UPDATED: Thoughts on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy

The Obama administration is going full court press on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy for gays serving in the military. Of course, Congress must pass a new law to overturn it, but Obama is also directing Robert Gates and military leaders to do everything they can to work around the existing law until, God forbid, Congress changes the law.

As a refresher summary on the DADT policy:

The 1993 law enacted by a Democrat-controlled Congress and signed by President Clinton prevents homosexuals from serving openly. The policy also prohibits the military from asking recruits on the front end if they are homosexual.

It is also pertinent to note (my emphasis):

It [DADT] is, by the way, similar to the way heterosexual relations are treated as well.  Men stay away from women altogether in uniform.  It isn’t practiced, it isn’t discussed, it is frowned upon – in theory.  This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen, any more than DADT would imply that gay sexual relations don’t happen.  It does mean that there are certain requirements in the military that comport with good discipline, and they are enforced to the extent possible. 

……But in the end, DADT has been a mainstay of operations for a while now, and revoking this policy might mean more than a little change to the military….

…..For a branch like the Marines which has as their cornerstone removing differences and enforcing sameness (or at least relegating them to unimportant status – e.g., no one can remove language barriers), it probably will have a significant affect.

So as a part of discipline, “open” heterosexuality is also something that the military frowns upon.   I see no problem with that, just as I see the DADT policy as something that enforces discipline among military members.  And the argument for promoting “sameness” rather than differences is a valid and important issue to address when speaking of the repeal of DADT.

And let’s not forget the bottom line–the US Military has a mission to defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic.  That is the ultimate goal.   Issues and policies that can hinder or overshadow that goal should not be taken lightly or decided upon by the whims of “social change” agents.

 Obama had this to say in the State of the Union speech on January 27:

Obama declared during the Jan. 27 State of the Union address he would work this year “with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”

Well, as is his usual schtick, Obama’s making a statement that is simply not true in order push his point of view.  The DADT policy doesn’t permit the open discussion or practicing of homosexuality.  But any homosexual may serve in the military and they do.  So it is disingenuous to tout the repeal of DADT based on a lie that gays can’t serve in the military.  This line is regularly used by those who wish to repeal DADT.

In addition, many who serve have no problem serving alongside homosexuals, just as many have no problem serving alongside women.  However, many of those same people are opposed to doing away with the DADT policy.

Herschel Smith at Captain’s Journal writes:

 It’s appropriate to convey the thoughts of at least a few contacts active in the military.  My contacts – who by the way aren’t opposed in principle to the idea of gays serving alongside them – seem to pan the idea pretty much across the board.

It is also interesting to note that many in the military are against changing the DADT policy.  And many say they will not re-enlist or continue serving in the military if the DADT law is changed to promote homosexuality in the military (my emphasis):

A Military Times survey of subscribers released in December 2008 found that 58 percent of active military personnel oppose repealing the current policy. Additionally, if the policy is overturned, nearly 10 percent said, “I would not re-enlist or extend my service,” while another 14 percent said, “I would consider not re-enlisting or extending my service.” A 2006 Zogby poll found only 26 percent of military personnel who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan supported overturning the current policy.

So, it clearly seems that vast majorities of those serving in the military are against the repeal of DADT.   Why does it seem reasonable to repeal it if that is the case?

And just like many social issues of today, why is it so “urgent” to do this now?  Our military has existed for well over 200 years.   It is quite arguable that America, for many years, has had one of the best fighting forces on earth.    And it has all been achieved without mandating by law that the sexual preferences of military members must be out in the open in the name of “integrity” and “rights”.  

Just as the culture, society, traditions and founding documents of this country have sustained us for over 200 years without so-called “gay marriage”, the purposes and mission of the US Military and its members have excelled for over 200 years without open homosexuality.

Why is it so darned important now — in 2010 — in the midst of two wars to heap a huge left-leaning social change onto our military, particularly when those serving honorably don’t want it? 

I believe that DADT should not be repealed.  I do understand that decent people can disagree on this policy.   It is not hateful or bigoted for those with strong religious beliefs or lengthy military backgrounds, as two examples, to oppose gays serving openly in the military.   And it is not unreasonable for me to understand the viewpoint of those who may believe that the repealing DADT is worthwhile.

