Karen Ocamb

Is Don't Ask, Don't Tell 'Humpty Dumpty'?

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 20, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: Alex Nicholson, Clarke Cooper, Dan Choi, Dan Woods, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Judge Virginia Phillips, Kerry Eleveld, Log Cabin Republicans, President Obama

Tuesday marked the one week anniversary of the court-ordered death of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And, as the New York Times reported Wednesday, Humpty-Dumpty.jpg"The United States military, for the first time, is allowing its recruiters to accept openly gay and lesbian applicants." This was not some gracious gesture: Dan Woods, lead attorney for the Log Cabin Republicans in their historic lawsuit, warned the Justice Department that they risked contempt of court if they ignored Judge Virginia Phillips' permanent and worldwide injunction against enforcement of DADT - an injunction she upheld Tuesday that the DOJ appealed on Wednesday to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, the week without DADT saw no mass exodus from the military or any of the other dire "consequences" Sec. Gates warned would happen if DADT was immediately ended. In fact, ironically, during this week LCR Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper, a Captain in the Army Reserve, was on Active Duty Training at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. He told The Times that the reaction was a "giant shoulder shrug of 'so what?' "In fact, "a few [of the young] people actually thought repeal had already occurred."

So now, as The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld points out, President Obama, a constitutional scholar, has said that DADT is "discriminatory" and "harms national security" - but hasn't said whether he believes the law is unconstitutional. Obama also said he favors a congressional repeal and told an MTV audience recently that he thinks the votes are there in the Senate to repeal DADT as part of the larger national defense appropriations bill.

Republican Sen. John McCain, however, has vowed to filibuster until he finds out what the four top generals say after the Pentagon's DADT repeal report is filed Dec. 1 - despite the commander-in-chief, the Sec. of Defense and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - the bosses of the four generals McCain prefers to listen to (so much for good order and discipline!).

Some gay Republicans agree with Obama that the votes do exit for repeal - pointing to Maine Sen. Susan Collins as a DADT repeal leader, but note that repeal will not happen if Democrats limit amendments and debate as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did - which they claim caused the bill to fail.

Obama, the DOJ, and the Pentagon are now faced with the dilemma of defending a law a federal court has ruled is unconstitutional and actively try to re-instate a policy they acknowledge is discriminatory and harms national security during a time of war. Just a reminder - former Lt. Dan Choi and Alex Nicholson, who was also discharged under DADT and founded Servicemembers United - are trained Arabic linguists.

Obama, the DOJ and the Pentagon should acknowledge that DADT is broken and unfixable like Humpty Dumpty (Through the Looking-Glass illustration by John Tenniel):

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Here's CNN's Anderson Cooper talking with Choi, Nicholson and constitutional scholar, Jeffrey Toobin Tuesday night.

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Sadly, I'm dissapointed by the whole mess. The total lack of leadership by all parties who are elected or appointed leaders who are NOT leading... Its infuriating. This past week with DADT repealed or at least put on hold it was shown clearly that NO ONE IN THE DoD was listening not only to anyone, but not even to themselves.
"We're working on HOW to repeal DADT" is what they keep quoting. That the study will show them how to repeal it. But, it was killed dead for a week by a judge in mid-October. 6 weeks from 01 Dec 2010 when the due date for the 'offical report' on HOW REPEAL will be undertaken...

NOT ONE WORD FROM THE LEADERSHIP THAT IS 'LEADING' THAT EFFORT GAVE DIRECTION. Not for the whole week until the stick of Contempt of Court wasn't waved, but slapped upside the head of the DoD did they act.

There is no 'PLAN', if there was a plan they would have reacted in some way, not just sit on thier ass and wonder when the DoJ would go to the next higher court and say "Because we're the Goverment and we say so" or "NATIONAL SECURITY! NATIONAL SECURITY!".

They have had how long with this case? How long to prepare SOMETHING? ANYTHING? They have NOTHING! Not a damn thing to send out to commands to give any direction. nothing... no wonder we're in a war for 10 years with insurgents who only have small arms and donkeys.

Just a memo stating "provide quarterly sexual harassment and EEO training and insert 'Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual' in appropriate places. Training to be held no later than 5 days from 10/20/2010. All infractions to be dealt with at command level iaw NJP. All infractions where a Hate Crime is suspected, forward details to legal department for review"

This circle jerk will keep going from the President to Congress to the JCoS with the DoJ and the Federal Courts now in the circle jerking us around. Meanwhile HRC and other predatory groups are also circling like a pack of buzzards asking for money.

Yes, to you and me and most people, it looks like drift and lack of leadership. To a politician, however, it's a very calculated way of putting decisions off until after the election. The minority who are vocally for Don't Ask Don't Tell (or even harsher treatment of gays) once again wag the Obama administration, and the moderates in the middle are preoccupied with jobs, foreclosures and other things.