At the jump, I’ve pasted in the full texts of two items. The first is a blog p0st by John Aravosis about comments by National Security Adviser Jim Jones on the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The second is the AP story Aravosis links to.
The extraordinary thing is that the AP story provides absolutely no support for the post that links to it. The post is about National Security Adviser Jim Jones saying that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will have to wait until the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are over. But the AP story does not quote Jones as saying anything remotely like that.
Aravosis heads his piece “National Security Adviser: Obama won’t lift gay ban until Iraq and Afghan wars finished – and even then, if there are more wars,” and goes on to say, “Apparently, General Jones would have us believe that President Obama wasn’t aware that we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he promised to lift the gay ban during the campaign in exchange for our votes. So, Jones tells us today, Obama can’t get to that particular promise right now because he’s busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Sunday, October 4, 2009 National Security Adviser: Obama won’t lift gay ban until Iraq and Afghan wars finished – and even then, if there are more wars…
Apparently, General Jones would have us believe that President Obama wasn’t aware that we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he promised to lift the gay ban during the campaign in exchange for our votes. So, Jones tells us today, Obama can’t get to that particular promise right now because he’s busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Uh huh.So when exactly are both of those wars going to be over? I’m guessing some time after Obama leaves office. And that of course assumes that we don’t have more wars to “distract” the president. Jones just set us back. Again. He just gave the Republicans, and conservative Dems, the perfect talking point. Should anyone – members of Congress or the administration – move to lift the ban any time before these wars are over, our opponents will simply quote General Jones saying that to lift the ban during war time would be too distracting.What could Jones have said? How about, there’s a new analysis from a Department of Defense-related publication that same the ban can be lifted without hurting morale and cohesion. Or how about saying that the President just wrote to Senator Reid, agreeing to work together to lift the ban?Nope. None of that. All we got was another reason why the president may never be able to keep his promise. The Obama administration is doing next to nothing – and perhaps nothing altogether – to move the ball forward on repealing DADT. This isn’t the kind of policy you just wake up one morning and say “ah, today is the day to lift the ban.”Bill Clinton found that out the hard way. It takes months, if not years, of preparation. Working the PR angles, the media, the grassroots, the public at large, the Pentagon. While we have no idea what if anything Obama is doing to work the Pentagon – though Jones’ repeated unhelpful remarks suggest that whatever the president is doing, it isn’t working – we certainly do know what he’s doing on the Hill. Zippo. Harry Reid had to write Obama a letter last week begging him help.And in terms of lobbying the public, we get unhelpful statements like what Jones did, again, today. In the end, don’t think that Jones is simply freelancing. There is no way a senior administration official goes on TV and keeps screwing up like this. At first it’s a screw up. After this many times, it’s part of the plan. And the plan is to move the goal posts again and again and again until Obama can pass his gay rights promises to the next president, assuming we get another Democrat elected this century.
WASHINGTON –will focus “at the right time” on how to overturn the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military, his national security adviser said Sunday.
“I don’t think it’s going to be — it’s not years, but I think it will be teed up appropriately,”said.
The Democratic-led Congress is considering repealing the 1993 law. Action isn’t expected on the issue until early next year.
, D-Nev., recently wrote Obama and asked to share their views and recommendations on the contentious policy. In Sept. 24 letters, Reid also asked for a review of the cases of two U.S. officers who were discharged from the military because of their sexuality.
“At a time when we are fighting two wars, I do not believe we can afford to discharge any qualified individual who is willing to serve our country,” Reid wrote.
Jones said Obama “has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I’m sure the president will take it on.”
As a candidate, Obama signaled support for repealing the law. To the disappointment of gay-rights supporters, he has yet to made a move since taking office in January. The White House has said it will not stop the military from dismissing gays and lesbians who acknowledge their sexuality.
Last year, 634 members of the military were discharged for being gay, or .045 percent of the active-duty U.S. force, according to an Aug. 14 congressional report.
The largest number of gays who were ousted under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy came in 2001, when 1,227 were discharged, or .089 of the force.
The House is considering legislation to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow people who have been discharged under the policy to rejoin the military.
Jones appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union.”Sunday, October 4, 2009