Friday, May 21, 2010

Time to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Rep. Patrick Murphy [D-PA], an Iraq War Veteran, has a great op-ed in Politico today on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."
'Don't Ask' counters American values

[Rep. Murphy begins with a great story from his service in Iraq, where lack of Arabic language capability placed his unit at risk. Our military has discharged 60 Arabic speakers under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Seriously.]

Attitudes toward don’t ask, don’t tell have shifted dramatically since 1993 — in both the military and civilian worlds.

Polls consistently put public support for repealing the ban at about 75 percent nationally. The number is even higher among adults ages 18-29 — a statistic that counters claims that repealing the ban would hurt recruitment or retention.

I am not alone in my feeling that don’t ask, don’t tell is detrimental to our military readiness and national security. I am joined by former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Shalikashvili, former Army Secretary Clifford Alexander, former Naval Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles Larson and Gen. Barry McCaffrey.

Even Colin Powell, a former strong supporter of don’t ask, don’t tell, has said that it is time to re-evaluate the law.

Since I’ve taken leadership of this issue, nearly 50 more members of Congress have signed onto my legislation to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell, bringing the total to 192. [ . . . ]

[Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell] is the right decision for our national security and our military. As Mullen so eloquently stated, “It comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.”
OYE Comment:

Both the entire House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee will be considering repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" next week, before Memorial Day. Please let your Representative [1-202-225-3121] and Senators [1-202-224-3121] know you support repeal.

Of special importance are the following Senators on the Armed Services Committee:
Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia)
Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska)
Bill Nelson (D-Florida)
Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
Jim Webb (D-Virginia)
Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts)
Let's get this done!

Hat tip to AmericaBlog and AmericaBlog Gay.



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