Quick synoposis at 9:36 a.m.: Gates said he has approved changes to the implementation of the law. They’ve been approved unanimously by the Joint Chiefs. They reflect the insights gained over 17 years of implementing the law. He raised the level of the personnel who can be involved in different steps in the process. He also placed limits on third party accusations. And, he made certain evidence off-limits (conveyed to lawyer, clergy or therapist.)
These new regulations take effect immediately. All separations from this point forward will take place under the revised regulations, including cases under consideration.
The Secretary of Defense is announcing the new policy on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at 9:30 AM. His briefing will be covered live on C-SPAN3. I’ll be watching and reporting on his announcement.
In its promo piece on Gates announcement, CNN is calling this a “policy tweak.” We were promised more than a tweak, we were promised repeal.
Also, the Associated Press, which has consistently gotten DADT-related leaks from the Penatagon, has this up at 3:09 AM:
Guidelines to be announced Thursday call for testimony from third parties to be given under oath. The discharge of enlisted personnel must be approved by officers who hold a rank equivalent to a one-star general or above, according to military and defense officials familiar with the plan. They spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement.
The goal is to ensure that the law is applied fairly and consistently across the military and that flimsy testimony from third parties is eliminated, the officials said. The plan is considered a stopgap measure until Congress decides whether to repeal the 1993 law.
Bottom line is that the law will still be applied, even under these “more humane” procedures.