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LIVE: McCain to Gates: You’re ‘Biased’ About Wanting to Change DADT

A live stream is available here. We apologize in advance for Joe Liberman’s stupid humor.

(Rush transcript. Errors possible.)

 

JOHN MCCAIN: “It would also present yet another challenge at a time of tremendous stress and strain. … We should not be seeking to overturn DADT. I want to make one thing clear up front: I’m enormously proud of every American who puts on a uniform [and protects our country]. Many gays and lesbians are serving admirably in our armed forces, risking their lives. … Our challenge is how to continue welcoming this service amidst the vast complexities. … Has this policy been ideal? No it has not. But it has been effective.”

 

ROBERT GATES: “We have received our orders from the Commander in Chief, and we are carrying them out accordingly. … To ensure that the department is prepared should the law be changed, and working in close consultation with Adm. Mullen, I have appointed a high level working group.” [General Counsel Jeh Johnson and Gen. Carter Ham will head the group.]

 

MIKE MULLEN: “Frankly, there are people on both sides of this debate who say there is no debate. … I expect that we will be more thoughtful than that. … I have said many times before, should the law change, we should move forward in a manner that does not add to that stress. … Our plate is very full, and while i believe this is an important issue, I also believe we need to be mindful of other pressing needs in our military. … What the citizens we defend want to know is that their uniform leadership that absolutely does not place in peril the readiness and effectiveness of their military. … Balance and thoughtfulness is what we need most right now. It’s what the president promised us.”

 

NEW RULES FOR DISMISSAL INVESTIGATIONS, to be reviewed within 45-day period.

GATES: “We can do the following within the confines of the existing law: We can raise the level of the officer required to make inquiry, conducts inquiry, raise the bar on credible information, raise the bar on what constitutes a reliable person. Overall, we can reduce the instances in which the instances in which a servicemember … is outed by a third party with a motive to harm the servicemember.”

LEVIN ASKS IF GATES WILL SUPPORT MORATORIUM ON DISCHARGES.

GATES: Can’t “answer that question.”

MCCAIN: I’m deeply disappointed in your statement, Mr. Gates. … Your statement is … how we best prepare [for making a change to the law] … before deciding whether we should repeal the law or not. … It requires Congress in order to repeal it. … Your statement is one that is clearly biased.

 

Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill just became the star of the hearings. Asking very basic questions — Are gays serving? Do we honor their service? — of Mullen, she draws out the simple fact that the U.S. armed forces is happy to have soldiers, but we just won’t “talk about it.” And how, she asks Mullen, will they even hear from gay soldiers affected by DADT? By talking first to those who have been dismissed.

 

Complete video coverage via ILO:

Live blogging from the Washington Post here.

By:           editor editor
On:           Feb 2, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 34 Comments
    • Same Crap
      Same Crap

      Shoulda voted for McCain, the clearly pro-gay candidate.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteamPunk
      SteamPunk

      I just want want McCain to tell me how DADT is effective?

      Feb 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Considering that over 13,000 members of the military have been kicked out, many of whom spoke arabic, Pashtun etc… could McCain please explain to me just how the policy has been effective.

      His poll numbers are down and he is being challanged from somebody on the right. So now he has to be come on like a bigoted klansman to shore up his right wing credentials. The scary thing is….his cheif of staff, Mark Buse is openly gay and yet McCain is willing to sell out this long time friend and employee just to try to solidify his poll numbers. What a sick, cynical, evil man.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dasher
      Dasher

      If McCain gets more pressure from his conservative primary opponent in Arizona, don’t be surprised if he switches from supporting DADT to wanting all gays in the military waterboarded at Guantanamo.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim Stone
      Jim Stone

      This should not be a Republican-Democrat issue. As a gay man I am so tired of being used as a political football.
      I am not a rocket scientist but my advice to the Republican party:
      Stop bashing gay people and be more inclusive. I PROMISE you that will generate a lot more votes for your candidates. There are a lot more gay people in this country (and their friends and family members) than evangelical Christians!

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      Mr. McCain is up for re-election. His opponent is seen as more “conservative.” This is part of his political strategy, whatever that maybe to literally “stay alive” in public service. He should find a great beach and sit down. The whole point of going to the military is being around people of the same sex! PEACELUVNBWILDYALL!

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      The more I hear from McCain, the more I realize America really dodged a bullet by not electing him. He seems like a nice enough guy personally, but hopelessly out of step with current reality. And current reality is far too grim to be left in the hands of all these old time golfing buddies. Our current state of affairs have proven conclusively that these guys just don’t have what it takes.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael W.
      Michael W.

      McCain was a real dirtbag. It’s astonishing that nearly 1 out of 3 gay voters went into their booths in 2008 and chose that bigoted curmudgeon.

