Thursday, January 15, 2009

Robert Gibbs says that Obama will end "don't ask don't tell"

Robert Gibbs, the incoming press secretary for President-elect Barack Obama, told reporters, in answer to a question from “Thaddeus” from Michigan, that the incoming president will lift the ban on gays in the military and end the “don’t ask don’t tell.”

There have been numerous media stories since Jan. 14; a typical detailed story appears on Fox News, by Carl Cameron, here. “You don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer often. But it’s, ‘Yes’.”

Nevertheless, Obama seems to be treading very carefully on the issue, not wanting to cause an immediate confrontation in Congress as did President Clinton in 1993. He will probably bring up arguments similar to those on my blogs, that it can have an effect on other service areas and affects the ability of every citizen to share risk and responsibility equitably. I expect to hear this from him soon.

The story also appeared as a brief on p A2 under “Washington” in the conservative paper The Washington Times.

Some politicians say privately that Obama may take this up in 2010.

Update: January 18, 2009

On Saturday night, Anderson Cooper, speaking with David Gergen at the Newseum in Washington DC, waiting for Obama's train arrival, mentioned Gibbs's statement and Obama's campaign promise to end "don't ask don't tell". Barack Obama will meet with the Joint Chiefs on Wednesday to set up his military priorities in Iraq, Afghanistan, and domestic operations for the war on terror; some people feel that this is an opportunity for Obama to mention the problem. There's one real good reason: We're hurting badly on linguistic intelligence, and the DADT policy has become one of the causes. We just might have missed some clues before 9/11 because of the policy.

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