Just Do It Already

by Chris Bodenner

Nathaniel Frank warns against having yet another round of inquiry on DADT:

While taking time to study the transition may seem reasonable at first blush, the reality is that the government, the military, and independent researchers have been studying this issue for decades. And all of their findings point to the same truth: Openly gay service does not impair military effectiveness. What's more, existing research already shows what steps should be taken to repeal DADT. It’s far from clear what good will come from another year of study--but it's easy to see obstructionists using the window to sow fear and doubt as a tactic to kill the plan for a repeal.

Indeed, the script emerging from this month’s opening salvo at the DADT hearings is eerily similar to the one that played out in 1993, when President Bill Clinton’s effort to lift the gay ban was derailed during a six-month study period. During that window, opponents of reform, led by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rallied to defend the status quo, forming a wall of military resistance that some said amounted to insubordination. They were joined by skeptical members of Congress. Ultimately, Clinton yielded to the pressure and backed away from his promise.

The latest example of that script came from McCain on "Meet the Press":

"Just this week the commandant of the Marine Corps said that he did not want DADT repealed. There are many in the military who do not want to. We are going to go through, hopefully, a year-long study that will, hopefully, also, have the feelings of the men and women who are serving."

If the Navy’s Crittenden Report ('57), the Pentagon's PERSEREC studies ('88, '89), and the RAND study ('93) weren't enough for McCain, perhaps he should read the Palm Center's new report (pdf) - what Frank calls "the largest study in history assessing the experiences of other countries with openly gay service."