      You’d think we were some kind of radioactive mutants.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Oh, and to those people trying to stall and say they need a year to “Study” this issue…..here is an article from 1989 on a Pentagon/DOD sponsored report on gays in the military. They tried to bury the report when it ended up saying that gays SHOULD be allowed to serve openly.

      http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/22/us/report-urging-end-of-homosexual-ban-rejected-by-military.html?pagewanted=1

      The Pentagon has already studied this, and if their own researchers in 1989 said that gays should serve openly what makes them think that this new study will do anything different…..unless they are just trying to stall hoping that more republicans win in the next round.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 6 · The Artist: “Mr. McCain is up for re-election. His opponent is seen as more ‘conservative.’ This is part of his political strategy, whatever that maybe to literally “stay alive” in public service.”

      That could be the reason, but McCain personally attacked Adm. Mullen when there was no reason to: Mullen had stated that they were starting a planning process to determine how a repeal could be implemented without causing a “major upheaval.” I.e., contingency planning – how they would comply with a repeal to the law.

      If McCain could not understand what Adm. Mullen was saying, that in itself is a good indication that he is not fit to be president due to a lack of intelligence. If he was attacking Adm. Mullen merely for political advantage in McCain’s state, he’s a sleaze (Adm. Mullen is not running for office and is apparently merely doing what the president wants). Either way, we made the right choice in the presidential election.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Artist
      The Artist

      @B: Politics in NOT about public service, it’s about winning your next election. John McCain maybe alot of things (including a bad strategist), but he’s not stupid. He’s just trying to be the “ole junk yard dawg” showing some fangs. In the end, he probably doesn’t care whose gay or not and don’t forget, the man also bought into the whole homosocial thing himself. PEACELUVNBWILD!

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      As intimidating troops by calling the “FAGGOT!!!!” is a central part of training removing “Don’t Ask Don;t Tell” will surely destroy our military as the presence of actual acknowledged gays will make such intimidation impossible.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 9 · Cam wrote, “Oh, and to those people trying to stall and say they need a year to ‘Study’ this issue” … what they want to study is not whether gays should be allowed in the military but rather what to do if DADT is repealed.

      An example: what sort of training material do you need to educate soldiers who grew up in the Bible belt and believe the nonsense about it being an “abomination”? You don’t want gay members of the military in Afghanistan worrying about being shot at by some guys in their units who believe the world was literally created in 7 days when there attention should be directed towards the Taliban.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dan j
      dan j

      As Goldwater said back in ’93: “When the facts lead to one conclusion, I say it’s time to act, not to hide. The country and the military know that eventually the ban will be lifted. The only remaining questions are how much muck we will all be dragged through, and how many brave Americans will have their lives and careers destroyed in a senseless attempt to stall the inevitable.”
      It is long past time to end this charade. Gay people have been serving since there were armies In a country dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal, there is no room for discrimination in the law.

      This is about the institutionalization of prejudice and maintaining a cultural taboo. This policy says anyone who isn’t totally straight must be punished for who they love. Having to be secretive and even lie about the most important relationship in your life is punishment! The only purpose served by DADT is to perpetuate the prejudice it was designed to indulge. It must be repealed and replaced with a non discrimination policy. There is no way to soften stigmatization. Gay people are already there and always have been and everyone knows it. End it now.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brian NJ
      Brian NJ

      The Democratic party can’t keep asking the gay community for support, when it passes around this issue like a hot potato. Civil rights leadership is required. BALLS. Democrats need to change to match the courage of our soldiers.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 13 · B said….
      No. 9 · Cam wrote, “Oh, and to those people trying to stall and say they need a year to ‘Study’ this issue” … what they want to study is not whether gays should be allowed in the military but rather what to do if DADT is repealed.

      An example: what sort of training material do you need to educate soldiers who grew up in the Bible belt and believe the nonsense about it being an “abomination”? You don’t want gay members of the military in Afghanistan worrying about being shot at by some guys in their units who believe the world was literally created in 7 days when there attention should be directed towards the Taliban.
      ______________________________

      the problem being that they are using the excuse of other’s bigotry as a delay tactic. It’s the military, people are suppsed to be trained and do what they are told. I you entered the military and said that you refused to work with women or latinos, they wouldn’t go “Gee, lets kick all the women and latinos out until we can train this guy.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 3:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Cam said: “the problem being that they are using the excuse of other’s bigotry as a delay tactic.” … except that
      your statement doesn’t fit the facts. They are doing something right now and also making plans for what to do when (or if) Congress passes a repeal.

      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/02/01/national/w135319S35.DTL : “The military’s top uniformed officer on Tuesday made an impassioned plea for allowing gays to serve openly in uniform, telling a Senate panel it was a matter of integrity and that it is wrong to force people to ‘lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.’

      “The comments by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, set the stage for the Defense Department’s yearlong study into how the ban can be repealed without causing a major upheaval in the military.

      “Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appearing with Mullen before the Armed Services Committee, announced plans to loosen enforcement rules involving the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that has been in effect since 1993.”

