John McCain said in 2006 that if military leaders decided that it was time to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, he would defer to their judgement.
The head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense, and the Commander in Chief, all heads of the military, and yesterday, Colin Powell, all agree that DADT is detrimental to the military's integrity. DADT requires that gay and lesbian military personnel lie about who they are, or get thrown out of the service:
In October of 2006, McCain explained that he understood the arguments against repealing DADT, but promised that “the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.”
But this week, McCain refused to “consider seriously” repealing the law, arguing that the Pentagon should not change policies in the middle of two wars. The logic of course, makes little sense, and something McCain himself may have rejected in October of 2006. It’s particularly during times of war, when the military is stretched thin and is asking its members to fight for freedoms in distant lands that it should grant all of its soldiers the right to be who they are. As Mullen put it, “No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”
Mullen admitted that the military had not conduced a review of the policy but also said that he hasn’t seen any research showing that openly gay members undercut military moral. Instead, Mullen pointed to studies that concluded that ending the policy would not hurt military preparedness and cited personal conversations with nations that have fully integrated their forces. “I have talk talked to several of my counterparts in countries whose militaries allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, and there has been as they have told me, no impact on military effectiveness,” Mullen said. “I have served with homosexuals since 1968,” he added. “Everyone in the military has.”
h/t The Wonk Room
It's time to end this hypocrisy and join other western democracies in allowing all citizens, regardless of their sexual orientation, to serve their country with dignity.
How does John McCain explain his hypocrisy and flip-flopping? In this case, he's behaving like a political hack, that's how. Shame on him for being obstructionist on something he supported, because it is a wrong the Obama administration wants to right.