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Pentagon Report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Leaked to Washington Post

11:25 AM, Nov 11, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe and Greg Jaffe report:

More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them.

One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate. [...]

Among other questions, the survey asked if having an openly gay person in a unit would have an effect in an intense combat situation. Although a majority of respondents signaled no strong objections, a significant minority is opposed to serving alongside openly gay troops. About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, according to one of the people familiar with the report. [...]

The report recommends few, if any, changes to policy covering military housing and benefits, because the military must abide by the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which does not recognize same-sex marriage. Objections by troops who do not want to room or shower with openly gay troops should be handled case-by-case by commanders and should be scrutinized, the source said.

It seems pretty clear that the people who leaked the report--as with most leaks--have an ideological agenda, in this case to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." The most puzzling part of the Post's report is the fact that it doesn't break down what proportion of the survey respondents think the effect of repeal would be "mixed"--which is much different than finding its effect "positive" or "nonexistent." Yet, for some reason, the Post lumps all three categories together--the remainder, presumably, think it would have a negative effect. And what do troops who have seen combat think about repeal? Based on their experience, are they more concerned about what repealing DADT would do to unit cohesion and combat effectiveness? The Post doesn't say. 

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