Alex Blaze

Support the troops

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 07, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, gays in the military, letter, LGBT, military, Robert Gates, Senate

The hold up on DADT is in the Senate, according to an article by Kerry Eleveld:

"Clearly the world changed dramatically with the Gates letter," said one Hill veteran who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Everyone is trying to figure out how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again."

The source said that prior to Gates's letter, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee was just one to two votes shy of the 15 needed to attach a repeal measure to this year's Department of Defense authorization bill in committee. Folding repeal into the must-pass Defense funding bill in committee would place the onus on those who oppose repeal to find 51 votes to strip out the measure on the Senate floor.

Multiple sources worried that moderate Democrats such as Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia would now be nearly impossible to sway.

"When people are asked to vote against the recommendations of the Defense Secretary, that makes it a very heavy lift," said the source.

Well, that's part of the problem with naming a Republican to be Defense Secretary. Even if they aren't being offensive for the sake of being offensive and appear to be normal human beings, they still throw monkey wrenches to prevent liberal change. It's how they roll.

The House is saying they won't do it if the Senate won't:

They both agreed that Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, chief sponsor of the House repeal bill (H.R. 1283), had the 216 votes to pass the measure as either a stand-alone bill or an attachment to the Defense authorization bill on the House floor.

"The question is, does the House want to take a vote on something that might go nowhere in the Senate?" said the second source. The House has already passed more than 300 bills this Congressional session on which the Senate has yet to act, and as the midterm elections loom, some members worry that every new vote is a potential liability that could be turned against them.

Of course. Rep. Obey just retired for that reason; he said he got sick of explaining to people the arcane rules of the Senate that prevent anything left of the GOP from getting done.

But here's something I found particularly interesting. I assumed up to this point that the White House had been coordinating their message with the DoD on this issue, but Eleveld's source implies otherwise:

The source said there were likely two schools of thought in the White House on the matter.

"Some are probably saying, 'We made deal with Gates and we just need to stick with that.' Others might be saying, 'The community is kicking the crap out of us right now and we need to come up with a Plan B.'"

The "deal" the source referred to was the probable understanding that the Pentagon would be allowed to steward the implementation process according its own timeline. The source added that finding a "Plan B" would require the White House to reengage Secretary Gates on the matter of repeal in order to find common ground.

They say they're feeling the pressure, but something tells me that it's not enough for them. Discussing a bill with someone who supposedly works for the president is still in the "too much risk/work" category, so I find it hard to believe that they're at all committed to repeal.

Ultimately, though, it's just saddening to see all this deference to the Pentagon. They're not in charge. The Constitution doesn't put them in charge here, and Gates's excuse that the troops will feel disappointed and rejected and just stop working because they're so sad that Congress didn't listen to their opinions is just laughable (I don't recall a year-long study of the military happening before the Iraq War to find their opinion on the topic).

The military isn't a democracy, and the institution that is a democracy (Congress) actually has the power here. There are some countries where the military has more power than the legislature, but we're not supposed to be living in one of those.

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Michael @ | May 7, 2010 4:08 PM

On January 13, 2009, a week before Obama was sworn in both as President and Commander-in-Chief, with shared-with-Congress Constitutional authority over the military, SLDN representatives gay vets Rear Adm. Alan Steinman [Ret], Capt. Joan Darrah [Ret], and DADT victim David Hall, along with nongay Vets Rear Adm. Jamie Barnett [Ret] and MCPO Vince Patton [Ret] met with members of the Obama transition team regarding DADT. They urged him not to reappoint Gates and that repeal be inserted in last year's DEFAUTH bill if standalone bills proved unviable.

Of course, he did reappoint Gates and refused to put repeal in last year's DEFAUTH just as he's refusing to this year after having surrendered complete control of DADT to "Repeal Over My Dead Body" Gates.

Like so many other signals that he was not going to be the Messiah for the Gays so many insisted he would be, most ignored the fact that Obama started backtracking on repeal, saying he had to please the military first, as early as Spring 2008. And a Feb 1, 2009, "Boston Globe" article, quoting unnamed Pentagon sources, was a virtual script for the charade we've seen in the last three months:

"They said Obama, who pledged during the campaign to overturn the law, does not want to ask lawmakers to do so until the military has completed a comprehensive assessment of the impact that such a move would have on military discipline. senior officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said staff officers for Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been told it will be several months at the earliest-possibly not even this year-until the top brass will be formally asked to weigh in on a change in policy. And even then, he said, the military has been assured it will have wide latitude to undertake a detailed study of how a change in the policy would affect the military.”


I see nothing in the pull quote or Eleveld's entire article that disputes what the 15-month old "Boston Globe" article predicted: this has been a conspiracy from Day 1 between the White House and the Pentagon.

