WASHINGTON – At a news conference introducing the long-awaited Pentagon report on permitting open homosexuals to serve in the military, representatives of the Obama administration and top military officers were unable to name a single benefit that would result from the change.
But they did acknowledge the military would encounter some risks and “temporary” disruptions due to widespread opposition among the troops, particularly among chaplains and soldiers serving in ground combat and special operations units.
Administration representatives acknowledged that as many as 60 percent of Marine warriors oppose repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
“You don’t proceed with a policy with that level of opposition just to deliver on a promise the president made to LGBT groups,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness.
“Not one good reason has been presented why the military should do this,” Donnelly told WND. “No benefits at all. They say there’s only a small risk. Why have any risk? There is no reason to impose this risk on the people who are serving.”
“No one is supporting this out of a feeling it will benefit the military. The whole purpose of the change is to reward a radical constituency for the administration,” said retired Army Col. Dick Black.
Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a well-established policy goal of the Obama administration. During the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama promised homosexual activists that the policy, often mistakenly called a law, would be repealed and homosexuals permitted to serve openly in the armed forces.
According to Donnelly, the law in place declares homosexuals “ineligible” for military service, but it has been supplanted by DADT since early in the Clinton presidency.
Critics say the risks will be much greater than the Obama administration is admitting.
“When you tinker with military discipline you’re playing with fire,” Black told WND. As the head of the criminal law division in the Pentagon during the Clinton Administration’s “gays” in the military debates, Black conducted “exhaustive studies of the disciplinary impact from admitting homosexuals into the Armed Forces.”
“There will be a qualitative decline,” said Black. “Some of the best people in the military will leave, they will not put up with it. Chaplains will have to refrain from preaching aspects of Scripture.”
“We know without question that there will be a tremendous increase in sexual bullying within the ranks,” Black added. “Unquestionably, there will be more soldiers raping soldiers.
“Soldiers will be showering, sharing bunk beds, that type of thing. Imagine what would happen if we changed the rules for men and women, so from now on everyone will shower together and sleep together.”
Black noted that his division’s research found no instances of homosexual troops being bullied because of their sexual orientation, but 102 courts martial in a four-year period of homosexuals victimizing fellow soldiers or children.
“Fifteen or 20 homosexuals were administratively eliminated for every one who went to court martial,” said Black.
According to Black, “1,160 retired generals and admirals sent a petition to Congress this year to retain the ban on homosexuals serving in active duty. I don’t know of more than a handful of generals and admirals who stand on the other side. They may be outweighed 100 to 1 on this issue.”
The risks “do not present an insurmountable barrier to repeal of DADT,” said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He predicted “limited and isolated disruption to unit cohesion and retention,” which he said would not be “widespread and long-lasting.”
But Gates could not explain how the military would be improved by permitting homosexuals to serve openly.
Asked by a reporter why the military should accept any increase in the level of risk, Gates could only point to fears that a federal judge would declare the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy unconstitutional, and force the military to embrace open homosexuality overnight.
“If this were done tomorrow the risk to the force would be high. If we had plenty of time to prepare the force, risk would be lowered,” said Gates, who urged the Senate to pass a defense bill repealing the existing law, which declares homosexuals ineligible to serve in the military, before a judge forces his hand.
“This is a really bogus argument,” said Donnelly. “A San Diego judge with no authority declared DADT to be illegal. The Secretary of Defense should have awaited the results of the appeals. Instead, he started complying immediately. The DOD created a tumultuous situation that should have been avoided. This is what happens when you allow the judiciary to make policy for the military.”
“The DOD should stop acting as if the decision has already been made [to cancel DADT],” Donnelly added. “I predict the members of the Senate are going to take a good long look at this. They will not be stampeded by headlines.”
Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., has been leading opposition to the defense bill in the Senate, and his staff confirmed Donnelly’s prediction.
“Senator McCain and his staff are currently in the process of carefully reviewing the Pentagon’s report regarding the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” McCain Communications Director Brooke Buchanan told WND.