Friday, January 29, 2010

Pentagon to start moving on recommendations on how to end "don't ask don't tell"


With a definite change in tone from earlier stories (as in the Washington Times), Craig Whitlock and Ed O’Keefe report in The Washington Post today (Jan 29) that the Pentagon will present recommendations for graduated and incremental steps in reversing “don’t ask don’t tell” to Congress. The link for the story is (web URL) here.

The recommendations would be likely to deal with subtle problems such as Internet profiles, as well as enforcing rules against fraternization.

The hackneyed problem has always been modesty of “privacy” in the barracks, back to Sam Nunn’s speeches back in 1993. But in practice this is rarely an issue. The problems are more subtle: among men, sometimes a man who seems less conforming and displays little heterosexual interest is perceived as an indirect or “existential” threat to the heterosexual capability of others because of layers of meaning.

In his 1992 book “Honor Bound”, Joseph Steffan reported spending his pre-senior summer cruise on a submarine with no hint of discomfort at all despite the close quarters and hot bunking; there were plenty of chess games.

The New York Times has an editorial today Jan. 29, "Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell':, link here. The Times writes "The 1993 law was always pointless and cruel, but today, when numerous polls show that a solid majority of Americans oppose it, “don’t ask, don’t tell” feels ever more like the relic of a bygone era. There is evidence that the attitude of military officers is shifting. All that is lacking is political will."

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