Thursday, July 24, 2008

House Committee holds vigorous debate on "don't ask don't tell"

SLDN (Servicemebers Legal Defense Network) has published a new brief for the public explaining why the 1993 “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law should be repealed. It is fairly concise and the link is here.

On Wednesday, July 23, the House Armed Services Committee (Committee (Subcommittee on Military Personnel) held hearings on the possibility of repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” law as part of Marty Meehan’s bill, “The Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007”. The hearings were covered live on C-Span. The took place in Room 2118 of the House Office Building at 2 PM July 23 2008. SLDN's home page provides a link to the House bill material with an "In Congress" link on the left side of the page.

Erica Warner (and Pauline Jelinek) covered the event for The Associated Press, in a story carried in The Washington Post online here. The AP and Washington Post provided a detailed slide show which the visitor can see (and there are additional materials and visuals available at the Post today by keying in “don’t ask don’t tell” in the newspaper’s search box on the home page). Retired Marine Staff Seargent Eric Alva testified. Alva had a leg amputated after a severed wound from a land mine explosion shortly after the United States started its invasion of Iraq in 2003 (a historical event now covered by the HBO film series “Generation Kill”) HRC has a cover story for ALVA here.

Some moderate Republicans are coming around to the “log cabin” idea that the Ban is harmful to national security. Generally, most observers believe that the repeal has a much better chance of occurring if Barack Obama is elected than John McCain. Log Cabin Republicans has a story on the hearings here.

(See also, earlier posting July 17).

Update: July 28

SLDN provides a video clip from the hearing at this link.

There are links to testimony of Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman (Ret USA) and Captain Joan E. Darrah (Ret US Navy) before the Subcommittee at the SLDN press links here.

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