Bil Browning

Gen Casey & Sec McHugh: DADT repeal not a "done deal"

Filed By Bil Browning | May 31, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: DADT repeal, Don't Ask Don't Tell, George W Casey, John McHugh, Obama Administration, Secretary of the Army, United States Army

Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen George W. Casey sent an e-mail to troops over the weekend about Congress' "Don't Ask Don't Tell" repeal compromise. The legislation, which has been passed by the House and a Senate subcommittee, would give McHugh_Casey.jpgauthority to repeal DADT to the President, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense after the military issues a formal report in December.

In the e-mail, McHugh and Casey complain about Congress's efforts to repeal DADT, saying, "such an action taken before the men and women of the Armed Forces were consulted could be seen as a reversal of our commitment to hear the views of our Soldiers and Families before the law was repealed."

They go on to implore soldiers to tell others to "resist that urge to think that this is a 'done deal'." They hint strongly that Congress' actions aren't important since the military has to sign off on the repeal as well. The two also ask officers to tell "your soldiers and your Families [sic]" that "the current law remains in effect."

A copy of the e-mail and some thoughts from one of the active duty soldiers who sent it in are after the jump.

One of the soldiers who sent the e-mail on to me is a supporter of the just-passed Congressional compromise.

"I see the importance of having a level of approval and support within the Pentagon and the Military itself to ensure our respect following implementation," he said. "I would much rather wait another year and it come from our military leaders, than do it now, which would make the service members feel it was forced upon them, thus bringing a certain respectability to the process from within."

He's also quick to point out the hypocrisy in the e-mail's wording and questions the message the commanders are sending the troops. "I do not think it wise for leaders in the Military right now to be writing, 'many of you were disappointed'," he said.

"Of course they forgot to mention that many of us are not disappointed, and it still angers me that they refer to straight service members as 'those most affected,' when in fact they are not. They may be, but personally I have seen no effort on the behalf of the Pentagon to speak with those of us who truly are 'those most affected'."

----Original Message----
From: General Officer Management Office (GOMO)
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010. 2:29 AM
Subject:SA/COS Sends: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Importance: High


We know many of you were disappointed in the House of Representatives and Senate Armed Services Committee votes on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Understandably, such an action taken before the men and women of the Armed Forces were consulted could be seen as a reversal of our commitment to hear the views of our Soldiers and Families before the law was repealed. It should not be.

You should know that the amendment passed last night does preserve our prerogatives to provide our informed advice to the Secretary of Defense and the President before the law is repealed. It contains a provision that the amendment will not go into effect until the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff complete the review and certify that the implementation of the policies and regulations to implement the repeal are consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention.

Please get this information to your soldiers and Families and ask them to resist that urge to think that this is a "done deal" and that their input is unimportant. It is imperative that they continue to provide their candid responses to the review team. We remain committed to hearing your views and concerns conveying them to our leadership before going forward on such an important issue in a time of war. Also remind them that the current law remains in effect.

On this Memorial Day weekend, we thank you and your Families for your service. We ask that, at some time over the weekend, you pause and remember the more than one million men and women who have given their lives for this country over our history.

George W. Casey, Jr. John M. McHugh
General, United States Army Secretary of the Army
Chief of Staff

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: FOUO


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It's becoming more and more clear that we have given the anti-gay forces a real gift with this so-called compromise - it's a poison pill. It conveys a message of "repeal first, then look at the study and/or get input from the troops." That's how they'll spin it.

We have only 58 votes in the Senate. It's filibuster time, and if it makes it that far we can't win.

Conservatives will use this opportunity to suggest that Congress shirked its responsibility to "make laws" and we "don't respect the troops." We made it easier for them.

This is Obama-styled "pragmatism," that saves face but has no courage of conviction. Equality should never be negotiated or compromised.

My take is that they just wanted to assure soldiers that their input is important. Otherwise, they might have a hard time getting people to participate in the study.

I note that it's easy to put a happy face on things like this when it's not your issue. I notice that I'm a lot jumpier when it comes to ENDA, and get upset easily when people start saying "oh, calm down, they just want to make sure the process is done right."

