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Gates, Mullen to testify on 'don't ask'

By Ed O'Keefe

The Senate Armed Services Committee will quiz Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, Tuesday about the possible repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy at a previously scheduled budget hearing.

Gates and Mullen are already booked to discuss next year’s Pentagon budget with the committee at 9 a.m. Tuesday, but will stay for a separate discussion, scheduled to begin at noon, about the possibility of repeal, said aides to Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

Lawmakers could have asked Gates or Mullen about the issue during the normal budget discussions, but Levin instead opted to hold a separate conversation on the matter. He told to reporters earlier this week that Obama was likely to mention his support for a repeal during the State of the Union address and that the White House had asked him to delay holding hearings on the matter until after the speech.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) supports repealing the policy, but aides said Levin will take the lead on any Senate action on the matter.

President Obama call for a repeal of the 17-year-old policy accelerated the plans by gay rights groups to turn a possible repeal into an election year issue.

On Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign announced plans to launch a $2 million national grassroots and lobbying campaign targeting lawmakers whose vote would be needed to pass a repeal. The group has retained the services of veteran Democratic strategist Steve Elmendorf to coordinate the lobbying efforts, a spokesman said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Chickenhawk Barry Obama who never spent a day of his life in military uniform, lets the Rainbow coalition call in some chits.

The only question that should be asked is what is the effect on military readiness of having homos in the service? Political correctness be damned.

Posted by: screwjob11 | January 28, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If this passes or even gets to a vote the Service Chiefs must either resign in mass or have this on their conscience forever. This is gut check time.

This is pure pandering to a group with no morals, ethics and with a behavior so aborrent they have to hide it from everyone.

Posted by: KBlit | January 28, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

screwjob11: Did Obama go AWOL and desert his unit in time of war? That is a capital offense, BTW. What an example for the men women killed in Iraq. The SOB lied to his country and us to get us to join in his Excellent Adventure in Iraq, but we can't duck out until the shooting stops like the gutless coward in the White House.

KBlit: You must really hate the majority of Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets who favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. Will you join the Westboro Baptist Church and picket funerals for fallen service men and women? You would be a great recruit for al Qaeda. Allah willing, you could hate the armed forces so much you could surpass Maj. Hassan, your fellow America-hater.

BTW, the conservatards in the UK predicted a mass exodus when the UK allowed gays to serve. Didn't happen, of course. But if it gets rid of the Boykins of the world, great!

Posted by: Garak | January 28, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I hate to indulge the homophobes and extremists, but it's time for the people of truly high morals and ethics to stand up.

Name-calling the President or gay folks doesn't address the issue. "Homos" have served with pride and distinction - and in rare cases, without, just like heterosexuals - since the services came into being; those on the inside know this perfectly well. The effect on readiness of a repeal would be negligible: it would be an order and would be followed. (And besides, every LCpl has an openly gay uncle now: it's 2010. I'd bet most 21 year olds are cooler with it than the rest of us.) Rules of professional warrior behavior are governed by tradition and the UCMJ, and violations, by whomever, would be appropriately punished.

Pretty sure the "Rainbow coalition" disappeared in about 1991. The people standing up now are people of high morals and conscience, homos and heteros. Make up your mind, KBlit: if their "behavior [is] so abhorrent they have to hide it from everyone," I guess we can repeal the thing and not worry about the gays coming out, right?

No, the truth is, repeal it and those in the military wouldn't have to hide anymore. It'll take some adjusting, but the U.S. military can do it. It has done it before.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

screwjob11 wrote: "The only question that should be asked is what is the effect on military readiness of having homos in the service? Political correctness be damned."

You think they're not there already?

Posted by: gasmonkey | January 28, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

KBlit wrote, "This is pure pandering to a group with no morals, ethics and with a behavior so aborrent they have to hide it from everyone."

More than any other institution, we need our armed forces to be a meritocracy, where actual excellence is rewarded with promotion, and actual dereliction of duty
is punished.

It would be immoral and unethical in that context to *assume* that people whose sexual preferences differ from your own will fail the test of excellence and prove derelict.

Your argument, if it can be called that, serves no good purpose except to make yourself feel superior to people who are different than you.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 28, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

I thinks it's no coincidence that Washington DC and the Pentagon are part of the vulnerable northeastern part of America in case of a nuke attack.

Christian soldiers should have a hard look on this and take a very long leave of absence or they too will be annihilated by God's wrath.

It's no coincidence either that Bill Clinton and Obama who are pro-gay are also the same people who are opposed to missile defense system.

This is a clear proof that truly, stupidity is self-destructive.

Wake up soldiers, the Pentagon is becoming a stupid organization.

Posted by: spidermean2 | January 28, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget chickenhawk George W. and Dick Cheney... started two wars and never fought in one. They had other people sacrifice for them during Vietnam.

Posted by: VinceDC | January 28, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

screwjob11 and kblit are fine examples of blind stupidity, perfect Republican material.

Posted by: mjcc1987 | January 28, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Always good to feel 'loved.'

I even have the standard one each gay, minority and transgender friend.

And all along I thought I was a fairly liberal Archie Bunker - Al Bundy sorta guy.

Gee who knew?

Posted by: KBlit | January 28, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Gotta love those patriotic teabaggers, calling for American soldiers to abandon their posts when elected officials make decisions the teabagger minority doesn't like.

