Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Right wing group produces "survey" opposing lifting of "don't ask don't tell"

Rowan Scarborough has an attention-seeking front page story in the Monday Aug. 23 Washington Times, “Survey counters backing of gays in military; GOP pollster targets voters,” link here.

I checked the site of the “Military Culture Coalition” (link ) The “MCC” (definitely not to be confused with “Metropolitan Community Church”) reports that it took its own survey of about 1000 “likely voters”. The site gives remarks from Center for Military Readiness president Elaine Donnelly. I think when you consider the name of the political pressure groups, the influence of the military on society as a whole (particularly in the past with the draft and deferments) becomes alarming. I suppose that the "MCC" (here) would even want to go back to "asking".  (And, by the way, the military actually stopped "asking" during the Vietnam era draft in 1966.)

The Times story discusses maneuvering to bring the bill to end the 1993 “don’t ask don’t tell” law to a vote in the Senate in September after Congress returns, which could be complicated, along with a House-Senate final version. In the meantime, the Pentagon has been conducting a survey of military members to prepare how to implement a new climate allowing gays to serve with some openness.

The Wikileaks incident by a reportedly gay soldier PFC Bradley Manning does not help, although the particular soldier’s sexual orientation may have actually been largely irrelevant to his engineering the leak. And it’s a little hard to believe there weren’t other military or civilian personnel involved (regardless of sexual orientation), given the size and scope of the information. The underground popular support for the leaks and the need for reporting on what has been going on does not negate the danger that the leaks pose to civilian intelligence sources in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effort to remove the names from the documents is definitely appropriate.

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