I doubt that was the intent. They want to influence the media narrative (send this to how many hundreds of thousands of people and someone will leak, as someone did) so that they keep on saying that the DADT Deal is disrespectful to the troops.

Like the emailer and Bil pointed out, if these generals actually cared what the troops thought about anything, the military would be run quite differently.

Personally I think it is all just more BS. I know full well given the military mindset that such studies have been done already, and/or they have enough data from other troops in say NATO who are from countries that allow Gay and Lesbian people to serve openly with respect. It is just another Right Wing Bigoted stall tactic to keep "things" the way they were back in the 1950s or 1960's like some feeble minded person who reverts back to the childhood days. Well the "good old days" were not so good for many of us. Until we all are at least given the hope of being treated equally the entire premise under which this country is supposed to be founded is a lie for at least some.

So, maybe we should contact the supportive Senators and ask them not to vote for this compromise. If the Senate kills it, then we are back to where we were before this stupid compromise was thought of.

The comments by Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen George W. Casey are beyond inappropriate. Imagine if they pertained to allowing Blacks to serve in the military. Or women, Jews or any other group. These so-called leaders would be immediately removed from active service.

What nobody seems to be addressing in any of the coverage I've read about this issue is "how can Mullen and gates be given veto power on the legislation?"

Although technically they are serving as advisors to the president, the implication is that even after the bill is passed and the study is complete and everything plays out, it can all be undone if these two decide squash it all. This can not be constitutional.

Jayne A Maynes | May 31, 2010 2:27 PM

I think back on my days in the USAF and what would have happened had I been caught just trying to find a few moments of time for myself to be me. If I had been caught dressed at home in a manner that to me was comfortable, the condemnation and ridicule would have been endless and instead of an honorable discharge I would have received a dishonorable discharge. For these two supposedly reasonably and responsible heads of the military to make such a comment is about what I would have expected from back in the time I served. For such a comment to be made now however is wrong and shows nothing but prejudice and bigotry (it showed bigotry and prejudice back then also but it was accepted bigotry and prejudice at the time).

I remember when DADT was put in place and all the controversy that came with it from the so called Christians, about how the "Homosexuals" would take over the military and none of our military personal would be safe from the "Homosexual" indoctrination. Nothing has changed the world is in danger of those "Dirty Homosexuals" taking over with all their false ideas of what is natural and good.

I couldn't help but think of how it is that the argument remains the same decade after decade from the Extremists, how science is over looked if it doesn't line up with old beliefs. Using the right-wings logic the world is still flat, and if you go far enough you will fall off the edge. Columbus and Magellan are both heretics condemned to hell for saying they have proof that the world isn't flat but round. It is time our military moved into the 21st century and the constitution truly did protect the rights of everyone who is a citizen regardless of differences.

Michael @ | May 31, 2010 2:35 PM

With respect, the final authority to "repeal" no longer rests with Obama/Gates/Mullen. Sen. Byrdshit amended the amendment such that Congress can refuse to accept their "certification" that an end to discharges/or partial end to discharges[again, ASSUMING they DO ultimately support same] would not result in the Apocalypse.

Which means that IN THE highly unlikely BEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES an end to discharges could not happen before February 1, 2011. And that doesn't take into account Gates having said they would need AT LEAST a year to "implement," which would mean discharges wouldn't stop before February 2012.

BYRDSHIT: “I did not want to blindly assent to repealing this law without giving the Congress an opportunity to re-examine the concerns of our Armed Forces and the manner in which they are being addressed.”

“Therefore, I worked with the Senate and House Leadership, Senators Lieberman and Levin, Congressman Murphy, the Administration and the Department of Defense to include a provision in the proposed compromise amendment that would delay the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell’ policy for 60 days after receipt of the findings of the Pentagon Review and the determination of the proposed policy and regulation changes.

This period of time will allow the Congress, along with the American people, to
thoroughly review the proposed policy recommendations to ensure that these changes are
consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion,
and recruiting and retention for our Armed Forces."

In short, Byrdshit and his fellow bigots can still block "repeal."

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 1, 2010 2:17 AM

Look at it this way.

