One thing we apparently missed from Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr.’s ridiculous statements about gays in the military — aside from his assertion that repealing DADT will invite other horrors on the armed services, like letting “hermaphrodites” serve openly — is attacking Defense Sec. Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen on their pro-gay status … because they are biased. Yes, George W. Bush’s appointees are biased toward Democrats.
The assertion is so preposterous, even Sen. John Kerry had to weigh in. In a coherent post to VetVoice.com, Kerry notes Hunter’s statement (“Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates are both political appointees. They’re going to be biased. They’re going to say what the administration wants them to say”) flies directly in the face of something called fact.
It was especially alarming to hear the judgment of Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates dismissed so easily as ‘biased.’
Anyone who knows Admiral Mullen or Bob Gates knows damn well that neither of them say what any Administration just wants them to say.
This is, after all, Secretary Bob Gates – a lifelong Republican who was appointed to positions of high trust and leadership by President Ronald Reagan, President George Herbert Walker Bush, and President George W Bush. This is a Defense Secretary who planned to leave government and had to be talked into continuing to serve in a Democratic Administration. He is doing his duty today out of patriotism, not political ambition or partisanship.
And this is, after all, the same Admiral Mullen who was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George W Bush. A four star Admiral who has spent 42 years wearing the uniform of his country. He’s tough. He’s independent. He speaks his mind, and he speaks the truth. Indeed, at Tuesday’s hearing, when Republicans members of the Senate Armed Services Committee accused him of “undue command influence” and of obeying “directives” from President Obama, Admiral Mullen responded in just the way you would expect a man of his caliber. “This is not about command influence,” he said. “This is about leadership, and I take that very seriously.”
But let’s test what Congressman Hunter said. Does the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs just automatically sing from the same playbook as the Administration? Ironically, the last time a Democratic President tried to lift the ban on gays on the military, the Chairman of the JCS, who happened to be a Republican appointed by his Republican predecessor, broke with the President and opposed gays serving openly. His name was General Colin Powell. The Republicans back then didn’t think to question the impartiality of that political appointee.
Or does Rep. Hunter want to point to Adm. Mullen’s lengthy journey, described in today’s Times, toward finding a more reasoned approach to gays in the military? Yes, the man whose home is decorated in Broadway Playbills, and who reaches out beyond the military community, and who’s spent the last year studying DADT — it must be because he just wants to curry favor with the homos that he’s pushing for some common sense.