Did Congress really vote to repeal DADT?

posted at 1:36 pm on May 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

With Congress basking in the media afterglow of its vote last night on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Rob Neppell asks an inconvenient question about what exactly passed.  Did this bill actually repeal DADT?  Did it even repeal it if the Pentagon approves an end to the policy?  A look at the legislative language makes it appear more that Congress simply punted the question back to the White House:

H.AMDT.672 (A019)
Amends: H.R.5136
Sponsor: Rep Murphy, Patrick J. [PA-8] (offered 5/27/2010)

AMENDMENT PURPOSE:
An amendment numbered 79 printed in House Report 111-498 to repeal Dont Ask Dont Tell only after: (1) receipt of the recommendations of the Pentagon’s Comprehensive Review Working Group on how to implement a repeal of DADT (due December 1, 2010) and (2) a certification by the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and President that repeal is first, consistent with military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion & recruiting, and second, that the DoD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to implement its repeal. It would also include a 60 day period after certification before the repeal took effect.

——————————————————–

79. AN AMENDMENT TO BE OFFERED BY REPRESENTATIVE MURPHY, PATRICK OF PENNSYLVANIA OR HIS DESIGNEE, DEBATABLE FOR 10 MINUTES

At the end of subtitle D of title V, add the following new section:

SEC. 5XX. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POLICY CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE ARMED FORCES.

(a) Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654-

(1) IN GENERAL- On March 2, 2010, the Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum directing the Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 (section 654 of title 10, United States Code).

(2) OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF REVIEW- The Terms of Reference accompanying the Secretary’s memorandum established the following objectives and scope of the ordered review:

(A) Determine any impacts to military readiness, military effectiveness and unit cohesion, recruiting/retention, and family readiness that may result from repeal of the law and recommend any actions that should be taken in light of such impacts.

(B) Determine leadership, guidance, and training on standards of conduct and new policies.

(C) Determine appropriate changes to existing policies and regulations, including but not limited to issues regarding personnel management, leadership and training, facilities, investigations, and benefits.

(D) Recommend appropriate changes (if any) to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

(E) Monitor and evaluate existing legislative proposals to repeal 10 U.S.C. 654 and proposals that may be introduced in the Congress during the period of the review.

(F) Assure appropriate ways to monitor the workforce climate and military effectiveness that support successful follow-through on implementation.

(G) Evaluate the issues raised in ongoing litigation involving 10 U.S.C. 654.

(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect 60 days after the date on which the last of the following occurs:

(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).

(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:

(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.

(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).

(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.

(c) No Immediate Effect on Current Policy- Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.

(d) Benefits- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to require the furnishing of benefits in violation of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (relating to the definitions of `marriage’ and `spouse’ and referred to as the `Defense of Marriage Act’).

(e) No Private Cause of Action- Nothing in this section, or the amendments made by this section, shall be construed to create a private cause of action.

(f) Treatment of 1993 Policy-

(1) TITLE 10- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), chapter 37 of title 10, United States Code, is amended–

(A) by striking section 654; and

(B) in the table of sections at the beginning of such chapter, by striking the item relating to section 654.

(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Upon the effective date established by subsection (b), section 571 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (10 U.S.C. 654 note) is amended by striking subsections (b), (c), and (d).

If that’s not a complete punt, it’s at least a drop-kick back to the White House. This bill doesn’t take effect at all unless the President certifies in writing that he wants the change to occur and that the military has prepared for it to occur.  Barack Obama had dodged the question of DADT for the most part, offering public support but claiming that he wanted Congress to act instead of ordering the change himself.  Now Congress has handed the issue back to Obama — or possibly even another President farther down the line — by forcing him to pull the trigger instead of Congress.

Some might wonder whether Congress had much choice.  Of course they did; they could have waited for the Pentagon to publish its study in December and review it themselves at that point.  Instead of including all of the folderol seen in Section 5xx (a) (2), at that point Congress could have then taken the action themselves by passing a law that executed subsection (f) immediately, or at some fixed date, without presidential action as a prerequisite.  Obama would still have to have signed the bill to make it law, but he wouldn’t have had to provide Congress with a separate written request.

I support an end to DADT, but this really isn’t quite it, and Congress certainly knows it.  They’re going to make Obama end it and take the heat.


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Akzed on May 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Don’t forget…not to wear cotton-blends, eat shrimp or pork, don’t shave, and if your kids backsass ya, stone them. You do all that, right?

JetBoy on May 28, 2010 at 4:21 PM

If a meat gazer is gazing at my meat, I kick his ass. So do a lot of combat arms Marines. Should make for fun times in the squadbay, blood on the shower floor, and busy times for the MPs.

quikstrike98 on May 28, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Don’t forget…not to wear cotton-blends, eat shrimp or pork, don’t shave, and if your kids backsass ya, stone them. You do all that, right?

