Dec 3, 2010
Pentagon report provides justification to kill discriminatory DADT policy
In what can be described as “we already knew that,” the Pentagon released an extensive, nine-month report this week that says allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces posed a "low risk" of disruption, and it should deal a death blow to the discriminatory and unconstitutional “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Overall, the study showed that “about 70 percent of active-duty and reserve forces saw little or no problem with ending the 17-year-old policy,” and that overwhelming 70 percent reflects about what the general public believes.
In fact, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urged the Senate to pass legislation killing DADT before it adjourns this month, with Gates saying "This can be done, and should be done, without posing a serious risk to military readiness.” That’s simply a no-brainer.
Granted, the 30 percent is very vocal, and the 30 percent in the military also expressed similar false arguments, such as “I cannot rely on someone who I don't feel comfortable with, nor can they trust me," one respondent wrote in one of more than 100,000 surveys returned by service members and their spouses, and comments collected from about 72,000 unsolicited opinions from service members submitted to an Internet drop box. "A lack of trust turns into a lack of cohesion, which eventually leads to mission failure."
Another said, “I believe this is not the time for us to make huge changes in the military. We are at war and our men and women overseas do not need any more distractions. This issue should be addressed at the appropriate time. That time is not now."
I’m sure similar responses were heard back in 1948 when President Truman integrated the military, but one thing I have admired about the military is that it is the most equitable organization I have ever been a part of, and people advance simply on their demonstrated ability.
As for combat troops, among our allies serving along side our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, England and Canada allow gays to serve openly in the military. In fact, more than 25 other countries also allow gays to serve openly in the military with no problems, such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Uruguay. Like “Mr. Conservative” Arizona Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater once said, “You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight."
A Senate panel hearing on the Pentagon report continues today, where Arizona Republican Senator John McCain continues to flip-flop on the issue and embarrass himself.