We've all heard about Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mullen's testimony to Congress about DADT repeal being “The Right Thing to Do”. Afterwards, on February 2nd, Admiral Mullen's twitter account had this tweet posted:
Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity. 11:41 AM Feb 2nd via web
That's pretty clear and unambiguous, no?
But according to The Advocate, which obtained its information from Dan Woods, the lead attorney for the Log Cabin Republicans who are challenging DADT in court:
Government attorneys have repeatedly objected to much of the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs and have even questioned the veracity of a February 2 tweet by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, who wrote, “Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.”
According to Andrew Harmon, who authored the article and whom I spoke to on the phone to confirm this incident, lawyers for the plaintiffs had to submit an affidavit asserting that it was Admiral Mullen himself, not some minion, who posted that tweet.
What more is there to say? We have the government questioning 'the veracity' of the United States' highest military officer. Even if he didn't physically key in the words, could there be any doubt, given his previous testimony to Congress, that this was his sentiment?
Is there no level to which the government will not stoop (Cf. DOMA cases) to defend these discriminatory and arguably unconstitutional laws?
The trial started Tuesday, and is set to conclude this coming Thursday. Here are some more trial developments, as reported by The Advocate:
On the abuse that Don't Ask, Don't Tell has engendered:
Rocha, 24, testified in graphic detail on Thursday about pervasive humiliation he suffered while in training to become an elite military dog handler — abuse that went far beyond ritual hazing.
In one incident, a superior gave him detailed and specific instructions on how to simulate oral sex on another man while fellow soldiers were paraded into the room to watch. In another he was ordered to crawl on all fours and was forced into a kennel filled with dog feces. Fellow soldiers in his unit called him “faggot” and assumed he was gay because he didn't drink, smoke, gamble, or visit prostitutes in Bahrain, where he was stationed in 2005.
On the issue of unit cohesion and maintaining discipline:
On Thursday afternoon the court also heard testimony from Aaron Belkin, a preeminent DADT expert and director of the Palm Center, a think-tank for sexuality and gender issues in the armed forces.
On her redirect, attorney Desiree DeSurra representing LCR asked Belkin whether sexual tension in the military is limited to soldiers with same-sex attractions.
“No,” Belkin replied.
“And does the military have ways to address inappropriate sexual [behavior]?” DeSurra asked.
“Yes,” Belkin replied. “Commanders deal with that all the time.”
On the complete failure of the 'Don't Ask' part of DADT:
On Friday, Maj. Mike Almy is expected to testify about his 2006 discharge from the Air Force under DADT after his commander conducted a search of Almy's private e-mails.
And finally on the utter pointlessness of the policy:
Lawrence J. Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, will also testify about how DADT fails to further any legitimate military objectives.
This trial has to be one of the most underreported trials of all time. You can barely find mention of it on LGBT blogs, let alone in the main stream media. No one is liveblogging or tweeting it, as far as I can determine. Yet, from what I've quoted above, I think you'll agree it is tremendously interesting and would have the possibility of being extremely damning to the policy itself and to the Administration if it were being reported on in detail.
Further, if successful, the challenge could result in a federal injunction to immediately halt the policy. Or at least result in a cascade of further unwanted (by the White House) publicity about the Obama administration's quixotic actions in actively defending discrimination while speaking out against it and otherwise advocating repeal.