What History Looks Like
November 16, 2010 8:03 PM   Subscribe

Photos of US soldiers and vets engaged in non-violent protest against "DADT" in front of the White House.
posted by bardic (96 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Beautiful. That made me smile.
posted by Seamus at 8:11 PM on November 16, 2010


Kudos to the brave people who did that.

What happens to people, legally, who do protests like that? Are they charged with anything? Or just arrested and let go?
posted by fontophilic at 8:17 PM on November 16, 2010


it might be useful to remember that should the drafting of civilians ever return as law, declaring oneself to be homosexual is a pretty comfortable way to opt out without having to freeze yer nuts off in canada.
posted by kitchenrat at 8:17 PM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


it might be useful to remember that should the drafting of civilians ever return as law, declaring oneself to be homosexual is a pretty comfortable way to opt out without having to freeze yer nuts off in canada.

I think it's safe to say that with DADT already opposed by over 70% of Americans, an actual resurrection of the draft would almost certainly be accompanied by an end to the gay ban.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:29 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do you really think so, kitchenrat? Do you really, really think so?? Good, holy God it makes me want to cry to read that.

The pictures make me want to cry too, not smile but, you know, emotional old fag... It's time for this to end!
posted by Webnym at 8:30 PM on November 16, 2010


There's something in my eye...
posted by elsietheeel at 8:35 PM on November 16, 2010


should the drafting of civilians ever return as law, declaring oneself to be homosexual is a pretty comfortable way to opt out withoutof having to freeze yer nuts off in canada.

That was the way I first read that, and thought "but they'll miss our polite insurgency!".
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:43 PM on November 16, 2010


1) This is awesome.
2) They need to take a civics course, and then chain themselves to something near the Capitol Building. The Executive Branch has done virtually everything in its power to end the policy. The fate of DADT rests with the Legislature (and the 9th Circuit Court) right now.
posted by schmod at 8:45 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


What happens to people, legally, who do protests like that? Are they charged with anything? Or just arrested and let go?

How did protest become emasculated like that? Where it's assumed that they must be arrested, where it's assumed that there are legal consequences? Who abridged our right to peaceably assemble so, that we cower at the very thought? I am not angry at you, fontophilic, but I am angry at the people's mindset and the courts' actions which made such an utterance possible.
posted by curuinor at 8:49 PM on November 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


Wow, I met Miriam Ben-Shalom, oh, I guess it was 18 years ago now. She was something else. I'm glad to see she's still at it.
posted by nanojath at 8:49 PM on November 16, 2010


Such actions and such assumptions, I mean. Not utterances.
posted by curuinor at 8:50 PM on November 16, 2010


*That was the way I first read that, and thought "but they'll miss our polite insurgency!".*

Ditto, though I was thinking that we'd see a reversal of the problem of Colonial times, where British troops defending Canada kept defecting into the US for the free land and better living.

Every Quaker in the country would have to build bigger basements to hold all the nice young (wo)men in combat boots. They'd have to post a border guard to keep them in.
posted by Phalene at 8:53 PM on November 16, 2010


I'll care about the right of gay people to join the armed forces when the military stops being a tool of imperial dominance and aggression in the Middle East, Latin America, and everywhere else. When it's a protectionist and humanitarian aid force only, then you have a moral leg to stand on. Then I'll give two shits about who has a right to join.

In the meantime you aren't fighting for your right to serve the nation and defend freedom, you're trying to join in the toppling other nations in exchange for salary and benefits. I'm all for equality in domestic affairs. Gay people should be able to adopt children, teach them, and enjoy all the rights and privileges of marriage. They should be able to live with pride and live without fear. But screw this cause and screw anyone who wants to purchase their place in one society by signing up to destroy another. If I don't hear about this issue ever again it'll be too soon.
posted by clarknova at 9:05 PM on November 16, 2010 [16 favorites]


I was walking by that day! They were great! Ratio of cops to protesters was something like 10 to 1, lol. Not sure their protest will do anything to sway Congress, but I think the Chinese tourists in the crowd were impressed.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:06 PM on November 16, 2010


Needs a "Don't Care" tag; which sums it all up for 99.99% of the military.
posted by buzzman at 9:12 PM on November 16, 2010


Perhaps they could optimistically napalm the place?
posted by pompomtom at 9:17 PM on November 16, 2010


What happens to people, legally, who do protests like that? Are they charged with anything? Or just arrested and let go?

