Thursday, January 12, 2017
Mattis (DOD) and Pompeo (CIA) promise Senators to keep hands off social changes on gay issues
James Mattis, Trump’s appointment for secretary of Defense, was questioned on his feelings about social changes in the military by the Senate this morning. This followed questions where Mattis seemed to disagree with Donald Trump on having an accommodating policy toward Russia and Vladimir Putin. The Russian 2013 anit-gay law did not come up, but Mattis is probably aware of how the law was a prelude to other aggressive behavior by Putin. The Senators certainly must also be aware of Mattis's book ("Warriors and Citizens") where Mattis does discuss how the military has had to accomodate changes in social values and even covers the past military draft in a manner similar to my own writings. Mattis did mention the "volunteer" force very early today.
Mattis said that what consenting adults do in their own bedrooms should not be the government’s business, even in the military (when not on duty). His attitude seemed to be more like the “Don’t Pursue” idea that Bill Clinton had coined in 1993. He said he would not go looking for problems, or seek to change existing policies with regard to gays, women, or (probably) trans, unless problems are brought to attention. He seemed to be aware that in exceptional circumstances women and transgender persons are capable of serving in various special forces, even it is statistically uncommon (which “Milo” once said on Breitbart). In rare cases, trans (for intelligence deception) could be desirable for a mission.
Ted Kopan, of CNN, however opinionated that Mattis left wiggle room for right wing demands for rollback of policies.
Later, Mike Pompeo was questioned about the CIA. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked whether he would leave his personal religious views on homosexuality our in supervising employees, and offer equal treatment to LGBTQ employees (who have been eligible to work for the CIA since 1996).