Aaron Belkin's blog

Is Hazing a Form of Torture?

Here they go again. As reported by Huffington Post and other media outlets, we now have yet another scandal involving our security forces,

Pass the Buck


I was saddened that the White House again this week invoked its pass-the-buck strategy on "don't ask, don't tell."

Here's a quote from an August 3 Washington Post story: "A White House spokesman said that the president continues to support repeal but that the lead needs to come from Congress. 'The president has said he thinks it should be done legislatively,' Tommy Vietor said."  read more »

Happy Birthday Rahm

Our community has been working hard to block a strategy that was making a difference.

Thank You Congress

Cross posted on June 22, 2009 at The Huffington Post. Finally, Washington is starting to wake up from its 15-year slumber concerning gays in the military.

Pentagon Can Implement Gay Ban Differently

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement from Secretary Gates, my colleagues with expertise in military law are telling me that the Secretary of Defense does indeed have room to implement the gay ban differently.

Shalikashvili to Opponents of Open Gay Service: Please Get Your Facts Right

General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, published a Washington Post op-ed last week.

The Long, Long Wait for Evidence

Today’s New York Times forum seems so balanced yet so bizarre...the even-handed framing implies that those who oppose open gay service do so on the basis of evidence.

Pentagon should not study gay ban

If the proposed Pentagon study commission is packed with pro-repeal experts, its conclusion will be pre-ordained and will have no value.  But if the Pentagon is left to its own devices to study the gays-in-the-military issue, it will likely make a hack job of the project.

Palm Center's Integrity Questioned

The Palm Center's research hasn't, for the most part, found anything novel.  Other scholars, even official military scholars, have reached the same conclusions that we have.

What Does Colin Powell Mean?

Former Joint Chiefs Chair Colin Powell said this week that "don't ask, don't tell" should be re-examined. But what, exactly, does he mean? When Powell calls for the ban's rexamination, is he saying that it should be studied so that it can be left alone? Eliminated? Something else?

Perhaps he's just saying that we don't know enough about the ban to know what to do without re-examining it. But that doesn't make sense either

What we know, based on research, is that eliminating the ban will help the military. Military leaders, of course, will never say that. None of the 24 foreign militaries that lifted their bans did so because the military called for change. This is a situation in which the military needs to be told what to do.
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