But, as in the gay marriage debate, many who push for the gay agenda, do so by getting personal and calling the opposition names instead of understanding the values for which they may be espousing.

Good example comes from blogger CDR Salamander.  CDR Salamander is for repealing DADT, but can see where Admiral Mullen’s statement on the subject offers nothing positive, but rather makes its personal by accusing the oppostition of being without “integrity”.  From CDR Salamander:

I support the repeal of DADT – but I also think that those who want to keep it are on balance people with the best interests of our nation at heart. Good people can disagree on issues of substance.

I don’t know what he was trying to do – but Admiral Mullen just made it personal, and that is sad.

“No matter how I look at the issue,” Mullen said, “I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” Noting that he was speaking for himself and not for the other service chiefs, Mullen added: “For me, it comes down to integrity – theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.”

I suppose that the very Navy that has promoted the Admiral to a high rank, has been without integrity for its entire existence then?   What does that make Admiral Mullen for spending his entire career in leadership of an institution that, in his words, is lacking integrity?   And as for the lying — DADT does not require anyone to lie.  There is no asking, so there is no lying.

Herschel Smith at Captain’s Journal has a view against repealing DADT….and he doesn’t engage in personal attacks against those who think otherwise.  His reasoning makes sense:

Now for my own views.  I thought about this position within the context of the only exception that I can think of, namely, marriage.  Men and women are allowed to be married in the military.  But marriage is not performed by the Marine Corps or Army.  It is performed and recognized within and by states which have laws that govern such things.  Imposing homosexual marriage on a branch of the service just to say that there is no exception to the way gays and heterosexuals are treated under DADT is a false dilemma.  It is imposing a foreign problem on the military – a consideration that should be irrelevant to the conversation.

In a republic such as ours, laws are changed by legislative process which usually begins with advocacy.  One group or another wants a law changed or enacted, and that group presses the issue.  If gays want to marry, changing DADT isn’t the way to go.  Changing laws is the way to go.  No gay marriage (insofar as DADT applies) in the military (similar to no gay marriage in most states)  is an output (or outcome) of the debate, not an input to it.

In summary, DADT is the perfect solution to the issue.  There is to be no sexual relations with other service members, and no discussion of it.  This is true regardless of orientation.  DADT is a subset of that regulation, not an exception to it.  It doesn’t prevent gays from serving in the military.  Its revocation would serve no useful function, and therefore TCJ opposes its revocation unless someone can come up with something better than the false mantra that some service members must “lie about who they are.”

I’m sure this is a debate that will rage on this year.  But regardless of where you stand on the issue, you must ask yourself, “Why now and why make major social change in the midst of two wars, not to mention the pressing issues at home?”   Makes no sense.

UPDATE 2/8/10: From the blogger Villainous Company comes some interesting statistics on discharges from the military over the course of the last 30 years.  Result:

Note that in no year did DADT discharges reach even one-tenth of one percent of the active forces.

If all the losses since 1994 were combined into a single year, they still don’t come to even 1% of the total force structure.

At Villainous Company they also compared the DADT stat of  less than 1/10th of 1 percent for discharges to non-deployable women because of pregnancy.  Depending on the branch of armed services 5-26% of women are non-deployable due to pregnancy.

So VC asks the legitimate question of the military commanders who believe the military would be so weakened by continuing DADT:

If the military has decided it can easily tolerate having anywhere from 5-26% of our forces in a non-deployable status due to pregnancy, why are losses of under 1/10th of one percent unsupportable?

The answer is because repealing DADT is 99.99999% political and an attempt at further social experimentation in the military at the expense of troop cohesiveness, enlistment, and retention.


Senator Inhofe says what many are thinking: “I just don’t know whose side he’s on…”

In response to Obama’s Muslim-coddling and apologies for America during his speech at Cairo, Eqypt last week, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) makes a statement that most of us are thinking:

“I just don’t know whose side he’s on…”

Now, of course, several of the group-thinking leftists in the blogosphereare simply appalled. Most are spewing hateful insults to Inhofe without really debating the facts about Obama’s policies and what Inhofe actually said.  That is largely because much of the time blinded Obama supporters and Leftists (not necessarily mutually exclusive) can’t argue based on the facts. 

