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Live from the Senate Armed Services Committee: Day 2 of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell hearing

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By Adam Bink

This morning, we’ll commence the 2nd day of hearings on the Pentagon Comprehensive Working Group Report and Senate consideration of legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell statute. Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Cartwright will testify, along with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard chiefs. Updates will scroll from the top. If you missed yesterday’s coverage, you can find it here. I am also tweeting highlights occasionally via @adamjbink.

11:58: Unfortunately, that’s it for me today- I need to jump on an urgent noon EST conference call, but it appears to be good timing. Sen. Lieberman and Levin are the only two Senators left, all others having departed. Sen. Levin is asking a few more questions. Sen. Collins was present, but no longer is- she may or may not come back. All the key players aside from Collins have been heard from.

If you’re looking for more coverage, my colleagues Chris Geidner and Waymon Hudson are doing the best tweeting, and AMERICABlog Gay is also doing a pretty good live blog and chat, so I’d encourage you to head over there. I’ll be writing up some thoughts and commentary later today.

11:55: Reply to Brown’s question: We’re all ready and we’re not shrinking violets. Amos: We have great confidence in DOD leadership to do this the right way. Brown: Casey, I gotta hear from you before our time is expired. Casey: I’m very comfortable that we have had and will have access to [The Three Certifiers]. Brown concludes by thanking everyone. Today’s comments were not as positive, but still leaves room for hope that he’ll be with us.

11:50: Brown continues, it seems to me no one is opposed to repeal. I do have very serious concerns about battle readiness/effectiveness. Cartwright: Each of us have represented the areas that the mitigation has to handle. This issue of, can we put one more stone in the rucksack, leaves some questions. Brown: Only issue that matters to me is safety/security. I’m hopeful that if in fact we do move forward with this at some point- [Jeh Johnson] told me march would be when next court battle takes place- I hope that when/if DADT gets repealed that you will be given the proper respect/input with Prez, Mullen, Gates who will sign the certification do. So let’s say it’s time and it’s repealed… I need to be made aware of/comfortable with is that you will due your utmost to convey to The Three Certifiers that yes, we have a plan for education/implementation/strategy. But with the battle units, they’ll be left as is, but when they come home, we’ll implement that training/education. I think it would be detrimental to go overnight, too disruptive. I’m basing that on everything I’ve learned. Is anything I’ve said there, sirs, that you feel needs to be corrected?

11:47: Brown starts off by bleating about the need to focus on jobs, as Wicker did. Pledged to have an open mind, learn, try to understand the intricacies of this very important decision. Honored to meet/speak with you, Petraeus, McChrystal, et al. I’ve been in the military 31 years, so I get this issue more than others. As a JAG, I read rules/regs. Never seen a voluntary survey. I’m confused still why it wasn’t a mandatory survey, given how critical this survey was. Any thoughts on why the survey wasn’t mandatory? Casey: Don’t know. Cartwright: We use surveys for various purposes. We thought this was a good way to sample the force.

11:45: If my counting is correct, Sen. Scott Brown will be up next. Given his comments yesterday, (I discussed here ICYMI), it will be interesting.

11:40: Sen. Hagan asks about certification, eliciting the usual responses, and about ambiguity resulting from current court cases in an effort to point out that Congressional repeal is preferable. Service chiefs concur.

11:34: I got back just in time to hear Sessions say “we live in a great country with lots of different views and lifestyles.” Curses.

11:28: Sen. Sessions begins, which means it’s time for my blood pressure medication a bathroom break. Deride amongst yourselves.

11:26: Sen. Manchin, a critical swing vote on cloture, is up. He asks if this will be a cost-effective measure. Casey replies that we have to understand benefits and how those will work- he’s no doubt referring in part to the recommendation of the report to provide benefits to same-sex partners of openly gay/lesbian service members. Manchin asks if it’s fair to say there will be an additional cost. Gen. Schwartz replies that the report estimates around $50 million for the entire armed forces. Manchin asks again about chaplains (this was his focus yesterday). Casey estimates 2,800 Army chaplains and that the attrition rate will be small. Gen. Schwartz agrees for USAF chaplains. The rest of the service chiefs agree. Manchin muses that sooner or later, repeal will take effect. “With that being said, if we took no action whatsoever… and the President as I understand it has the authority relating to promotion, retirement or separation of armed forces… if we don’t repeal this, would it still be in the purview of the President to act on this if he thought it was in the best interests of national security?” Amos says he doesn’t know. Another service chief says, “you may have come up with a question, Senator, that is above our pay grade.” It is very unclear where Manchin will fall on this as he concludes.

