Inquiring Congressman Have a Right to Know
In December 2010 Congress rushed to vote for repeal of the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military, Section 654, Title 10, USC, which is always mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” In doing so in the lame-duck session without substantive hearings, the 111th Congress disregarded the views of thousands of active duty combat troops whose views were heard by the Pentagon but studiously ignored.
Also see: Problem with Gays in the Military for relevant information on this subject
The law, however, remains on the books. Final implementation of the repeal will not occur until 60 days after three officials─President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen─issue “certification” that recruiting, retention, and readiness will not be harmed. All three officials are on record in favor of repeal─why not issue “certification” that America will never have to fight another war?
The Obama administration is rushing to complete the repeal process before the 112th Congress , particularly the new House Armed Services Committee, has a single hearing on the subject. The last thing the administration wants is for Congress to start asking questions about what the new LGBT law and policies will do to the armed forces.
To clarify the issues, CMR has prepared a summary of questions that Congress needs to ask:
Would LGBT Law and Policies Benefit or Harm Our Military?
The six-page summary is derived from a more extensive analysis and 25 pages of detailed questions that CMR has prepared on behalf of the Military Culture Coalition:
The new House Armed Services Committee (HASC), headed by Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Personnel Subcommittee Chairman Joe Wilson (R-NC), will have hearings early in 2011—and not a day too soon.
On February 23 the Obama Administration announced that it would no longer defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. In response, CMR issued the following news release:
Obama Administration political appointees at the Pentagon are already conducting training for implementation of the LGBT law and policy for the military, in an attempt to prevent any examination of what that law would mean in actual practice.
Given the administration’s duplicity and dissembling in statements to Congress, members must insist on candid answers to specific questions that are important to the future of our military.
Elaine Donnelly is founder and President of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent public policy organization that specializes in military personnel issues. Founded in 1993, CMR advocates high, single standards in training, and sound priorities in military/social policies.