Joe and I are both going to be writing much more about this tomorrow. But in a nutshell, Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, was asked about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell today. His response? Read it for yourself.
Mullen appeared to be distancing himself from Obama and the possible repeal of the policy. He talked about the impact lifting the ban would have on military families – and not in a good way. This is a new excuse, and doesn’t even make any sense. Mullen also talked about “changing” the policy (again that word), rather than repealing it.
I just received the following email from Richard Socarides, former top aide to President Clinton, about Mullen’s comments. Richard gave me permission to print it:
Mullen’s comments are offensive and insulting. It’s shocking that the civilian leadership allows him to talk about a group of Americans as if we were second class citizens.
How can you advocate a measured approach to equality? Deliberate is what I’m looking for. Deliberate is what we were promised.
And his comments about “the impact [of a policy change] on our people and their families” is outrageous. What about the impact of the current policy on gay servicemenbers? Are they not “his people.” Not to mention the chilling effect official, government sanctioned discrimination has on all of us as Americans.
This is one of the most senior leaders of our government talking about us as if we were second class citizens. It has got to stop.
Sixteen years ago Sam Nunn and Colin Powell did this to us and no one called them on it. And we ended up with this policy. Now we must speak up. These are not legitimate opposing views. He, Mullen, is not expressing an American view of equality. And, shockingly, one of his main jobs is to articulate the policy views of his boss, the president.
It’s happening all over again. The military is running roughshod over a Democratic commander in chief. Does anyone believe for a moment that a Republican president would let his military commanders get away with this kind of insubordination?