In the fifties you would arrested, court martialed and recieve a general discharge.
at best.
posted by clavdivs at 9:18 PM on November 16, 2010


declaring oneself to be homosexual is a pretty comfortable way to opt out without having to freeze yer nuts off in canada.

Whatever you do, don't do both. The Canadian Forces will send you straight to Afghanistan.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:24 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who abridged our right to peaceably assemble so
are far as white house security measures go
Osama bin Laden
posted by clavdivs at 9:25 PM on November 16, 2010


Can an American explain to me on what basis they were arrested?

I thought you guys had a bill of rights that covered peaceful protest on public land.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:29 PM on November 16, 2010


I'll care about the right of gay people to join the armed forces when the military stops being a tool of imperial dominance and aggression in the Middle East, Latin America, and everywhere else. When it's a protectionist and humanitarian aid force only, then you have a moral leg to stand on. Then I'll give two shits about who has a right to join.

Oh, yeah? Well, I'll care about the rights of gay people as soon as they all start living according to my political opinions! You guys better like financial reform and legal weed if you want me to give two shits about your basic equality, is all I'm sayin'...

Also, stop eating so much ham! If I don't hear about you and your Monte Cristos ever again it'll be too soon!
posted by vorfeed at 9:31 PM on November 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


Can an American explain to me on what basis they were arrested?

Lafayette Park is actually administered by the National Park Service (it's considered part of President's Park) and you need to file a protest permit with them to protest there w/o being arrested. Although I'm not sure how much real control the NPS has over Lafayette since the Secret Service tends to shut off access whenever they feel like it. Also I'm sure the White House fence, which the protesters had handcuffed themselves to, is considered part of the White House grounds, so it's not surprising that the Secret Service were the dominant police presence there that day. Park Police were there too, on some horses, and I think some DC Metro cops, but they were far outnumbered by the Secret Service police.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:42 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong for me to say that Lt. Dan Choi is hot?

'Cause I'd totally do him right now.
posted by MrVisible at 9:48 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong for me to say that Lt. Dan Choi is hot?

'Cause I'd totally do him right now.


Fire up your grindr.
posted by andoatnp at 10:01 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


longdaysjourney - thanks for that.

They need to take a civics course, and then chain themselves to something near the Capitol Building.


In 2003, I was on exchange at the University of British Columbia when Gulf War II was announced. Student activists ran all over campus and arranged, at extremely short notice, a sizable and vocal protest. On campus. In front of the studuent union/admin building and then all around, as if the administrators of a Canadian university were driving tanks into Baghdad. It was the equivalent of shouting at ourselves in our bedroom mirrors.

At least the White House is a symbol of political power, and lots of people, including reporters, saw them. They could do worse.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:12 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's really unsettling to see servicemen and women being dragged away by police officers.
posted by ORthey at 10:16 PM on November 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


From andoatnp's link: "Harry Reid is a pussy," Choi angrily said after the failed vote in the Senate last month, vowing to speak out about the Democratic leader, "and he'll be bleeding once a month."

That's ugly.
posted by lullaby at 10:20 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


They need to take a civics course, and then chain themselves to something near the Capitol Building. The Executive Branch has done virtually everything in its power to end the policy.
The Obama administration has done everything it could to... avoid any responsibility for this either way. It would be easy for Obama to end enforcement of the policy by executive order. The law would be on the books but so what? In fact, people have argued that it would be perfectly legal for Obama to do, by issuing a stop-loss order which takes precedence over various regulations.

The fact this didn't go away months ago is really a testament to the cowardice of the Obama administration. Everyone knows congress is slow, and everyone knows eventually this will be legally overturned. Why not (legally) override the law until that happens and stop kicking people out of the military for no good reason?
posted by delmoi at 10:26 PM on November 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


I think they're all brave and beautiful, and I'd be thrilled if my kids grew up to be just like them.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 10:29 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's really unsettling to see servicemen and women being dragged away by police officers.

