Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: New Study Reveals Number Of Soldiers Who Quit Over DADT
A new study reveals the number of military service members who quit over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell — the ban on openly-gay people serving in the military — as this week marks the one-year anniversary of the repeal actually going into effect.
In 2010, one of the repeal of DADT top opponents, Senator John McCain, said,Â â€œI hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage, and we could possibly and probably â€” as the commandant of the Marine Corps said and Iâ€™ve been told by literally thousands of members of the military â€” harm the battle effectiveness, which is so vital to the support, to the survival of our young men and women in the military.â€
That same year, Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay hate group, Family Research Council, said,Â â€œWhen youâ€™re in training situations, where you have an individual that has the power, really, of life and death, in some circumstances, over individuals, there can be a lot of coercion. And this can be a very dangerous situation and very intimidating situation. Itâ€™s just not healthy for the well-being of the military.â€
Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, today writing at Slate, reveals the military’s troop loss over the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: two. Not two unit, not two hundred, or two hundred thousand, but two people.
During the debate over â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€â€”which ended one year ago this weekâ€”Sen. John McCain insisted that ending the gay ban would do â€œgreat damageâ€ to the military, and the commandant of the Marine Corps said it could â€œcost Marinesâ€™ lives.â€ One think-tanker agreed that weâ€™d be taking â€œa risk with our lives, property and freedom.â€ Another declared breathlessly that, â€œultimately all of civilian life will be affected.â€ Then there was the dire prediction that one-quarter of the military, or 500,000 troops, might quit in protest.
Underlying the debate were competing moral visions, but the claims over harm to the military were where it often played out, on both sides. Gay rights proponents countered by pointing out that there was never any evidence that openly gay service would hurt the military, and thatplenty of research from foreign countries suggested the opposite. Even studies conducted by the U.S. military itself, and by the Government Accountability Office, suggested readiness would not suffer if gays served openly. The trouble was that the research was predictive, not descriptive. No one could actually say for sure what the impact on the military of ending DADT would be.
Until now. A newÂ UCLA study, which I co-authored with other academics including military professors from all four U.S. military service academies, has assessed whether ending the gay ban has indeed harmed the armed forces. It hasnâ€™t. Our conclusion is that ending the policy â€œhas had no negative impact on overall military readiness or its component parts: unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.â€
We surveyed 200 active-duty troops before and after repeal of â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ about cohesion in their units, and analyzed data from two other surveys. We also looked at recruitment and retention figures released by the Defense Department. We interviewed dozens of military scholars and officials, gay and straight troops, and policy experts, and we examined hundreds of media stories on the issueâ€”reading every relevant piece we could find in a systematic search. We made a special effort to uncover any damage to cohesion, morale or readiness by reaching out to all known opponents of openly gay service. This included contacting anti-gay advocacy groups who would surely be listening for, and eager to publicize, any harm that occurred, and writing to over 500 retired generals who signed a 2009 letter predicting that repeal would â€œundermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.â€(A â€œstandards of evidenceâ€ discussionÂ in the studyÂ explains how we weighed the different data types we found.)
In one survey, more than 750 active duty troops were asked three months after repeal about their morale, housing, perception of officer and troop quality, and overall quality of lifeâ€”factors considered key components of military readiness. All the figures were the same or slightly higher than in a parallel survey administered in the months before repeal, meaning readiness did not drop after repeal. Recruitment and retention figures throughout the military have remained steady, and survey responses indicate that troops are just as likely to re-enlist after repeal as before. The military confirmed the premature departure of two service membersâ€”not 500,000.
Lifting the ban, we found, improved the ability of the military to do its job by removing needless barriers to peer bonding, effective leadership and discipline.
In December of 2011, marking the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the repeal act,Â The New Civil Rights Movement wrote an article titled, “Top 10 â€œDonâ€™t Ask Donâ€™t Tellâ€ Repeal Lies That Never Came True,” highlighting the worst liars who fought repeal.
Tony Perkins, Senator McCain, Elaine Donnelly, Peter Sprigg, General Amos (who at least changed his opinion), General Mundy,Â Mackubin Thomas Owens,Â Frank Gaffney, Jr., and all the others whose lies diminished our service members, and our nation, weâ€™re waiting. Apologize. It really is the very least you can do.
Not one ever has.
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'GOOD LUCK WITH THAT'
‘Trying to Have It Both Ways’: Ivanka ‘Flailing’ as Trump Indictment Slams Family
While Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump have taken to their social media platforms to viciously lash out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting their father on a reported 30 charges, Ivanka Trump posted a rather muted statement on her Instagram account which simply said, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both. I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”
According to Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis, the so-called “First Daughter,” who served in the White House with her father, is trying to stay true to her former president dad, while distancing herself from his legal problems — and it is not going to work for her.
As Lewis put it, Ivanka is “flailing” in her attempts to shed the memory of her participation in the Trump administration that reached its lowest point on Jan. 6 when supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol and sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.
“It’s hard to argue with anything Ivanka says here, but it is not a statement of moral clarity. Nor is it (conversely) a statement of strong support for her father. She’s flailing and trying to have it both ways,” Lewis wrote before adding, “Now, it’s understandable that a daughter might not want to utterly condemn her father. Further, children are not responsible for their parents’ sins. Except, of course, if you consider the fact that Ivanka served as the primary weapon in the ‘Trump’s not such a belligerent pig as his four decades as a public figure would make you think’ propaganda push.”
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Noting that Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner — who has baggage of his own — both stuck with Trump in the White House for all four years, Lewis added, “As far as the former first daughter goes, she and her husband might be done with politics, but once you’ve been a party to an administration like Trump’s, it’s going to be a long time before politics is done with them.”
“So, Ivanka, you want to have a seat at the cool apolitical kids’ table? You want to be once again accepted by the socially liberal billionaires’ children you used to go to the Hamptons with and now have Miami Beach playdates with? You want to enjoy the privileges of being a Trump with none of the shame? Good luck with that,” he concluded.
You can read more here.
Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report
Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.
The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.
Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.
CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”
READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard is as strong as any I’ve seen.”
The judge was very clear in his ruling.
“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”
READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’
Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.
Dominion has won the argument on the issue of falsity, meaning that as the Court funds below, “it is CRYSTAL clear that none of the Statements relating to Dominion about the 2020 election are true.” pic.twitter.com/7lKEspN0WI
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) March 31, 2023
Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’
The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.
“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.
“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.
The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.
READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor
Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”
“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”
She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.
“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”
READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump
Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”
Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license
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