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Eye Opener: Should Army secretary report gay troops?

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Happy Thursday! Army Secretary John M. McHugh has decided to effectively ignore the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy by not pursuing discharges of soldiers who recently told him they are gay.

"What I'm trying to do is show the troops that, yes, it's okay to talk about this," McHugh told reporters on Wednesday. "I just felt it would be counterproductive ... to take disciplinary action against someone who spoke openly and honestly."

As colleague Craig Whitlock reports today, McHugh has reasoned that if he hadn't asked, they wouldn't have told.

The secretary also said that the Pentagon won't discipline a three-star who urged members of the military and their families to lobby Congress for a repeal of the policy. The general admits his comments were "inappropriate" and thus won't receive a letter of reprimand. This as a former Marine general apologized this week for criticizing the Dutch military for its inclusion of gay troops.

Should McHugh pursue discharges against the troops he heard from? Is he setting a bad precedent by not doing so, or just acknowledging the inevitable?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2010; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Since when is it acceptible for generals and the Secretary of the Army to change or comment on military policy? It is the Commander and Chief, and Congress that set policy. DADT is a deplorable policy and Mr. Obama must start doing his job and show leadership on this issue if we are to rid the country of this counter-productive law. Congress seems ready to act and only needs a push from the Executive Branch.

Gary Colangelo
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Posted by: garycolangelo2 | April 1, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The general should do what Obama tells him. His loyalty is to the President.

Posted by: jiji1 | April 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

There are many more than 2% of the force who are gay, though all gays can disappear among the rest of the guys bragging about sexual exploits. That is what is so disturbing to all the others, that their best buddy could be gay and, worse, that if he's outed, everyone else would suspect him as well. It is not the presence of gays in the military that is so disturbing but that they are friends with others and so the threat of guilt by association looms. Pshrink stuff: what about those self-denying and self-hating gays who make a big stink about gays in the military? J Edgar Hoover was openly homophobic as was Terry Dolan (conservative PAC founder) and the recently outed California legislator. Was goes on there? Who is going to obtain accurate figures about gays in the military? No one, Not ever, even if DADT is removed.

Posted by: DecoratedVeteranOfficer | April 1, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I think what people forget is that while "Secretary of the Army" might sound very military his capacity is a CIVILIAN one. Therefore he is not obligated to report military personnel under dadt in the first place.

Posted by: kudo451 | April 1, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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