JetBoy on May 28, 2010 at 4:21 PM

If you were demonstrating spiritual blindness, would you think it was dangerous?

Inanemergencydial on May 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

–NB: ESPECIALLY when they can’t go to the chain of command and tell them “Get this weirdo out of the platoon, he’s bad for morale and if he’s not booted he’s gonna have a bad accident.”

quikstrike98 on May 28, 2010 at 4:37 PM

@quikstrike98 i don’t think you’ll want to pick a fight with a gay marine looking to prove himself. Like kicking a short dude with a Napoleon complex.

Zekecorlain on May 28, 2010 at 4:43 PM

@quikstrike98 in fact I suspect that you’ll find your the weirdo for trying to be a bully to your own squad. After all you just proved to everyone that you can’t work as a team member. Be professional, leave your baggage at the door.

Zekecorlain on May 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Why can’t we just meet the professional standards for the job that everyone has to meet and then get the job done? No excuses, whining, pulling the victim card, “celebrating” every ethnicity and sexual preference from here to Timbuktu or wasting time on Oprah like encounter sessions?

Why is that too much to ask? Why?

NoDonkey on May 28, 2010 at 3:45 PM

It’s not too much to ask. I think that most people who support repealing DADT (certainly me, and presumably people like AP and Ed), want exactly this: set simple professional standards and keep inappropriate discussion of private sex lives out of discourse in the military, regardless of sexual orientation.

For example, the gay community in Israel is pretty satisfied with the current status in the military, which does not include military gay pride parades, soldiers walking around with pink boas, or anything else that people claim will happen if we allow gays to be open. They’re not demanding that they be allowed these extra things.

tneloms on May 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Don’t ask don’t tell means that we respect boundaries, especially in regards to your sex life preference. Keep your private life private.

Conservative Voice on May 28, 2010 at 3:21 PM

As a retired senior NCO with 20 years in the Air Force, I was making the statement that repealing DADT will destroy morale in the military enlisted ranks (which is probably Obambi’s goal).

rmgraha on May 28, 2010 at 5:20 PM

By the way, does anyone have an answer to my earlier question about the content of the post? Ed said:

If that’s not a complete punt, it’s at least a drop-kick back to the White House. This bill doesn’t take effect at all unless the President certifies in writing that he wants the change to occur and that the military has prepared for it to occur.

Isn’t that not at all what the text says? It seems to just say that Obama has to certify that he considered the recommendations. Not that he wants it to happen.

tneloms on May 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Dude, we all know you are gay, we know where you stand, whilst making that stand please dont make enemies that you dont have to make. You know full well that many (probably most) of us oppose homosexuality purely on religious grounds.

doriangrey on May 28, 2010 at 2:47 PM

It’s not just based on a religion either. I consider myself a Deist but I consider homosexuality perverse, disgusting, and unnatural. Why aren’t Pedophiles and Necrophiliacs allowed to serve openly along with gays?

metric on May 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

And as for Christ’s teachings, please point out what Jesus said about homosexuality…where He condemns any gay person…

JetBoy on May 28, 2010 at 3:39 PM

So because Jesus didn’t specifically call out homosexuality, it must be okay? You’re only fooling yourself, and this is not “hate,” just a repetition of Scripture:

“Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind … shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Or are you going to claim that it’s not actually scripture unless it was specifically said by Jesus?

You’re rationalizing what you already know to be false. You can’t reconcile Christian doctrine with homosexuality.

tom on May 28, 2010 at 9:31 PM

It’s not too much to ask. I think that most people who support repealing DADT (certainly me, and presumably people like AP and Ed), want exactly this: set simple professional standards and keep inappropriate discussion of private sex lives out of discourse in the military, regardless of sexual orientation.

For example, the gay community in Israel is pretty satisfied with the current status in the military, which does not include military gay pride parades, soldiers walking around with pink boas, or anything else that people claim will happen if we allow gays to be open. They’re not demanding that they be allowed these extra things.

tneloms on May 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Umm, maybe because they know that they are surrounded by hordes of willfully bestial sub-humans who want to kill them for TWO reasons, Judaism and homosexuality? That would certainly keep them from wanting any “blood-throwing in church & Boy Scout-destroying” “activists” from getting their filthy mitts into the IDF’s effectiveness.

ebrown2 on May 28, 2010 at 9:43 PM

The repeal of DADT helps Obama in two ways, it panders to the left nut-root fringe that shares his hatred of the military, and it enables him to damage, if not destroy, the armed services by ACT-UP style proxy. Anyone who does not understand this is worse than a willful fool.

ebrown2 on May 28, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Congress asking Barry to make a DECISION?

