Alexander's Column

Do Ask, Do Tell?

By Mark Alexander · Dec. 9, 2010

The only legitimate DADT survey is…

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man…” –George Washington
New Unit Service Patch

Now that Republicans have temporarily halted Barack Hussein Obama’s effort to increase income taxes, will they be able to stop his effort to undermine the moral character of military combat units? Probably not, given that a Republican House majority will be sworn in next month, and as a parting shot, Democrats will likely repeal the so-called"don’t ask, don’t tell" (DADT) policy against open homosexuality in the military.*

By way of defining the DADT debate, let me say that it is not about the sexual habits of consenting adults. This debate is about making the normalization of homosexuality a matter of law in regard to Defense Department personnel, practices and policy.

In order to provide context for this debacle, here is a brief background.

One of Obama’s earliest campaign coming-out pledges was his promise to “end discrimination against gays and lesbians” who want military jobs. That “discrimination” was enacted by the Clinton administration and codified as law in Section 654 U.S. Code Title 10, which states, “The presence in the armed forces of persons who demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

On 12 October this year, DADT policy was subject to an injunction by U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in California. Phillips, a Clinton appointee, ordered the Department of Defense “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced” under Section 654.

However, because the Obama administration wants full faith and credit for ending the policy, they actually asked Phillips for a stay of her injunction, which she denied. Obama then appealed to the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed to enter a stay so Obama could reclaim his political turf. U.S. appellate courts have consistently upheld this law.

In response, a homosexual advocacy group, Log Cabin Republicans, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate (overrule) the stay. In mid-November, SCotUS refused to lift the Ninth Circuit’s stay.

In the meantime, trying to beat the courts to the punch so Obama could curry favor with one of his most fervent constituencies, his DoD appointees released a “survey” which they claim justifies lame-duck Senate action to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” before the 112th Congress (with a strong House Republican majority and six more Senate Republicans) is seated. (Soon-to-be-Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House had already voted to repeal on 27 May of this year.)

“Today I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally,” Obama said this week.

There is no question that Obama, given the beating he’s taken from his heretofore stalwart Leftist cadres on his broken promise to raise taxes, desperately wants to “win” the DADT debate, even though less than one percent of forced military discharges are related to sexual orientation, and the majority of those are, according to DoD, “uncontested and processed administratively.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates lamented that there is a “very real possibility that this change would be imposed immediately by judicial fiat” and noted that such a “disruptive and damaging scenario” would be “most hazardous to military morale, readiness, and battlefield performance.”

So if the courts, instead of Obama, lift Section 654, it would be “hazardous to military morale, readiness, and battlefield performance”?

That is quite a revelation from an administration, which, in the Leftist tradition, seeks to use judicial diktat to amend the so-called “living constitution” and wholly subvert Rule of Law as established by our Founders.

For the record, the reliability of that voluntary DoD survey as a catalyst for revoking Section 654, is questionable. Of the 400,000 surveys that were distributed to military personnel and their families, some 115,000 were returned. But that does not constitute an authentic statistically random survey to study of the effect that revocation of DADT would have on frontline military units. That question was not in the survey.

Questionable reliability notwithstanding, the Leftmedia’s reports implied that 70 percent of respondents answered that open homosexuality would either have a positive or mixed effect on morale. However, those same results could just as accurately have been reported as 70 percent of respondents answered that open homosexuality would either have a negative or mixed effect on morale. In fact, 30 percent answered “positive” and 30 percent answered “negative,” while a plurality answered “mixed.”

Gates did, however, admit that there was a much higher level of “discontent, discomfort and resistance to changing the current policy” among combat specialty units and the Service Chiefs, and added, “These findings do lead me to conclude that an abundance of care and preparation is required if we are to avoid a disruptive and potentially dangerous impact on the performance of those serving at the tip of the spear in America’s wars.”

To that end, I would argue that the DADT survey that matters most would be a scientific survey of combat forces, warfighters and combat veterans, active, reserve and guard. Indeed, if our fighting forces exist for the purpose of winning wars, then unit cohesion and combat readiness must be sacrosanct. Any new policy that would impose a “disruptive and potentially dangerous impact” on those essential attributes must be opposed.

By no means am I suggesting that Uniformed Service in non-combat capacity is any less honorable than serving in the Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan but it is combat unit cohesion that is in question.

Complicating matters for Obama is the little-reported fact that, while he is advocating for homosexuals in the military, one who made it through the screening process, PFC Bradley Manning, is facing charges for unauthorized use and disclosure of classified information (UCMJ Articles 92 and 134). Manning will likely face charges of treason after taking it upon himself (with the “moral support” of his “self-described drag queen” partner) to release volumes of classified reports to WikiLeaks info anarchist Julian Assange, who himself may also face charges of espionage if he is extradited to the U.S.

George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army and our first Commander in Chief, offered this timeless observance: “The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality.”

Unfortunately, our current CINC’s national policy positions are a reflection of his corrupt, capricious and unprincipled private morality.

Footnote: In a tender moment between some Leftmedia reporter and Marine Commandant, General James Amos, the reporter challenged his position on maintaining DADT. Gen. Amos responded, “Have you been out with the Marines in an intense firefight, you personally?” (Obama and Gates certainly have not.) “Right now is a very intense period of time for a pretty healthy slice of the United States Marine Corps. This is not training. This is the real deal. And the forces that wear this uniform…told their commandant that they have concerns. That’s all I need. I don’t need a staff study. I don’t need to hire three PhDs to tell me [how] to interpret it… [I]f they have concerns, I do too. It’s as simple as that. … When your life hangs on the line, you don’t want anything distracting. Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines' lives.”

Got it?

*As a parting shot before leaving for the “holiday break,” Barack Hussein Obama’s NeoCom House majority and the Demo-controlled Senate passed a measure to repeal military rules barring open homosexuality in the uniformed ranks. At the signing ceremony, Obama declared, “This law will strengthen our national security and uphold the ideals that our fighting men and women risk their lives to defend. As Commander-in-Chief, I am certain that we can effect this transition in a way that only strengthens our military readiness; that people will look back on this moment and wonder why it was ever a source of controversy in the first place. There will never be a full accounting of the heroism demonstrated by gay Americans, but at every turn, every crossroads in our past, we know gay Americans fought just as hard, gave just as much to protect this nation and the ideals for which it stands.”