11:17: Via Twitter, the NYTimes’ Jeff Zeleny reports that President Obama just arrived in Afghanistan on a secret trip. Let’s hoping he remains involved in lobbying efforts.

11:15: Amos reiterates, in response to comments from Wicker, all that’s going on in his branch on his and his Marines’ plate, and how that makes right now a bad time to do this.

11:13: Just in over the wire, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have endorsed repeal this morning. Extremely good news. Their statement here.

11:10: Sen. Wicker muses about why we are here when our best military minds should be focused on two wars. Half the eyes in the gallery roll upward. Believes this was a political decision made in the White House. Says it reminds him of the time spent on health care debate with everything else going on.

11:03: Sen. Mark Udall, a strong, loud-and-proud repeal advocate, begins by pointing out additional surveys of service academies that had similar results to the CWGR, and how as long as the sample size is large enough, that in tandem with margin of error ensures a survey’s validity. In fact, he notes, the Marist poll staff wondered why the sample size was as large as it was.

10:57: Sen. Thune asks about certification, and service chiefs assure him certification is valued. He makes similar attempts as Inhofe did to get people to agree with fundamentally incorrect statements about repeal and the survey. By and large, the service chiefs tell him, uh, no, that’s not quite right, Senator.

10:55: Sen. Lieberman walks over to glad-hand and whisper with Brown, Collins. Work it, Holy Joe.

10:49: Sen. Webb asks, if we keep the present law, how will we overcome the dilemma of closeted service members serving in silence? No one seems to be able to respond directly or understand his question. Still, it’s promising to hear him say that, perhaps a sign of his evolution on this.

10:43: Over Twitter, several people noting that lack of pay raises and extended tours of duty are more likely to have an impact on retention than DADT. Point.

10:41: Sen. Chambliss asks about impact on readiness. Amos replies that it would impact combat forces, but not as much on remainder of armed forces.

10:36: Sen. Reed asks a long-winded question about the standards of open service. Casey makes weird comment about how knowing someone is gay is weirder than thinking someone is. Hm. Reed gets into reply starting by talking about mannerism and such. Weird exchange.

10:25: Inhofe asks Casey whether the referendum question re repeal should have been asked. Casey replies no. “This isn’t a democracy in the military.” Inhofe continues hunting for a supporter, asks Amos. Amos replies no as well; “I got the information I needed.” Inhofe keeps making statements and hunting for a service chief to agree with them. They all keep contradicting him. Thanks for the assist, Inhofe!

10:22: Inhofe asks about statistics re retention. Casey notes such statistics are overstated, and how it would be an acceptable risk. Amos agrees it’s overstated, “knowing Marines for 40 years”, and doesn’t sense such a mass walking-out-the-door. The tenor of Inhofe’s comments is that he’s searching for someone to agree with his argument. So far, no one is.

10:18: Sens. Collins and Hagan are now here. Lieberman goes onto affirm each of the service chiefs appreciates and understands the certification process. They all affirm they do. Inhofe up next.

10:17: Lieberman concludes that ultimately, “all 6 of you” favor repealing DADT; question is timing. Then goes on to point out the certification process. Lieberman is making a very smart, lawyerly argument in pointing out overall support; pointing out timing concerns; going on to explain that he understands those concerns, which is why he was part of the team writing legislation to make sure the certification process happens. Essentially, he is attempting to defuse their opposition.

10:15: Lieberman is pointing out how despite service chiefs’ opposition to repeal, they all said yes, they could implement repeal. Very smart. Goes on to point out the silver linings in Casey’s, Schwartz’s, Amos’ comments regarding how they ultimately believe the law should be repealed. Asks Amos his overall feelings on repeal and when it should happen. Amos replies that the law should be and will be repealed, just not when “my Marines are not singularly tightly focused on what they are doing in a deadly environment.”