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

GarandFan on May 28, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Guess Jetboy ran out of scriptures to misquote.

Inanemergencydial on May 28, 2010 at 10:55 PM

@quikstrike98 in fact I suspect that you’ll find your the weirdo for trying to be a bully to your own squad. After all you just proved to everyone that you can’t work as a team member. Be professional, leave your baggage at the door.

Zekecorlain on May 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Excuse me? You ever wear a uniform? Live in a squadbay with a bunch of young Marines? Know what the attitude is? The group dynamic? Doesn’t sound like it. You get someone in there who likes to touch himself when he sees nekkid boys, or looks at the bodies around him too much, or makes a pass…there will be trouble. Oh, and the above will never happen? Give me a break, that’s the BENIGN behaviors that have happened.

quikstrike98 on May 29, 2010 at 2:39 PM

I cannot wait to see the civil rights lawsuits of straight servicemen and women who refuses to be sexually harrassed by those who choose to be open about their sexuality YET still WANT the right to shower or use the bathroom as if it was a guy in a girls dorm. Do see why gays get to have special sexual favors by being allowed to watch live nude versions of their lust without at least consent or a tip in the g-string. Until a straight woman can go into the men’s shower, I don’t see the EQUALITY. Is it everyone’s view that heterosexuals are unable to CONTROL their sexuality that the require rules of gender seperation AND that homosexuals are Asexual or have a LARGER capacity of SELF CONTROL than heteros? Um… Er… Proof please! If not, openly gay people will be required to have SPECIAL GENDER rules for them comparable to heteros. If not, there is no EQUALITY, there is a HYPER- equality for people, on a good day assessing, make up less than 3% of the American population. What is so EXTRA SPECIAL about these folks that the rest of us need to bow our heads and pull out the red carpet for them?

Sultry Beauty on May 29, 2010 at 4:26 PM

It’s not just based on a religion either. I consider myself a Deist but I consider homosexuality perverse, disgusting, and unnatural. Why aren’t Pedophiles and Necrophiliacs allowed to serve openly along with gays?

metric on May 28, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Don’t give them any ideas. That is probably next on the agenda.

Sterling Holobyte on May 29, 2010 at 4:42 PM

The repeal of DADT helps Obama in two ways, it panders to the left nut-root fringe that shares his hatred of the military, and it enables him to damage, if not destroy, the armed services by ACT-UP style proxy. Anyone who does not understand this is worse than a willful fool.

ebrown2 on May 28, 2010 at 9:48 PM

I’ve wondered how the U.S. military could be convinced one day to go against it’s own citizens when the spit hits the spam.

May be slightly “out-there” sounding, but does anyone see a correlation between the end-of-days scenario where a world leader uses the military to subdue/destroy any citizens who don’t agree with his dictatorship, to the plot-line in “Revenge of the Sith”, where all the once loyal and freedom-loving troopers received an “order” to kill all the Jedi who would’ve stood in the Emperors way?

What better way to take over a country(or planet) than to have your own “clone-troopers” who will seem like your usual soldier at first, but who, lacking a moral fortitude and having a hatred for traditional honor, will turn against the very people they have been trained to protect via a tradition-hating leaders’ special “order”.

Doesn’t really sound all that far-fetched or “sci-fi” to me anymore.

And yes, I know George Lucas made the prequels as a slam against the Bush administration’s supposed tyranny, but it just goes to show you, he seems to have gotten it right, just in the wrong direction and against the wrong target.

Sterling Holobyte on May 29, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Umm, maybe because they know that they are surrounded by hordes of willfully bestial sub-humans who want to kill them for TWO reasons, Judaism and homosexuality? That would certainly keep them from wanting any “blood-throwing in church & Boy Scout-destroying” “activists” from getting their filthy mitts into the IDF’s effectiveness.

ebrown2 on May 28, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Wow. Your comment didn’t make any sense.

First of all, I’ve never heard anyone say that Israel’s enemies’ secondary reason to hate Israel is homosexuality. Sure, you get anti-gay comments from Islamic leaders, but you get the same thing from rabbis in Israel.

Second of all, what I said was that the gay community in Israel isn’t demanding anything more (for example, gay pride parades, wearing pink boas) than what it has, which is being allowed to openly serve. You responded by saying that the rest of Israelis don’t want gays getting their “filthy mitts” on the IDF’s effectiveness. That has nothing to do with what I said, in addition to not even being true.

tneloms on May 29, 2010 at 5:16 PM

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