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"Principled courage of Gates and Mullen is a major step forward for civil rights." (NYT)

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-03-10 08:18 AM
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"Principled courage of Gates and Mullen is a major step forward for civil rights." (NYT)
Edited on Wed Feb-03-10 08:18 AM by jefferson_dem
Equality in the Military

History was made on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. More than 16 years after their predecessors helped impose the odious dont ask, dont tell policy, the nations two top defense officials called on Congress to repeal the law that bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The principled courage of the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is a major step forward for civil rights.

Their action leaves no further excuse for Republican lawmakers to go on supporting this discrimination. President Obama must not let the opponents of repeal, who are already mobilizing, keep this terribly unjust law on the books.

Dont ask, dont tell was passed by Congress in 1993, with the support of Les Aspin, who then was the secretary of defense, and Gen. Colin Powell, who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It compelled gay men and lesbians to hide who they are and to live in fear of being reported. Many thousands of men and women have been drummed out of the armed forces under this law.

Critics argue that the presence of gay service members makes the military less unified and effective. There is strong evidence that this is not so, including the experiences of nations, such as Canada and Britain, where gays serve openly. A policy of driving out good and talented people including ones with much-needed skills in Arabic, Farsi, and other languages makes the military less effective.

At Tuesdays Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Robert Gates, the secretary of defense, and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made a clear commitment to end dont ask, dont tell following up on the promise President Obama made in his State of the Union address. The question, Mr. Gates said, is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. He said, however, that more time will be needed to work out how to change the policy.

While the policy is being reviewed by the Pentagons top lawyer and the commander of the United States Army in Europe, Mr. Gates said the existing law will be carried out in a more humane and fair manner. One welcome change would be a decision by the military to no longer aggressively pursue discharge cases against people whose sexuality is revealed by third parties, including jilted romantic partners.

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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-03-10 09:06 AM
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1. Oh Please right wing haters
show some of your "principled courage" by taking on the guy with the four stars.

I salute you ADM Mullen for doing the right thing.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-03-10 10:05 AM
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2. Good on them -- Better if they'd find a way to stop enforcement now
I don't know the legalities, but perhaps while they out out the details they could put a formal or informal moratorium on enforcement of this, both for currently enlisted and new recruits.

Treat it like a "blue law" which are laws in states that are archaic and never enforced, even though they are technically on the books.
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MindandSoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-03-10 11:52 AM
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3. Does anyone know what Colin Powell is saying TODAY?
Edited on Wed Feb-03-10 11:56 AM by MindandSoul
I am hoping that he has evolved also and his testimony in favor of repelling DADT would be meaningful also!

Never mind! Here is an update on General Colin Powell's standing on this issue in July 2009 from Wikepedia:

In an interview on CNN's State of the Union broadcast on July 5, 2009, Colin Powell said he thought that the policy was "correct for the time" but that "sixteen years have now gone by, and I think a lot has changed with respect to attitudes within our country, and therefore I think this is a policy and a law that should be reviewed." In the same program, Mike Mullen said the policy would continue to be implemented until the law was repealed, and that his advice was to "move in a measured way... At a time when we're fighting two conflicts there is a great deal of pressure on our forces and their families."[
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