Concerning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

Admiral Mullen weighed in with the Senate Armed Services Committee today on DADT:

Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military would follow the 1993 law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Nonetheless, he said, his personal views were firm.

“Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do,” Mullen said …

“No matter how I look at the issue,” he said, “I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” he said.

An impassioned plea, it was.  Of course, this is technically incorrect.  Don’t ask don’t tell (DADT) means that no one lies.  You aren’t asked, and you don’t discuss it.  I have been loath to weigh in on the  issue as it has come to the forefront over the last couple of years, and I will do so only tangentially now (not weighing in on the merits or lack thereof in a particular lifestyle choice).  I have many things for which I want to be an advocate, and many notions I wish to deconstruct (such as the unproven and unsubstantiated doctrine that softer ROE necessarily wins hearts and minds).  Hot button social issues such as DADT can tend to cloud one’s judgment, making the reader dismissive to other arguments about very different and very important things.  So I don’t want you to dismiss my views on other important things because we don’t see eye to eye on DADT.

But in the end, DADT has been a mainstay of operations for a while now, and revoking this policy might mean more than a little change to the military.  It’s appropriate to convey the thoughts of at least a few contacts active in the military.  My contacts – who by the way aren’t opposed in principle to the idea of gays serving alongside them – seem to pan the idea pretty much across the board.

DADT is the perfect policy, they say.  It doesn’t prevent gays from serving in the military.  That’s just a mythical talking point of those who advocate its revocation.  DADT only prevents open discussion or practice of such things.  It is, by the way, similar to the way heterosexual relations are treated as well.  Men stay away from women altogether in uniform.  It isn’t practiced, it isn’t discussed, it is frowned upon – in theory.  This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen, any more than DADT would imply that gay sexual relations don’t happen.  It does mean that there are certain requirements in the military that comport with good discipline, and they are enforced to the extent possible.  For a branch like the Marines which has as their cornerstone removing differences and enforcing sameness (or at least relegating them to unimportant status – e.g., no one can remove language barriers), it probably will have a significant affect.

Now for my own views.  I thought about this position within the context of the only exception that I can think of, namely, marriage.  Men and women are allowed to be married in the military.  But marriage is not performed by the Marine Corps or Army.  It is performed and recognized within and by states which have laws that govern such things.  Imposing homosexual marriage on a branch of the service just to say that there is no exception to the way gays and heterosexuals are treated under DADT is a false dilemma.  It is imposing a foreign problem on the military – a consideration that should be irrelevant to the conversation.

In a republic such as ours, laws are changed by legislative process which usually begins with advocacy.  One group or another wants a law changed or enacted, and that group presses the issue.  If gays want to marry, changing DADT isn’t the way to go.  Changing laws is the way to go.  No gay marriage (insofar as DADT applies) in the military (similar to no gay marriage in most states)  is an output (or outcome) of the debate, not an input to it.

In summary, DADT is the perfect solution to the issue.  There is to be no sexual relations with other service members, and no discussion of it.  This is true regardless of orientation.  DADT is a subset of that regulation, not an exception to it.  It doesn’t prevent gays from serving in the military.  Its revocation would serve no useful function, and therefore TCJ opposes its revocation unless someone can come up with something better than the false mantra that some service members must “lie about who they are.”



  • http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com dymphnagates

    From the military I know, it seems to be, DKDTM:

    Don’t Know, Don’t Tell Me. There was a variation on that, DKDWTK:

    Don’t Know, Don’t Want to Know.

    Actually, those were the old rules, back when the draft was in force. It worked fairly well, though I think there was more open hostility against gays then. However, the smart ones — smart as in savvy and in accepting that this world is always going to be a bit dangerous so play your cards close to your vest anyway — managed quite well and the majority served with distinction.

    Gays knew one another and they didn’t betray. I admired that.

    This is similar (in a way) to my situation. I have a couple of disorders that leave me in bad shape, though I “look” fine even when my chronic pain level is hovering at 8 or so. Most people know about my siuation and they’re courteous enough to simply say hello. Or a variant, which may take in an observation about the weather. So when someone who knows me well says Brightly (and Mindlessly), “and how are YOU today?” I usually reply (sweetly), “neither of us has long enough for *that* conversation, but thanks for asking”.

    Unfortunately, the fight for advocacy turns strident, often stripping the mystery and meaning from life.

  • DesertPete45

    Mullen is a damn panty waste. Gates is an agent provacateur and thats why he was installed by another agent provacateur, George W. Bush. Obama is not a nice guy dammit. McConnell says that, Pence says that, they all say that, all the chicken shit repubicans, trying to soften their criticism against him. He is destroying out military and our country. What the hell do all of you think? What does the Captain think?? Where are the real men in this govt., military, in our country?? Some things ARE worth dying for. They are all afraid of the commie media suggesting they are racist! Who the hell cares? Our country is being destroyed by the damn liar in the oval office and everyone is walking on egg shells. Our military is being compromised. Obama is hanging our guys out to dry in A-stan and not one damn idiot in congress has the backbone to take him to task on it. Throw everyone damn one of them out of office including the liar in chief, Abomination.

