and shave our heads off and shake hands very hard. You can still kill someone without having to do that.'"
60 Minutes to Cover "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Wartime Policy [tr]
Military Soft On Don't Ask, Don't Tell? [60 minutes]
It took nearly two hours for the GOP YouTube debate to get to the gay material.
The first was from retired Brigadier General Keith Kerr (transcript via NYT, after the jump).
While none of the answers were all that surprising, perhaps the most detestable answer came from Romney, whose excuse for changing his tune (Anderson Cooper asked, "Governor Romney, you said in 1994 that you looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, and I quote, 'openly and honestly' in our nation's military.") defies logic.
Said Romney: "This isn't that time. This is not that time. We're in a middle of a war."
So, of course, what better time to throw out soldiers than in the middle of a war??? Romney was booed, and rightly so.
CNN's failure to disclose that Kerr was named a co-chair of Hillary Clinton's National Military Veterans group this month was a big error on CNN's part, and was immediately seized on by conservatives as evidence of a "plant" by Clinton.
The video on the left below is Anderson Cooper's statement that CNN did not know Kerr had an association with Clinton. On the right is a post-debate interview with Kerr in which he denies being a "plant" and discusses his association with Servicemen's Legal Defense Network.
Full transcript of this question, via the NYT, after the jump...