Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

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

Question of the Week: Have you applied for a federal job whose application period closed very shortly after it was announced? If so, tell us what happened. E-mail your answer to federaleye@washingtonpost.com and please include your full name and hometown. We may use your answers in Friday's Post.

Cabinet and Staff News: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will tour flood-ravaged Rhode Island today. Despite rumors to the contrary, officials say TSA Acting Administrator Gail Rossides will stay on for now.

AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT:
Congress misses deadline for payments to black farmers: The White House and lawmakers say they want to pay the restitution, but farmers in the case say the government has been slow to deliver.

CENSUS BUREAU:
Few to count in the Census, but all eager to get It done: Wolford, N.D., a speck of a town surrounded by fields of wheat, barley, soybeans and flax, where, census officials say, every person who received a questionnaire has already filled it out and sent it back.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION:
Millions of H1N1 vaccine doses may have to be discarded: The prospect of millions of doses of the once-precious vaccine being discarded is the latest twist in the $1.6 billion program -- the most ambitious immunization campaign in U.S. history.

COMMODITIES FUTURE TRADING COMMISSION:
Regulator seeks to rein in energy market trading by big Wall Street firms: The nation's commodities regulator is proposing to limit the vast amounts of oil, natural gas and other vital goods the world's biggest investment firms can buy and sell.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
When military moves a war, there are no shortcuts: In trying to speed 30,000 reinforcements into Afghanistan while reducing American forces in Iraq by 50,000, American commanders are orchestrating one of the largest movements of troops and matériel since World War II.

Fuel tanker bidding may be extended: The deadline for bids on a $35 billion contract for refueling jets will be extended by 60 days if the European maker of Airbus provides notice that it wants to compete.

FDA:
Drug firm investigated FDA officials: The drug company, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., paid more than $100,000 to a New York-based private investigative firm, to uncover the information about the agency's director who oversees the new-drug approvals.

GOVERNMENT WORK/LIFE/OPERATIONS:
Obamas tout benefits of a flexible workplace: President Obama smiled when he said it, but there was no doubt he was serious with his comment: "I do not want to see the government close because of snow again."

GSA to purchase 5,600 hybrid vehicles this spring: The purchase will double the federal hybrid fleet to more than 11,100 cars and trucks.

IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:
Rushed from Haiti, then jailed for lacking visas: An agency spokesman said 30 Florida detainees were “being processed for release,” and that 35 others who had arrived since the Jan. 12 earthquake, some by boat, were also being held in detention centers around the country.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
NSA eavesdropping was illegal, judge says: It's the strongest legal repudiation yet of the George W. Bush administration's program of warrantless wiretapping.

NASA:
NASA plans big boost to climate research budget: The budget increase reflects both a campaign promise by President Obama to focus far more on the threat of climate change and what NASA officials called a "philosophical shift" on the issue.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
Even the Postal Service had to use e-mail in delivering proposal: Postmaster General John E. Potter told reporters Monday that the Postal Regulatory Commission requires him to submit his plans electronically.

SEC:
SEC may require more details of wrongdoing to be disclosed in settlements: It's a move that could reshape the enforcement of laws against corporate crime.

SUPREME COURT:
Citizens United challenges the strident side of Supreme Court ruling: The group is trying to get around one part of the ruling it didn't like.

Supreme Court says lawyers must tell immigrant clients of deportation risk: The court ruled 7 to 2 that the Sixth Amendment guarantee of an effective counsel extends to advice about the risk of having to leave the country.

TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT:
Truck, bus drivers face texting ban: The proposal would make permanent an interim ban announced in January, applying to drivers of buses and commercial trucks over 10,000 pounds. The drivers could face civil or criminal penalties.

Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter | Submit your news tips here

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 1, 2010; 6:10 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Federal government to buy 5,600 hybrid vehicles
Next: NOAA worker loses ear in attack

Comments

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

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company