It’s actually not that big a deal the Justice Department, in defending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in Log Cabin v. United States, declared in a new brief that President Obama was wrong (lied?) when he told a White House audience at a LGBT Pride reception the law “doesn’t contribute to our national security.” But it’s pretty hilarious that DoJ had to be forced to go on record about it.
With the June trial date quickly approaching, the filing of briefs on both sides is the closest we’ll get to color commentary akin to the Super Bowl’s pre-show. But for now, it’s more than sufficing, as the Log Cabins note in a release:
In a brief filed this week by the Justice Department, lawyers for the government were forced to admit that President Obama’s assertions and statements were not true concerning the impact of the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy.
On June 29, 2009, during his speech in front of an audience attending the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month Reception, held at the White House, President Obama stated “As I said before–I’ll say it again–I believe ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ doesn’t contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.” In the lawsuit, Justice Department attorneys admitted that the President made this statement.
Using President Obama’s exact words, Log Cabin’s lawyers then asked the government to admit that what the President said was true. Justice Department lawyers objected, Log Cabin filed and won a motion to compel the government to answer the questions, the government appealed, and the court rejected the appeal.
Consequently, on Monday, April 12, 2010, the government finally had to answer the questions and, when the Justice Department lawyers answered, they denied the truth of what the President had said. Specifically, when asked to admit that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “does not contribute to our national security”, the government’s response was “Deny.” When asked to admit that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “weakens our national security”, the government’s response was again “Deny”. And, when asked to admit that discharging service members pursuant to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “weakens our national security,” the government’s response was “Deny”. The government’s responses attempt to explain why these denials differ from what the President had said but they candidly admit that the government’s position in this case differs from the President’s view of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
So that’s funny. By no means is it some smoking gun that’ll convince a federal jury to nullify the law — DoJ says that it had to call out Obama “for purposes of this litigation” — but it should make for some excellent courtroom banter, about how Eric Holder’s team says Obama is a liar.