VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 27   |   JULY 6 – 12, 2011


Congress hoodwinked into repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

“The so-called Pentagon ‘study’ of gays in the military … was a publicly-funded
pre-scripted production put on just for show”

WASHINGTON – The Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued the findings of its “Investigation into the improper disclosure of for official use only information from the comprehensive review working group draft report” for official use only on April 8, 2011.

The report, now a public record, said the IGDoD initiated the investigation in response to a request from the Secretary of Defense to “investigate and determine the identity of the persons who were unnamed sources” for the Nov. 11, 2010 Washington Post front-page story headlined: “Report: Little risk to lifting gay ban.”

The story cited, as its sources, two persons familiar with the DoD draft report on the impact of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Although the DoD’s initial intent was to limit the draft report’s distribution and dissemination of information contained within to 41 “Eyes Only” recipients, there were 60 additional individuals, including five White House staff members, who were provided access to the draft report, or were briefed on its contents just prior to the publication of the Washington Post story.

In June, the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) – Policy Analysis issued its own report after the report of the previously undisclosed IG investigation was released.

It stated the IG “strongly suggests that the so-called Pentagon ‘study’ of gays in the military in 2010 was a publicly-funded, pre-scripted production put on just for show.”

The CMR report said the 30-page IG report revealed “improper activities and deception” to mislead Congress in order “to gain momentum in support of a legislative change during the ‘lame duck’ session of Congress following the Nov. 2, 2010 elections.”

The IG concluded in its report, the persons responsible for leaking misleading information to the Washington Post “had a strong emotional attachment to the issue … likely a pro-repeal agenda” and violated security rules.

The Washington Post story suggested 70 percent of active-duty and reserve troops surveyed had no concern about repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Meanwhile, CMR stated the DoD did nothing to correct that widely-publicized and unauthorized “spin,” which was cited on the floor during Senate debate, calling it a “travesty” that resulted in a rush repeal of the law regarding homosexuals in the military.

The IG said it interviewed all but the five White House officials who were provided access to the report on Nov. 9, and the most likely suspects, although it never explained why they were not interviewed.

In fact, the five White House staff members exposed to the draft report included James Messina, who was President Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff and primary White House liaison to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community.

Messina touted the repeal afterward in Nation magazine as a major victory for the Obama administration and example of Obama’s commitment to his base.

In January, Messina left the White House to become head of Obama’s Chicago reelection campaign.

The IG also concluded it its report all the “countless hours troops spent in focus groups were essentially a waste of their time. All of these diverted man-hours and efforts were directed to a single goal: finding or – as it turned out – manufacturing a media story that would create the illusion of strong (70 percent) support for President Obama’s LGBT political goals.”

The IG report also confirmed what many observers suspected, stated the CMR; “The Obama Administration did not plan to survey and listen to the opinions of the troops, but to orchestrate an audacious ‘perception management’ campaign to create what appeared to be military support for the president’s plan to repeal the law on gays in the military. The publicly-funded travesty worked to deliver a political payoff to the president’s most ardent constituency, the LGBT Left.”

According to the IG, the key to managing public perception was a “single contrived question and answer suggesting repeal would have little or no impact on our armed forces,” calling it the “money quote,” which prevailed in media coverage, while it all but completely contradicted what servicemen answered in their surveys and stated at town hall meetings.

Leaked to the Washington Post, and repeated by other media outlets and politicians, was the survey ‘statistic’ that got everyone’s attention: “more than 70 percent of respondents … said the effect of repealing the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent.”

However, according to the IG, that 70 percent figure reported by the media was derived from just one of the 102 survey questions asked of military personnel.

The relevant survey question asked: “If ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ is repealed and you are working with a service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect how service members in your immediate unit work together to get the job done?”

Page 16 of the IG report reflected the following responses:
Very Positively 6.6%
Positively 11.8%
Mixed 32.1%
Negatively 18.7%
Very Negatively 10.9%
No Effect 19.9%

Apparently, in order to reach that 70 percent figure, the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG), which commissioned the survey of over 400,000 troops and families for the DoD, combined four of the result categories; Very Positively, Positively, Mixed and No Effect.

The IG then pointed out if anyone wanted to further an anti-repeal agenda, he or she could have combined four response categories (Mixed, Negatively, Very Negatively, No Effect) from the same survey question to conclude 82 percent of respondents said the effect of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy would be negative, mixed or no effect.

The CMR stated, “The findings of the DoD IG report are significant and deserving of further investigation. The tactics used by persons responsible for the ‘improper disclosure’ of misleading information have had serious consequences in the legislative process, for which our military will pay a high price.”

In conclusion it stated, “[T]he general public should consider whether the tactics used were political payoff related to the 2008 campaign or the reelection campaign in 2012. President Obama has misused the military to please activists of the LGBT Left. Congress should hold persons responsible accountable for their actions, and voters should elect a new Commander in Chief who is willing to repair the damage.”

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