part strategy which would begin with an executive order suspending “don’t ask, don’t tell” followed by legislative
repeal at a subsequent time. The proposal included a legal analysis showing that the President has stroke-of-the-
pen authority to suspend the ban. The tone of media coverage shifted immediately once activists and journalists
realized that the President could suspend “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and the White House was put on the defensive.
As momentum for executive action increased, however, a network of gay and gay-friendly activists, journalists and
politicos worked to derail the possibility of a suspension of the ban. This policy analysis advances three points
about these efforts to derail an executive order and focus exclusively on legislative repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
In particular, it (1) explains the strategic misperceptions of those who seek to focus exclusively on legislative repeal
including the flawed notion that the legislative strategy alone can work; (2) describes the consequences of efforts
to block consideration of the two-part strategy (executive order first, legislative repeal second); and (3) suggests
why a renewed emphasis on a two-part strategy is the most effective way forward.
Also, a DADT working group collaboration of The Williams Institute and The Palm Center composed of
The Hon. Marty
Meehan, Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, USA (ret.), Brigadier General
Hugh Aitken, USMC (ret.), Gary J. Gates, PhD and Prof. Aaron Belkin, PhD., released a "truth squad" statement yesterday correcting inaccurate statements by public officials regarding suspension of the ban.
You can read that here: Download DADT Truth Squad (PDF).