don't tell hell

Admitting Troops Are Stretched Thin, White House Has No Plans to Stop Kicking Out the Gay Ones

Gibbs White House

Oh hey, what’s another 30,000 troops sent to Afghanistan? As President Obama sends more of America’s sons, daughters, parents, and siblings into war, he’s yet to do anything about those gay servicemembers, who could be kicked out at a moment’s notice, despite the military’s obvious need for capable bodies. Sounds like it might be a good time to revisit where the White House and Pentagon are with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, eh?

So Kerry Eleveld did. Warning: Predictable responses from Press Sec. Robert Gibbs ahead!

ELEVELD: Some people have analyzed the number of troops available to deploy and said that sending 30,000 troops is tantamount to deploying nearly every U.S. Army brigade possible. Given that about 10,000 soldiers are already in stop-loss, do you know where Defense Secretary Gates is with his review of softening the discharges on “don’t ask, don’t tell”?

GIBBS: Well, I have not heard an update from the Secretary on that. I know that obviously the President wants that policy changed. In terms of — I mean, obviously it’s not just Army. This is Army and Marines, as well as — well, Army and Marines. They are — this was very specifically asked in terms of whether force flow options would interrupt either Marine or Army policies that have been instituted to give longer breaks for tours of duty and then return home. The Joint Chiefs, to a commander, all told the Commander-in-Chief that they could meet the force requirement without interrupting what they had instituted in order to provide that time at home and away from the tour of duty.

ELEVELD: But the troops are stretched thin. I mean, it’s not —

GIBBS: No doubt. And I think that the President was very clear in wanting to see the Joint Chiefs to, quite frankly, ask them very directly whether that was the case. There’s no doubt that there has been for many, many years a strain on our forces; that that strain has caused repeated tours. And only recently has Secretary Gates and others instituted policies that ensure that we had time outside of a theater of war and that they believe was necessary to maintain an all-volunteer force, which they think obviously is tremendously important, as well as just dealing with the stress physically and mentally on them.

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  • Pat Brown

    Interesting how he continually avoided answering the question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’m seriously beginning to think Obama is turning out to be a gutless wonder who won’t stand behind his promises, even when doing so would benefit the country.

    Where’s the Obama everyone voted for?

  • Charles Merrill

    What’s with the bubble gum pink tie ? Is his wearing pink supposed to be a message of LGBT solidarity? It should be yellow to match the stripe down his back.

  • Bill

    At this point, I do not realize why every gay & lesbian person in the military does not just come out of the closet and let the chips fall where they may.

    It would be amazing to watch the United States throwing out THOUSANDS of talented men and women all at once during a time of war, and it would make a strong statement. Of course, that could/would never happen, but it sure would make a mark!

    I also do not understand why ANY gay or lesbian American would fight FOR a country that wishes them harm and for freedoms that their country denies them.

  • Bill

    @ Pat Brown #1

    Obama is FAR too concerned with being liked by all and admired by everybody to be ANY kind of effectual leader.

    He is, quite simply, politics as usual.

    The only thing special about Obama is his skin color. And the fact that he became the President of a country that hates Black people.

  • InExile

    Please, please run in 2012 Hillary!

  • Attmay

    @4 Bill:

    This country doesn’t hate black people as much as it hates gay people. And it never did, even when the KKK’s membership was in the millions. Hell, the South loved black people so much they committed treason for the right to own their very own black people!

    @1 Pat Brown:

    This IS the Obama people voted for: an empty suit who says what he thinks he needs to say to get elected. He rose from the most corrupt political machine in America.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear Bill post #3–If nurses were subject to DADT and coming out resulted in their licenses to practice being revoked, that would be a difficult decision. Many nurses love what they do, as do soldiers. Many have their identities entwined in their work, as do soldiers. Many are also financially dependent on it as well. That’s a tough call, Bill. On a lighter note, for every queer that does get kicked out, that’s just one more vote for equality here in the States.

  • andy_d

    What we need to do is all thank the White House, Congress AND the Pentagon for granting us a “Special” right of not needing to take a chance on dying in defense of our other rights (as few as they are). If we do this often, publicly and LOUDLY enough, maybe we can get those opposing “special rights for gays and lesbians” to support the repeal of DADT.

