Gee, Mr. President — here’s one branch on board; what’s with the lack of spine to pursue the legislative end to DADT?
The secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, said Wednesday that he was effectively ignoring the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law because he had no intention of pursuing discharges of active-duty service members who have recently told him that they are gay.
Mr. McHugh, the Army’s civilian leader and a former Republican congressman from upstate New York, said that he had initiated the conversations with service members in recent months as part of the Pentagon’s review of how best to carry out a repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, which requires that gay service members keep their sexual orientation secret or face discharge.
…Mr. McHugh, who spoke at a breakfast with Pentagon reporters, said it made no sense to pursue discharges of service members as he speaks with them about the change in policy. Mr. Obama, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen have all asked commanders to assess opinion within the military about the change in law.
Mr. McHugh said it would be “counterproductive” to “take disciplinary action against someone who spoke with me openly and honestly.”
Note this is not an indication that it’s a promise to stop discharges if someone self-discloses to someone other than McHugh; if I were in the Army and read this I’d hardly see this as a sign to come out of the closet.