Seriously? Why is that? Should the law be subordinated to the military?
posted by pompomtom at 10:39 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


They need to take a civics course, and then chain themselves to something near the Capitol Building. The Executive Branch has done virtually everything in its power to end the policy.

You clearly haven't heard of the federal DADT case.
posted by John Cohen at 10:48 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Obama administration has done everything it could to... avoid any responsibility for this either way.

That isn't true either. The Obama administration is responsible for getting DADT reinstated after the Log Cabin Republicans won in federal court. The administration shouldn't have appealed. It didn't have to. Obama is responsible for this.
posted by John Cohen at 11:03 PM on November 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


In the fifties you would arrested, court martialed and recieve a general discharge. at best.

Yeah, I'm more curious about what's going to happen to the ones who are active duty and attending a political protest while in uniform - I am pretty sure this is against military regulations. Are people getting discharged over this sort of thing?

(I think what they are doing is pretty awesome; I'm just curious what happens to them.)
posted by naoko at 11:03 PM on November 16, 2010


The symbolism really struck me. Shades of Selma, but with the twist of servicemen being detained by cops.

Yes, yes, I know there are huge differences between the Civil Rights movement and DADT, but some of these pictures strike me as potentially iconic.
posted by bardic at 11:05 PM on November 16, 2010


The Daily show had a brilliant segment showing how weird this situation is. 70% of the troops have no problem serving with gay people, the top generals want DADT repealed, a study that congress commissioned recommended it be repealed, and STILL people like John McCain are opposing it like racist senators who opposed desegregation long after the writing was on the wall.

There are going to be some people surprised at how ugly thier legacies are when this is all over.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 11:14 PM on November 16, 2010 [15 favorites]


The Obama administration is responsible for getting DADT reinstated after the Log Cabin Republicans won in federal court.
They are responsible, but there is no one that can prevent them from 1) not appealing or 2) not asking for a stay during appeal or 3) Not issuing a stop-loss order untill the law is actually repealed.

While in some theoretical sense they are "supposed" to do it this way, to claim that they are doing "everything they can" to end the ban is total bullshit. It's not even an issue of breaking rules, just using other rules that over ride the first ones.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Actually reading your comment again, I think we agree. What I meant was that Obama was trying to avoid political responsibility.

What does it say about our political system that politicians main goals are to avoid blame for the stuff they do. It's like they're all trying to cover for eachother so they have some excuse for the next campaign if something turns out to be unpopular.
posted by delmoi at 11:25 PM on November 16, 2010


Are people getting discharged over this sort of thing?

I hope not. The military is fickle about these matters. I see the solders doing thier duty by breaking the law, a higher moral purpose. The police had thier duty. Now it's the Houses of Reps. turn.
posted by clavdivs at 11:29 PM on November 16, 2010


It would be easy for Obama to end enforcement of the policy by executive order.

No, it wouldn't. And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.
posted by thesmophoron at 11:30 PM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm more curious about what's going to happen to the ones who are active duty and attending a political protest while in uniform - I am pretty sure this is against military regulations.

Yeah, it's absolutely against DoD regulations and they could be charged at least under Article 92 (failure to obey). It's not totally clear to me that there were active duty servicemembers chaining themselves to the fence, though... in the photos it looks like they were all veterans wearing their old uniforms.
posted by lullaby at 11:49 PM on November 16, 2010


and STILL people like John McCain are opposing it like racist senators who opposed desegregation long after the writing was on the wall.

Not people LIKE John McCain...Actual John McCain.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:56 PM on November 16, 2010


in the photos it looks like they were all veterans wearing their old uniforms

Oops, yeah, I think you are probably right, the photo captions all say "former". I saw "soldiers* and veterans" in the text of the post and leaped to conclusions.

*It should also be noted that one of them is a former Marine.
posted by naoko at 12:19 AM on November 17, 2010


We do all realize that a queer slaughterer of civilians is still a slaughterer of civilians, don't we?
posted by ford and the prefects at 12:20 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


>> It would be easy for Obama to end enforcement of the policy by executive order.

> No, it wouldn't. And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.


