Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (unelected and unaccountable) has asked Congress (elected and accountable) not to take action on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
In a strongly worded letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Gates told a House committee on Friday that forcing policy changes on the military before it’s ready “would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence their views, concerns and perspectives do not matter.”
I would like to think that this means DADT isn’t going anywhere, but I guarantee that Gates is just stalling until an undefeatable PR campaign is rolled out in true Alinksy fashion – where opponents are instantly and inescapably marginalized as bigots.
Gates says he supports lifting the ban but first wants to survey the troops on how it should be done.
Notice: not whether it should be done, but how it should be done. None of the actively-serving members of the military that I know want DADT repealed. Why does he think the opponents will all of a sudden be “ready?”
Photo of the Day: Spring Training for Leap Frogs
North Korea has threatened to stop returning remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War. JPAC informs me that currently 8,034 Americans are listed as missing from the conflict.
SEAL 3 Update: Falsification charges have been dropped against two SEALs accused of mistreating an al Qaeda detainee in Iraq.
DADT Update: The Marine Corps Commandant says if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, he will not let gay Marines bunk with heterosexual ones.
ROE Update: Gen. McChrystal strikes again – this time limiting night raids, reviewing Rules of Engagement. Developing: It appears that members of Congress think things have gone too far. Congressman Walter Jones (R – N.C.) has called for the House Armed Services Committee to conduct its own hearings on ROE. More on this in further updates.
Photo of the Day: MARSOC (the Marine Corps’ special operations component) in Afghanistan
Pirates: USS Nicholas exchanges fire with pirates in Seychelles, captures five, sinks pirates’ skiff and captures mothership. USS Faragut sinks a pirate mothership during a separate incident in the Somali Basin.
The search continues for a missing airman after a Navy E-2C Hawkeye crashed in the Indian Ocean on 31 March. The other three crew members were recovered without injury.
Iraq: Despite a planned withdrawal that will roughly half our troop levels in Iraq by August 31, the number of U.S. special operations troops will remain at their current levels Special operations forces are currently deployed in 79 countries.
DADT update: Army secretary’s about-face on DADT moratorium
Obama, Medvedev expected to finalize a treaty Friday that cuts deployed nuclear weapons by one-fourth.
Lt. Gen. Ben Mixon, the commander of U.S. Army Pacific, wrote a letter to the editor in Stars & Stripes opposing the repeal of DADT. SecDef Gates and ADM Mullen rebuked Mixon, saying he was acting within his rights, but his remarks were “inappropriate” and “ill-advised.” (thanks to SoldiersMom at Blackfive for locating the letter)
Rules of Engagement: Air support pilots learn to hold back
SEAL 3 Courts-Martial Update: The military judge responsible for the case has ordered the convening authority to grant immunity to five SEAL witnesses, or the case may be abated and postponed indefinitely. As of this morning, my sources state that MG Cleveland agreed to grant immunity. But their request doesn’t imply guilt:
The five men’s refusal to testify under their Fifth Amendment right doesn’t mean they have anything to hide. Citing Supreme Court rulings, Carlos noted that one of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions “is to protect innocent men… ‘who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.’ “
A legal defense fund has been established to assist our SEALs with their legal costs, which proceeds from the Victory Institute’s “Free the SEALs” merchandise are sent. Author Betty Kilbride is also donating proceeds of her book to the SEAL defense fund. Visit her Facebook page or her publisher’s website for more.
Iran: While our leadership appears willing to move mountains to work with the Iranians, Iran is busy teaching the Taliban how to murder our troops more effectively. It is important to note that the Sunni Taliban and the Shi’ite Iranians have little problem working together to kill our men and women. Meanwhile, Iranians are killing U.S. troops in Iraq.
Vets for Congress: Lt. Col. Bill Connor (U.S. Army Res.), who is running for Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, has earned a recent endorsement from retired Army Major General Paul Vallely. With leadership principles like “Mission first, men always,” and “leaders eat last,” it appears that the Palmetto State will be in good hands. Scores of other military members have endorsed Connor including 12 generals and all five of South Carolina’s living Medal of Honor recipients.
Lt. Col. Allen West (U.S. Army, retired) is running for U.S. Congress in Florida. Mike Thornton – one of the S.C. Medal recipients supporting Connor – has also endorsed Lt. Col. West, and will appear in two campaign events on Thursday, March 25.
This week in U.S. military history: Military Milestones from Guilford Courthouse to Iraq
65 years ago, the Battle of Iwo Jima was drawing to a close. The Medal of Honor citations for the battle can be viewed at Unto the Breach.
The first episode of HBO’s miniseries The Pacific is available for online viewing at HBO.com.
Israel has declassified materials that display multiple instances of Hamas terrorists using children as human shields during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza Strip, despite a U.N. report stating the exact opposite. Meanwhile, five Gaza rockets have hit Israel in the past 24 hours.
Following its first-ever vertical takeoff the day before, the F-35 Lightning II made its first-ever vertical landing on Thursday.
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell update: In the military, male-on-male rapes reportedly occur more often than male-on-female rapes.
Afghanistan: Two Russian veterans of the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan seem to think that the Taliban can be bribed not to fight.