Trump Using Debunked Arguments Claiming Military Effectiveness and Lethality and Unit Cohesion Will Suffer
The White House early Friday evening released the memo PresidentÂ Donald Trump signed authorizing the Pentagon and Homeland Security to discharge transgender service members. In briefing reporters the White House highlighted three major points: First, the ban must be implemented by March of 2018, with decisions complete by January. Second, the ban includes an immediate halt to paying for all transgender transition related medical expenses. Third, it allows the Defense Secretary to use various factors to determine which transgender service members should be removed from the armed forces, and which, if any, should be allowed to stay.
BelowÂ is the full text of the memo. But allow me to highlight a ludicrous passage first:
“In my judgment,” Trump’s memo states, “the previous Administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating the Departments’ longstanding policy and practice” of not allowing open service by transgender service members “would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have those negative effects.”
Trump is literally using the debunked talking points of the far right when they fought the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”Â
Studies show they are not credible, which will only make the lawsuits that have been and are about to be filed even easier to win.
“Military effectiveness and lethality” and “unit cohesion” are all straw man arguments that the Trump administration cannot support in a court of law.
Below is the full text of the memo, via the White House. (For ease of reading we are not block quoting.):
MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBJECT:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Military Service by Transgender Individuals
Â Â Â Â Â SectionÂ 1.Â Â Policy.Â (a)Â Until JuneÂ 2016, the Department ofÂ Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (collectively, the Departments) generally prohibited openly transgender individuals from accession into the UnitedÂ States military and authorized the discharge of such individuals.Â Shortly before President Obama left office, however, his Administration dismantled the Departments’ established framework by permitting transgender individuals to serve openly in the military, authorizing the use of the Departments’ resources toÂ fund sex-reassignment surgical procedures, and permitting accession of such individuals after JulyÂ 1, 2017.Â The Secretary ofÂ Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security have since extended the deadline to alter the currently effective accession policy toÂ JanuaryÂ 1, 2018, while the Departments continue to study theÂ issue.
Â Â Â Â In my judgment, the previous Administration failed to identify a sufficient basis to conclude that terminating theÂ Departments’ longstanding policy and practice would not hinder military effectiveness and lethality, disrupt unit cohesion, or tax military resources, and there remain meaningful concerns that further study is needed to ensure that continued implementation of last year’s policy change would not have thoseÂ negative effects.
Â Â Â Â (b)Â Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces ofÂ theÂ UnitedÂ States under the Constitution and the laws of theÂ UnitedÂ States of America, including ArticleÂ II of the Constitution, I am directing the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, to return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to JuneÂ 2016 until such time as a sufficient basis exists upon which to conclude that terminating that policy and practice would not have the negative effects discussed above.Â The Secretary of Defense, after consulting with the Secretary of Homeland Security, may advise me at any time, in writing, that aÂ change to this policy is warranted.
Â Â Â Â Â Sec.Â 2.Â Â Directives.Â The Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, shall:
Â Â Â Â (a)Â maintain the currently effective policy regarding accession of transgender individuals into military service beyondÂ JanuaryÂ 1, 2018, until such time as the Secretary of Defense, after consulting with the Secretary of Homeland Security, provides aÂ recommendation to the contrary that I find convincing; and
Â Â Â Â (b)Â halt all use of DoD or DHS resources to fund sexâ€‘reassignment surgical procedures for military personnel, except to the extent necessary to protect the health of an individual who has already begun a course of treatment to reassign his or her sex.
Â Â Â Â Â Sec.Â 3.Â Â Effective Dates and Implementation.Â SectionÂ 2(a) of this memorandum shall take effect onÂ January 1, 2018.Â SectionsÂ 1(b) andÂ 2(b) of this memorandum shall take effect onÂ MarchÂ 23, 2018.Â ByÂ FebruaryÂ 21, 2018, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall submit to me a plan for implementing both the general policy setÂ forth in sectionÂ 1(b) of this memorandum and the specific directives set forth in sectionÂ 2 of this memorandum.Â The implementation plan shall adhere to the determinations of the Secretary of Defense, made in consultation with the Secretary ofÂ Homeland Security, as to what steps are appropriate and consistent with military effectiveness and lethality, budgetary constraints, and applicable law.Â As part of the implementation plan, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall determine how to address transgender individuals currently serving in the UnitedÂ States military.Â Until the Secretary has made that determination, no action may be taken against such individuals under the policy set forth in section 1(b) of this memorandum.
