DADT Deal: Military Has Final Word?

On Tuesday, I noted my concern that the "deal" the administration had reportedly struck to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning gay soldiers from open service was so vague that "a new Republican administration would mean a new policy at the Pentagon."

It actually appears to be worse than that:
[Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] said yesterday that he's comfortable with proposed legislation that seeks to repeal the law that bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military because it includes "very clear language" that gives senior leaders the final say in whether it's implemented.

...Implementation wouldn't take place until after a Defense Department study assessing its impact is completed, the chairman explained, and military and defense leaders get to weigh in on the findings.

...After reviewing results of the study, Mullen, the service chiefs and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates would provide their recommendations to President Barack Obama. "So having that information will inform me and our leaders about what our recommendations will be," he said.

Mullen called the "certification trigger" provided in the proposed amendment critical.

"The language in there right now preserves my prerogative – and I believe, my responsibility – to give the best military advice," he said.

"That trigger is to certify whether we should move ahead with that change, even if the law were to repeal it," he told a reporter following the session.
So, essentially, even if the Democratic majority passes the repeal, after midterm elections are already over, the military—and/or, "the military"—can then decide to make that legislation worth less than the paper on which it's printed. Gotcha.

Either this is the real deal, or Mullen's talking out his ass and the administration is so incapable of getting its ducks in a row that the chaos threatens to undermine an extremely important piece of radical and long-overdue legislation.

Either way, my contempt for this administration plummets to heretofore uncharted depths.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus