Contributor's note: I live in the Norfolk, Virginia, area and know many discharged under DADT. Hence, my emotions on this issue are high.
I have previously drawn the parallel between Harry Truman's firing of General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination and what appears to be Defense Secretary Gates' insubordination on the issue of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. After Gates' latest in your face insubordination, if Obama does not fire Gates, then we can more or less assume that Obama is tacitly supporting Gates' efforts to throw LGBT service members under the bus - all the while hoping to avoid having to exercise any leadership and delaying the issue until next year.
At that point, of course, if the Democrats lose a number of seats in Congress in the November midterm elections, Obama will then use the reduced control of Congress as a further excuse to hang LGBT Americans out to dry. As I have noted before, at this point, I have no confidence in anything Obama says on LGBT issues. Sadly, I fell for Obama's campaign act of being different from other politicians. At this point, the only difference I see is that he's a smoother liar.
Here are highlights from CNN on Gates' figuratively flipping the bird to Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, et. al., who want Congressional action this year (I also find it telling that Gates' comments indicate he doesn't care for the feelings, careers or lives of LGBT service members. Only straights apparently matter in his book):
Defense Secretary Robert Gates is pushing back against liberal criticism that he trying to slow walk the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Rather, Gates told CNN the change needs to be done in a way that does not disrupt the armed services.
Legislating a change to the policy before the military's review was done "would send a very negative signal to men and women in uniform that their views on this and how it should be done, don't matter," Gates added.
Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, recently called on President Obama asking for "immediate action" on the planned policy change. In the open letter to the president, Dean expressed concern that the Defense Department could, "indefinitely delay the possibility of moving forward with the repeal of DADT until the Pentagon completes a review of the policy."
The Palm Center has previously issued a position paper that indicates that Gates' delayed and dragged out process is absolutely the wrong way to proceed. I'd also note that if Harry Truman had Obama's lack of guts, the U.S. military might well still be segregated on racial lines.