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Pentagon sees ‘minimal risk’ in repealing ‘don’t ask’: report

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Repealing the military’s gay ban would result in only “minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts,” but a “significant minority” of soldiers remain opposed to the idea, a Pentagon report is expected to say.

The Washington Post cites two sources familiar with a draft of the report, to be delivered to President Obama on December 1, who say it will give fuel to both sides in the debate over repealing the 17-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

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The Post‘s Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe report:

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report’s authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them….

Among other questions, the survey asked if having an openly gay person in a unit would have an effect in an intense combat situation. Although a majority of respondents signaled no strong objections, a significant minority is opposed to serving alongside openly gay troops. About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, according to one of the people familiar with the report.

The Post reports that Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen received copies of the draft last week, which also presents a plan for repealing DADT if lawmakers decide to do so. It also includes general recommendations regarding gay individuals in the military.

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Despite the predictions or fears of groups for and against repealing the ban, the report does not anticipate a large “coming out” by gay men and lesbians serving in uniform, said the person who had read the full draft.

Among several recommendations, the report urges an end to the military ban on sodomy between consenting adults regardless of what Congress or the federal courts might do about “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the source said.

The report also concludes that gay troops should not be put into a special class for equal employment or discrimination purposes, the individual said. The recommendation is based on feedback the study group obtained from gay troops and same-sex partners who said they do not want a special classification, according to the source. Gay troops were encouraged to participate in the survey and to submit comments to the anonymous online dropbox.

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Read the full Post story here.


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2020 Election

A historian of Nazi Germany explains why the divided opposition to Trump should terrify you

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As we witnessed in the third Democratic primary debate last week, Democratic presidential candidates are struggling to distinguish themselves from their party rivals and competing for endorsements. Their horizontal vision in these disagreements diverts their gaze from the peril we face as Donald Trump dismantles the norms that have guided our political life since 1776.

Whatever their differences, Democratic candidates must agree to broad principles related to key issues, for example, immigration, health care, and the growing wealth gap. A general consensus would leave plenty of room for healthy debates about implementation, but failure to emphasize shared ideals in relationship to two or three major questions will blunt Democrats’ offensive against a candidate whose campaign is based on slander and fear.

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2020 Election

Trump’s longshot bid to win New Mexico has political leaders baffled: ‘He’s a batsh*t racist’

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Despite losing New Mexico by eight points in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump and his campaign manager Brad Pascale are making big plans to win the state in 2020 -- and that has political observers baffled.

With Trump appearing in New Mexico on Monday night, Politico reports the president has his work cut out for him in a state that saw the GOP lose the governorship and one House seat in 2018.

"The Land of Enchantment has voted for a Republican presidential candidate only once since 1992. With a considerable nonwhite voter population and all-Democratic congressional delegation, it’s not exactly fertile ground for a surprise GOP victory," the report notes before adding that Parscale feels they can make inroads this go-around.

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Commentary

Why won’t the Democrats talk openly about impeachment?

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The ABC/Univision Democratic debate last week ran a bit more smoothly than the previous two, even managing to squeeze in a decent discussion on climate change and Afghanistan policy. These events are always more theater than substance, particularly with so many people on the stage. But early debates in the primary season are where engaged partisan voters outside the early states get a chance to see the larger field of candidates and develop a sense of where the party's center of gravity is in the current election cycle.

This article was originally published at Salon

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