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Dear Leader's mouthpiece: Bush 'appreciates sacrifice' of gay troops

I guess this bit of news from Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, could be taken a few ways. He was asked by a reporter whether the president was aware of General Peter Pace’s remarks that homosexuality is immoral and its impact on the gays and lesbians who are out there dodging IEDs in support of his Global War On TerrorTM.

Q Can I ask a question — switching gears — on General Pace? What message do thousands of gays in the military right now serving in Iraq — what should they take from General Pace’s message regarding mortality, when their lives are on the line —

MR. BARTLETT: I have no way to identify whether your premise is right about how many people are serving in Iraq, but all I can say is the President appreciates the sacrifice and service of every service member, and what they’re doing on a daily basis to improve the situation on the ground and we can accomplish our goals there.

Is he saying it’s all right for homos to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country  only from the closet, or is he saying that maybe it’s time to revisit Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Steve at SLDN has this to say:

It is the first time (that we’re aware of) the President has expressed appreciation for the sacrifice of gay troops. And it follows remarks in late February, when Congressman Meehan re-introduced legislation to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” that the President will “wait and see what Congress comes up with” when asked about his support for repeal. That seems like an evolution of sorts since Bush proclaimed himself “a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ man” on the campaign trail in 2000.

Does this mean the President is willing to re-visit the law, and consider repeal? We don’t know for sure (and Bartlett’s comments seem different than the remarks by Tony Snow last month), but we can hope it is a (small, first) step forward for the White House.

Somehow I can’t must up the energy to be charitable to this administration on this front, after all, look at Defense Secretary Robert Gates — he won’t even address the issue when asked whether Pace should apologize, and he says he doesn’t plan to revisit DADT.

H/t, Michael.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding