Well, Congress has gone ahead and repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I’ve already written about this topic, taking the position that the overriding concern here, by far, should be the effect of whatever policy is adopted on the effectiveness of the military. (I don’t claim to know what that effect will be — allowing gays to serve openly might not have any lasting, negative effect at all, for all I know — and I understand the well-intentioned wish to end our ridiculous “DADT” policy, and to let them in. But maximizing the cohesion and effectiveness of our military should never be made secondary to confused notions about ‘rights’ to serve, and other nonsense.)
Were I running the show, we’d have made sure to get a clear answer to this question before bringing the matter to a vote in Congress. What we have instead, however, is this (forgive the crude formatting):
(a) Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654-
(1) IN GENERAL- On March 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum directing the Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 (section 654 of title 10, United States Code).
(2) OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF REVIEW- The Terms of Reference accompanying the Secretary’s memorandum established the following objectives and scope of the ordered review:
- (A) Determine any impacts to military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, recruiting/retention, and family readiness that may result from repeal of the law and recommend any actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.
- (B) Determine leadership, guidance, and training on standards of conduct and new policies.
- (C) Determine appropriate changes to existing policies and regulations, including but not limited to issues regarding personnel management, leadership and training, facilities, investigations, and benefits.
- (D) Recommend appropriate changes (if any) to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
- (E) Monitor and evaluate existing legislative proposals to repeal 10 U.S.C. 654 and proposals that may be introduced in the Congress during the period of the review.
- (F) Assure appropriate ways to monitor the workforce climate and military effectiveness that support successful follow-through on implementation.
- (G) Evaluate the issues raised in ongoing litigation involving 10 U.S.C. 654.
(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect 60 days after the date on which the last of the following occurs:
(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).
(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:
- (A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.
- (B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).
- (C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.
In this, we see that the priorities, and the sensible sequence of events, are exactly reversed. The DOD is now told, with the change of policy already a fait accompli, to “Determine any impacts to military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, recruiting/retention, and family readiness that may result from repeal of the law and recommend any actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.”
Shouldn’t we have determined those impacts before we passed this bill? I think it is safe to assume that even if, after a frank assessment, the determination is made that having homosexuals serving openly will in fact have, as some suggest, a disastrous effect on unit cohesion, morale, etc., “repealing the bill” is not going to be among the available “actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.”
In other words, the greatest evil, as always, is discrimination. To the liberal mind, only that is America’s real enemy, not the many mortal foes of our Republic against whose lethal designs a maximally effective military is our only bulwark.
Again: I want to make clear that I have no opinion at all about whether gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military. Ceteris paribus, it’s fine with me if they do. But our priorities are completely topsy-turvy here.