Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gay and Lesbian: Doubts raised about Obama plan to consult military on gays

Experts are questioning President Obama's effort to consult with military leaders as he plans to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The AP reported today that Obama "has begun consulting his top defense advisers on how to lift a ban." But Dr. Nathaniel Frank, author of a new book on the policy, says that "Last time political leaders consulted with the military on this issue, the brass still claimed they had not been consulted, and the result was a disaster. Remember, Clinton insisted he was consulting on how, not whether, to lift the ban, and even so, we got 'don't ask, don't tell.'"

Frank's new book presents never-reported evidence indicating that military officers who wrote the blueprint for "don't ask, don't tell" based the policy "on nothing" but their "own prejudices and fears." The book, "Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America," which was released today, contains the largest collection of evidence showing openly gay service does not undermine military effectiveness. Frank is Senior Research Fellow at the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Last month, a retired Marine Corp General questioned a similar Obama administration proposal to study "don't ask, don't tell." "There's been enough studying throughout the years," said General Hugh Aitken. "Creating a new study will not change the facts."

The Palm Center is a research institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Source: Michael D. Palm Center
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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