Here is what Infofe said:

Sen. Jim Inhofe said today that President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo was “un-American” because he referred to the war in Iraq as “a war of choice” and didn’t criticize Iran for developing a nuclear program. Inhofe, R-Tulsa, also criticized the president for suggesting that torture was conducted at the military prison in Guantanamo, saying, “There has never been a documented case of torture at Guantanamo.” …. “I just don’t know whose side he’s on,” Inhofe said of the president.

Frankly, many of us, including those in government roles, have had similar thoughts.  While we, nor Inhofe, at this point, could prove or even outright state that Obama is squarely on the side of our enemies, it is a rational thought to wonder which side he is on. 

There are several ways to look at it – is he on the side of freedom or oppression? for or against the rights of Muslim women?  supportive of his country’s history and Constitution or ashamed of it in such a way that our country must be radically “changed”?

Here’s a few more thoughts in that direction in analyzing just whose side Obama sounds like he is on:

Why does Obama, for all the world to see, choose to validate “the Muslim world”, but says his own country is not a Christian nation or even acknowledge its Judeo-Christian roots?

The Asia Times had a response to Obama’s Cairo speech that hits the nail on the head regarding Obama’s validation of the “Muslim World”:

The Asia Timessaid Obama made a mistake by speaking in Cairo. “Why should the president of the United States address the ‘Muslim world?,” it asked. “What would happen if the leader of a big country addressed the ‘Christian world’? Half the world would giggle and the other half would sulk.”

 “To speak to the ‘Muslim world’ is to speak not to a fact, but rather to an aspiration,” the paper stated, “and that is the aspiration that Islam shall be a global state religion as its founders intended. To address this aspiration is to breathe life into it. For an American president to validate such an aspiration is madness.”

Does Obama love his country or does he hold such disdain for the greatest country on earth that he can’t help but apologize and put us on equal footing with “The Muslim World” – particularly the part of that “world” that uses violence to spread its nasty tentacles throughout the Middle East, Europe and around the world?

Mark Steyn says it best about Obama addressing the “Muslim World”, as if the “Muslim World” is somehow on par with a sovereign and free nation, the United States.

Overseas, the coolest president in history was giving a speech. Or, as the official press release headlined it on the State Department Web site, “President Obama Speaks To The Muslim World From Cairo.”

Let’s pause right there: It’s interesting how easily the words “the Muslim world” roll off the tongues of liberal secular progressives who’d choke on any equivalent reference to “the Christian world.” When such hyperalert policemen of the perimeter between church and state endorse the former but not the latter, they’re implicitly acknowledging that Islam is not merely a faith but a political project, too. There is an “Organization of the Islamic Conference,” which is already the largest single voting bloc at the United Nations and is still adding new members. Imagine if someone proposed an “Organization of the Christian Conference” that would hold summits attended by prime ministers and Presidents, and vote as a bloc in transnational bodies. But, of course, there is no “Christian world”: Europe is largely post-Christian and, as President Barack Obama bizarrely asserted to a European interviewer last week, America is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” Perhaps we’re eligible for membership in the OIC.

Mark Steyn also hits on Obama’s continued apologies for his own country:

Once Obama moved on from the more generalized Islamoschmoozing to the details, the subtext – the absence of American will – became explicit. He used the cover of multilateralism and moral equivalence to communicate, consistently, American weakness: “No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.” Perhaps by “no single nation” he means the “global community” should pick and choose, which means the U.N. Security Council, which means the Big Five, which means that Russia and China will pursue their own murky interests and that, in the absence of American leadership, Britain and France will reach their accommodations with a nuclear Iran, a nuclear North Korea and any other psychostate minded to join them.

Is Obama clearly ignorant of Islam in our early history or he is being disingenous, at best, with the facts of our history?  He portrayed Islam as something embraced by our forefathers, when, in reality, they were studious of Islam in an effort to understand their enemy even then.  Obama had this to say in his speech in Cairo:

Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” … And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.

