DADT: Air “views” on how, not whether

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has repeatedly said he wants his working group on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to discuss the plan to repeal the policy with service members and their families to get their views. But Gates, on Thursday, began showing some toughness against views within the military that oppose President Obama’s directive that the military dismantle the policy. Gates was asked to react to a letter to the editor in the March 8 Stars & Stripes newspaper from a three-star Army general who said he believes the military should retain the policy. General Benjamin Mixon also urged service members who agreed with him to “write your elected officials and chain of command and express your views.” Gates told reporters Mixon’s letter was “inappropriate.” Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed and said the matter is “being addressed inside the chain of command.” Military leaders have publicly expressed their opinions in favor of retaining DADT, while responding to questions in front of panels in Congress. But Mullen said the military had been given “very specific direction” not to speak out about the policy change. Mullen noted that military “follow the direction of leadership right up to the president.”

Leave a Reply