Nor do I see anything in the article that indicates it has ever sunk into her that the Pentagon's "timeline" is NOT just delaying repeal until after their homophobic "study" is done Dec. 1st, but delaying stopping discharges until long after that. Gates to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb. 2nd, in response to a request from Sen. Udall for his assurance that the completion of the "study" would be the "endpoint" for DADT:

"[I]f legislation is passed repealing don’t ask, don’t tell, we would feel it very important that we be given some period of time for that implementation, at least a year."

It's one thing for so many in the community to continue to be bending over for Gates, believing that we HAVE TO bargain with this unelected bigot, it's another to not even understand how much it will take to fill his hunger for shitcanning as many gays as he can for as long as he can.

At least another 100 invisible-to-us gays have been kicked to the unemployment lines while most in the community have remained under ObamaRahm's and Gates' hypnotic spell. His letter last week finally totally ripping off his phony mask of empathy made a lot of people angry for the first time.

If they stop denying just how broad and far back the conspiracy goes maybe they'd get angry enough to do something to make repeal actually happen.

Michael you can add this to your citations....Just in from the Washingto Blade....

If you read it carefully you will see that Gates is dictating to Congress. Insurrection by Gates without a doubt. He should be removed immediately. Otherwise he is going to "inform Congress how to legislate".

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | May 7, 2010 4:47 PM

The hold up is in the White House. DADT isn't legislation, it is Department of Defense Directive number 1304.26 and it doesn't take an act of Congress to repeal and replace. Want to know what's holding up the repeal of DADT? Ask the "fierce advocate". He's the only one who can do it unilaterally.

Gina9223 | May 7, 2010 4:50 PM

First of all, no I do not like this foot dragging. The law is un-American from its inception.

Second, the totally false supposition that they need to ‘ask the troops this vitally important question’ is total and pure bullshit!
They didn’t ask ‘us’ if we wanted to reduce our retirement pay scale 20-35% retroactively in the 90’s. They didn’t ask us if we wanted to change the retired military medical system retroactively reducing it to nothing.
They didn’t ask us if we wanted Tricare for retirees to become a bare bones useless policy that now requires monetary input for it to be somewhat useful.
They didn’t ask us to reduce and limit time in grade and service time (You must advance up the pay grade ladder by certain time limits or be discharged)
They didn’t ask us if reducing training for new enlistees was a good idea and when the senior enlisted pushed back for more training we were not listened too.

Thirdly, while you may think that the ‘DADT Inbox’ will be stuffed to over flowing from non-military people, that’s not likely to happen. It requires a thing called a CAC card. Only active military, their dependants, military contractors and military civilian workers can obtain a CAC card.

Fourth, you must use your CAC card to log in to access the site to make a comment. ‘Anonymous’ is a misnomer obviously.

Fifth, I tried to access the site. It’s a dead link with no re-direct.

So, lets recap.
They don’t want to hear any comments. If they do some how get a comment they want to know who’s not listening to Gates and toeing the line so they can go tell them what they need to say. Even if they don’t do that, they’ll still do what ever the hell they want to same as always.

This president simply does not under stand that if he does not lead, they will not only not follow but will not take any order from him or congress seriously. I see this defense budget being a bit more than normal just to plactate the dod.

Michael @ | May 7, 2010 8:00 PM


To prove their upmost objectivity, the Department of Defense has announced creation of a special opinion box for "Soldiers On Their Way to Afghanistan We Know Are Gay But Will Only Discharge If They Make It Back to the States Alive."

To make certain input will only come from Fagroes, in addition to a Common Access Card, you will will need to input photo scans of

1. A DVD of "The Wizard of Oz"
2. Barbra Streisand's Christmas CD
3. Madonna's "Greatest Hits"
4. A screen cap of a Lady Gaga video.
5. A pair of Calvin Klein underwear
6. A shirtless photo of one or more of the following:

a. Jake Gyllenhaal
b. Robert Pattinson
c. Hugh Jackman
d. Any Brazilian "model"

7. Carson Kressley's autobiography
8. RuPaul's autograph in lipstick
9. An entry bracelet from any circuit party
10. A bareback porn tape

Nota Bene: only Fagroes need apply. The opinion of Lesboes remains irrelevant under all circumstances per longstanding DOD policy that any woman who wishes to join the military is "either a dyke or a whore or both."


The fate of Repeal of DADT is still those "six Senators."

I saw that Levin sent a letter to Gates asking him to clarify whether or not the study was about whether to repeal DADT or how to repeal DADT.

Gates responded that it was the latter. Levin thanked him and said he'd press on to get those votes still needed in the Senate.

Michael @ | May 8, 2010 11:34 AM

Dear Mr. Fox:

What are your intentions in relation to the chickens?

Thank you.
Farmer Brown.

Dear Farmer Brown:

Oh, just hangin' out; havin' a few beers; watchin' the big game on TV. Pay no attention to those bloody feathers.

Testosteronially yours,
Mr. Fox.

Bil the problem is in the details of the response. I posted a URL to the response up above. Gates is still trying to dictate to Congress using the language "to inform". If I were Commander in Chief I would discharge him immediately for insubordination.