From Pam's House Blend, this report on the latest antics of the anti-repeal crowd at the Pentagon. From Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway:
"We want to continue (two-person rooms), but I would not ask our Marines to live with someone who is homosexual if we can possibly avoid it," Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway told Military.com during an exclusive interview at the Pentagon. "And to me that means we have to build BEQs (bachelor enlisted quarters) and have single rooms."
This guy is a horse's ass of the first water -- just look at the actual content of his remark: he doesn't want to ask Marines to live with a gay roommate. If any of the reports coming back from veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are to be believed, they already are, and don't really give a damn.
He's a little off-message, as I recall: His commander-in-chief has said unequivocally that he wants DADT repealed. Actually, his comments are a little more than off-message:
Other top generals have noted that uniformity is what's needed for this policy change, and that divided leadership and separate rules or facilities will make the transition harder, not easier. In a 2009 op-ed in the Washington Post, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Shalikashvili, said mixed messages from leadership could be toxic, and that it was crucial for top leaders to communicate consistent signals that the force is capable of carrying out new orders. "Given the inevitability of change," he wrote, "it will be important for senior leaders to send clear signals of support to the rank and file. Every general officer knows that mixed signals undermine leadership. Indeed, studies show that when organizations implement controversial change, signals from the top must be clear." Gen. Shalikashvili wrote that when senior officers oppose the inevitable, their messages "could cause the very disruptions they predict."
Has it occurred to anyone besides me that that's why he said it?
Let's not make any mistakes here: from the president on down, everyone involved is doing as much as they can to make DADT repeal impossible.
I have more on this, but I'll come back later this evening. Things are not conducive to posting right now.
I promised more on this. First, Dan Choi on Rachel Maddow:
The "changes" announced by Sec. Gates, as Maddow points out, are nothing more than implementing the policy as it was written. And, as far as I can see, this "study," which is taking on all the trappings of a holy mission, is nothing more than a smokescreen. We've been studying this issue for decades, and every bit of available evidence points to the conclusion that if the repeal is implemented swiftly and if the message from leadership is clear (and excuse me, but this is the military, right? They follow orders, right?), there is minimal disruption. And no study has pointed to a breakdown in unit cohesiveness or morale. Here is the conclusion of the 1993 Rand study, commissioned by the Pentagon and then suppressed. If you read through, you can see why it was sat on.
And just to give you a hint of the kind of thinking we're dealing with in the Pentagon, this jumped out at me as I was reading the summary:
Senior military leaders have stated that, in their professional judgment, the effects would be substantial. The experience of analogous organizations such as foreign militaries and domestic police and fire departments suggests that any increase is likely to be quite small.
So, in their "professional judgment," the military brass think the whole house will fall down, in spite of the evidence. Tell you anything?
It's foot-dragging, from the White House on down.
This video is possibly one of the most infuriating things I've seen in this whole debacle. This is not from the video, but from the article cited above:
''In my discussions . . . the practical aspect,'' said Gates, came down to availability of two-star generals, particularly in the Marine Corps. ''Having a one-star do it made it more practical.
''I just wanted to make sure that in terms of the experience and leadership level and so on, that we elevated this to a level of people who have a lot of experience and a lot of maturity.''
So he's handing the decision on whether to initiate discharges to those least in favor of allowing gays to serve openly -- the ones whose "professional judgment" is seriously in question at this point.
Nathaniel Frank of the Palm Center does a nice summary of the changes. I thought this went right to the heart of it:
History shows that earlier attempts to make a bad, unnecessary, harmful failure of a policy "more humane" have been unsuccessful, in part because the changes were not enforced consistently, and in part because beating your wife gently is still beating your wife. . . .
[A]s admirable as Secretary Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen have been in showing leadership on this front, they are sending highly mixed messages that will end up making the job of repeal harder when it inevitably comes: they continue to say every chance they get that the repeal process could be dangerous and complicated, and must go slowly, even though research consistently says the opposite: that this kind of transition is best done quickly to avoid confusion and obstruction. Gates said today that moving swiftly to implement repeal "is very risky" and Mullen agreed, saying it could "generate a very bad outcome."
More "professional judgment," I guess.
And the president is lying low.
Following up on what he previously referred to as the ''ambiguous'' nature of the White House's support for a repeal this year, Rep. Frank said, ''They're ducking. Basically, yeah, they're not being supportive, and they're letting Gates be the spokesman, which is a great mistake.''
If even Barney Frank is pointing his finger, you know it's bad.