Gates’ 180: Congress Should Repeal DADT Before Stupid Pentagon Review Is Complete

Heading off to Australia to discuss whether kangaroos can be turned into hopping robotic armaments, Defense Sec. Robert Gates took a few moments to say he’d really love to see Congress repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell during the lame duck session that’s about to kick off, but even he knows there’s a better chance of America “winning” the Afghanistan War than that happening.

“I would like to see the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, but I’m not sure what the prospects for that are and we’ll just have to see,” he told a gaggle of reporters eager to transcribe his every word. The remarks are the first time Gates publicly endorsed a pre-January effort to repeal the law, and are more bold than what Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell would say on Thursday: “What Congress decides to do legislatively with regards to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, or any issue for that matter is largely their business. They take up things in the order they see fit. …“I think in 26 days time, the secretary will have the work product that he thinks is so necessary for us to be to fully understand full implications of a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and then what additional measures we need to take in preparation for that eventuality.” He also said Gates believes a it’s best to repeal DADT in a “smart [rather] than stupid” way, and finishing the report “is very important to us doing this smartly.”

As we all know, that report isn’t due until December (conveniently timed for after the mid-term elections), which means Gates now supports an attempt to repeal the law before that report is issued.

Which is in staunch contract to new Marine head Gen. James Amos, who says now is not the time to consider repeal. On the job just two weeks since taking over for pro-DADT Gen. James Conway, Amos says, “There’s risk involved. I’m trying to determine how to measure that risk. This is not a social thing. This is combat effectiveness.”

Isn’t Gates the guy who promised “enormous consequences for our troops” if DADT is repealed hastily? Sure sounds like he’s ready to move up that timeline, all because some Democrats lost their seats.

Defense Sec. Gates: Gay Discharges Back On, But Only If A Top General Nominates Ya

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  • Ian

    Gates has the GALL to press for passage NOW, when he asked for the year moratorium for that inane ‘review’ instead of straight repeal of DADT? It’s not hard to see that Gates is being the Obama White House’s water bearer here, knowing full well that they have messed up on ENDA, DOMA & DADT, and that there will not be that many Gay Americans to vote for them come Obama’s re-election time in 2012.

  • GlacierGuy

    Now is the time to end this, not later, not next year…….NOW! How ridiculous that in 2010 gay people can’t go server their own country. If you are willing to put your life on the line gay or not, then the least “they” can do is let you do it with PRIDE!

  • McMike

    It’d be easier to get a cow to fly over Congress than to get them to repeal DADT.

  • Chris

    Maybe when he comes to Australia he can check out the Australian Defence Force and see that it hasn’t imploded since allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.

  • Brutus

    I don’t care if it is a 180. The more voices calling for repeal, the better.

  • Dan

    Since discharges for DADT always go down during war (more specifically discharges are delayed until after war), the military has already demonstrated it can easily handle the end of DADT – these are professional soldiers after all. If they routinely can handle automatic weapons, sniper rifles, tanks, supersonic jet fighter plains, aircraft carriers, submarines, and nuclear weapons, then I’m certain the military can easily handle the end of DADT.

  • Dave

    It’s great that he’s saying this now, but one has to question his timing. It seems like he waited until a repeal was essentially all but impossible to come out in favor of it, after spending years doing everything in his power to obstruct it.

    I guess it’s easier to be in favor of something that won’t happen. That way, you get to sound reasonable and fair without having to actually do any of the work or suffer any backlash from the right wing.

  • SteveC

    I think a National Coming Out day is needed for the US Army.

    DADT is utterly unacceptable. No gay soldier should be expected to serve in silence.

    If about 10,000 gay soldiers came out at once it would be horribly embarrassing for Obama and Gates.