From   Andy McCarthy at National Review, the history of Jefferson’s Koran is centered around Jefferson’s need to understand his enemy, not because he embraced the words of the Koran.  Obama’s reference to Keith Ellison’s use of Jefferson’s Koran is wholly disengenuous and his history is revisionist, just as it was when Ellison touted the fact at his inauguratoin.

[I]n 1786, the new United States found that it was having to deal very directly with the tenets of the Muslim religion. The Barbary states of North Africa (or, if you prefer, the North African provinces of the Ottoman Empire, plus Morocco) were using the ports of today’s Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia to wage a war of piracy and enslavement against all shipping that passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. Thousands of vessels were taken, and more than a million Europeans and Americans sold into slavery. The fledgling United States of America was in an especially difficult position, having forfeited the protection of the British Royal Navy. Under this pressure, Congress gave assent to the Treaty of Tripoli, ….

The conclusion on why Thomas Jefferson owned a Koran is best summed up by David Barton in “An Historical Perspective on a Muslim Being Sworn into Congress on the Koran

Recall that Jefferson had been personally exposed to Islamic beliefs when attempting to secure peace between America and Muslim terrorists. Having been told by the Muslim Ambassador that the Koran promised Paradise as a reward for enslaving, killing, and war, Jefferson inquired into the irrational beliefs that motivated the Muslim groups and individuals warring against America.

 Is Obama for or against freedom?  Is it freedom in the Muslim world for women to wear the hajib?  Or, more correctly, is it freedom for women to have the choice to wear the hajib or not?  Most Muslim cultures and states dictate (through violence, death and other means) what the women wear, who they may converse with, who they may marry, and almost every aspect of their lives…..but Obama says that the US will fight for the woman’s right to where the hajib?!?!

Caroline Glick makes this point:

He spoke of the need to grant equality to women without making mention of common Islamic practices like so-called honor killings, and female genital mutilation. He ignored the fact that throughout the lands of Islam women are denied basic legal and human rights. And then he qualified his statement by mendaciously claiming that women in the US similarly suffer from an equality deficit. In so discussing this issue, Obama sent the message that he couldn’t care less about the plight of women in the Islamic world.

Is he for or against the rights of Israel, our allies, to maintain its land and its growth in the settlements?  Obama wants a two-state solution where Israel gives up its land to those who have already stated that Israel has no right to exist.

 Mark Steyn shreds the notion that we must stop the growth of Israel into the settlements:

On the other hand, a “single nation” certainly has the right to tell another nation anything it wants if that nation happens to be the Zionist Entity: As Hillary Clinton just instructed Israel regarding its West Bank communities, there has to be “a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.” No “natural growth”? You mean, if you and the missus have a kid, you’ve got to talk gran’ma into moving out? To Tel Aviv, or Brooklyn or wherever? At a stroke, the administration has endorsed “the Muslim world’s” view of those non-Muslims who happen to find themselves within what it regards as lands belonging to Islam: the Jewish and Christian communities are free to stand still or shrink, but not to grow.Would Obama be comfortable mandating “no natural growth” to Israel’s million-and-a-half Muslims? No. But the administration has embraced “the Muslim world’s” commitment to one-way multiculturalism, whereby Islam expands in the West but Christianity and Judaism shrivel remorselessly in the Middle East.

It is disheartening to endure the apologies for this country made by our President.  This country, almost from its inception, has been the beacon of good in the world.  Domestically, in a few short months of this administration’s policies, we are already weary of unconstitutional takeover of private companies, union political paybacks, and “change” to a bankrupt, Socialist nation….all being implemented at lightning speed….

And we’ve yet to even endure Obama’s healthcare takeover with accompanying rationing and taxes, energy tax, and the repercussions of his “sudden” Muslim roots and awakening — and now the coddling of “the Muslim World” and their anti-freedom mindset –people who will no more respect this country than Obama seems to respect our Judeo-Christian history, traditions, and US Constitution.

In reference to immigration, Teddy Roosevelt had this to say about allegiance and loyalty to one’s country back in 1919:

“…..this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American….There can be no divided allegiance here.  We have room for but one flag (in this country)….We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.”

In a different twist on Inhofe’s statement, my question is:  Where does Obama’s one soul loyalty lie?