Sunday, January 31, 2010

Senate Armed Service Committee to hold brief hearing on military gay ban Feb 2; CMR "don't ask don't tell" is a misnomer


On Tuesday February 2 the Senate Armed Service Committee with testimony from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen on the possible repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”. Defense Secretary Robert Gates may also appear.

The column Politics edited by Marc Ambinder on the Atlantic Wire has this story.

I received an email on AOL from “newsissuetalent” quoting the Center for Military Readiness as saying “ As CMR has been predicting for months, the Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on the issue of gays in the military—mislabeled with the catch-phrase “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” on Tuesday, February 2. The only witnesses will be Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Given the very public arm-twisting from President Barack Obama in his State of the Union Speech last week, we do not expect either witness to defend current law, Section 654, Title 10, which states that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. They are duty bound, however, to provide honest answers if their personal opinions are asked.”

I could not find this statement on its website yet. Here is the closest reference.
The closest I could find there was two links with archives of articles: “Problems with Gays in the Military”, here and “Homosexuals in the Military” here.

My gut reaction is that, if you are disqualified from participating in common defense for essentially a “private choice”, then you are a second class citizen, and other rights could be expropriated later. Ironically, that’s part of the story of my own life (amd I am 66 now). That’s why CMR’s belligerence disturbs me.

CMR’s president is Elaine Donnelly.

CNN has featured some interviews on "don't ask don't tell" over the weekend, with Don Lemmon interviewing Ed Rollins and former defense secretary William Cohen. This morning NBC Meet the Press interviewed Rep John Boehner from Ohio, who opposed changing the policy in the middle of "two wars".

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