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CMR Sitrep
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Military Secretaries, Chiefs Oppose "Moratorium" on Discharges of Gays

In testimony before Congress this week, leaders of the four military services were questioned on their personal and professional views regarding President Barack Obama's plan to repeal the law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. Their answers to questions from congressional leaders showed that they have not been persuaded by gay activists' arguments for open homosexuality in the United States armed forces. These leaders bear the ultimate responsibility for the consequences of such misguided proposals, giving their insights preponderant weight.


In a hearing with Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff, General George Casey, Jr., Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan raised the prospect of a "moratorium," which would in effect halt discharges pending a so-called Pentagon "review" of how to repeal the law. Senator John McCain led the way in strongly criticizing a "'moratorium'"...before any decision is made. ...[I]t [a moratorium on homosexual discharges] flies in the face of what the Secretary of Defense committed to."

When questioned on their position on a moratorium on homosexual discharges, Secretary McHugh and General Casey offered serious reservations.

Secretary McHugh: "...[T]he preference would be we would not enact a moratorium."

General Casey was even more assertive in an exchange with Chairman Levin:

Senator, I would recommend against it [a moratorium]. Aside from the legal issues that the secretary mentioned, it would complicate the whole process that Secretary Gates had laid out. We would be put in a position of actually implementing it while we were studying implementation. And I don't think that would be prudent.

If the moratorium were simply a moratorium---in other words, you're not implementing anything. You're just withholding discharges until that study is completed.

Chairman, this process is going to be difficult and---and complicated enough. Anything that complicates it more I think I would be opposed to.


While the Senate hearing was underway, the House was conducting its annual budget authorization hearing with Air Force leaders. Secretary Michael B. Donley and Chief of Staff General Norton A. Schwartz testified before the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).

Under questioning from HASC Ranking Member Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), who asked Gen. Schwarz if he thought the law should be repealed, the Air Force chief offered that with two wars going on, now is "not the time to perturb the force," and that information on military families was necessary before deciding on repeal.

Yesterday, the HASC held a similar hearing with Navy and Marine Corps leadership; Secretary Ray Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Gary Roughead, and Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway.

McKeon asked the Navy and USMC chiefs if the law should be repealed and
their views on a moratorium. Roughead gave his personal view that he was in agreement in going forward with the review ordered by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He added that the review would survey "the force and families," and emphasized the importance of doing so. He also noted that focus should be on the United States military, "not another country's force---our force." He stated his view that a moratorium would be "confusing" to the force, concluding that he did not support it.

Gen. Conway said any review needs to focus on readiness, and stated that the
"current construct [the law making homosexuals ineligible] supports that purpose," and that any consideration of the issue now should do the same. He agreed with the CNO on the moratorium, saying either "change the law or not,...half measures will only be confusing in the end."

In effect, the opposition to repeal from our country's top military leaders, the individual Service Secretaries and Chiefs of Staff, illustrates that a "moratorium" would be nothing less than a thinly-veiled, de facto repeal. Senator McCain and Representative McKeon deserve high praise for exposing this back-door effort to make repeal a fait accompli, as well as do the Chiefs for their steadfast opposition in the face of congressional pressure to accept such a proposal.
posted by CMR Editor @ 2/25/2010 09:23:00 AM

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