10:06: McCain: “When you look at the report, it’s a lot like studying the Bible; you can draw most any conclusion.” He’s in fine form today. Asks Casey his “personal opinion about repeal at this time.” Casey: “Senator, I believe that the law should be repealed eventually.” Says he doesn’t agree that gay and lesbian service members don’t post an unacceptable risk. Casey: “I would not recommend going forward at this time given all that the Army has on its plate.” That is a lot more blunt than his earlier comments; it appears he is now the 3rd service chief to not support moving forward and bluntly says so. Asks Schwartz the same question, who repeats his earlier comments.

10:06: Sen. McCain is up. He wants to hear from the senior enlisted personnel responsible for training and implementation, theater commanders, which is just another way to get more hearings and more delay.

10:02: Levin Q re whether certification being a barrier is important. Cartwright: Prefers as much prep time for repeal, so supports certification. Levin appears to be simply emphasizing for those listening that the JCS Chairman and SecDef should give “reassurance”. Amos: “I think it goes a long way towards easing some of the pressure.”

9:58: Question from Levin to Casey on whether repeal depends on “leadership.” Casey replies that a leader won’t be able to devote full attention to all tasks if focusing on repeal, which appears to be a backhanded way of saying “there are more important damned things I should be worried about than this.”

9:52: Chairman Levin to Gen. Casey, asking if he’s discussed repeal with his counterparts abroad. Casey: In October, sat down with counterparts in about half a dozen other countries. They all said there was minimal disruption. They did, however, point out two differences (a) in almost every case, there was broad national consensus (b) in some cases, the countries actually had laws supporting civil unions. Levin asks Cartwright the same question, who replies that his counterparts told him repeal was a “non-event”. Notes that changes abroad occurred, in most cases, over ten years ago. Asks Roughead, who affirms the same. Asks Amos, who replies that he did not talk to such counterparts abroad. Emphasizes that US is involved heavily in combat when other countries may not have been. Asks Schwartz, who replies that while he spoke with counterparts, but does not believe that evidence is “necessarily compelling.” Asks Papp, who replies that the Coast Guard places service members on foreign ships who have integrated services, and there’s no effect.

9:50: Chairman Levin to Gen. Cartwright: Can you comment on Gen. Amos’ testimony and contrasting views, given your similar backgrounds as Marines? Cartwright: Repeats story yesterday from Sen. Collins of the Navy SEAL regarding the “guy who was the biggest and meanest and killed the most bad guys… but gay”. Discussing his focus on the over-90% statistic positive/mixed/no effect contrasting with the focus by other service chiefs on other statistics.

9:46: Overall, according to testimony, it appears four of the six individuals testifying today support moving forward with repeal at this time. Gen. Amos and Gen. Schwartz with the Marine Corps and USAF, respectively, do not.

9:44: Admiral Papp with the Coast Guard is discussing (a) the attention of the Coast Guard to this issue (b) concurs with recommendations in the report (c) how repealing “DADT” will improve, ultimately, his service… “continuing to serve [while closeted] is a choice they should not have to make” (d) how gay and lesbian service members serve with distinction in his serve (e) Coast Guard service members on the whole, he believes, find gay and lesbian service members acceptable

9:41: Gen. Schwartz (a) does NOT agree that the risk, as described in the report, to the force is low (b) Remain concerned with the study ass. with the risk of repeal… is low. That assessment is too optimistic (c) The problem of placing additional demands (d) I therefore recommend delaying full implementation and certification until 2012…”

9:39: General Amos is emphasizing (a) the value of the report (b) The infamous 45% statistic with regard to Marine opinion of repeal (c) The survey’s lack of reporting on risk to the force while combat operations are ongoing (d) How open service has “strong potential” for disruption and distract from an almost “singular focus” from preparing units for combat (e) “I cannot reconcile nor turn my back on the Marines… we asked their opinion and they gave them to us.” (f) How the Marine Corps will fall in line if the law is ultimately repealed (g) “My recommendation is that we should not implement repeal at this time.” That’s the blunt statement we’ve been expecting.

9:33: So far, those known to have concerns about repeal are discussing them openly, but ultimately emphasizing how their respective service branches can deal with repeal and do it effectively. General Amos is next, the most vocal opponent to date. Sens. Manchin and Burr have also now arrived.