Â Â Â Â Â Sec.Â 4.Â Â Severability.Â If any provision of this memorandum, orÂ the application of any provision of this memorandum, is held to beÂ invalid, the remainder of this memorandum and other dissimilar applications of the provision shall not be affected.
Â Â Â Â Â Sec.Â 5.Â Â General Provisions.Â (a)Â Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (i)Â Â the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (ii)Â the functions of the Director of the Office ofÂ Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
Â Â Â Â (b)Â This memorandum shall be implemented consistent withÂ applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
Â Â Â Â (c)Â This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the UnitedÂ States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Â Â Â Â (d)Â The Secretary of Defense is authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in theÂ Federal Register.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â DONALD J. TRUMP
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DOJ Signals It Is Conducting a Criminal Investigation of George Santos
The U.S. Dept. of Justice Friday signaled it is conducting a criminal investigation of U.S. Rep. George Santos‘ campaign finances when it asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to pause its probe into the embattled New York freshman GOP lawmaker.
“The request is the clearest sign to date of an active criminal investigation examining the congressman’s campaign finances,” The Washington Post reports.
But NBC News goes one step further.
“Federal prosecutors in New York have opened an investigation into Rep.-elect George Santos, two law enforcement sources confirmed Thursday,” NBC states. “The probe by federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York is at least the second investigation into Santos.”
“The two sources confirmed that prosecutors are examining Santos’ finances, including potential irregularities involving financial disclosures and loans he made to his campaign as he was running for Congress,” NBC adds.
The Santos campaign this week, according to The Daily Beast, amended FEC filings that originally claimed about $625,000 in “personal” loans from the candidate’s personal funds were actually not from the candidates personal funds. Santos has since refused to state where the money came from.
DOJ also asked the FEC for any “relevant documents” for the Santos’ campaign, The Post noted.
“Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday interviewed two people about Santos’s role in Harbor City Capital, an investment firm that was forced to shut down in 2021 after the SEC accused it of operating a ‘classic Ponzi scheme,'” according to The Post’s reporting.
Watch: Nancy Pelosi Says ‘I Have Absolutely No Intention of Seeing the Deadly Assault on My Husband’s Life’
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the former Speaker of the House, told reporters she has no intention of watching just-released video of the almost fatal, brutal attack on her 82-year old husband, allegedly by a hammer-wielding, far-right conspiracy theory promoting extremist.
DePape had “posted antisemitic screeds and entries defending former President Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper formally known as Kayne West who recently made antisemitic comments,” CBS News reported one day after the attack.
Earlier Friday, before the video had been released by a judge’s order, Rep. Pelosi said did not know if she would watch the video.
Later, Friday afternoon, Pelosi said she would not.
“As you know, today there was a release of some information. I have not heard the 911 call. I have not heard the confession. I have not seen the break-in, and I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”
Prosecutors have described the attack as “near-fatal.”
She also thanked “people for all of their prayers,” and for “asking about the progress my husband is making, and he is making progress, but it will take more time.”
Apparently choking up, she added that she would not be making any more statements about this case as it proceeds, except again to thank people and inform them of Paul’s progress.”
Watch below or at this link.
“I have absolutely no intention of seeing the deadly assault on my husband’s life.”
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters after video was made public showing her husband, Paul Pelosi, fighting with his assailant during a brutal attack last year. pic.twitter.com/CGo0s0Ayho
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 27, 2023
Pelosi Attack Video Release Leads to Criticism of Musk, Right Wingers Who ‘Trafficked in Homophobic Conspiracy Nonsense’
News organizations won the release of police body cam video that shows the horrific moment when an intruder, “without warning or hesitation,” whacked Paul Pelosi, the 82-year old husband of the now-former Speaker of the House, with a hammer, knocking him unconscious and to the ground in a pool of blood, in what prosecutors called a “near-fatal” assault.
The alleged assailant is David DePape, a purveyor of far-right conspiracy theories, including QAnon and Pizzagate, COVID-19 disinformation, along with “Big Lie” videos from My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell. He is facing multiple state and federal charges.
