How’s it going, queers and allies. One refreshing thing about this DADT ridiculousness: at least Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, supports repeal.
Which is great. My only thing is, he’s just as slow as Obama is about it (and is possibly a major cause of Obama’s slowness in the first place). Also, he’s way too hung up on the forthcoming results of the Pentagon review.
That is a problem. From what we’ve seen so far of their tactics, I really doubt this review is going to have accurate information. Either the Pentagon’s trying hard to get the results they want, or else they’re so uninformed that they actually don’t know how to conduct a review like this– which is a major problem.
Mullen, who openly supports repeal, gave a speech at Ft Lewis (in one of my home states!) yesterday. It had nothing to do with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, but somebody asked a question about it at the end. Here’s a pared-down transcript. You can read the whole speech here.
The question: For the small percentage of the military population that’ll benefit from the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy being lifted, what are some of your plans you have to subside potential animosity towards those soldiers and integrating them with the rest of us?ADM MULLEN: I think my position on this has been pretty clear from testimony in Congress in early February. … It is hard for me to accept that we ask people to come and work, live and die in our military, while we’re asking them at the same time to lie about themselves every single day.That said, we’re in the middle of the review, which will wrap up December 1st. Many of you – I’ll actually ask for a show of hands contacted to fill out the survey? (Pause.) I would ask you to do that, specifically, because that survey is the first objective data that will inform the leadership about what needs to be done when this change occurs.I am the senior military officer in the country. I feel responsible to lead this if and when the law changes. And understanding what that means, that isn’t just a given, specifically. And then it would go to a specific of your question, which is how an individual would be treated. My expectation is that this policy’s changing should have nothing to do with how we treat people, period. And we need to treat people with dignity, respect, as you would want to be treated.I was commissioned in 1968. There has not been a ship or a unit that I’ve been in, whether Navy or Joint, where it wasn’t known that gays and lesbians were serving. So from that, that’s how I approach it.At the end of this review, we will make a recommendation, obviously, to the President based on the overall review about how to proceed. We won’t proceed until I and the secretary of defense and the president certify that we’re ready to go. From my perspective, it’s the readiness issue; it’s unit cohesion, it’s effectiveness issues, and will this impact that or not – with that as the top priority. And it is the survey and the review that we’re going through right now which will give us a great deal of information with respect to that. So that’s where we are literally as of today.
I like Admiral Mike. He’s a great guy. But my eyebrows go up when he refers to the survey as “objective data”. Does he really think that’s a legitimate survey? If the review concludes based on the survey that “homosexuals” would destroy unit cohesion, is he gonna just go with that and say, Yeah, I think it’s wrong, but the survey has spoken.
What do you think? Do you think he really thinks the survey’s objective? Do you think he should speak out against the language in it? Do you think he’ll continue advocating for repeal even if the review concludes it shouldn’t be implemented?