And here we thought Barack Obama was lining up senior military leaders who supported repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. So why is sitting Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. Conway circulating Pentagon memos voicing his opposition to the policy?
Well, he’s not alone. Plenty of military brass don’t want to see DADT repealed. Because it’s be too disruptive. Or, simply, they just don’t want gays prancing around!
Folks like Army Secretary John McHugh have publicly declared their divisions are ready to deal with the repeal. Incoming Under Secretary of Defense Dr. Clifford Stanley is expected to be a DADT foe.
But Conway, in “private conversations” that were relayed to the right-wing newspaper The Washington Times, is supposedly going around D.C. running his mouth about how he “feels very strongly that [removing the ban] would be disruptive, and he opposes it,” according the paper’s source. But on the record, Conway’s camp isn’t denying his beliefs; asked on the record, the Marine general’s spokesman Maj. David Nevers didn’t deny the allegation.
So how did Conway reach his conclusion? Well, relays the Times, he’s “the only chief known to have actively surveyed his generals on the impact of removing the ban.” Not that his colleagues in other branches of military appear to be so far from his position:
The four-star chiefs of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army have said little on the topic in public and have not been pressed by Congress to provide their professional opinions. All four declined to answer when asked for their personal opinions on the ban by The Times, except to say they will abide by the law.
Which is funny, because President Obama has been using that same “abide by the law” line.