I can't recall encountering their type in US history outside those who advocated secession during the leadup to the Civil War.

Possibly just a coincidence that we have a black president as this movement issues its summons to sedition.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | January 28, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

The idea that allowing homosexuals to openly serve in the military would have some kind of deleterious effect is simply ridiculous. The only reason that they cannot do so now is because of the narrow minded bigots in control of our military policies. Most armies in the developed world allow gays to serve openly and have never reported any problem.

When I was in the military, there were several people in my unit that were gay. Some were baptists, and others were catholic, and quite a few were alcoholic. I never noticed, ever, anyone caring what someone believed (or did) in their spare time. The only metric I ever saw was how someone did their job.

Posted by: reussere | January 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Alright, gays in the military AND self-perception: that's two things you are wrong about.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

The Congress and the White House are full of gays and lesbians so why not populate the military likewise? Homosexuals are no different than heterosexuals, some are bad and others are worse.

Posted by: usnret742w4 | January 28, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

KBlitt, if you have a gay and a transgendered friend, doesn't that mean you have two minority friends right there?

Add to the list of things you are wrong about: straightforward addition.

Seriously, who has ONE "minority" friend? You live in Siberia or something?

Care to actually address the topic with . . . what are those things called again . . . umm, arguments?

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse


An excellent use of Gates' and Mullen's time.

Posted by: WylieD | January 28, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, making comments and arguments on U.S. military policy in front of Congress isn't part of their job descriptions at all.

Someone, anyone, make a case! Y'all are worse than the folks on the Caps Insider thread: at least they argue (ridiculous) point and (ridiculous) counterpoint.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse


"Yeah, making comments and arguments on U.S. military policy in front of Congress isn't part of their job descriptions at all."

You're confusing what Gates and Mullen will be doing with testifying on policy that is relevant to national security.

Posted by: WylieD | January 28, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Obama now needs another billion dollars for the building of separate sleeping quarters and shower rooms for gays in the military.

Maybe another tens of billions more for future sexual harassment cases.

Posted by: spidermean2 | January 28, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Wylie, no, I'm not. If you don't think it's at least relevant that Congress - and by extension, we - hear their honest views (and yes, I do believe that's what we will hear: call me naive) on this particularly relevant national security matter, then you are even less qualified to comment on this post than you first appeared.

Nope and nope, spidermean. Cheap shots, worthless arguments. C'mon, is there anyone out there but the idiots and crazies?

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

"Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the PUNISHMENT they deserve for their perversion." (Romans 1:27)

Well, if the Pentagon wants to test this Bible verse, let them. Let's see how this organization will last.

All I can say is that for as long as stupidity reigns in the Pentagon, Christian soldiers should have no dealings with it or they too will be annihilated.

The Word of God does not fail.

Posted by: spidermean2 | January 28, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

You can always enlist again, once the stupidity is GONE.

Posted by: spidermean2 | January 28, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse


"C'mon, is there anyone out there but the idiots and crazies?"

Now you're projecting.

Posted by: WylieD | January 28, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

ANND the answer to my last question is an unequivocal no. Thanks spidermean. Guh.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Really, Wylie?? You sure? (see: spidermean above)

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, man, make a case: give me two reasons why the repeal of gays in the military - a policy we already have in the military, allowing gays to serve - is not relevant to current national security concerns.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Ladies and gentlemen, let's welcome General and Mr. Jones".

Yup, not MRS but MR.

The General then gives MR. Jones (his "wife") a kiss before giving his speech to the whole U.S Army.

Onwards then to their doomed assignments.

What a pity. No Christian soldier should be placed in such a scenario.

RESIGN! OR BE DOOMED.

Posted by: spidermean2 | January 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Let me rephrase: two reasons why hearing the SecDef and Chairman of the JCS's views on "Don't ask, Don't tell" and it's possible repeal is not relevant. Any way one might feel about the policy and the CinC's propasal that it be repealed, are their views at this moment not germane?

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse


"Seriously, man, make a case: give me two reasons why the repeal of gays in the military - a policy we already have in the military, allowing gays to serve - is not relevant to current national security concerns."

And now you've overheated. This doesn't even parse. Take a break and enjoy the rest of the evening. No one here is convincing anyone of anything. It's just an echo chamber.

Posted by: WylieD | January 28, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Just responding to the statement you made. No one's overheated - quite calm actually. Quitter.

(Though you're right about it being an echo chamber, which is unfortunate. You'd hope these would work like other comments sections.)

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, no one but spidermean. Dude's "over-somethinged" and under-medicated.

Posted by: jcanix | January 28, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Spidermean sounds like a 14 year old boy grappling with his own sexuality.

But, in other news:
Is it normal for generals to walk before troops and make out with their significant others hetero or other? And the premise of the "General and Mr. Jones" scenario seems poorly thought out anyway. What if the general is a woman?

Posted by: genericOnlineID | January 28, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the new directive will only be a problem with less than 1/3 of combat army/marines in the Afghan theater and far less everywhere else. That said drumming out a surgeon saving wounded warriors because of sexual preference is ignorant and poor policy. Give a waiver for in theater CIB wearers to use don't ask, don't tell and congress will change the policy. Even a staunch conservative like Goldwater wanted to let them serve. A far greater problem are the heterosexual rapes and sexual assaults against women in the services. Gay population in the military allegedly is about 3%.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 28, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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