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Correction on No 10: I should have said that McCain personally attacked Robert Gates rather than Mullen.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tricky
      Tricky

      I like Meghan McCain, I really do. I like even like some of her politically conservative views and she has been outspoken in support of gay rights. She also said give her dad a chance, he is coming around. Really? The sad result is that these same folks will put their children in the position to keep apologizing for their actions long after they are dead and gone.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dasher
      Dasher

      I like Meghan McCain. John McCain? Not so much.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Same Crap
      Same Crap

      @Jim Stone: “There are a lot more gay people in this country (and their friends and family members) than evangelical Christians!”

      I doubt this is even remotely true.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Victor
      Victor

      We can win this by emailing US Senators. Here’s the link:

      http://www.sldn.org/page/speakout/Senators

      If we all send a hundred emails a day, I think the Republicans will change their minds. Lobbying works because their staffers count the emails and then they decide how to vote.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • reason
      reason

      This thing about using kid gloves on McCain because he failed to navigate his plane out of harms way and landed in the hands of the enemy is absurd. That experience in no way gave McCain some sort of special incite or clairvoyance into military maters. McCain was a lieutenant commander the equivalent of major but his behavior would lead one to believe he was a qualified general. The truth is McCain would not be with us right now if the North Vietnamese hadn’t discovered that his father was a top Naval Admiral, apparently that deference lead McCain to believe he is entitled. While grateful for McCain service, and sorry for the torture he endured for country, I will not sit back quietly while he acts poorly. McCain is not above reproach. His tribulations in Vietnam are diminished as he uses his power as a civilian senator to actively aide and abet a policy that emotionally tortures so many outstanding soldiers that are currently losing their lives for this country. Then to have the audacity to talk down to Secretary Gates one of the most brilliant minds on military maters is beyond exculpation.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 5:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      UGHH….McCain is so DISGUSTING. How in the world can anyone have regrets that this guy is not in the White House?

      Feb 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Drake
      Drake

      We have all been bitching about “how slowly” Obama has been going on this issue. It now looks like he has been doing lots of homework/preparation behind the scenes to get such unqualified support. I think we need to trust him more, and really to congratulate him on getting everyone who counts in the military on board with this issue.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hooey
      hooey

      After environmental ills, wars, a horrible economy, shrinking safe water wells etc….he’s basically saying allowing gays to serve would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why is our segment of society always to blame for stress and chaos?

      Yet another challenge? Why and how?

      Feb 2, 2010 at 8:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 24 · Drake wrote, “We have all been bitching about ‘how slowly’ Obama has been going on this issue. It now looks like he has been doing lots of homework/preparation behind the scenes to get such unqualified support. I think we need to trust him more, and really to congratulate him on getting everyone who counts in the military on board with this issue.”

      Something to keep in mind – Obama has a background as a “community organizer”. One of the things an effective community organizer does is to guide others to coordinate their efforts and, of course, let those people get a lot of the credit (it helps motivate them). Basically, you have to get them all going in the same direction without looking like you are running the show – otherwise they will wait for instructions if they stay engaged at all, and little will get done because one person can’t do it all.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Martin
      Jon Martin

      We the gays need to write every single elected official and have DADT placed in the FY 2011 Defense Authorization Bill.

      My latest blog article about DADT: http://url2it.com/ccgd

      Feb 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chris
      chris

      Sen McCaskill has got it right by asking those simple questions that really hit hard. That’s the way we have to do this, make the opponents look openly bigoted and stupid and their arguments will fall apart…just like the Perry trial.

      Feb 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • wannabegay
      wannabegay

      give mccain a break! he’s a MAVERICK!!! lol :)))

      Feb 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 15 · Cam can wrote: “I you entered the military and said that you refused to work with women or latinos, they wouldn’t go “Gee, lets kick all the women and latinos out until we can train this guy.”

      … that’s because they already have the necessary training programs in place. You can bet that when they liberalized policies regarding women and minorities (they didn’t integrate until after World War II), they determined what training programs they would need and what to do if someone didn’t go along (e.g., what sort of “corrective action” to apply).

      Try reading http://www.history.army.mil/books/integration/IAF-FM.htm as an indication of what was involved in removing racial bias in the U.S. military. It wasn’t simply a case of Truman saying “do it” with everything magically falling into place.

      Feb 3, 2010 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
    • Jon Martin
      Jon Martin

      Join me and write John McCain letters!

      Mine is uploaded on my blog: http://url2it.com/ccib

      Feb 3, 2010 at 10:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Victor
      Victor

      @Jon Martin: Jon knows the way to win. If we all send emails to John McCain he will change his mind. It’s my understanding that he’ll support our causes when he gets “more than 1 million” emails or calls.

      We should send all the Republicans emails, but I don’t know how many will make them all change their minds.

      Feb 3, 2010 at 11:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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