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Robert Gates to Lead Boy Scouts of America


(Killing bin Laden, via creative commons)

Good evening, Scouts and Scout Leaders.  Will you please stand and give the Boy Scout salute to the flag as we recite The Pledge together?

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my Country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake,
and morally straight.

Thank you; please be seated.

Tonight I am receiving one of the highest awards ever offered me over the course of  a long and illustrious career, and I thank you for yoour faith in me.  As you all know, I was an Eagle Scout in my youth, but I’d never dared to dream that one day I would be Your President.  Yes, I was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama when I retired as his Secretary of Defense, plus a number of national security medals.  I was also accorded the honor of being the only Secretary of Defense ever to be retained by a newly elected President, and this case, one of the other party.  But let me tell you: this reward is far greater, and I am humbled by it.

And I’ll tell you why: Because Duty.

The highest and most moral goal we can pursue in life is contained in our pledge, and I hope I don’t sound immodest when I say that my life has always embodied that pledge, as I’m sure yours are and always will be.  Service to God, my Country, and few corporate boards that needed my expertise, of course,  has filled my life beyond measure.

When the National Council Boy Scouts voted to end the ban on gay scout members recently, the Council perceived that my support in ending the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ military policy would calm the waters if I became Your President.  Plus I still have a little bit of pull with the 101st Airborne and some JSOC drone operators; heh, just kidding.  I was also a Vigil Honor member within the Order of the Arrow; and I don’t know yet what we’ll do about campouts, but we’ll figure out something, I’m sure.

When blacks were first admitted into the military, it caused a major ruckus, and there were officers who said they would serve in outfits with blacks.  Well, they got over it, and led to Colin Powell’s heading the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a hell of a job that boy did!  And the Boy Scouts and their leaders, not to mention the 40% of the Council membership, are just going to have to get over any problems they have with gay Boy Scouts.  And remember: one of them may grow up to be Your President, too.

Now my first act as President is to announce that I am requesting a surge of new gay Boy Scouts.  We will send them out on missions paired with straight Scouts, where they will be of service, whether helping old ladies across the street, or being alert to anything that just doesn’t look quite right, and reporting it to the police.  Since 2001, our nation’s motto has been: ‘Eternal Vigilance‘.  Given that, my second act is to call for a surge of straight Boy Scouts, as well, and encourage all of you to join the military, or ask to be recruited by the CIA, where your lives will take on a new meaning in our struggles against our enemies.

These gay-straight service alliances will be the most effective tools to gain gay Scouts both honor and acceptance in our community, and in the general population.

As many of you know, it was my surge strategies that won the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and be assured, we’ll win this one, too.

Now I’ve been asked to speak to you about what a former Spook and Military commander can bring to this fine organization beyond the gay thing, so I’ve set my imagination free.  Given the fact that our nation is under threat from those who would harm us, many of you will be called on to serve our country in ways that you alone will decide are correct and in aid of the greater good.  Our official Scout motto is: ‘Be Prepared, which strong advice will serve you well.  There may be a time one day in the future when you’ll need to set the stage for plausible deniability, which is honest in its own way, as you know, especially when you know you’ve dedicated your lives to God and America, and only you.  Being ‘Morally straight’ is not always an easy road to walk, but only you can be the judge of what your best is, as the Good Book says.

Now, one final piece of advice is to any extant or future Scout Leaders who are gay, but not out: my recommendation is to follow the second half of the Clinton-era policy:

Don’t tell’, but also: don’t get caught, and remember: plausible deniability is your friend.

Thank you, good night, and God bless America.  When you’re beset by doubts or fear of the future, remember, it’s a beautiful world.  And Happy Halloween, by the way.  And, oh yes: Geronimo!



(cross-posted at

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