9:32: Admiral Roughead is emphasizing “increased stress on the force” and concerns over showers and bunks and the importance of focusing on the minority who have concerns over this. However, he is also emphasizing report recommendations to address this. “Repeal of the law will not fundamentally change who we are, and what we do.”

9:28: General Casey, who in the past has been known as a repeal opponent, is discussing (a) how the force is already stretched (b) that repeal would have a negative effect on cohesion and morale (c) statistics regarding unit effectiveness and morale from the report (d) “As such, I believe that the implementation of repeal of DADT will add another level of stress to an already stretched force; two, be more difficult in our combat units; and three, be more difficult than the report suggests.

That said… the principles in the report constitute a solid basis that will mitigate the risks I just described. I do not believe the repeal of DADT will keep us from accomplishing our worldwide missions… we can… oversee the implementation of repeal with moderate risks to our force. So it’s my judgment that we could implement repeal with moderate risk to military effectiveness… the Army will work to finalize implementation plans and with the same level of service that we’ve [provided] to this country for over 200 years.”

9:24: General Cartwright begins his testimony. He is emphasizing how service members are fully capable of adjusting to open service by gays and lesbians. He is also reiterating Mullen’s and Gates’ argument regarding how important it is for Congress to repeal the law, rather than a judicial ruling striking it down. He is also emphasizing very clearly his support, in no uncertain terms, for repealing the law in his final words.

9:16: While McCain is pontificating in the same general manner as yesterday, here’s the bios of the service chiefs testifying today.
Vice Chairman Cartwright
General Schwartz- Air Force
General Casey- Army
Admiral Roughead- Navy
General Amos- Marine Corps
Admiral Papp- Coast Guard

9:12 AM: Chairman Levin has gaveled the hearing to order, introduced those testifying today, and reiterating the value of the service chiefs’ advice both from his own views and quoting comments to the same effect from yesterday’s witnesses. About the same number of Senators are present as were at this time yesterday. Sens. Brown, Wicker, Thune, Chambliss, Sessions, McCain, Levin, Lieberman, Reed, Webb, and Udall are here.

9:04 AM: The chiefs are here and Senators are still filing in. Another packed day today in the audience. As I wrote this morning over Twitter, I’m genuinely interested to see how much the JCS undermine the Commander in Chief in today’s hearings. They’ve spent the last year or so making public comments to that effect.

79 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for keeping us posted, Adam.

  • 2. Freddy  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Good Morning Adam, thanks for all your hard work and for keeping us up to date.

  • 3. Freddy  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Good Morning Richard, nice to have you here today, btw, I almost fell out of my chair with your response to my last comment yesterday about the porta-john.

  • 4. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Good morning Adam and P8TTs.

    scribin

  • 5. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Glad to have you back again today, Freddy. Glad you got a laugh out of it. To be honest, it was the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned McLame. Of course, since we are currently celebrating the Festival of LIghts at our house, I sort of feel an even greater emphasis on spreading the light of laughter and happiness. I will be in and out today on errands, but will catch up as I can.

  • 6. adambink  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Good morning everyone.

  • 7. anonygrl  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Good morning, and thanks Adam!

    And we KNOW McCain is going to jump all over "SEE SOMEONE SAID NO!!! That means we should not repeal it!" despite the fact that every single person who has had negative comments has tempered them with "but I think it could be implemented, and this study shows how."

  • 8. StraightForEquality  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Ditto.

  • 9. Shelly  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    We definitly need to do this!!! Way 2 many people in big business or wealthy think that they can buy the courts 2 do what they want them to do. WRONG!!!! NOT in da U.S.!!! It's about time some1 does something about this!!!

  • 10. Freddy  |  December 2, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Good Morning LLB

  • 11. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:04 am

    McCain is speaking and now asking that we ask other commanders their opinion, next he will as that they get the opinion of the USMC mascot the bull dog.

  • 12. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Wow it seems early for a post. I was hitting my snooze alarm when you were hard at work.

  • 13. anonygrl  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:27 am

    LOL I've already been to the dentist and had a tooth filled this morning. But I would much rather be in bed hitting the snooze, or at the hearings with Adam.

  • 14. adambink  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

    You said it. Me and 6:30 AM don't always agree.

  • 15. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Good morning…Good morororning to you & you & you…& especially you…time for coffee…. ; ) ….Ronnie

  • 16. Ann S.  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:45 am

    Good morning, Adam, and thank you!

