Friday, June 06, 2008

Military policy: Former Senator Sam Nunn, an architect of "don't ask don't tell" says he is open to reviewing the policy now


Planet Out is reporting that former Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), one of the original proponents of “don’t ask don’t tell” in 1993, says now that he personally feels open to reconsidering the policy in view of social changes during the past fifteen years. The obvious inference is that he positioning himself for a possible appointment in the administration if Barach Obama wins the election. Obama has supported lifting the ban, as has Hillary Clinton. The link is here.

Nunn started attacking the idea of lifting the ban in the media, as with a “Good Morning America” appearance, right after Bill Clinton won the election in November 1992, well before the inauguration. His original argument was something like, with respect to military members, “they don’t go home at night like you and I do. They have no privacy.” Shortly after Clinton’s January 1993 inauguration (I was at the parade that day) Nunn started calling for hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Later, before the Senate (shortly before President Clinton’s July 19 1993 speech at Fort McNair) he screamed in front of the Senate, “if you have stated your status, you have described your conduct.”

Since leaving office, Nunn has become active with the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and helped produce a 45-minute dramatic film “The Last Best Chance” about the dangers to the public from loose nuclear material around the world, especially the former Soviet Union. I have obtained a DVD from the organization and the film is compelling.

Charles Moskos, Northwestern University military sociology professor, was also an architect of "don't ask don't tell" but has, since 9/11, argued that the policy should be repealed and that a draft should be considered.

Picture: Former headquarter of the Campaign for Military Service, an organization that preceded Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and that lobbied to lift the ban in 1993, near Dupont Circle in Washington.

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