    And if the soldiers are discharged, then they will have made a lucky escape from a disgustingly bigotted employer.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    NONSENSE! Gates said no such thing. The hacks at the AP, as usual, are reporting things that didn’t happen. I can’t find anywhere that Gates actually said anything more than he’d like to see it repealed but isn’t sure it can be. And anyone who thinks this Repug thug ….whose intent all along was to push the vote into the lame duck session…actually wants discharges to end hasn’t been paying attention.

    The timing of the comments by the latest Commandant Asshat are not accident, kids, however sad that Corps “leadership” keeps disgracing its men and women, rewriting the lyrics of the Marine Hymn to, “First to fight for [fear and prejudice], and to keep [bigotry alive, they] are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.” No branch was more against racial integration than the Marines. In April of 1941, Marine Commandant Maj. Gen. Thomas Holcomb said, “If it were a question of having a Marine Corps of 5,000 whites or 250,000 Negroes, I would rather have the whites,” adding later that the Marine Corps was then simply too small to form racially separate units.

    And, predictably, he also opposed adding more women to the service. It was said that during a dinner party in October 1942, a photo of 5th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Archibald Henderson, fell from the wall when someone asked Holcomb, “What do you think of having women in the Marine Corps?”

    In 1992 and 93, then Marine Commandant Carl Mundy was the most rabidly opposed of all the Joint Chiefs to lifting the ban. He personally distributed multiple copies of the homohating video “The Gay Agenda” to others in the military and members of Congress. Some Marine brass came out of retirement to fight the ban, one calling gays “walking depositories [sic] of disease,” spoke of the Corps attitude toward “queers, thieves, and cowards,” and predicted a Marine insurrection if the ban ended. One officer suggested the Marine Corps should disband rather than be forced to let gays serve.

    Most will probably remember that it was just three years ago that the then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace, defended the ban and added he thought homosexuality “immoral.” He, too, was a Marine. Though SECDEF Gates said at the time Pace shouldn’t have interjected his “personal opinion,” note that Gates undoubtedly recommended his antigay, pro ban successors, first “Separate Rooms” Conway, and now Amos. Note, too, that President Obama approved Amos for Commandant.

    These are the type of relative indices by which we must interpret the sincerity of opposite claims, such as those by the POTUS and the SECDEF that they WANT the ban to end. One could take the proverbial high road and say that both are simply being democratic in allowing Conway, Amos, and other top brass to express dissent. BUT the military is NOT a democracy, and these dissenters report directly or indirectly to Obama and Gates.

    Recall, too, the brief puff of dust when Lieutenant General Benjamin Mixon, commanding general of the US Army Pacific, wrote the following to “Stars & Stripes”:

    “It is often stated that most servicemembers are in favor of repealing the policy. I do not believe that is accurate. Now is the time to write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views. If those of us who are in favor of retaining the current policy do not speak up, there is no chance to retain the current policy.”

    Again, Gates paid lip service to Mixon having done the wrong thing but he wasn’t in any way reprimanded for what was, IMNSHO, a clear violation of the spirit if not the letter of federal law and DoD policy.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    Thursday is Veterans Day. Honor all those who’ve served and do serve…particularly those forced to in silence….by calling the White House at 202-456-1414 or writing at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and telling Obama to stop TALKING about ending the discharges and just DO it in the name of national security using his unequivocal powers under federal law 10 USC 12305.


  • Kevin

    The way this White House has flipped and flopped and flipped again on DADT…I’m getting dizzy.

  • 60 Votes

    Bull shit. Gates – and everyone else – knows we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate. This is just grandstanding.

    The study will be delivered on Dec 1st and the studied into the next Congress. No DADT Repeal anytime soon.

  • Trent_K

    The policy was already dead until this administration appealed it.

    This is now Obama’s DADT.

  • Trent_K

    They haven’t actually flip-flopped. Their words have always been that they want to repeal it, but their actions have been to DEFEND IT vehemently.

    They think we’re too stupid to figure out what they’re doing!

  • Comixbear

    Translated…He wants to have the Republicans be able to blame the Democrats later on for whatever false accusations that they can make about having gays in the military.