If causalities in Obama's ugly war of occupation in Afghanistan outpace the military's ability to recruit from the ranks of those not wanting to go to jail or of mercenaries from other countries in search of a fast track to citizenship then the ban may be lifted. For Obama and Gates any new source of cannon fodder would be infinitely preferable to reinstituting the draft.

On the other hand soldiers in Afghanistan could emulate the tactics of soldiers in Iraq. " WATERTOWN, New York, Oct 24, 2007"Ill-Equipped Soldiers Opt for "Search and Avoid... Iraq war veterans now stationed at a base here say that morale among U.S. soldiers in the country is so poor, many are simply parking their Humvees and pretending to be on patrol..." By Dahr Jamail, Inter Press Service News Agency. Or they might copy the tactics of their comrades in Vietnam, which were a good deal more militant, and in some cases violent - fragging. In Vietnam those tactics placed military discipline in doubt, which is why Nixon pulled them out and didn't look back.

If casualties stabilize Gate and Obama could keep the policy or later reinstate it.

Don't be a causality for BP and Haliburton. Don't enlist, don't fight and don't translate.

@ Rev. Steve... What nobody seems to be addressing in any of the coverage I've read about this issue is "how can Mullen and gates be given veto power on the legislation?"

From what I have been reading, just as Obama is following along in Bush's wars and Guantanamo.. with little to zero change in DOJ policy... He also is following George Bush's cowardly kowtowing to the military in ANYTHING they want! He has yet to understand or redefine the role of CIC.

I want him to learn from other countries, or even TRUMAN. and get enough spine (won't use the other term) to become our CIC.

Will add this from a fb friend: Liked it!...
"Tuesday June 1...Congress phone service opens at 7;00 AM EST. The last I checked Secretary Gates and all the Members of the JOINT Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon where employees of the US in the A. The ones who sign off on their checks work in the building with the big dome in Washington DC. My high school civics book says those folks work for US. I know I sound like a one song band but,
The White House wants to wiggle. The Pentgon wants to jiggle. BUT IF the LGBT COMMUNITY WILL HOLD SOLIDLY TOGETHER we will help the Management be firm. DADT ENDS FULL EQUALITY IN THE US ARMED FORCES to be passed NOW. Implementations following study. ABC of Gov 101."

One more for input from FOX News:
Is It Time to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?
Published May 25, 2010

Share your thoughts. First, answer our question below. Then click "Leave a comment."

Is It Time to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?

Yes -- There's no better time than now to right a wrong.

No -- It's irresponsible to take up this issue while our men and women are in harm's way.

Undecided -- But with all the problems that need solving, I'm curious about why the Democrats are in a rush on this one.

I don't care.

Total Votes: 174,669

Return To Poll

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 1, 2010 11:41 AM

The 1993 DADT 'compromise' was a sick deal concocted by Clinton, Sam Nunn and other Democrats and the outgoing Republican JCS Chair, Colin Powell.

Powell's actions at that time were unconstitutional and treasonous. Clintons actions were typically slick and slimy. Sam Nunn's were typical of a Dixiecrat.

The recent actions of Gates and others in his JCS are also unconstitutional. Gates, in telling telling Congress what they can and cannot do is recapping Powell's role just as Obama is recapping Clintons.

It's nothing new.

The Praetorians reportedly proclaimed him Emperor as someone they could control since he was considered an imbecile.

The Senate, terrified of the Praetorian Guard and hopeful that Claudius was, indeed, an imbecile, confirmed Claudius as Emperor.

His first act as Emperor was to reward 15,000 sesterces to every soldier in the Praetorian Guard..." (Caesar and Christ, p. 269, Will Durant)

janice josephine carney | June 1, 2010 1:28 PM

I do not recall Present Truman allowing the military to vote on ending racial segregation before he signed the executive order ending it.

Rick Sours | June 2, 2010 8:44 AM

There is a very strong argument for delaying the repeal in that there are alot of inidviduals in the US military who are from countries where culturally or religiously, homosexuality is wrong. There is the concept that to repeal would offend them and not respect their ideas in terms of diversity.