  • Warbucks

    Given that there is a large and growing belief system migrating into western beliefs that we live multiple lives through reincarnation as both male and female, usually – thankfully- not at the same time, our attitudes slowly evolve about the same pace as do our core religious beliefs…. i.e. very slowly over generations with spurts of energetic shifts from time to time.

    From the General’s point of view, the rules need to flow and focus on winning wars.

    An honest cost benefit analysis needs to be presented to the politicians and the public on the consequences of the introduction of these significant rule changes.

    It may well be that the greater effect on us may be the cost of fighting a war in order to win a war as a result of such changes. We better understand that before we implement such changes, and to what degree, if any, we will experience such costs.

  • Warbucks

    Just about the time we think we have it all figured out something like this is bound to happen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_BLggf-mqs

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  • DesertPete45

    Hey Warbucks are you writing in English??? I don’t understand a damn word you are saying. Apparently this website is too esoteric for me. What the hell is wrong with all of you??? Where the hell is the Captain??? Playing golf with the marxist in chief, Obama?????????????? This is not a damn joke!!!!!!!!! You can shove your reincarnation crap!!!

  • Pingback: Thoughts on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy « Sharp Right Turn

  • Warbucks

    Roger that DesertPete45….. Moving on… (A) before we unleash this new culture within the military in the midst of another yet undeclared war, keep in mind that the medical establishment holds various elevated powers who’s reach has never been fully tested. Powers which seem to encompass the public health maintenance. It is well within the notion of “public health interest” that anyone with Aids, other sexually transmitted diseases, male or female, on active duty, could be required under penalty of military justice to officially report all their sexual partners, including other active duty personnel.

    Probably, the US Navy and their “Love Boat” regulations are the tip of the iceberg as to show-and-tell protocols the medical community are already implementing. Some sort of cost benefit analysis should be conducted on this ideal before implementing.

    (B) DesertPete45, your attention is respectfully invited to consider evidence of cultural shift in the Western world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1-ya5oM3BI as well as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukbFvxusMMI

    Modern medicine, it appears may be the single largest unaligned, nondenominational amalgamator and change-agent to the ethical and spiritual predispositions over millions of its members, by purposeful noncontroversial design. Large medical organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, and John Hopkins Cancer Center, as well as higher profile “new cancer centers” with specific focus, for example, through the guidance of their scientifically focused staff of now fully integrated culturally diverse doctors, are filling the entire spectrum of “what works” on healing the human body, based on the evidence of results. Cultural diversity among the Medical Doctors and Staff has brought and is forming “spiritual diversity” and slowly (as it must be) recognizing and integrating spiritual components to healing; often such new spiritual healing components are buried under scientific names so as not to cause emotional discomfort to anyone, in or out of medicine. These organizations also supplant medical treatments with self-help meditation cd’s incorporating every advanced inward focusing imaging and spiritual affirmation technique discovered by the ancients throughout the Axial Age of human development (800 – 200 b.c.e) and pre-Axial ancients. Relaxation, meditation, contemplation, techniques geared to awaken the individual from general health maintenance to end of life settlements are included without the patient asking as “additional things to consider doing to reduce anxieties and prepare for operations.” The most advanced of these techniques are accessible through various laboratories throughout the US and other countries, is nothing short of a clinically controlled shamanic experience of a lasting reduction of the high level anxiety brought on by incurable cancer diagnosis, conducted through John Hopkins Cancer Center and other centers as well. When the dying person is brought to a so-called “Godhead Experience,” through a 5-Meo-DMT induced altered state, they return changed and accepting, relaxed and anxiety free or with vastly reduced anxiety levels which last several weeks or months and which ironically also improves the patient’s likelihood of healing – even as their soul may be withdrawing from this physical world. The potentialities harbored in these proven successful medical practices unaligned with any designated religion as they currently remain, are enormous and under the radar of religious based bombastic-distractors. They are enlightening thousands of influentials who carry their enlightenments back into daily living, their churches, friends, and families. It’s one thing to read death loses its “sting,” but it’s entirely another thing to experience the meaning of the scripture first hand through an awakened personal experience. What makes the western medicine so powerful as a change-agent is a combination of the impact size (everyone) combined with no need to push dogma other than your good health.

    Respectfully … Warbucks

  • Pingback: The Captain's Journal » Marine Corps Commandant on DADT and Expeditionary Warfare


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This article is filed under the category(s) DADT,Department of Defense and was published February 2nd, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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