According to this 2009 report (the authors of which include two law professors and a practicing lawyer), "The President has the authority to issue an executive order halting the operation of 'don't ask, don't tell.'" It even includes an example draft of such an executive order. Any chance you could stop waving your dick legal credentials around long enough to explain why the authors of that report are wrong?
posted by twirlip at 12:24 AM on November 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


We do all realize that a queer slaughterer of civilians is still a slaughterer of civilians, don't we?

Not if your nation is the perpetrator of two wars of conquest, and questioning that too loudly puts you on the secret police's list of undesirables. Then we assiduously avoid that realization.
posted by clarknova at 1:04 AM on November 17, 2010


twirlip: a better question is why the authors of the report you link found it unnecessary even to discuss Jackson's concurrence in Youngstown.
posted by thesmophoron at 1:39 AM on November 17, 2010


I'm a bit puzzled by the use of SWAT team personell here. Were they expecting serious resistance from the protestors?
posted by Harald74 at 3:55 AM on November 17, 2010


Thesmophoron, do we need to pay you a retainer before you contribute something useful to the thread?
posted by ryanrs at 4:43 AM on November 17, 2010 [8 favorites]


When I received a call from the local Army Recruiter after having graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry at George Mason, I asked him whether they still had that inconvenient Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Upon hearing his affirmation, I said that that was a shame, because I'm a highly skilled bisexual who would otherwise be happy to help serve his country. He hung up on me.
posted by kalessin at 4:48 AM on November 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Mara Boyd was my next door neighbor from the ages of 4-9. My most vivid memory of her was her absolute terror at large marge from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure when went to see that in the theater.

As neighbors do when they move away, we lost touch for many years and actually ran into each other a few summers ago when we were both back home, at the ice cream shop down the block from where we grew up. That was when she told me about her activism.

I really think she's doing something very important, and in spite of her early large marge fears, she has since gone on to be much braver than I think I could ever be.

Big ups, Cadet Boyd.
posted by orville sash at 5:07 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, it wouldn't. And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.

Once again, you are just flat-out wrong.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:07 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


thesmorphoran, "because I said so!" is not a legal argument. Or really any kind of argument. If you have some reasoning you'd like to share, I'm sure a lot of us would be interested in hearing it. Patronizing demands that we recognize your authority on the matter aren't going to get you far here.
posted by Mavri at 5:11 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.
Aren't you adorable.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:16 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who abridged our right to peaceably assemble so, that we cower at the very thought? I am not angry at you, fontophilic, but I am angry at the people's mindset and the courts' actions which made such an utterance possible.

curuinor et al: you assume these 13 peaceably assembled. In fact, they are an organized, preplanned group of protestors whose intent from the start was to be arrested. They planned their responses so that the photos would make it look like they were being violently treated by the police (the howling expressions, the body postures), while simultaneously not encouraging rough treatment (no violence towards their arresters). They know where the line is, mapped it out, and crossed it - barely - for the press moment.

And good for them. But let's not pretend these arrests are a grievous violation of the First Amendment. Let's not add glurge.

ORthey: It's really unsettling to see servicemen and women being dragged away by police officers.

Good. It's supposed to be.
posted by IAmBroom at 5:16 AM on November 17, 2010


Yeah... we in MetaFilter usually look for a bit more substance to our arguments than just "because!".
posted by kalessin at 5:20 AM on November 17, 2010


And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.

This in a nutshell is why people hate lawyers.

I only see one person here "passing (himself) off as an expert," and that's you. Other people are free to state opinions, and those opinions have no effect on your ability to litigate Article II issues. Lawyers do not own the law. No one here is asking for legal advice.

a better question is why the authors of the report you link found it unnecessary even to discuss Jackson's concurrence in Youngstown.

Who cares what Jackson said? He didn't graduate from law school, you know.

In any case, given the miltary's historic use of stop-loss to keep gays in the military during wartime, I don't think there's much argument that changing this policy will have a deleterious effect on warfighting capability. But I haven't been to law school either.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:30 AM on November 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


No, it wouldn't. And until you've gone to law school, been admitted to the bar, and actually litigated an Article II issue, I and others who do this for a living would appreciate if you would stop passing yourself off as an expert.

If you don't think it's true, who do you think would stop him? And by what mechanism?

Jackson's concurrence in Youngstown.

