Thursday, May 28, 2009
Palm Center Trial Balloon Shot Down
There is no question that the Flag/General Officers Statement has made a huge difference at the Pentagon, but before the celebration begins, consider this May 19 article for the Los Angeles Times:
Obama in No Hurry to End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Carol J. Williams quoted all the usual activists, including Aaron Belkin of the Michael D. Palm Center. The University of California-based advocacy group is trying to persuade the Obama Administration to nullify the 1993 law by simply ignoring it. But two days after the Palm Center floated its politically clueless proposal, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs shot that trial balloon down. In her May 14 article posted on National Review Online, Elaine Donnelly highlighted the significance of Robert Gibbs' statement, which essentially repudiated the Palm Center’s latest polemic:
Obama Shuns Plan to Evade Gays-in-Military Law
The May 2009 Palm Center "report," titled "Military Law Experts Chart Course to End 16-Year Ban," was authored by a group of mostly-civilian academics specializing in "gender studies," including Aaron Belkin and Nathaniel Frank. Billed as a "Roadmap," the plan heads toward a cliff that brings to mind the desperate demise of "Thelma and Louise."
Substituting affected "scholarship" for normal common sense, the document unsuccessfully tries to make the case for presidential nullification of the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. Here is a brief excerpt of the Palm Center Plan, which confirms what CMR has been saying about the far-reaching consequences if the 1993 law is repealed:
"Compliance with the new policy will be facilitated to the extent that personnel understand that enforcement will be strict and that noncompliance will carry high costs, and thus perceive that their own self-interest lies in supporting the new policy. Consequently, the implementation plan should include clear enforcement mechanisms and strong sanctions for noncompliance, as well as support for effective implementation in the form of adequate resources, allowances for input from unit leaders for improving the implementation process, and rewards for effective implementation. Toward this end, the Defense Department should work to identify the most potent 'carrots' and 'sticks' for implementing the new policy. These include:
1. [T]he specific sanctions and enforcement mechanisms that will most effectively promote adherence to the policy;
2. [S]upporting mechanisms and resources that will be needed to assist personnel with enacting change; [and]
3. [T]he types of surveillance and monitoring of compliance with the new policy that will be most effective at different levels in the chain of command." (p. 20)
The document is absurd in its illogic, and the references to "carrots and sticks" to make full acceptance of homosexuals in our military "work" are downright chilling.
Perhaps we should thank the Palm Center for confirming what CMR has been saying all along: Anyone who disagrees with an officially-mandated gay agenda in our military will find themselves in violation of the corollary "zero tolerance" policy. What the Palm Center recommends as "strong sanctions for non-compliance" would include denial of promotions, which would end the dissenters' military careers. Thousands of good people could be forced out of the military, just to please activists who have no understanding of what the military is for.
Pentagon Does Not Want to Go There
Perhaps this explains the May 22 USA Today report that the Pentagon is in no rush to repeal the 1993 law that is usually mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
Military Wants More Time Before Gay Ban Ends
A writer at TownHall.com attributed the stall in momentum to the Flag & General Officers for the Military Statement to the President and Members of Congress, in support of the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military:
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Here to Stay
Keep in mind that the ball is in Congress' court. Members of the House may be called upon to vote for repeal of the law, and people who support our military will hold them accountable for their vote. A House Armed Services Committee hearing or two may be scheduled sometime this summer, and there is still reason for concern that Congress and/or the president will set up some sort of study commission or working group to pave the way for repeal of the law.
Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, Defense Department spokesman Geoff Morrell seemed to downplay any speculation that the Defense Department wants the 1993 law to be repealed:
Pentagon: No Plans to End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
This note to CMR stands as a reminder of what this is all about, sent to CMR via the "Confidential Contact" spot on this website, from an active-duty Major:
Subject: Gays in the Military
Please do not let up in the fight to keep the current exclusion in place. Homosexual conduct is incompatible with military service: it will be destructive to morale and discipline, and will terminally effect recruiting and retention.
I cannot speak out on the issue publicly; I count on you being my voice.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Bad Advice for Barack Obama
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen are scheduled to appear this week before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. In anticipation, the Gays-in-the-Military PR hot air machine has fired up again.
The campaign piped down a little bit when President Obama took the oath of office, with most activities happening in private. There were numerous meetings at the White House with the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT groups, and several activists have been appointed to key positions.
But now the activists are growing increasingly impatient because Obama has not appointed a gay cabinet member or the equivalent, and because he has not pressured Congress to repeal the 1993 law regarding homosexuals in the military (Section 654, Title 10, usually mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or DADT). Barney Frank, the highest-profile openly-gay Member of Congress, told Roll Call last Thursday that Democrats don't have the votes for repeal this year. Now the activists are demanding that Obama issue an Executive Order essentially nullifying the 1993 law by high-handed fiat.
That would be the effect if he were to order Pentagon officials to stop enforcement of the law, across the board. So much for Obama's oath of office, which obligates him and the executive branch to enforce duly-enacted laws. (DADT is not a law-it is the convoluted enforcement policy that President Bill Clinton imposed on the military, even though it differs from the law that Congress actually passed. Congress allowed Clinton to drop "the question" from military induction forms asking potential new servicemembers whether or not they were homosexual, but that question can be reinstated at any time—no additional legislation required.)
