It’s Day Two of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s attempt to make John McCain look even worse. Tune in! You’re going to hear from A-listers like Gen. James Cartwright, Gen. George Casey, Adm. Gary Roughead, Gen. James Amos, Gen. Norton Schwartz, and Adm. Robert Papp.
Gen. Casey doesn’t want to “add another level of stress to an already stressed force” or make it “more difficult” for the military to carry out its mission by repealing the law. However, if the law is repealed by Congress, it would not “keep us from accomplishing our worldwide missions, including combat operations.” He later tells McCain the law should be repealed “eventually.” It’s a question of “timing, whether we can do this in the near term”; “I would not recommend going forward at this time.”
The Navy’s Adm. Roughhead says he “believes the appropriate policy issues” have been researched and considered by the DADT study, but notes “there will be issues to be addressed” because of the “sizable minority” who believes repealing the law will have a “negative” impact. He cites living, bathing, and training environments. But: “I believe these concerns can be effectively mitigated.” If the law is repealed, the Navy “will not fundamentally change.” And thus, he says “I recommend repeal.”
Gen. Amos says the survey “provides useful information” about the Marines’ views on gays. “If the law is changed, successfully implementing repeal … has strong potential for disruption at the small unit level,” because it’ll distract from “preparing units for combat.” Thus, he “cannot reconcile” ignoring the views of his Marines. “We asked for their opinions, and they gave them to us.” But can we “implement repeal at this time? Yes.” If Congress changes the law, the Marines will “faithfully follow the law.” But should we repeal the law? “My recommendation is that we should not implement repeal at this time” though “combat readiness” and morale is “as high” as ever.
Gen. Schwartz recognizes “complicating factors” of implementing repeal. The Air Force “can accomodate” repeal with minimal risk of disruption. “The Air Force will pursue implementation if the law changes.” However, the “short term risk” to the military is not low as the study asserts. “I remain concerned with the study’s assessment” that Afghanistan troops will face little to no effects. “I therefore recommend deferring full implementation” and have certification of repeal held off until 2012. However, “legislative action on this issue is far preferable” to courts making the call. He later tells McCain “I do not think it prudent to seek full implementation in the near term.”
The Coast Guard’s Adm. Papp says his servicemembers should not have to lie just to fulfill their will to serve. Despite what the report claims, repeal will not be “easy.” There will be “challenges along the course ahead,” some of which “we cannot forsee” and will require “considerable time and resources” to overcome. None of that gets in the way of his support for repeal, saying Coast Guard members will maintain their “high levels of professionalism” and can “weather change of this magnitude.”
And so: After more than three hours of hearings, McCain ends with this: The “testimony today clearly indicated we should not rush judgment on this issue” and push legislation to repeal DADT. This man is not just a monster. He’s a lost cause.