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View Diary: Wither the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell?   (100 comments)

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  •  There's no obvious reason (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Lyon, Clarknt67

    the law couldn't be written so as to start at a certain date, directing Gates to complete his study by that date.

    •  So what the hell (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clarknt67, jpmassar, enhydra lutris

      is his "study" going to reveal. How to perform brain erasure on homophobes?

      •  Its probably half "study" (7+ / 0-)

        and half implementation brain-storming.

        There are several issues that need to be addressed:

        1.)  How to handle harassment claims, both by gays and lesbians being harassed by homophobes, as well as ANY servicemember being sexually harassed in new situations.  Specifically at issue would be what level up the chain would handle what specific types of investigations, filing of charges, and adjudications/hearings.

        2.)  Issues related to quartering of single/deployed servicemembers.  What will servicemembers have a "right" to vis-a-vis sleeping and hygiene facilities?  Different integrated militaries around the world handle this differently depending on prevailing culture and availability of living space.  Even within the US military, there is a great degree of difference of living space; some barracks have single-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms, while some barracks still operate in the old "squad bay" manner.

        3.)  Issues related to "domestic partnership" rights.  How will the military recognize (if they do at all) marriages and civil unions from states where they are legal?  What (if any) services will partners/spouses receive.  Will same-sex partners who both serve be treated the same as opposite sex partners for purposes of duty assignment?  (Consider, for example, that in some units, couples deployed to Iraq are not allowed to be quartered together and are forbidden from having sex).

        4.)  Finally, what are the logistics in implementing all of this?  Who is the oversight body?  How will a zero tolerance policy be overseen to ensure that on one falls though the cracks?  How will potential changes in living quarters requirements be paid for an implemented.

        I think that the "study" phase is intended so that the transition happens smoothly and without issue.  The administration certainly doesn't want to give the opposition any ammunition to comeback later and say, "See!  We told you this was a bad idea!".

        I honestly think that we'll be seeing this in the Defense Appropriations Bill coming later this year... that would be the smartest way of doing it.

        •  As long as DOMA (4+ / 0-)

          is federal law they won't be dealing with domestic partnerships at all.

          •  Not necessarily true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sardonyx, jpmassar, Larsstephens

            The State Department under Hillary introduced some pretty sweeping changes last year related to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service Officers.  They basically granted all the same housing, travel, pay, and fringe benefits to same sex couples that married couples had enjoyed all along.

            Now, the US military is much larger and much more visible than the Foreign Service, so the implementation would be very different.  You're right, DOMA would be a big hurdle to jump, but it is a pet theory of mine that repealing of DADT will fast-track the repeal of DOMA, which is why the right wing is so afraid of it.

            •  My understanding is that Clinton (4+ / 0-)

              chose to push the bounds of  the possible. I don't expect the military to strain themselves.

              The important point is that all of these issues are mundane administrative arrangements. All congress has to do is give them an effective date for the legislation to take effect. None of these issues have any legitimate bearing on the question of repeal.

              •  You are right... (5+ / 0-)

                None of these issues is a response to the question of "if", but of "when" and "how"; which was pretty much the same language used by Gates today.  And just because they are mundane administrative issue it doesn't mean that they can't turn into a big problem down the road if done incorrectly or not done at all.

                Look, this is a big deal.  You can't just will for it to happen with a single stroke of a pen removing it from US Code and expect the next day to be an inclusiveness party full of smiles and joy.

                I'm thinking that the "study period" was a recommendation by the top brass, because honestly, they had just gone 8 years being ignored while the CinC gave lip service to "listening to the Commanders on the Ground" and then promptly ignoring everything they said.  They are tired of the scandal that comes from the civilian leadership giving vague objectives and then ignoring requests for support.  If I was to guess, Obama went to Gates, and Mullen, and Petraeus and said, "Look, we're going to do this, and there's no way around it.  But I want you on board, and I respect your opinions on how to do this.  I want to know what I can do to make sure that, when you are asked by the media if you support the change, you can sincerely answer yes."

                The military wants to appear to get something right for a change, but they also want to stop feeling like a tool used for political points.  I'm a former Marine myself.  Those who haven't served don't really understand that it is a complex culture with lots of nuance... it is far smarter and far more practical (and liberal) than people on either side of the aisle give it credit for.  On the other hand, we hate the idea that the chain of command can be abused by the civilian leadership to advance their own agenda.  In the end, we'll endeavor to say, "Aye aye sir" and carry out the orders, but we feel much better about it if we are allowed to be part of the planning process first.

                I don't know if this makes any sense (I feel like I was just rambling), but that's just my take on it.

                •  Well I'm afraid I don't see (0+ / 0-)

                  it that way. It makes sense to take it in its historical context and that is uniformly one of resistance and delay. It was military resistance that gave us DADT and it has been military resistance that has kept it in place. I honestly don't think they give a shit about getting it right. If it ever does happen, they will be looking under every rock for an excuse to say we told you so.

                  •  We'll have to agree to disagree on this point (4+ / 0-)

                    But I will say this:

                    Understand that, IMHO, the military is unfairly stereotyped by both sides out of ignorance.  There is a generational difference between the military of 1993, when DADT was first implemented, and today.  The realities of real life or death situations have showed a new crop of junior NCOs and Officers the truth that as long as your buddy wore the uniform and had your back, everything else was secondary.  There are a lot of things that are pretty conservative about it, but there are a lot of very liberal attitudes that the general public is unaware of (they contributed more to Obama than McCain by a ratio of 6:1, for instance).

                    I do volunteer work at our county's Veteran's Service Office.  My Republican boss (and retired military pilot) thinks its time for DADT to go away.  Every vet that I have talked to that got out this decade(most of whom are in school, like me to become officers), think that the policy is BS and needs to go away.  My best friend who still lives by Camp Pendleton and has quite a few active duty friends says that the general feeling among the junior enlisted and officers is that they don't care who you sleep with out of uniform, as long as you are a good Marine while you're in it.

                    These are the people who will become the brass in 10 years, so no, I don't think they will be looking under every rock to say I told you so.

                •  Living - I completely understand (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LivingOxymoron, Larsstephens

                  I think you have accurately and effectively communicated the complex issues involved. Thank you.

                  VClib USA 1969-1975

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 05:37:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Living - great comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LivingOxymoron, Larsstephens

          Thank you for such a thoughtful and knowledgeable comment.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 05:33:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There really isn't. Some components of HCR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't kick in for five or ten years. So there is no earthly reason for not voting.

      "I am not guilty, I am not ashamed and I am not finished." --Lt. Dan Choi, 3/19/10

      by Scott Wooledge on Thu Mar 25, 2010 at 03:42:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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