What do private steel plants have to do with military personnel policy?
posted by delmoi at 6:20 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someday we will look at these pictures as we look at civil rights protesters being attacked with police dogs and water cannons. With pity for the victims, embarrassment for ourselves, and disgust at the ugliness of hate.

Once these people are serving openly in the military, I'll criticize them, harshly, for being cogs in the American death machine. Until then, bringing anti-imperialist critiques into this seems misguided at best and diversionary at worst.

And whatever one's opinion about executive orders, I'm afraid that it's far too late in the day to justify Obama's resurrection of DADT on the basis of his respect for the law.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:34 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]



What do private steel plants have to do with military personnel policy?
posted by delmoi at 6:20 AM on November 17 [+] [!]


Well, (Obama's) theory goes that since an executive order repealing DADT would be 'defying' the federal law mandating DADT, Obama can't do it.

Now he could just stop enforcing it or just ignore it, but he can't *repeal* it via executive order. Truman was differently situated as there wasn't a federal law mandating segregation of the armed forces IIRC.

Of course, the truth is more likely is that Obama simply doesn't care about repealing DADT and he's more concerned with his other priorities; that's why he hasn't been pushing very hard on it.
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:40 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Obama administration is responsible for getting DADT reinstated after the Log Cabin Republicans won in federal court.

They are responsible, but there is no one that can prevent them from 1) not appealing or 2) not asking for a stay during appeal or 3) Not issuing a stop-loss order untill the law is actually repealed.


Sorry, delmoi, my comment was ambiguous, as I think you realized in your next comment. You and I pretty much agree. I wasn't saying the Obama administration had a duty to appeal (or to defend DADT at all). I just meant that if Obama has tried to avoid being held accountable for taking a stand on the issue, he hasn't done a very good job. It's plain for everyone to see (if they're willing to look at the relevant facts, not Obama's statements) that he tried and succeeded at getting DADT reinstated.

In fact, I strongly feel they did not have a duty to defend the case, and certainly not to appeal. The idea that the DOJ has to defend all federal laws is ridiculous. I'm no expert on this issue, but my understanding is that it's not a law, just a discretionary policy. And even the policy has an exception for unconstitutional laws. So when Obama says he's just following the general policy of defending federal statutes, he's implying that he believes the law is constitutional. (And even if I'm wrong — even if it is the law that the DOJ has to defend this law — it would have been worth it for Obama to break the law!)
posted by John Cohen at 6:41 AM on November 17, 2010


when Obama says he's just following the general policy of defending federal statutes, he's implying that he believes the law is constitutional

No need to infer.

He must have been a fine constitutional law professor.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:52 AM on November 17, 2010



twirlip: a better question is why the authors of the report you link found it unnecessary even to discuss Jackson's concurrence in Youngstown.
posted by thesmophoron at 1:39 AM on November 17 [+] [!]


Did you read the report? It's a strategy for retaining gays while technically complying with DADT and related laws. Can you explain where you think the report falls down w/r/t Youngstown, specifically, where in the report the President would be acting in defiance of Congressional authority?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 6:58 AM on November 17, 2010


What do private steel plants have to do with military personnel policy?

Dad, why did you bring me to a gay steel mill?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:11 AM on November 17, 2010


BTW -- this is the third time this year that Dan Choi and others have handcuffed theselves to the White House fence.
"On March 18, 2010, Choi and another ousted military officer, Capt. Jim Pietrangelo, handcuffed themselves to the fence of the White House. They were eventually removed with the use of a master handcuff key and arrested. Choi and Pietrangelo were initially set to be tried for 'failure to obey a lawful order' on April 26, 2010. Trial was postponed until July 14, at which time the charges against both men were dropped.

On April 20, 2010, Choi and Pietrangelo again participated in a self-chaining protest on the White House fence with Petty Officer Larry Whitt, Petty Officer (Rtd.) Autumn Sandeen, Cadet Mara Boyd and Cpl. Evelyn Thomas. All six were removed with a master hand-cuff key and arrested."*
posted by ericb at 7:38 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


How did protest become emasculated like that? Where it's assumed that they must be arrested, where it's assumed that there are legal consequences? Who abridged our right to peaceably assemble so, that we cower at the very thought? I am not angry at you, fontophilic, but I am angry at the people's mindset and the courts' actions which made such an utterance possible.

