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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.

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.

Read the full Post story here.

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‘The worst day of the presidency so far for Donald Trump’: Advisor to four presidents

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President Donald Trump has not had a worse day in office than he suffered on Friday, according to a top former White House advisor.

David Gergen served in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He was interviewed Friday night by CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"If you are looking to throw somebody under the bus, Gordon Sondland would probably be a prime candidate to be next in line to be thrown under the bus," Cooper said.

"I think the president will wait patiently to see what he says and then decide," Gergen replied.

He then offered his analysis of the situation.

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Chris Hayes breaks down the ‘busy day in the criminal chronicles of one President Donald J. Trump’

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MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes connected the dots between all of the bombshell news that was reported Friday in the impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.

"Good God, today has been ten days and this week has been ten weeks," Hayes said. "And there are a million things happening at once."

"Just in the past couple of hours, for instance, we just got this incredibly incriminating and damning behind closed doors testimony from a U.S. foreign service officer that was still supposed to be kind of like the B-story today, the sideshow," he explained. "It's a guy who works in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, a guy named David Holmes. He testified behind closed doors that he could hear president Trump talking on the phone to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who was an inaugural donor, and they were in a restaurant in Kiev and the president was shouting so loudly on the phone that [Gordon] Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear because it was hurting his eardrum, so then everyone could hear."

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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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