  • 17. Franck  |  December 3, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Good evening everyone! (almost 7pm here, guh, gotta stop staying late at work)

    Just passing by to thank Adam for covering the hearings. I'd never know what was in them otherwise ;-)

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1260 days, as of today.

  • 18. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:09 am

    Does Sen. Wicker actually believe that these flag officers spend more time on the battlefield than in an office directing their staff?

  • 19. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Not sure if this was already posted but whatevs…..Rachel Maddow interviews Clifford Alexander, the first African-American Secretary of the Army & Proponent (supporter) of DADT repeal…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mhjHSI7AvE&fe

  • 20. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:11 am

    11:10: Sen. Wicker muses about why we are here when our best military minds should be focused on two wars. Half the eyes in the gallery roll upward. Believes this was a political decision made in the White House. Says it reminds him of the time spent on health care debate with everything else going on.

    He is completely ignorant to the fact that if it's done in the court…it happens overnight.

    Just like the religious right, they think if they can stop equality for homosexuals, we would all just vanish.

    Face it now rather than the consequences later. We are not going to disappear or suddenly stop fighting for our rights.

  • 21. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:13 am

    11:13: Just in over the wire, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have endorsed repeal this morning. Extremely good news.

    Awesome…also President Obama gave the troops in Afganistan a surprise visit this morning.

  • 22. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:24 am

    This was just posted on towelroad

    Rachel Maddow interviwes JD Smith, the co-director of Outserve an underground network of LGBT soldiers currently serving (at 2:20)…..<3….Ronnie:

    (Note: JD Smith is his pseudonym because he is sill an active soldier serving in silence)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP2HJpD86F8&fe

  • 23. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I would like to thank him, not only for coming forward, but for sacrificing himself for all of us & for this country….as well as all his colleges that are currently dealing with the same circumstances….soon they will be able to remove the veils….<3….Ronnie

  • 24. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:28 am

    Can Adam go smack Sen. Sessions and get him back to the issue at hand being DADT and not the tanker program. Just goes to prove that he is not relevant in this discussion

  • 25. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Here is another video from Rachel Maddow with a compilation of the 1st day of the DADT hearings……<3….Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQZcg1wPoY&fe

  • 26. adambink  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Not it. I cleverly realized Sessions' time meant it was time for a bathroom break.

  • 27. James Sweet  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:40 am

    “When you look at the report, it’s a lot like studying the Bible…"

    Except that the report doesn't say homosexuality should be punished with death. Or eating shellfish. Or wearing mixed fibers.

    Just sayin'….

  • 28. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Though I would love to see someone go smack him just for being himself, I would hate to see you escorted out of the building and charged with assault for smacking that really deserves it and then lose you as a valuable resource on the ground and especially this and other blogs.

  • 29. Bennett  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:51 am

    Focus on jobs? Military not reaching their recruiting goals? Can we put 2 and 2 together? Repeal of DADT creates jobs. I think those who are elected to congress should have to pass a minimum IQ test.

  • 30. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:52 am

    So what exactly the plural of "Sir"?

  • 31. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:56 am

    So should we start building an alter and throne for Sen Levin for his work in this matter?

  • 32. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Ok I guess the site doesn't like the embed code I was using. Check out the Daily Show clip from last night. Jon compares Jon McCain to a "famous" knight.
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-2-

  • 33. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Sirs

  • 34. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Thanks Adam for your time, I am sure that everyone here appreciates your hard work and commitment to the cause. Take care

  • 35. Sagesse  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I'm never going to catch up. Scribing to fully absorb later.

  • 36. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Sen. McLame just said that during his re-election campaign, no one told him to repeal DADT, that is was fine the way it was. I can tell you he didn't come down here and ask the troops. Of course, no one in their right mind would want to talk to him.

  • 37. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Um, I have an email from him – after I requested that he repeal DADT…so he just lied!