Blame it on the ignorance of a 24 year old who's teenage and adult life have been post 9/11 (and not 70's era activism), but my first thought was that they were going to get the shit tazered out of them, or worse. My also 24 year old boyfriend thought the exact same then when looking at the photos over my shoulder.

Is that correct, lawful or Constitutional? No, but to my knowledge "security," especially around the White House, is a flag that is flown to justify all sorts of infringements on individual liberties. And while I'm familiar with the First Amendment and "right of the people peaceably to assemble", I don't know what the legal consequences, if any, of non-permit-approved protesting is. They were clearly being arrested, and I wanted to know what charges, if any, were being brought against them. Anyone care to educate me*?

*also, not angry or fighty, but sincere
posted by fontophilic at 7:47 AM on November 17, 2010


The Daily show had a brilliant segment showing how weird this situation is.

Rachel Maddow on John McCain and DADT:
"There is not a major issue on which John McCain can be found now to have one identifiable position. Not a single one. John McCain's positions on every single major policy issue that he has faced since he has been in the Senate are now utterly incoherent.

... Senator John McCain's stances on legislation and important policy issues and principles are so fundamentally inconsistent as to render the phrase 'flip-flop' meaningless. And yet John McCain is still viewed as a Washington 'oracle'. As a guy you've got to win over. If you do fail to win him over, don't worry, a new John McCain might come along any minute now and maybe you will have better luck with him."
posted by ericb at 7:54 AM on November 17, 2010


November 11, 2010:
Cindy McCain Speaks Out Against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as Part of NoH8 Campaign's Anti-Bullying PSA.
And...just one day later:
Cindy McCain Repeals Her View ON DADT.
Her husband didn't influence her to do a 180 degree change. No. No way.
"'Did she lie today or lie yesterday? Either way, she's a liar, and she should be removed from the NOH8 video because, as of right now, Cindy McCain is a hater. Not to mention, great message she just sent to gay youth. If someone pressures you, cave and support hate.'*

Sounds like she's backpedaling simply because, as Dan Choi pointed out to Keith Olbermann last night, her 'very significant' public objection to DADT 'underscores the values behind the repeal effort,' something her husband opposes."*
The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart Rips Into The McCains and 'DADT.'
posted by ericb at 8:05 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of course, the truth is more likely is that Obama simply doesn't care about repealing DADT and he's more concerned with his other priorities; that's why he hasn't been pushing very hard on it.

Let's hope Obama and his team do indeed start pushing hard in a couple of weeks.

Rep. Patrick Murphy told the Washington Blade that Obama plans to get involved after the report comes out.
"The champion of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' repeal in the U.S. House maintains that President Obama will provide the 'full spectrum' of engagement in getting the military’s gay ban repealed once the Pentagon completes its report on the issue.

In an interview Tuesday with the Washington Blade, Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.) said Obama has been engaged in moving Congress to repeal 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell' and that this effort will expand once the Pentagon working group report — due Dec. 1 — is complete.

'I think there are different levels of engagement and, I think, once the report comes out, I think we’ll see the full spectrum of that engagement,' Murphy said.

The first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress said he expects this 'full spectrum of engagement' to come from not only the White House, but also the president’s 'own Department of Defense.'"
posted by ericb at 8:15 AM on November 17, 2010


Former Army Arabic Linguist Ian Finkenbinder, who was discharged from the Army in December 2004.

Ugh. This is the point where I personally get sickened. Linguistic experts? What's he gonna do, translate it into gay? "Oooh, they said they'd totally drop their weapons if we provided them with some fabulous shoes." Get all bent about your combat troops and ZOMG HE'S IN LURVE WITH MY PENIS all you want - but LINGUISTS?! Yeah. Can't have the gays doing our translating.

If you need me, I'll be banging my head into a wall.
posted by sonika at 8:44 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dan Choi was also an Arabic linguist removed as a result of DADT.

August 2008 ...