  • reason

    @Ian: Sec. Gates is not carrying water for anyone. Gates is not a democrat, never has been and never will be. The only reason he is in the cabinet is because the president strongly requested him to stay and he felt that he owed it to his country to guide the military through a tough time. Gates has no stakes in seeing this president get re-elected and has publicly stated that he plans to be long gone when that time comes. His primary focus is to do what is best for the military, and he was going to press to make sure that it was done in the proper fashion regardless of the political cost to the president. His duty is to the military. I don’t even know why you would bring up DOMA and EDNA granted that Gates likely stands with his Republican brethren, that he has served so well throughout history, on those matters. Gates sincerely believes that the study was necessary and that DADT has run its course, if not I can assure you that he would have no qualms standing with the Marine Commandant.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com


    QUICK! NOTIFY SCIENCE! I though your head was just permanently ensconced in Obama’s ass, but you’ve somehow managed to shove it up Gates’ ass, too.

    “The Huffington Post,” June 3, 2010:


    WHO do you think they meant by “military leaders”—Gomer Pyle?

  • Mac McNeill

    I do not think that it matters to today’s young people whether or not someone is gay, straight, bi or purple. Sure there will always be one or two rednecks who it will make a difference to, but the majority it does not. What makes a difference is whether that person is going to have their back when the time comes. But yet it does to the older generation, and those are the leaders of the different branchs of service.

    There will always be hate, whether it be in the service, in business, in public or just in our schools. But gays have got to take the stand and do what is right. If the democrats don’t want the gays votes then so be it. I’m sure we can find someone to support. I don’t think I want to vote for a republican but at the same time I want someone to represent my values as an American.

  • reason

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: I don’t see how what you said has anything to do with my post. It is also difficult to understand what you are talking about, how about providing some context before posting a random quote.

    Why can’t you just write normally, the caps thing is distracting and gives the essence of a drugged up erratic individual behind the keyboard. I am not trying to be rude just honest.

  • damon459

    He supports it now cause he knows it won’t happen.

  • Cam

    Gates has already said. If DADT is repealed by Congress they are good. If the Courts say it is unconstitutional, then they are open to lawsuits by troops that they have wrgonly kicked out under an unconstitutional policy.

    He is scared if Congresss drops the ball that the Pentagon is facing a massive number o suits.

  • poiu

    You know, this is actually one of the few acknowledgments of Gates and Clinton coming to Australia from the American press. You say we have a “special relationship”, and even though we know you see plenty of other countries, we (or more correctly, Murdoch’s press) fall for it every time.
    *sobs* You don’t even seem to care that we’re seeing China.

    On another note; its interesting that your Military seems to be more powerful than the Legislature – ours need to go to controversial foreign wars before anyone even notices its existance, let alone believe its relevant.

  • B

    o. 1 · Ian “Gates has the GALL to press for passage NOW, when he asked for the year moratorium for that inane ‘review’ instead of straight repeal of DADT?”

    Since the review ends in December and has been going on for quite a few months, don’t you think it is possible that Gates has seen a draft report in advance of the version that will be officially released?

    The most likely outcome is for the report to show that there is no problem.

  • Dale

    It would be a big mistake to repeal DADT before the review is done. That is exactly what GOProud and LCR want. Once Obama falls into that trap, the whole Repig/Teabagger echo chamber will be screaming about an activist Congress overturning the authority of the military for “sexual experimentation.” Believe me, McCain and Boehner have ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ ready to testify on forced anal sex, every minute detail of gay male fellatio, and yes even scat. Don’t fall for the trap. Both GOProud and LCR have been screaming about Obama being a traitorous homophobe while they simultaneously endorsed extremely anti-gay candidates (who won!). Their transparent agenda should be obvious.

  • Merlyn

    Just more BS. If the Obama administration wanted DADT gone it would be. They must think we are stupid.

Comments are closed.