Â It is with some amusement that we read today in the Washington Times, not a liberal publication, an accounting of how the military brass are testifying that there has been no resistance from the troops to the ongoing training forÂ and implementation of Â the repeal of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy regarding homosexuals serving in the military.Â For a conservative publication, it is quite the positive spin on this previously contentious policy.Â Well, there is resistance, and then there is resistance.
Â Â Â Â Having previously served in the military, and having besides that some appreciation of military affairs, I do not find it remarkable that there has been no resistance, no “pushback”.Â I recall, for example, the policy, back in the day,Â maintained by the military of having shined shoes, and how there was very little “pushback” to that policy.Â In fact, as I remember, the very enforcement of that policy was rather arbitrary and capricious, from my lowly perspective, on the part of my superiors, some of whom I could to this day identify in court.Â Hold that thought.
Â Â Â Â Not only that, but in my dim recollection I don’t remember the military passing around any surveys on how I and my fellow gruntsÂ would react to any orders they were contemplating issuing, as we are advised happened recently before DADT was repealed.Â We assume, since the chiefs are testifying truthfully as to the way they see the way the troops see things, they they are continuing to nicely ask the men and women about it. Survey says:______!
Â Â Â Â So that is one issue.Â Another is that one of the truly remarkable things about this affair is that the military chiefs have been given veto power over an act of Congress.Â I have read the legislation.Â It is here.Â They have, in effect, a pocket veto.Â If they do not sign off, Section 654 (DADT) remains in effect.Â There is no time limit, no deadline.Â Of course, all of the military chiefs report to the Commander-in-Chief, the President, and have sworn to obey him,Â and can be fired by him, so that’s another issue.Â For the time being though, the chiefs are quite obedient and reporting great success and smooth sailing in following orders and implementing policy.Â No resistance there.
Â Â Â Â The rub.Â We will assume that the leadership will continue to do its duty and there will be no rebellion in the ranks.Â What comes after may be a little more problematic.Â Besides theÂ clear non-implementation clause, there isÂ in my mind, even after reading the bill again,Â some confusion as to what lengths repeal of DADT goes to.Â Obviously you will no longer be drummed out of the corps for asking or telling.Â But all the rest, interpretation, enforcement, et cetera, seems to be left up to…..somebody.Â Remember the aboveÂ Â anecdote when there were those timesÂ I thought my shoes were shiny enough and my Senior Petty Officer was rigidly in disagreement.Â What recourse did I have?
Â Â Â Â In doing my hasty research for this piece I ran across something called the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.Â At first I thought “Good!Â Here is a group probably set up to provide defense to soldiers who get accused of killing the enemy on the battlefield, something increasingly frowned upon these days.”Â No such luck.Â It is an organization set up first to promote repeal of DADT and then to proceed from there.
To bring Donâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tell to an end, either legislatively or judicially. Once that has happened, SLDN will remain dedicated to dismantling this oppressive and discriminatory regime within the military and assisting service members who are harmed by it during the transition. SLDN will work to ensure that evenhanded policies and regulations, providing equal treatment and opportunity for all, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or militarily appropriate gender expression, are established and effectively implemented in the armed forces, including active duty, National Guard, reserve and officer training programs.
Â Â Â Â Â Imagine the chagrin of that Alpha-male character from my past if I had had meÂ a Legal Defense Network ready, willing, able and eager to step in on my behalfÂ if I declared old what’s-his-puss was being just a bit too fussy about his interpretation of my military bearing, appearance, demeanor and ………entitlements.
Â Â Â Â Hold onto your hats, folks.Â If you think you have seen nothing yet, you ain’t.Â Where previously resistance was futile,Â it seems in these Progressive times pushback is now an option.Â We see little indication that the service chiefs are going to exercise their ‘pocket veto’ and not sign off on this social engineering magical odyssey tour.Â In the meantime, we are scouring our copy of the Constitution to find the passage where it says a bill shall become law when passed by a majority of Congress and signed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.