Depape reportedly broke into the Pelosi home, screaming, “where’s Nancy?” which some including The Atlantic’s David A. Graham have noted eerily echoes insurrectionists hunting for Nancy Pelosi on January 6, 2021, screaming, “Nancy! Nancy Pelosi!” “Where you at, Nancy?” “Where’s Nancy?”
From the moment news broke of the October 28, 2022 attack on the husband of the Speaker of the House, who told police he was there to violently attack Nancy Pelosi, those on the right, including Elon Musk, ex-president Donald Trump, and other anti-Pelosi and pro-Trump activists, quickly suggested, implied, or even claimed Depape was Paul Pelosi’s boyfriend, or that it had somehow been an anonymous sexual tryst that went bad – despite no evidence.
In the video, which should be watched only with extreme caution, police can be seen approaching the front door of the Pelosi home, the door opening, DePape holding Paul Pelosi by the wrist with one hand, and a hammer in the other. Within seconds he attacks Pelosi, who falls to the ground. Police take DePape down to the ground, and moaning can be heard, although it’s unclear if it is from Pelosi or his alleged assailant.
DePape told police he wanted to break Nancy Pelosi’s kneecaps and hold her hostage. Since she was across the country in D.C., he ended up fracturing her husband’s skull instead.
Despite the video, the far-right refuses to let go of its false claims about Paul Pelosi, which are hurtful not only to the Pelosi family, but to the LGBTQ community.
Just days after the almost deadly attack Donald Trump falsely claimed, “You know, probably, you and I are better off not talking about it. The glass, it seems, was broken from the inside to the out and, you know, so, it wasn’t a break in, it was a break out.”
Kara Swisher, the well-known tech journalist and opinion writer, blasted those who are ignoring the clear video evidence (not to mention the massive reporting) of the attack.
“All those who trafficked in homophobic conspiracy nonsense about this,” she wrote Friday on Twitter, “such as the owner of this increasingly shitty platform, should be ashamed,” Swisher said, referring to Elon Musk.
“They won’t be, but they are heinous & utterly lost,” she added, linking to a Washington Post article titled, “Judge releases evidence, video footage in attack on Pelosi.”
Indeed, two days after the attack, Elon Musk tweeted then later deleted the claim that “there is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye.” The Independent reported Musk, “attached a screenshot of a bogus report accusing Mr Pelosi of getting into a drunken fight with a male prostitute.”
Politico’s Sam Stein also highlighted Musk pushing the apparent falsehood: “The release of the Paul Pelosi video is a useful reminder that the owner of this here platform pushed conspiracy theories around the attack.”
Entrepreneur and programmer William LeGate, who won a Thiel fellowship at the age of 18, on Friday tweeted: “Now that the Paul Pelosi surveillance footage & 911 call have been made public, it’s time homophobic bigots like Elon Musk, Tucker Carlon, & the like to issue a public apology for spreading the ‘lover’s quarrel’ conspiracy theory.”
MSNBC executive producer Kyle Griffin made remarks similar to Swisher’s: “A lot of conservatives spread disgusting, nonsensical conspiracies about the Paul Pelosi attack — including Elon Musk. Some are still spreading them. Those people should be ashamed.”
Republican former U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger, linking to a Politico report on the release of the video, said, “Can we please dig up every persons tweet who made fun of this or cast doubt? This was a sick attack and politicians minimizing it suck.”
Salon’s Amanda Marcotte defended the release of the video with this explanation: “Seeing folks question why it was necessary to release the footage of the attack on Paul Pelosi, which is incredibly violent and disturbing. Well, a big reason is Republicans have treated the attempted murder as a joke.”
She linked to an article she wrote in early November titled, “After the Pelosi attack, Republicans have quit pretending they oppose political violence.”
Journalist and SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile also went after Republicans.
“The Paul Pelosi video — and the surveillance video — show the danger and brutality of the attacker,” he tweeted. “Every Republican who mocked this attack is filled with nothing but hate and bile.”
NCRM is embedding the video below, from The Associated Press. We caution watching the brutal video, which is longer than many others and includes the actual attack and the moments after. Again, we urge caution.
Body camera footage shows Paul Pelosi, former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, fighting his assailant during an attack in the couple's San Francisco home last year. pic.twitter.com/yVPnGDJtsC
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 27, 2023
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