...the House passed the compromise worked out to repeal Congress' decades-old policy on openly gay and lesbian military service.Minority Leader John Boehner commented:
Under the compromise, the statute implementing DADT will remain law until after the Pentagon completes its repeal review on December 1. Then, if the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify that the implementation of dropping the policy will not damage the military, they trigger this law and the DADT statute will be repealed.
The vote was largely along party lines, 234 to 194, though five Republicans—the newly minted congressman Charles Djou, as well as Joe Cao, Judy Biggert, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and Ron Paul—voted with the Democrats.
The same compromise made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee today 16-12, also on an almost party line vote. Senator Collins voted for the repeal compromise. Senator Webb voted against. That means it will be up for a vote on the Senate floor after the Senate comes back from the Memorial Day holiday.
“Rushing ahead with a political decision without understanding how it will impact the men and women of our Armed Forces who are fighting two wars is deeply irresponsible. I hope Members of Congress who care about our national security on both sides of the political aisle will stand together to stop it.”
By the way, the chiefs of all the military branches oppose this repeal:
J.D. offers up a scenario of what will happen if DADT gets repealed:
The heads of the Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy oppose the current amendment to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." Senator John McCain's office just released letters from the chiefs of the armed services, as well as a statement from the senator urging Congress to let the military complete its study before taking legislative action.
“I cannot over emphasize the importance of completing the comprehensive review prior to taking any legislative action," says McCain. "Our military is currently engaged in two wars and we need to have a true assessment of the impact of repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ on battlefield effectiveness prior to taking any legislative action. We must remain focused on what is in the best interest of our service men and women and not simply fulfill a campaign promise.”
McCain has written a letter to Levin opposing repeal. Here are excerpts from the service chiefs' letters:
“I remain convinced that it is critically important to get a better understanding of where our Soldiers and Families are on this issue, and what the impacts on readiness and unit cohesion might be, so that I can provide informed military advice to the President and the Congress,” said General George W. Casey, Jr, U.S. Army. “I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.”
“We need this review to fully assess our force and carefully examine potential impacts of a change in the law. My concern is that legislative changes at this point, regardless of the precise language used, may cause confusion on the status of the law in the Fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading Sailors to question whether their input matters,” said Admiral Roughe ad, U.S. Navy.
“I encourage the Congress to let the process the Secretary of Defense created to run its course. Collectively, we must make logical and pragmatic decisions about the long-term policies of our Armed Forces – Which so effectively defend this great nation,” said General James T. Conway, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.
“I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, that the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law. Such action allows me to provide the best military advise to the President, and sends an important signal to our Airmen and their families that their opinion matters. To do otherwise, in my view, would be presumptive and would reflect an intent to act before all relevant factors are assessed, digested and understood,” said General Norton A. Schwartz, U.S. Air Force.
If you are a person of, well, average intelligence, you know that there will be incidents between “straight” soldiers and “homosexual” soldiers. There will be fisticuffs involved, probably some sort of weapons involved, and you might as well reconcile yourself to accept that there will be incidents between “homosexual” soldiers and “straight” soldiers in which the “homosexual” soldiers will be killed. Of course, there is also the chance the fatally wounded soldier will be “straight. The point is – it is going to happen. Resign yourself to it. It is as certain as is the fact that day follows night.
Placing homosexuals in a platoon of trained killers with male testosterone running rampant in their bloodstreams and it is the equivalent of tossing a lamb into a pen of ravenous wolves.
Now, the folks over at the Pentagon KNOW this. It will fall on their shoulders to contrive ways to keep this from happening and not be accused of discrimination against the openly homosexual soldiers and/or the straight soldiers. Simply put -- it is going to be a mess!
Re-enlistments will drop. Recruiting will drop. Civilian respect for the military will drop -- precipitously. Unrest within the various military units where the actual fighting is done -- such as platoons, and squads -- will be palpable. Talk about a “Hostile Working Environment!”
Sadly, though, it appears the left is going to get its way with the military. They have shown a much lower level of respect for our fighting men and women than the right ever has. By repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” they have a chance to do some REAL damage to America’s defenders.
It looks likely that this movement has enough momentum to pass, unfortunately. Let's just hope that the joint chiefs can turn back the tide before year's end.
There's my two cents.