Lawyers for the nation's top military officer are recommending
holding off on an internal Pentagon effort that could lead to the
repeal of the ban on openly gay military service. The delay could push
a decision by Congress to the middle of the next presidential election.
advisers at the Pentagon, however, argue that lifting the ban would not
cause unmanageable problems or divisions among the uniformed military,
according to two U.S. officials. They discussed internal conversations
about the ban on condition of anonymity.
''Now is not the time,'' the in-house legal counsel for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
wrote recently in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press. ''The
importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the
force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns, demand that we
act with deliberation.''
According to the AP, Mullen and others have "quietly begun a new push" for new repeal timing.
Joint Chiefs legal advisers recommended delaying the start of the
repeal process into 2011, with the Pentagon sending a proposed
replacement law to Congress by late summer of that year. That would be
after the White House says it will begin bringing troops home from
Afghanistan, and a few months before all U.S. forces are due to leave
Congress would follow with debate lasting six months to a year, the
legal advisers wrote, meaning repeal would be unlikely until 2012. The
memo does not spell it out, but that is a presidential election year
when Obama will presumably run for a second term. The calendar
calculates that the Iraq war would be over and the Afghanistan war
smaller before the ban is lifted.
Yesterday, the Advocate reported that Carl Levin was lining up DADT hearings for later this month but this new report says that doesn't mean a lot:
…but that does not mean Congress would truly begin work on a new law
that would allow openly gay service. Levin has asked Gates to request
that the RAND Corp. think tank update its 1993 study on gays in the
military before he goes ahead. That outside study would be expected to
take several months.