I can’t figure out if we’re getting played here — if everyone is doing just enough to make it look like they’re cooperating, but, in reality, there’s no real strategy to pass the DADT language in the Defense Authorization bill. Cause that’s how it feels.
Via Josh Gerstein:
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has agreed to move up by one day the release of a Pentagon report on implementing a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that has governed the military for 17 years, a spokesman said Sunday night.
“Secretary Gates is pushing all involved in the Comprehensive Review Working Group’s report to have it ready for public release on November 30th in order to accommodate the desire of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings as soon as possible,” Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
The November 30th date amounts to a one day acceleration of the report, which had initially been planned for release in early December. Last week, the Pentagon committed to a December 1 release. However, gay rights groups and several senators who support repeal of the congressionally-mandated ban on openly gay servicemembers had asked Gates to get the report out as quickly as possible. Until Sunday, the Pentagon had rebuffed those requests.
Still feels like a rebuff to me. One day early doesn’t seem like a major concession. But, then again, every day matters between now and when Congress adjourns if the DADT language is going to pass.
Last spring, when it became clear that there was momentum for DADT repeal this year, the White House should have told the Pentagon to release the study on September 1st. It could have been done. But, the White House had no intention of crossing Secretary Gates. Now, look at the mess they’ve created.
One more time I’m going to post this paragraph from an article that appeared last week in The New York Times:
Leaders of the new House Republican majority have indicated that repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a priority for them, making it unlikely they would approve the bill again. That means if the repeal language is not approved by the end of this year, it will be effectively dead.
The Pentagon study became an excuse for many Senators. But, hey, it’s coming out one day early now.