  • terrwill

    No. 5 · InExile: Notice that someone has for the most part become the invisible member of the O-ministration???? In New York Gov. Patterson is virtually guaranteed not to run for another term. In virtually every poll matchup he loses the election big time. Andrew Cuomo is almost certain to be the Gov. of NY next year. I predict you will see that same scenario on the national level in 2012. Hillary is laying very low so as not to have her fingerprints on any decision being made by the White House, she can proclaim that “for the good of the party” and to ensure the Dems keep the white house that she gain the nomination in 2012. I had high hopes and was an avid supporter of Obama. And not just on the Gay issues am I disappointed, the bailouts and stimulus plans were ill advised. Trying KSM in NY instead of a quick quiet trial at Guantamo is one of the hugest mistakes any President has ever made. I hope Obama gets his bearings and has a successful Presidency. However hope is dimming. Guarantee if things don’t change your wish in #5 will come true…………….

  • schlukitz

    Guarantee if things don’t change your wish in #5 will come true…………….

    I could live with that, Terrwill. ;)

  • Rainfish

    Too many of us have been deluded into thinking that Obama will usher in a Golden Age of Freedom for our kind. We should not hold our breath on that presumption — unless we are tired of breathing, that is.

    As I said before, I have no doubt that our priority to him, and to a Democratic-controlled Congress, would rate somewhere far below that of protecting the Black-footed Ferret and passing a resolution to honor National Cabbage Day. If we don’t get a pro-labor, pro-civil rights third party firmly entrenched, in at least 10% of the seats in Congress, then the two party power structure will continue to cooperate in at least two things:

    (1) favor the current status quo, job-destroying, financial Darwinism of Wall Street, while

    (2) concurrently doing their best bit of “across the aisle cooperation” by resolutely ignoring the GLBT Community into complete irrelevancy.

    So, I thank all of you who understand that by our not demanding our rights from those we have put into office — we gain nothing. By eagerly settling for insulting proposals of social apartheid and segregationist legislative “final solutions” to our disenfranchisement — we deserve the contempt we receive . I wish more people would understand that we are not traitors to our own kind, committing political “homo“-cide against the “Gay race“, just because we point out the dangerous hypocrisy of those who claim to be our “friends”. The “go along to get along” Uncle Tomishness, of what embarrassingly passes as leadership in our community, has just made enablers of us all. Don’t we get the kind of bad leadership we deserve, if we do not demand better?

    I implore people not to send more money to HRC if they continue to just wine and dine greedy, power-hungry politicians who could care less about our rights. Just ask yourself this: when the day comes that we finally achieve our full civil rights in this hateful country, who will need the Democrats to advocate for GLBT causes? Don’t you think the DNC realizes that fear every time they hit us up for the tens of millions of dollars we splurge on their campaigns in return for half-hearted promises they have no intention of keeping?

    For all the many years of our financial support and with our loyal vote, can you name one major piece of legislation, or even a small one; any pro-GLBT civil rights bill that has ever been passed when the Democrats were in power for the majority of the last fifty years? We got DADT and DOMA instead (under a Democratic President, I might add) which could not have passed without the consent of the Democrats and the full collaboration of the leadership of the Democratic party with the Republicans.

    Too many Democratic politicians fear that if we get what we want, then we wont need them anymore. Our complete egalitarian assimilation into this society would spell doom for many who have exploited the GLBT community for so very long. It is not in their best interest to end our dependency on the Democratic Party. They fear that; I smell it on them. We are useful (and reliable) fools with the cash and the votes they need — especially in a close election.

    I agree with you “Simon Jones”, and with so many of you in the GLBT community at large who have seen through the Democrats’ cynical ploy. If only we truly had stronger leadership in our community we just might have a stronger, more united community. Where are our role models for the next generation of GLBT youth to emulate?

    We really need committed people who could organize peaceful protests, and insist on our uncompromising demand for equality, while convincing the Circus Clowns and the Refugees from Marti Gras to leave their sequined jockstraps and pink fright wigs at home. This rebuke has nothing to do with the legitimate transgender community, which also desires to be taken seriously. It is about self-destructive exhibitionism which degrades us all as a legitimate minority group that is struggling for its freedom. Since when did we become the GLBT and E(xhibitionist) Community?

    Perhaps if we would act more determined, and with true pride, about not settling for anything less than being treated with unequivocal respect for our human dignity and for our human rights; then perhaps, just perhaps, more people would believe we deserve our fair share of both.

    © Bud Evans, 2008

    FOOTNOTE: I wrote this essay (Monday, September 29, 2008) on several news sites. I shall resist doing the “I told you so” dance, but my feet are a tappin’. I hate it when I’m right sometimes.

  • ousslander

    Gays that are outed should just claim to be a radical muslim, not only will they stay in the army they’ll get a promotion.

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