checking the box

The DADT Survey Is Not a Game, You Guys. It Is Serious, Ridiculously Expensive Business

Taking heat over its 103-question, 32-page DADT repeal survey, the Pentagon is on the defensive: It is sooo not biased!

“I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a good explanation. We’ll try to get it for you. I don’t know.” That was Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell answering questions Friday about why the questionnaire included nothing to determine how soldiers felt about how the current implementation of DADT affected things like “troop morale” and “unit cohesion.”

In that same presser, Morell insisted the survey — conducted by the research firm Westat and paid with 4.5 million of Americans’ taxpayer dollar — was not inherently prejudiced. “Absolutely, unequivocally, I reject [accusations of bias] as nonsense.” (I’m going to ignore the irony in debating bias about a survey conducted about a law that institutionalizes bias.)

And for critics of the survey, like the Palm Center and Servicemembers United, Morell has this to say: “It’s costing us an extraordinary amount of money. It’s taking an extraordinary amount of manpower. And it deals with an extraordinarily important issue. We’re not playing games here.” Which must be why the survey was not fashioned like a Choose Your Own Adventure-style game.

Even I would’ve filled it out if I could answer the question “What would you do if you knew there were homosexuals serving in your battalion?” with “Sprint to the showers, Turn to Page 88 to see what happens next.”