Defense Sec. Robert Gates is not happy that findings from the Pentagon's survey on the impact of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal were leaked and has ordered an investigation to find the source, according to the American Forces Press Service.
Gates is "very concerned and extremely disappointed" that selective aspects of Comprehensive Review Working Group's draft findings were revealed, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in a statement, "presumably to shape perceptions of the report prior to its release." The survey is due Dec. 1.
"[Gates] made it clear [in March when the survey was launched] and throughout this process that it was 'critical that this effort be carried out in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner,'" Morrell said. "He has also stated clearly that ‘given the political dimension of this issue, it is equally critical that ... every effort be made to shield our men and women in uniform and their families from those aspects of this debate.'....Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process."
Gates "strongly condemns the unauthorized" leak and has ordered an investigation to find out "who communicated with the Washington Post or any other news organization without authorization and in violation of Department policy and his specific instruction."
The Washington Post noted that the Pentagon "did not dispute details reported by The Post" of the closely guarded study, based on results of a survey sent to 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops as well as 150,000 military spouses.
The leak showed that most servicemembers don't care if they serve with gay people, except for 40 percent of the Marines, according to ABC News.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the US Supreme Court ruled that enforcement of DADT can continue while the Log Cabin Republicans argues their federal challenge against the government in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled in September that DADT is unconstitutional and ordered an injunction against enforcement. The Justice Department has successfully won a stay of that injunction at both the 9th Circuit and the Supreme Court. The 9th Circuit is expected to hear the case next March.
Of particular interest and possible concern – Justice Elena Kagan recused herself without explanation from the decision to allow DADT enforcement. It is believed the recusal was because she worked on strategy for the suit when she served as President Obama’s solicitor general. Her recusal also means that there could be a 4-to4 tie if and when the case reaches the Supreme Court.
All eyes are now re-focused on the lame duck Congress - with hopes dimming that DADT will be repealed. As the Washington state's Spokesman-Review editorialized Saturday, given that 70 percent of the troops are OK with open service - why isn't Congress? "Do they find this discrimination to be morally sound? It would be brave of them to say so now that they can no longer take cover behind the military."