The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim reports that last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent letters to President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates soliciting guidance on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":
"In letters to Gates and Obama dated Sept. 24th and obtained by HuffPost, the Nevada Democrat asks each to 'bring to Congress your recommendations on DADT' — the policy that allows gay or lesbian Americans to serve in the military as long as they don't mention that they are gay or lesbian.
A legislative fix could be difficult; it is not at all clear that
the Senate could find 60 votes to overcome a likely filibuster. Reid,
therefore, is calling in Obama. 'As Congress considers future legislative action, we believe it
would be helpful to hear your views on the policy,' he writes. 'Your
leadership in this matter is greatly appreciated and needed at this
time.' Reid, in the letters, also highlights the plight of two servicemen,
one of whom he met when he was the keynote speaker at a recent Las
Vegas Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner. First Lieutenant Daniel Choi
was a West Point grad, served in Iraq and was an Arab linguist. In
April, he received a discharge letter from the Army after publicly
revealing he was gay, Reid writes to Obama. Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fehrenbach is headed for a 'similar fate,'
Reid tells Obama. He was an 18-year Air Force vet who has flown
numerous missions against Taliban and al-Qaida targets, 'including the
longest combat mission in his squadron's history.' The government, Reid
notes, has invested $25 million on his training."
Pressure seems to be mounting on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' from all sides. Yesterday, the Boston Globe reported on an article in the upcoming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, the Pentagon's top scholarly journal, calling for the repeal of the ban.
"Our translation: no more study of the issue is needed; it's been
studied to death. Let's move out on the specifics of when and how to
implement a new policy of nondiscrimination. President Obama and some
members of Congress have been calling on the Department of Defense to
provide its recommendations on repeal. Well, here's a roadmap."