Army offering six-figure bonuses for Arabic speakers, after kicking out dozens under DADT
"The Christian Science Monitor reports today that the Army may begin paying retention bonuses worth as much as $150,000 to Arabic-speaking soldiers, 'in reflection of how critical it has become for the US military to retain native language and cultural know-how in its ranks.' Yet as Steve Ralls points out, the Army is 'taking almost every step imaginable' to keep Arabic speakers except rescinding the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, which resulted in the expulsion of dozens of Arabic speakers and translators. A GAO report found that between 1998 and 2003, more than 60 linguists specializing in Arabic or Farsi were expelled from the military for being gay."
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Okay, so we hear all about the sacrifices of our people in uniform, and how honorable they and their work are, and how important veterans are... it's such a mantra. Thus, images of these very people being dragged off by law enforcement officers literally turn my stomach. What these protesters are doing represents courage of the highest order.

Why must the US be so far behind in so many ways? Heartbreaking. This protest didn't even rate coverage in the media.

No-one will be free and equal until we are ALL free and equal. No exceptions.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2010


Seriously? Why is that? Should the law be subordinated to the military?

No, not at all. There was no judgment in my comment. Just not something you see that often and it creates a pretty striking visual. That's all.
posted by ORthey at 10:17 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Former Army Arabic Linguist Ian Finkenbinder, who was discharged from the Army in December 2004.

Heh. I knew that guy. He knew about 7-8 languages when I last spoke with him. Great guy. And now he's protesting DADT. Sounds just like him, too. Amazing guy.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:22 AM on November 17, 2010


EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981

Whereas it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense:

Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and as Commander in Chief of the armed services, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

2. There shall be created in the National Military Establishment an advisory committee to be known as the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, which shall be composed of seven members to be designated by the President.

3. The Committee is authorized on behalf of the President to examine into the rules, procedures and practices of the armed services in order to determine in what respect such rules, procedures and practices may be altered or improved with a view to carrying out the policy of this order. The Committee shall confer and advise with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force, and shall make such recommendations to the President and to said Secretaries as in the judgment of the Committee will effectuate the policy hereof.

4. All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Committee in its work, and to furnish the Committee such information or the services of such persons as the Committee may require in the performance of its duties.
5. When requested by the Committee to do so, persons in the armed services or in any of the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall testify before the Committee and shall make available for the use of the Committee such documents and other information as the Committee may require.

6. The Committee shall continue to exist until such time as the President shall terminate its existence by Executive Order.

HARRY S. TRUMAN
The White House
July 26, 1948
Seems like Obama could get this done pretty fucking easily.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:16 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


OBAMA: First of all, I haven’t “mentioned” that I’m against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I have said very clearly, including in a State of the Union Address, that I am against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and that we’re going to end this policy. That’s point number one. Point number two, the difference between my position right now and Harry Truman’s, is that Congress explicitly passed a law that took away the power of the executive branch to end this policy unilaterally. So this is not a situation in which, with the stroke of a pen, I can simply end the policy.

If we assume that Obama could do it and he's lying, then President Palin could undo it at 12:01 Jan 20, 2013 just as easily.

It seems to me that he's correct, that a legislative solution would be better; both harder to overturn and more thorough. Not to mention all of the other legal crap that I don't really know anything about.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:46 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


If we assume that Obama could do it and he's lying, then President Palin could undo it at 12:01 Jan 20, 2013 just as easily.

I think this is important to remember. I view the reason behind the Obama administration's appeal as this (as paraphrased from the Capeheart rant linked up above): "DADT is an act of congress, and will take an act of congress to be repealed."

Choosing to overturn laws by executive order is really opening a can of worms -- sadly only because of the way our political system works. Due process is slow, but at least it tends to be thorough and binding, when it's all said and done.
posted by erstwhile at 11:58 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Choosing to overturn laws by executive order is really opening a can of worms

That can is open and the worms are gone. The next president will be right wing and will follow Bush's lead. Professor Obama's cowardice is just a brief interregnum in a solid precedent.

You know how we could stuff the precedent worms back in the precedent can? By getting enough justices on the Supreme Bench that care about separation of powers. You know how we can get those liberal constitutionalists back on the bench? By keeping the shitty Dems in power for another six years. You know how the shitty Dems can stay in power for the next six years? By not being fucking cowards.