  • 38. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:23 am

    & um….Senator McCain….You're daughter pretty much told you to repeal it…on national television….liar liar pants on fire…. XP ……Ronnie

  • 39. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:35 am

    lol…your…not you're…whatevs you get the point…I need more coffee…..<3…Ronnie

  • 40. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 2:51 am

    The Daily Show –

    John McCain questions the accuracy of a 10-month survey about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

    This is funny!
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-2-

  • 41. DaveP  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Wow, The Daily Show AND Monty Python in the same clip??? It's the 'Turducken' of comedy!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turducken

  • 42. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Whatever happened to "Gentlemen"? When I saluted two officers and said "Sirs" I was corrected by them, from what I understand, if you are familiar or know them it is Gentleman, if it is a salutation, then it is Sirs, would that also be the general consensus?

  • 43. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

    I hear you Adam. Getting up before G-d is never fun. Especially when she doesn't even check her voice mail before noon!

  • 44. JT1962  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

    Seems to me that the correct nail was hit on the head during this morning's hearing. Repeal DADT, implement it fully now in the non-combat troops, no discharge of out gay members in combat troops but transfer them to another spot, and full implementation among combat troops when they rotate out of combat. How difficult is that to achieve? Shouldn't be but I'm sure the military will make it last more than 3 years.

  • 45. Ann S.  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Wait, so any gay or lesbian can get out of combat duty by outing themselves?

  • 46. Ann S.  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Just playing devil's advocate here.

  • 47. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

    JT, the only problem here is that combat and non-combat troops serve right beside each other everywhere and you would not be able to have two sets of standards in the same place at the same time. It would be better to go forth implementing repeal, start with training the force, classes just like they have for suicide prevention and sexual harassment and other issues then lift the ban in 6-12 months, right now, the different branches cannot even begin the training because of the current ban that is in place, also, there needs to be guidance to the force that the ban is still in force during the train up period. That is one of the issues that the are worried about with a looming court decision, there will not be sufficient time to train the force in regards to what the new policy is and how it would be handled, it is better to have a time period where they still have control.

  • 48. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Not necessarily. Note that many gay service members were not discharged during combat, but instead after they returned from their tour.

  • 49. Freddy  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:48 am

    This should have been in direct reply to JT1962, I really need to get this keyboard replaced.

  • 50. Alan E.  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:49 am

    A Catch-22

    Train the troops now about sensitivity towards openly gay members. You can't train them now because of DADT and it would technically be against policy. These people don't want DADT repealed because they aren't trained (nor do they want to).

  • 51. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 3:55 am

    If we did that, then many of them would hire someone to take the tests for them, the way high schools and colleges used to do with their athletes.

  • 52. Ronnie  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Ok reading this has made me dislike McCain even more…if that was even possible…the hypocrisy from this man in mind numbingly annoying….& these statements from him really do lead me to believe the guy may have a multiple personality disorder…not that that is a bad thing..but he needs to get it under control……

    ‎"the gay men & women who are in our military deserve better than they have been given to date. Repeal is an idea whose time has come — quite a while back." ~ Alice Hoagland…… a mother whose openly gay son was one of the passengers who stopped the 4th airplane from reaching its intended target on 9/11

    9/11 hero's mom to McCain: See the light on DADT http://www.salon.com/news/dont_ask_dont_tell/?sto

    The mother of a gay man who was memorably eulogized by Sen. John McCain after his death on Sept. 11, 2001, is now imploring the senator to change what she calls his "very regrettable" opposition to the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."

    "I'd hope that he'd take counsel with his wife and reconsider and realize that it's a new day," Alice Hoagland told Salon Thursday from her home in Los Gatos, California. Hoagland's 31-year-old son, Mark Bingham, was one of the passengers believed to have stormed the cockpit on United Airlines flight 93, which hijackers were apparently hoping to fly into the U.S. Capitol. Instead, it crashed in Southwest Pennsylvania, killing everyone aboard.

    (me) McCain clearly does not care about what his wife's opinion is on DADT, telling from recent events….cough cough..tweet tweet….cough cough…..but this is what really irks me from this man…..

    Noting that Flight 93 seemed bound for the Capitol, McCain said, "I may very well owe my life to Mark and the others who summoned the enormous courage and love necessary to deny those depraved, hateful men their terrible triumph." He continued:

    In the Gospel of John it is written "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Such was the love that Mark and his comrades possessed, as they laid down their lives for others. A love so sublime that only God's love surpasses it.

    (me) there are not enough words….hypocrite is really too nice of a word for this man…..

