Pen­tagon pro­moted rigged re­port

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

The Pen­tagon on Nov. 30 re­leased a re­port in­tended to ad­vance a key cam­paign prom­ise made by then-Sen. Obama to the fringe ac­tivist groups that sup­ported his pres­i­den­tial as­pi­ra­tions. Now as com­man­der in chief, Pres­i­dent Obama has made it clear to mil­i­tary brass that he ex­pects them to em­brace the LGBT (les­bian, gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­dered) agenda. It should come as no sur­prise that the re­lease of the mil­i­tary’s new “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” sur­vey was care­fully or­ches­trated to ac­com­plish this mis­sion.

From the out­set, the Pen­tagon had no in­ter­est in elic­it­ing hon­est re­sponses from the troops about whether the law out­law­ing ho­mo­sex­ual con­duct in the ranks should be pre­served or re­pealed. In­stead, sol­diers, air­men, sailors and Marines were ad­dressed in terms im­ply­ing that re­peal is in­evitable. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion leaked se­lected re­sults to sym­pa­thetic me­dia to cre­ate the il­lu­sion that the troops have no prob­lem stack­ing the bar­racks and sub­marines with ho­mo­sex­u­als. The fi­nal re­port’s re­lease is a last-ditch ef­fort to pro­vide Demo­cratic mem­bers of Congress the cover they need to ram through the law’s re­peal in the lame-duck ses­sion.

A closer ex­am­i­na­tion shows that 63 per­cent of re­spon­dents live off-base or in civil­ian hous­ing and con­se­quently an­swered that a change in pol­icy might not af­fect them. Those in com­bat roles — where unit co­he­sion and trust are life­and-death con­cerns — gave a dif­fer­ent re­sponse. About half with com­bat ex­pe­ri­ence said a change would have a neg­a­tive or very neg­a­tive im­pact in the field or at sea. Among Ma­rine com­bat troops, two-thirds said com­bat readi­ness would suf­fer. Per­haps that’s why the work­ing group held 51 “in­for­ma­tion ex­change fo­rums” at bases only in the United States, Ger­many and Ja­pan. Min­i­miz­ing the views of those serv­ing in com­bat situa-

Since 2005, only 1 per­cent of those booted from the mil­i­tary were kicked out for vi­o­lat­ing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rules.

tions in Iraq and Afghanista­n helped fur­ther di­lute the po­ten­tial for a neg­a­tive re­sponse.

Even so, more re­veal­ing an­swers came in re­sponse to ques­tions about par­tic­u­lar sit­u­a­tions, in­clud­ing what would hap­pen to those or­dered to share a tent or shower with a known ho­mo­sex­ual. More than 61 per­cent said they would take some sort of ac­tion to avoid this sit­u­a­tion, if pos­si­ble. Only 6 per­cent of troops said re­peal would im­prove ei­ther re­cruit­ment or morale, and about a quar­ter said they would leave the mil­i­tary early if the re­peal is signed into law. “There was noth­ing in that re­port that showed a sin­gle ben­e­fit to the mil­i­tary in terms of readi­ness, re­cruit­ing or re­ten­tion,” Elaine Don­nelly, pres­i­dent of the Cen­ter for Mil­i­tary Readi­ness, ex­plained at a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day. “There is no com­pelling rea­son to do this.”

In con­trast, al­low­ing open ho­mo­sex­ual con­duct would only “ben­e­fit” a tiny — but loud — mi­nor­ity. Since 2005, only 1 per­cent of those booted from the mil­i­tary were kicked out for vi­o­lat­ing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rules. It’s dan­ger­ous to cater to this hand­ful at the ex­pense of hun­dreds of thou­sands of troops who, ac­cord­ing to the re­sults, would be­gin plan­ning their exit from the mil­i­tary if the pol­icy were changed. This nation’s de­fenses shouldn’t be so weak­ened.

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