History was made at the Capitol yesterday.
History was made when the nation’s top uniformed officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, said that gays and lesbians deserve to serve openly in the U.S. military. We must get rid of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, said Mullen, because it’s simply “the right thing to do.”
Well, it’s about time. My only question is: What took them so long to get this far? And now that the Pentagon recognizes that getting rid of the old Clinton policy is the right thing to do, why’s it going to take so long to change it?
Because Admiral Mullen was followed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who announced he was naming a year-long panel to make recommendations on how to get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Surely, it’s not that complicated. Here’s my suggestion. Gates puts out a memo to all the Armed Forces, saying: The President supports legislation in Congress to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Meanwhile, while waiting for Congress to act, under my orders, we will no longer enforce that policy.”
That’s the way to end it immediately. And President Obama should tell Gates to do so.
That’s my parting shot for today.