Which the top one is. So own goal and game over.
posted by clarknova at 12:40 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama Calls Levin on 'DADT': Keep Repeal in Defense Bill
"Following reports that Senator Carl Levin was considering stripping the Defense Authorization bill of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' repeal amendment, ... word from the White House [is] that Obama has reached out to Levin.

The White House also suggested that outreach to the Senate on DADT is underway.

Said White House spokesman Shin Inouye:
'Today, President Obama called Chairman Levin to reiterate his commitment on keeping the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in the National Defense Authorization Act, and the need for the Senate to pass this legislation during the lame duck. The President’s call follows the outreach over the past week by the White House to dozens of Senators from both sides of the aisle on this issue.'"
posted by ericb at 1:22 PM on November 17, 2010


when Obama says he's just following the general policy of defending federal statutes, he's implying that he believes the law is constitutional

No need to infer.


Well, yes, there is still a "need to infer." If you watch the clip you linked to, he doesn't explicitly say that DADT is unconstitutional; he implies that it is by making a general, conditional statement: "If Congress passes a law that is constitutionally valid..."
posted by John Cohen at 2:48 PM on November 17, 2010


"I'm trying to get both done. And if I can't get both done, I want to get one of them done," Levin said...

ecrib, what is your view on Levins' response.
posted by clavdivs at 3:40 PM on November 17, 2010


DADT Repeal Has Already Passed House; Reid Promises Lame-Duck Vote On DADT Repeal.
posted by ericb at 7:05 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Senator Carl Levin asks General Carter Ham, co-chairman of the Pentagon’s Working Group on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, if he could make every effort to deliver the Pentagon report on 'DADT' before the December 1st deadline.

Ham also told Senator Joe Lieberman that the breadth of the study is impressive:
'We believe this is probably, as far as I could tell, the most comprehensive assessment of a personnel policy matter that the Department of Defense has conducted.'
And Senator Jim Webb praised the care and depth of the study:
'I can't, again having spent five years in the Pentagon. I can't remember a study on this type of issue that has been done with this sort of care. Not even having seen it or knowing the results, but I know the preparation that went into it. So it's going to be a very important study for us to look at and examine.'"*
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Video: Yesterday's Senate Press Conference Demanding the End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'.
posted by ericb at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rachel Maddow: 3 GOP Senators Signal They Will Vote To Repeal DADT.
"Sen. Lieberman announced GOP Senators Lugar & Collins will vote for repeal. GOP Sen. Murkowski tells a reporter she would vote for DADT repeal making the 60 vote threshold."
posted by ericb at 7:45 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


DOD Spokesperson: Pentagon Is ‘Pushing For’ Repeal Of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell In Lame Duck Session.
posted by ericb at 7:52 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs: DADT 'Belies Us As An Institution'.
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on November 21, 2010


Navy Chief Breaks with McCain, Praises Pentagon 'DADT' Report.
posted by ericb at 7:51 AM on November 22, 2010


Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the report to be released Nov. 30, one day earlier than planned.
posted by ericb at 7:52 AM on November 22, 2010


In Letter, Gates Dismissed McCain’s Concerns About DADT Study.
posted by ericb at 10:49 AM on November 23, 2010


Joint Chiefs Chair Mullen: U.S. 'Clearly Not Leading' on Civil Rights.
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on November 23, 2010


Senate to Hold DADT Hearings on Pentagon Report Next Week.
posted by ericb at 10:48 AM on November 24, 2010


Moderate Republicans and Independents overwhelmingly support DADT repeal.
posted by ericb at 3:39 PM on November 29, 2010


Poll: Most favor gays serving openly -- "As opponents of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy prepare a final push for repeal during Congress’s lame duck session, polling shows that they’ve got the wind of public opinion at their backs."
posted by ericb at 3:40 PM on November 29, 2010


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Says Pentagon DADT Report Will Strengthen Case for Repeal.
posted by ericb at 4:16 PM on November 29, 2010


Pew Reserach Survey | November 29, 2010:
"Large majorities of Democrats (70%) and independents (62%) favor allowing gays to serve openly. Republicans are divided (40% favor, 44% oppose). Among conservative Republicans, far more oppose than favor allowing gays to serve openly (52% to 28%)."
posted by ericb at 4:18 PM on November 29, 2010


*Research*
posted by ericb at 4:18 PM on November 29, 2010


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