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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Suspended — During Gulf War



The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is our nation’s highest ranking military officer, and the principal military adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense.

This country has long had a ban on gays in the military. In 1993, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” moved the ban from orientation to conduct, and from policy to law. But even before “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was codified into law under Colin Powell, his predecessor, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., fought against it and the military’s treatment of gays.

In his 2007 obituary, The Boston Globe wrote,

“[Crowe] condemned the military’s antigay bias and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, the first officer of his stature to do so.”

Over the past quarter-century, since 1985, America has had seven Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And five of the seven now support gays serving openly in the military.

Yet, despite evidence to the contrary — and there is evidence — the Republican and religious-right wing wind machines are still blowing hot and hard, suggesting repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be the end of the U.S. military. Or worse.

Colonel Oliver (convicted felon, Nicaragua gun smuggler, and – surprise! Fox News contributor) North last week suggested repealing DADT would invite the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) into our Armed Forces. (I’m not quite sure how that would work, as you can’t be a minor and serve in the military, but perhaps as he was running guns in Iran to help fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, North got a little too chummy with Noriega and what he was selling?)

The stories coming via the Beck-Hannity-O’Reilly-Palin-North Network are just jam-packed full of shock and awe. At this point, one would not be surprised to hear from them that if “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal were enacted, the sun would never rise again, and George Washington and Ronald Reagan would roll over in their graves.

Well, guess what? We already have hard evidence about what will happen in the U.S. Armed Forces when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is repealed. And the answer is, nothing.

In an opinion piece in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, “Buried truths about gays in the military,” Steve Chapman reminds us that last June, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John M. Shalikashvili, wrote an Op-Ed against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and pointed to hard evidence that during the six-month long Persian Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991,) under Republican President George H. W. Bush, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was suspended. Funny how no one (read: Senator John McCain) remembers that?

In The Washington Post, General Shalikashvili writes,

“The U.S. military itself has had successful experiences. Enforcement of the ban was suspended without problems during the Persian Gulf War, and there were no reports of angry departures.”

Well, well, well. Whaddya know…

He continues:

“A majority of U.S. service members say they know or believe that someone in their unit is gay, according to a 2006 Zogby International poll, and most of those who know of openly gay peers report no detriment to morale or cohesion. A recent study co-authored by Laura Miller of Rand Corp. found no correlation between a unit’s readiness and whether known gays serve in it. And last year, four retired flag and general officers studied all available evidence and found that allowing gays to serve posed no risk to force readiness.”

We now have Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John M. Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, under whom “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was enacted, and former Commander in Chief, President Bill Clinton, under whom “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was enacted, and many other military leaders at the highest levels, all stating that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” should be repealed.

Additionally, another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, last fall said,

“Gays can serve in the military; they just can’t do so openly. And they do, and there are lots of them, and we’re the beneficiary of all that.”

So, Senator McCain, Senator DeMint, Congressman Hunter, Congressman Pence, and all you other hypocritical lawmakers and fanatical right-wing pundits, when will you listen?

(image above, from left: former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., General Colin Powell, General John M. Shalikashvili, General Richard Myers, and current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.)

A version of this piece was originally published in The Bilerico Project.

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Supreme Court Responds Trump’s Request to Block Access to White House Records: ‘Denied’



The U.S. Supreme Court has ended Donald Trump’s multiple attempts to block access to documents from his years in the White House, telling the former president, request “denied.”

Trump had tried to block the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack from gaining access to those records. The Supreme Court, three of its six conservatives appointed by Trump himself, rejected his demand.

“Trump had lost efforts in two lower federal courts to block the panel from getting more than 700 pages of records,” CNBC reports. “He had argued that he had the authority as a former president to invoke executive privilege to prevent disclosure of the records.”

The vote reportedly was 8-1, with Justice Clarence Thomas the only one to side with Trump.

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‘You Always Ask Me the Nicest Questions’: Biden Takes Down Doocy as Press Conference Nears End



About 90 minutes into President Joe Biden’s press conference, just as it was about to end, Fox News’ Peter Doocy called out a question and the President was only too happy to indulge him.

“You always ask me the nicest questions,” President Biden jovially responded to Doocy’s yelling, adding: “None of them make a lot of sense to me.”

Apparently desperate to prove him wrong, the Fox News correspondent declared, “Why are you trying in your first year so hard to pull the country so far to the left?”

President Biden didn’t get angry. He merely replied, “Well, I’m not.”

“I don’t know what you consider to be ‘too far to the left,'” President Biden continued, proceeding to rattle off a list of accomplishments that are pretty well-received and supported.

“In fact, we’re talking about making sure that we had the money for COVID making sure we had the money to put together the bipartisan infrastructure and making sure we’re able to provide for those things that in fact, we significantly reduced the burden on working class people but make them have to continue to work hard. I don’t know how that is pointed to the left. If you may recall. I, you guys have been trying to convince me that I am Bernie Sanders. I’m not, I like him but I’m not Bernie Sanders. I’m not a socialist. I’m a mainstream Democrat and I have been.”

“48 of the 50 Democrats supported me in the Senate on virtually every thing I’ve asked.”

President Biden then continued to take questions for a total of nearly two hours. The press conference is ongoing as of this publishing.


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‘Name Me One Thing’: Biden Blasts Republicans for Not Being ‘For’ Anything



During his press conference Wednesday afternoon President Joe Biden blasted the Republican Party, suggesting they stand for nothing.

“Think about this: What are Republicans for?” the President asked. “What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.”

“And so, the problem here is, I think what I have to do,” Biden said, noting a change in tactics, “I have to make clear to the American people what we are for,” referring to his Democratic Party.

Republicans during the 2020 presidential election literally stood for nothing: they didn’t bother to craft a 2020 platform.

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