Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Yeah, it takes a long time to turn an aircraft carrier in another direction ...

... but maybe, just maybe, we're finally overcoming some inertia:

The nation’s top two Defense officials called on Tuesday for an end to the 16-year-old “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, a major step toward allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the United States military for the first time in its history.

That would be Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and SecDef Robert Gates. Of course they still claim to need "more time to review how to carry out the change in policy," but that's probably just codeword for "we need the weekend to shop for window treatments."

Or so it is to be hoped.

Another good sign:

In the interim, Mr. Gates announced that the military was moving toward enforcing the existing policy “in a fairer manner” — a reference to the possibility that the Pentagon would no longer take action to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners, one of the most onerous aspects of the law.

Shoutout to Carl Levin, who "[a]s the hearing opened, … welcomed the abolition of the policy, saying it had never made sense to him." And another to Susan Collins, for asking a question she probably knew the answer to:

[She] asked the admiral on Tuesday if he was aware of whether the policies of many NATO allies in Afghanistan, allowing open service, had had any deleterious effect.

The admiral said that he had spoken to many of the NATO partners and that they had reported seeing “no impact” on military performance.

#shockedshocked: Angry Old Walnuts is against any changes in policy. MAVERICKY!

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