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White House Won’t Commit to Ending DADT Discharges Now

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photo: Scott Ableman via Flickr

Asking the next logical question — when will you stop discharging members of the military under DADT? — Chris Geidner of MetroWeekly obtained a disturbing answer from Senior Administration Official at the White House today:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-related investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

Illustrating this White House’s profound inability to ever focus on next steps or consequences, it appears the White House won’t commit to ending investigations and discharges:

The prospect of ending discharges and investigations immediately was raised by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis, who told Metro Weekly, “I think it’s a practical, realistic approach that reflects where we stand today. There’s this hiatus, there’s this limbo, and who wants to be the last servicemember discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.'”

As Sarvis said in a statement, “I respectfully ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to use his authority to suspend all ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ investigations during this interim period. Until the President signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day Congressional period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law.”

At a news conference following the cloture vote, both Reid and Levin endorsed Sarvis’s approach, with Reid affirming his support in a one-word answer when asked by a reporter if he supported ending discharges and investigations immediately: “Yes.”

About the tortuous policy-making within the Pentagon that remains, Senior Administration Official would not discuss whether there had been any discussions about suspending DADT investigations and discharges in the interim:

Pressed on the fact that the issue of ending investigations and discharges immediately is being raised because the DADT law remains in effect — even after Obama would sign the bill — until the certification process and 60-day congressional review periodhave happened, the senior aide would not commit either way.

“We’re examining every issue here,” the senior White House aide said. “The next steps are next steps and we’re still working on that.”

Echoing Lt. John Kerry’s long-ago question to the US Senate about the Vietnam war, how do ask a soldier to be the last servicemember kicked out for a policy that’s wrong?

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White House Won’t Commit to Ending DADT Discharges Now

Asking the next logical question — when will you stop discharging members of the military under DADT? — Chris Geidner of MetroWeekly obtained a disturbing answer from Senior Administration Official at the White House today:

Saying that they had been “focused” on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-related investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.

Illustrating this White House’s profound inability to ever focus on next steps or consequences, it appears the White House won’t commit to ending investigations and discharges:

The prospect of ending discharges and investigations immediately was raised by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network executive director Aubrey Sarvis, who told Metro Weekly, “I think it’s a practical, realistic approach that reflects where we stand today. There’s this hiatus, there’s this limbo, and who wants to be the last servicemember discharged under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.'”

As Sarvis said in a statement, “I respectfully ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to use his authority to suspend all ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ investigations during this interim period. Until the President signs the bill, until there is certification, and until the 60-day Congressional period is over, no one should be investigated or discharged under this discriminatory law.”

At a news conference following the cloture vote, both Reid and Levin endorsed Sarvis’s approach, with Reid affirming his support in a one-word answer when asked by a reporter if he supported ending discharges and investigations immediately: “Yes.”

About the tortuous policy-making within the Pentagon that remains, Senior Administration Official would not discuss whether there had been any discussions about suspending DADT investigations and discharges in the interim:  . . . (more…)

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge