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July 20, 2010

Blockbuster Disclosure: DOD Can't Protect DADT Survey From being "Freeped"

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John Aravosis at AmericaBlog just posted a blockbuster disclosure regarding the Pentagon's survey of the troops attitudes on the possiblity of repeal of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” law.

So much for the Defense Department's super secret $4.5 million survey of the troops to ask them how they feel about repealing “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” I, an avowed gay activist, just took the survey – three times in fact. Perhaps DOD should reconsider just how good and informative, and accurate, this survey is. (They also might want to get their money back.)

In a nutshell, I was able to get three different PIN numbers to gain access to the survey three times, as three different people. Two of those times I was on the same computer, meaning there are no adequate safeguards to stop people from taking the survey multiple times – hell, I was logged in to the two surveys at the same time. And one of the three times, I was able to have a kid, who isn't military, participate in the survey, answering questions from a real human being (apparently) in a chat room of sorts. My intent – to find out whether or not the survey is secure, whether or not it can be hacked (well, this isn't even hacking). It's not, and it can. 

Aravois walks you through the process, complete with screenshots and much more in his post: “I just took DOD's confidential DADT survey of the troops—three times!”

This is significant, because with all the biased language, the flawed methodology and an outright admission from the Pentagon that this survey isn't scientific, that is no doubt that any information gleened from this poll is now suspect garbage.

There is no assurances that homophobes haven't “freeped” the poll multiple times. There is no assurances that PINs have not been passed around among conservative groups and the bigoted masses. In short, none of the information collected by this survey has any creditability at all.

Westat definitely owes the taxpayers a refund. They have charged the DOD $4.5M to provide the equivalent of a Fox News internet poll.

Garbage in, garbage out comes to mind. What possible use could this poll serve? A $4.5 million dollar life support program for DADT, giving the Pentagon evidence that “nows not a good time” to repeal.

Negligence like this—and by our military—can't possibly be an accident.

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