Republicans try to stall end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

Two top Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee have asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to delay the new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

In a letter to the Pentagon chief this week, California Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, the committee chairman, and South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson — two opponents of repealing the ban — complained that the policies and regulations for implementing the change have not been finalized nor provided to the panel.

“Since it is evident that the department does not have final, approved policies in place, we believe it is essential that you take immediate action to delay the implementation of repeal until such time that the review and comment period is completed, that DOD has incorporated the changes suggested during the comment period and that the appropriate regulations needed to implement repeal have been distributed to and are understood by the leaders and key personnel in the field,” McKeon and Wilson wrote.

The new policy is slated to go into effect on Tuesday. The end to the 17-year-old ban, commonly known as “don’t ask, don’t tell,” comes after the department has spent months training more than 2.25 million service members, about 97 percent of the total force.

A Pentagon official said senior officials have advised Congress on changes to regulations and policies associated with the repeal and the department’s general counsel met with Armed Services Committee staff to discuss the proposed changes. The official said repeal of the ban will occur on Tuesday.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations with Congress.

Congress voted to lift the ban last December and President Barack Obama certified in July that repeal would not harm the military’s ability to fight.

Army Gen. Carter Ham, who co-directed a Pentagon study on ending the ban, said Wednesday repeal is likely to prove “pretty inconsequential.”

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Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

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7 Responses to "Republicans try to stall end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’"

  1. Sandune  September 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    What exactly is it that the religious right finds so frightening about gays?

  2. Keith  September 18, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Sandune,

    Mr. Huckabee calls it the “ick” factor.

    I call it hypocrisy.

  3. Jon  September 19, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I saw an interesting analysis of this the other day, and I’m not sure I agree with it entirely, but I’ll throw it out for discussion:

    Those who claim that being homosexual is a choice are themselves bisexual, and are refusing to admit it.

    That does explain all those crusaders who are later found having gay sex while also fathering and mothering children.

    It explains why they think being gay is a choice – Because it is a choice to them. They’re on the fence, a hot guy or a hot girl is equally attractive to them.

    However, their church says ‘one choice is a sin, the other is holy’ and condemns as a sin those who choose one and praises those who choose the other.

    They’re bisexual, they just won’t admit it. The choice is to sin or not to sin, each being equally attractive in their head, they find it highly noble ‘not to sin’.

    And so ‘falling’ into homosexuality for those for which it is a choice seems to them to be choosing to sin, the same way they might see choosing to disrespect their fathers and mothers is choosing to sin, or killing people is choosing to sin.

    For those who think homosexuality is a choice, for them it might very well be a choice.

    That they think everyone else is like them is their own problem.

  4. Jon  September 19, 2011 at 9:57 am

    PS – When Harry Truman desegregated the army, he just issued the order as C’in’C. And said that any general who had a problem with that could have their resignation on his desk in the morning.

    I wish President Obama had the nads to just issue the order long before Congress had a chance to get its oar in.

    J.

  5. Tom  September 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Jon, you’re just being politically naive. Obama went about the right way, through Congress. Can you imagine the field day the Republicans would have had if he had just issued an executive order? Doing it this way prevents his opponents from using it as a campaign weapon (they probably will anyways, but will end up just looking even stupider than they already are).

    • Jon  September 20, 2011 at 2:42 am

      “They will anyways”. I think that explains it all. President Obama will get slammed either way – At least with an executive order it gets done, with a lot less fussing about.

      J.

  6. Danny Adams  September 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    “Why the hell shouldn’t they serve? They’re American citizens.”

    –Barry “Mr. Conservative” Goldwater, explaining his support for gays openly serving in the military.

    Odd to think of Goldwater as a RINO by the current definition.

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