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MIXED MESSAGES FROM JUSTICE KAGAN

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Much of the opposition to Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court came from her blistering criticism of "don't ask, don't tell." She has called the policy "a profound wrong, a moral injustice of the first order." As dean of Harvard Law School, she refused to directly sponsor military recruiters because they could not follow the same non-discrimination rules that applied to every other employer.  read more »

Elena Kagan and Blind Faith in the Military

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According to Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan "punished the military and demeaned our soldiers as they were courageously fighting two wars overseas" when, as Dean of Harvard Law School, she declined to provide military recruiters the same access to campus resources that other employers enjoyed.  read more »

In Ending DADT, America Comes Out of the Closet

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As I step away from ten years of researching and speaking about "don't ask, don't tell," questions swirl about the fate of a policy that mandates deception in the name of morale; that has wasted the talents of thousands of badly needed personnel while filling shortfalls with ex-convicts and drug abusers; and that's been a needless and undeserved indignity to a group of American citizens who simply want to serve their country like millions of others who proudly wear the uniform.  read more »

Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Fires Back at Service Chiefs on Don't Ask Don't Tell

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After the Chiefs of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines sent letters to Congress today in a last-ditch effort to block the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili responded in force by sending his own letter to the Hill.  read more »

What Does Victory on Don't Ask, Don't Tell Look Like?

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There has never been a law and policy quite like 'don't ask, don't tell.' It is uniquely bad, which is saying something for Washington. In 1993, it was called an 'interim compromise.' And yes, it certainly did compromise our military and American values. It tried to look reasonable but never was.  read more »

Jim Crow? Really?

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I am so glad that I was wrong.  For two years, I have been predicting that Congress would not have what it takes to pass "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation.

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The Military Wants Diversity: Will Congress Stand in its Way?

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As a Pentagon working group studies how to end discrimination against gay troops, one of its focuses is the military's broader experience with diversity: how has it met the challenge of transcending old barriers and replacing them with a commitment to putting the best and brightest in key positions of leadership?  read more »

Obama Defers Repeal to 2013

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Secretary of Defense Gates's letter to Congressman Skelton urging Congress not to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" was a de facto White House decision to delay action on the issue for a very long time.  read more »

New York Times Op-ed on Gay Troops Distorts Evidence

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Former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill McPeak published an op-ed in the New York Times today in which he claimed that during the 1993 debate over gays in the military, "A lot more heat than light was produced." McPeak says that as Washington reconsiders the question this year, "I doubt that we'll have a more enlightened public discussion in 2010."

But the way to have an enlightened public conversation is to offer reasoned claims based on evidence and research, and to characterize and evaluate opposing arguments honestly. McPeak does no such thing.  read more »

While the Pentagon Studies, More Gays Fall

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And yet the approach of the Pentagon's new Working Group is basically a reset. While its leaders insist it is about how, not whether, to lift the ban, everyone knows that any concerns it raises will be used by political opponents to say it can't be done. That tactic has already started, with Rep. Buck McKeon leading the charge.  read more »

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