Pentagon review: Troops basically fine with gay people

With the report finished, Secretary Gates urges Congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" while opponents scramble

Topics: Don't Ask Don't Tell, War Room, John McCain, R-Ariz., LGBT, MSNBC, Pentagon, Robert Gates, U.S. Military,

Pentagon review: Troops basically fine with gay peopleRobert Gates and John McCain

The majority of America’s service members don’t think repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would be that big of a deal, really. The vast majority of their families are fine with it, too. Defense Secretary Robert Gates “strongly urges” the Senate to hurry up and repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” before the end of the year, so the military can get around to implementing the end of the ban.

Of course, the idea of polling the troops before deciding whether to end a discriminatory policy is slightly at odds with the ideal of civilian leadership of the armed forces, as Gates also pointed out in a section of his statement today that will probably be ignored in favor of endless discussion of poll survey results:

As was made clear at the time, and is worth repeating today, this outreach was not a matter of taking a poll of the military to determine whether the law should be changed. The very idea of asking the force to, in effect, vote on such a matter is antithetical to our system of government and would have been without precedent in the long history of our civilian-led military. The President of the United States, the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, made his position on this matter clear — a position I support. Our job, as the civilian and military leadership of the Department of Defense, was to determine how best to prepare for such a change should the Congress change the law.

You Might Also Like

But, of course, the fact that the review was designed “to determine how best to prepare for such a change should the Congress change the law” provides a very nice excuse for people like bitterness mascot John McCain to disregard the results of the review entirely. Sure, most soldiers are fine with it, but some of them aren’t and also you didn’t ask them the right way!

The full report is available at the Defense Department’s website, in case you want to go through and try to guess which bits McCain will cherry-pick when he announces that it makes a compelling case for the ban to remain in place.

In order to intelligently discuss the Pentagon review in a serious, adult fashion, and help its viewers to understand its import, MSNBC invited frothing buffoon Elaine Donnelly to screech slander about homosexuals for what felt like 20 minutes. (Oh, don’t worry! Some non-monstrous humanoids were present, too, for “balance.”)

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>