Saying that they had been "focused" on the vote, a senior White House aide intimately familiar with the administration's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal efforts was unwilling to say whether President Obama agrees with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that DADT-releated investigations and discharges should be halted immediately.As a statement just released by Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates makes clear, the policy will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
It is ... important that our men and women in uniform understand that while today’s historic vote means that this policy will change, the implementation and certification process will take an additional period of time. In the meantime, the current law and policy will remain in effect.
Successful implementation will depend upon strong leadership, a clear message and proactive education throughout the force. With a continued and sustained commitment to core values of leadership, professionalism and respect for all, I am convinced that the U.S. military can successfully accommodate and implement this change, as it has others in history.”Stars and Stripes reports implementation may indeed be an uphill battle:
Even after the repeal bill is signed into law by the president, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” strictures will remain in place until the White House and Pentagon certify a plan to minimize disruption on the services.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he would not do that until the service chiefs are confident the moves will not disrupt combat operations, and refused to set any specific timeline on how long that might take. Three of the four service chiefs have strongly resisted repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law during wartime, although they have testified that troops would adapt if Congress mandates it.
Activists are aware what lies ahead and Dan Choi, for one, has put President Obama on notice.
President Obama, you are not off the hook. The compromise bill passed today puts the moral imperative squarely on your desk. Sign an executive order instituting a full non-discrimination policy throughout the military. If you do not, if you drag your feet and politicize this with your theoretical calculations as you have these past two years, you will be guilty of abetting those who loudly proclaim homophobia from their platforms and pulpits. Provide them no shelter or safe haven. Institute justice now.
I wonder if OFA will put out an "ask" to their members to call the Pentagon and White House demanding an immediate end to DADT discharges.