The stepped-up campaign began last week when the New York Times (print headquarters of the Gays-in-the-Military-Campaign) turned up the heat on the Obama Administration to do something, anything, to advance the gay cause:
As Gay Issues Arise, Obama is Pressed to Engage
The broadcast Gays-in-the-Military-Campaign is headquartered at MSNBC. On May 6, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow interviewed Dan Choi, aWest Point grad and former Army lieutenant who ended his military career when he announced that he was homosexual earlier this year.
Maddow would never ask an obvious question that CMR President Elaine Donnelly asked the Department of Defense and Army Inspectors General (IG) to investigate several years ago when twelve language trainees were discharged from the Defense Language Institute (DLI) near Monterey, California: Why did the DLI, or in this case West Point, admit trainees or cadets who were not eligible to serve in the military?
Mr. Choi's willingness to serve our country is admirable, but assuming that he knew that he was gay when he entered West Point, either he was misled by West Point officials or he chose to disregard the 1993 law. The Inspectors General did not answer Donnelly's questions about DLI, but members of Congress can and should ask similar questions at any time. Everyone can serve our country in some way, but not everyone is eligible for military service.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
CMR Blogs on NY Times; Gays Cry Foul on Obama Website "Change"
CMR President Elaine Donnelly contributed to the New York Times' "Room for Debate" blog/op-ed section yesterday on the topic of gays in the military. Her submission appeared along with those of eight others here:
"Room for Debate - In the 'Barracks, Out of the Closet'"
Aaron Belkin, director of the gay-activist Michael D. Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara (formerly the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military) joined with Aubrey Sarvis, Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit policy and legal organization whose primary objective is to repeal the law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. Belkin and Sarvis wrote only about "how" to repeal the law, not the consequences of that action-something they rarely talk about.
Betraying a typically elitist attitude, Belkin referred to the political system-i.e., Congress voting to make policy-as a "mess" that President Obama should "circumvent" by "commanding the military to suspend discharges for homosexuality." Advocates writing about other countries actually confirmed that the forced acceptance of open homosexuality in the ranks in Britain has resulted in consistent cultural change across the board, to include other sexual minorities. (Writer Craig Jones, a former officer in the British Royal Navy, failed to mention that Britain capitulated to an order of the European Court of Human Rights in 1999, a course of action likely to be rejected by the United States.)
* * * * *
Though it did not link to the Flag & General Officers for the Military (FGOM) website, the "Room for Debate" blog highlighted the May 1, 2009, New York Times article by Elisabeth Bumiller (linked below). The article was not as gung-ho pro-gays-in-the-military as most articles in the New York Times usually are. The FGOM Open Letter was mentioned, but without specifics about rank:
In Military, New Debate Over Policy Toward Gays
It is surprising that the article by Elisabeth Bumiller actually acknowledged some hesitation among the West Point cadets, even though they have heard only one side of the story. Last December Elaine Donnelly corresponded with Col. Thomas A. Kolditz , head of West Point's Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership who is quoted in the article. Col. Kolditz confirmed that the USMA has not hosted a speaker who supports the 1993 law with a commitment comparable to that of Aaron Belkin of the Palm Center, who has been a guest speaker at West Point several times.
Col. Kolditz also confirmed that on November 4, 2008, he hosted a former male-cadet-now-female activist for transgenders in the military, who addressed several classes. Question still unanswered: Why do West Point leaders expect that future officers will have to accommodate transgendered servicemen and women in the American military?
* * * * * * *
Columnist Don Feder, writing on the "Boycott the New York Times" website, took issue with the Times' bias:
Times is GHQ for Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell
2. The White House
Some of the gay websites have been buzzing with anger about subtle changes on the White House website. They are upset because of what one gay blogger described as a "move that many people...see as a shift in policy, and a backward step from a clear campaign promise that was reiterated during the first days of January of this year."
The White House website has changed the language on its page regarding LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) Civil Rights. Gay activists see the changes as a retreat from Obama's commitment to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy, and a significant change in policy, for the worse.
In particular, activists complained that the website language changed from a commitment to a "full repeal" of DADT to a commitment to "change" the discriminatory policy in a "sensible" manner. In their view, "changing DADT" is not the same as repealing DADT because it would essentially keep the "discriminatory" policy in place, albeit with some alterations.
An interesting comment appeared on the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's "Frontlines" blog, written by James E. Pietrangelo, II. (This may be the same plaintiff who, in December, asked the Supreme Court to review a First Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the constitutionality of the 1993 law):
"You folks at SLDN do a lot of good work, but I do not for the life of me understand why you refuse to see the writing on the wall (webpage). The change in wording is yet more evidence (as if there were not enough already) that Obama has stuck the knife in his promise on DADT. Instead of wasting time trying to divine the meaning of the website and calling the White House only to get a form response, why doesn't Aubrey Sarvis and Joe Solomenese and the other Gay 'leaders' get together and call Obama the bigot that he is. It is time to start marching, people. Time indeed."
Since the kerfuffle broke out in LGBT-land, the White House website restored the word "repeal" before the catch-phrase "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." It will take more than website words, however, to convince members of Congress that they need to repeal the 1993 law.
As CMR reported last week, congressional LGBT Equality Caucus co-chairs Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Tammy Baldwin expressed in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call their assessment that 2009 is not the year to pursue repeal of the law making homosexuals ineligible for military service.
Elaine Donnelly explained to OneNewsNow that Frank's comments reflect a concession to process, but not intent. Representatives Frank and Baldwin plan to lay the groundwork for repeal in 2010. Donnelly's comments appear here:
Intent Still There to Repeal Military Homosexual Ban