Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finally! DADT Study Results Released: 70% of Troops are Okay With the Gays

The long-awaited results of the Pentagon Working Group's ten-month study on the impact of DADT repeal were released yesterday and the blogs, the 24/7 newsies and everyone but Aunt Flo has been dissected and commenting on every nuance.

The bottom line is that, just as we learned from the early leaks of the results, 70% of troops surveyed believe that repeal would have either positive, neutral or minimal impact on troop readiness, moral or military preparedness. Defense Secretary Roberts Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen both endorsed the report and urged members of the senate to pass repeal this year.

Gates expressed concern about a legal challenge working it's way to the Supreme Court, saying, “What is needed is a process that allows for a well-prepared and well-considered implementation – above all, a process that carries the imprimatur of the elected representatives of the people of the United States. Given the present circumstances, those that choose not to act legislatively are rolling the dice that this policy will not be abruptly overturned by the courts.”

As you may recall, on September 9th, U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that DADT is unconstitutional and ordered a world-wide halt to enforcement of the policy. An appeals court later issued a stay in Phillips' order pending an appeal, but for about a week, the gays could serves openly and shockingly enough, nothing happened.

What this all boils down to, is what we all have known to be true for over a year now: if repeal doesn't happen before the Republicans obstructionists return to power in January, it may be many years before it can happen legislatively. The president and military leaders know that DADT is unconstitutional and that if it gets overturned by the courts, there will be no grace period. They don't like the idea of not having control over this thing.

Gates' message to fence-sitting senators like Virginia's Jim Webb, who have so far been withholding their support for repeal, is that this ship is sailing with you or without you. If you get on board now, you can help chart the course. If not, you'll be left at the dock while someone else takes the helm and kicks it into overdrive.

Gates specifically mentioned John McCain's call for more and more and more studies. Yahoo News reports, "In this respect I think he's mistaken," Gates said. "This does provide a sound basis for drawing conclusions on this law...It's hard for me to imagine that you could come up with a more comprehensive approach." According to the story, The Grumpy Old Man could not be reached for comment, but I'm sure we'll see him tonight on Fox "News" scowling, ranting incoherently and shaking his cane at the neighbor kids.

Now it's up to us, boys and girls. We've got to keep up the pressure on our senators to pass DADT repeal now. Call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121
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