Gates Mad as Hell at DADT Report Leakers

November 13, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—On Thursday, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article revealing that the leaked results of the Pentagon’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” survey showed that a majority of troops believed its repeal would have a minimal impact on combat operations. The content of the article was based on two unnamed sources, and it was used as ammunition by opponents of the odious DADT policy to call for repeal. But Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has been keeping a tight ship on the surveying process before the final report is released on Dec. 1. And he is not happy, to put it mildly, that two Department of Defense employees disobeyed orders and leaked the results of the survey to the Washington Post. Gates is now launching an investigation to uncover the identity of the two leakers. “Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process,” he said.

The most quoted part of the Washington Post article revealed that a large majority of those surveyed are OK with openly gay service members.

“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”‘

Source number one is described in the article, as someone “…who has read the report in full.” “He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings.”

Source number two is someone who has not read the entire report.

“There are challenges here, and we want the time so we can make the process of implementation as smooth as possible,” said a second person who was briefed on the report but had not read it.”

Gates has his eyes now firmly set on the two unnamed sources, according to a statement issued by Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

“Gates is “very concerned and extremely disappointed” that unnamed sources selectively revealed aspects of Comprehensive Review Working Group’s draft findings, Morrell said in a statement, “presumably to shape perceptions of the report prior to its release.” […]

“[Gates] made it clear then and throughout this process that it was ‘critical that this effort be carried out in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner,’” Morrell said. “He has also stated clearly that ‘given the political dimension of this issue, it is equally critical that … every effort be made to shield our men and women in uniform and their families from those aspects of this debate.’”

Morrell noted that the working group has operated for nearly nine months in strict accordance to Gates’ mandate. “Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process,” he said.

“The secretary strongly condemns the unauthorized release of information related to this report and has directed an investigation to establish who communicated with the Washington Post or any other news organization without authorization and in violation of Department policy and his specific instruction, Morrell said.

“The report is due to Gates Dec. 1, and the full report will be made public early next month. “Until then, no one at the Pentagon will comment on its contents,” he said.”

Gates’ insistence on secrecy shows how politically charged the issue of DADT has become for the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. The House already passed a conditional repeal of the discriminatory policy. But a repeal failed in the Senate when the entire caucus of Republicans filibustered a defense appropriations bill because it contained an amendment to repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The Democrats are gearing up again, in the lame duck session to be rid of the odious policy, but Republicans led by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have vowed to filibuster any attempt to repeal DADT.

Photo Source: Defense Dept. Photo by Cherie A. Thurlby


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