Sen. Carl Levin, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, has no problem with this little DADT survey the Pentagon is sending around like malware. So long as the American public never, ever learns how soldiers feel about showering with homosexuals.
Levin “can understand the resentment in the gay community” over the survey, he said this morning at a Christian Science Monitor-sponsored breakfast. And while “it’s a very good idea to get the attitude of the troops on things, provided it’s clearly understood it’s just a question to help guide decision makers to the extent it’s relevant,” let’s not give them the assumption “the military’s a democracy” or that they’ve got “veto power” over Pentagon leaders — or elected officials.
But what about when the survey is completed, and research firm Westat tallies the results? Won’t we all get to have a look? “I want to satisfy my doubts about the content of the survey,” says Levin, who says he hasn’t seen the questionnaire. “I’m not sure that it is a fair survey until I read it and satisfy myself. … But in any event, it should not be released in my judgment. It was intended to be a private survey, it should stay that way. I have no hopes that’ll be the case, but I can always dream.”
So, not only does the Senate’s military topper not believe the Pentagon can ensure soldersi’ privacy in answering the questions (as Defense Sec. Robert Gates insisted), but he also wants to make sure the data that’s about to determine how the military handles gays post-DADT is, in a perfect world, never released for your consumption. Man, pessimist much?