    In an interview with a gay newspaper a month before election day in 2008, McCain invoked his appearance at Bingham's funeral as he appealed for votes from gay Americans. Asked by the Washington Blade if he had "any role models who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender," McCain responded:

    "I had the humbling experience of speaking at Mark Bingham’s funeral after the attacks on Sept. 11. Mark had supported me during the 2000 campaign. … I honor and respect Mark."

    (me) really?…because the things you have said recently about LGBT people serving in the military shows an immense lack if honor & respect….I'm just saying…. : / …Ronnie

  • 53. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:01 am

    His wife also favors repeal, and said so in an "It Gets Better" video.

  • 54. Straight Ally #3008  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Well I'll be…Sen. Brown has announced he's in favor of DADT repeal. This brightens my day. :)

  • 55. anonygrl  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:03 am

    And its authors are not imaginary.

  • 56. anonygrl  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Send it to Rachel Maddow… I bet she'd love it.

  • 57. fiona64  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:07 am

    This. ^^

    I worked in a 3-star headquarters from 1985-95; the last time those flag officers had been actively commanding troops in battle was Viet Nam. And we're not even talking about the JCS level here. Those are the echelons beyond reality.

    Just sayin' …

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 58. fiona64  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Yep. DADT hearings were suspended so that peoples' gay (or allegedly gay) asses could be shot off — but if they made it home, the hearings went right back into effect.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 59. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:20 am

    If you need help making your Activism Banner or sign…here's one slightly helpful video. Slightly only because you would need to find that projector by Sunday.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD9ZzcA9X0Q

  • 60. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:22 am

    Thank you Adam (another day of being late to the party for me)

  • 61. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:29 am

    !!

  • 62. Richard A. Jernigan  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:44 am

    Check your local freecycle.org group. That was how I got one that I am donating to the AAS-C for Drag Bingo.

  • 63. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:15 am

    I love drag bingo! Last time I played, more than one person yelling bingo, (to win, you had to be the first one up on the stage.) I am very competitive – I ran over two drag queens and flew up on stage! They changed the rules after that : )

  • 64. Kathleen  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Since I'm so late to arrive today, I'm guessing this has already been reported, but haven't seen it.

    As was suspected from his posture yesterday, Sen. Brown supports repeal http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalinte

  • 65. Steve  |  December 3, 2010 at 5:50 am

    That's not true. Training could be done with the policy still in place. It just couldn't be done by openly gay troops, who could answer questions for example.

    There is already sensitivity training as regards to race, gender and such. In the long run, sexual orientation should be added to that, so there is no special "gay training".

  • 66. Rhie  |  December 3, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Just watching

  • 67. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Same here…

  • 68. Steve  |  December 3, 2010 at 8:52 am

    The female AF colonel behind Mullen – who seems to be part of his staff – always has this totally bored and/or pissed off look on her face…

  • 69. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Yeah, he want's to keep asking until he gets the answer he wants.

    We shouldn't allow people like that to be senators IMO. A senator should look at 'facts' and try to make an objective decision on the merits.

    But he's old — set in his ways. I hope I never get like that.

  • 70. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

    "You get a post! And you get a post! And you! And you!! Everyone gets a post!"

    (/cheesy Oprah impression)

    …and thanks Adam! :)

  • 71. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:50 am

    '…this issue has reached the point of absurdity…'

    Amen brother.

  • 72. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Yeah – he, like McCain, are just looking for a way to make this just go away. It's not.

    If he really thinks it will… Well, he's too stupid to be a senator. IMO of course :)

  • 73. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Thanks Ronnie, that was great to watch :)

  • 74. Steve  |  December 3, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I love the comparison to Japanese holdouts who continued to fight, not realizing the war was long over. That's spot on.

  • 75. JonT  |  December 3, 2010 at 10:36 am

    'There is already sensitivity training as regards to race, gender and such. In the long run, sexual orientation should be added to that, so there is no special “gay training”.'

    The report actually makes that point, and recommends that approach.

  • 76. Security comes before pol&hellip  |  December 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    [...] worth of hearings, which if you missed it, you can find coverage of day 1 here and day 2 here at [...]

  • 77. Ronnie  |  December 4, 2010 at 3:32 am

    you're welcome….<3…Ronnie

  • 78. Sven  |  December 6, 2010 at 4:22 am

    here we go

  • 79. John  |  December 6, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Wow. Olsen is awesome.

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