Three Ways DoD is Slighting Troops who Support 1993 Law

 On August 15 the Defense Department concluded their massive survey of 400,000 military personnel, which did not meet the expectations of Congress for several reasons.  Most importantly, the survey did not ask the key question, “Do you favor retention or repeal of the law?”  Nor did it ask about the recommendations of gay activist groups promoting repeal of the 1993 law, such as mandatory training and education to ensure acceptance of the LGBT agenda, and career penalties to enforce “zero tolerance” against anyone who disagrees. 

Still, as I wrote in this article, the vehement attacks from the gay activist groups who didn’t want the Pentagon to “engage the force” at all have been stridently ridiculous:

The Pentagon’s selectivity problem does not center on the number of troops asked to fill out the survey—400,000 is an over-sized number.  The problem is that the Defense Department  is signaling that it has already has taken sides and is not interested in hearing from personnel who support the current law.  The plan has been to “engage” only some of the troops.  It is not surprising, therefore, that Stars & Stripes reported that only 27% of the 400,000 troops receiving surveys via email have answered them.

Orchestrated Focus Groups

This article describes the Pentagon’s quest for opinions from active-duty troops meeting in focus groups around the country: 

Once again, Secretary Gates’ “Comprehensive Review Working Group” (CRWG) is showing a peculiar obsession with polling homosexuals who are not even eligible to be in the military.  CMR has heard from several sources that the focus groups are not going well for advocates of repeal.  However, since the opinions of people who support the current law are not being sought or recorded, the results of these meetings will be whatever the DoD interprets them to be.  This comment, which followed the Stars & Stripes article, surely represents the views of thousands of active duty service members:

“Why exhaust scarce US tax dollars pretending and going through an elaborately orchestrated public motion cajoling the force?  [It is] actually rather insulting to solicit feedback from war weary troops in the field implying that our obviously derisory viewpoints on a major DoD organizational culture change could somehow count for something.  Marching in step to an unpopular party line is a military tradition, but being exploited so publicly to contribute so little to a final perfunctory PR ploy in this predetermined grand political pomp is a new low in US government politics.”

- Written by Spartacus Sam, 4 August 2010 17:17

The Family Survey --- Questions Not Asked

Now comes the Pentagon’s third effort, a survey of military family members being sent out this week. 

Again, the LGBT activist groups are furious that the survey is even taking place, even though it omits many questions that the DoD should have asked.  For example, the survey asks about social events with same-sex couples, but not about “Diversity Day” events to celebrate lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders in the military. 

The DoD survey question inquiring about the distribution of printed materials about homosexuality is less than serious.  But family members should have been asked about recommendations for mandatory LGBT instruction in military educations and training programs, and in DoD schools and child care centers run by the Department of Defense—the largest such systems in the world.   

The DoD survey of military families does not ask about “zero tolerance” policies that could end their spouse’s career; nor about retroactive admittance and promotions of homosexual personnel.   It asks about the number of times the spouse was deployed, but does not ask about the type of military unit or community he or she is in; i.e., infantry, Special Ops, submarines, combat service support, etc.  The connection between repeal and “family readiness” is very tenuous.  The DoD may be looking for narrow responses that will allow them to claim family members see “no problem.” 

As for opinions about controversial, problematic proposals that activist groups have recommended to implement repeal ─ we won’t get answers because the Pentagon did not ask. 

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MCC Leaders Request Investigation of Army General’s Remarks
Lt Gen BostickLeaders of the Military Culture Coalition (MCC) have requested a formal Inspector General investigation of an incident reported by the Washington Times, in which Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick allegedly made intemperate remarks criticizing and threatening to exclude servicemembers who support the current law regarding homosexuals in the military.  

Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, and Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, submitted a formal request for the Army Inspector General to investigate the reported incident on October 13, 2010. On September 16, a Washington Times editorial reported that General Bostick made derogatory remarks against servicemembers while addressing 500 military personnel and civilians at an Army base in Stuttgart, Germany in August. 

Bostick currently serves as co-chairman of the policy committee for the Pentagon’s “Comprehensive Review Working Group” (CRWG).  He was in Stuttgart to discuss the issue of gays in the military, and to seek opinions on how to implement repeal of the 1993 law that is usually mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  A Defense Department spokesman denied that the general had used inflammatory words, but the Washington Times nevertheless published two signed letters from individuals who said they had witnessed the event and were disturbed by it. 

In their letter to Acting Army Inspector General Maj. Gen. William H. McCoy, Donnelly and Gaffney cited seven reasons why the Army should conduct an investigation to determine what General Bostick said.  They said the matter is urgent because Lt. Gen. Bostick is a key leader in the Pentagon’s Working Group established by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates earlier this year to “assess the impact” of repeal of the law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. 

This is a summary of the seven reasons, which are described in greater length in the Donnelly/Gaffney letter to the Army IG:

1.   Gen. Bostick’s alleged comments reflect a discriminatory attitude toward anyone harboring or expressing opinions contrary to the inclusion of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) personnel in the military, and suggested career-ending penalties for such opposition.

2.   Gen. Bostick’s comments amounted to a threat, and for that reason require investigation to determine exactly what was said, and to protect those who reported the statements from reprisal.

3.   Though the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a denial from Gen. Bostick, it has produced no evidence to repudiate the reports.  Again, an investigation is required in order to determine exactly what happened.

4.   Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey have called for an investigation through the DoD Inspector General.  Due to the dual role of Mr. Jeh Johnson, who is the DoD General Counsel as well as a Co-Chair of the Comprehensive Review Working Group, interactions between the various offices create the appearance of a conflict of interest that must be countered by an independent investigation.

5.   The Center for Military Readiness has received several comments (See Attachment B)  indicating the CRWG process has established a pattern of taking sides in favor of the advocates of repeal, to the exclusion of others who disagree for any reason.   The possible presence of such bias requires an independent investigation.

6.   The MCC has received reports of slide presentations outlining plans for the CRWG process and its subgroups, and for implementation of a new non-discrimination policy should Congress repeal the 1993 law.  The possible existence of these and other documents relating to this topic may have contributed to the alleged statements of Gen. Bostick. An investigation is required to determine the existence of any such materials and should any be discovered, all should be made public.

7.   Gen. Bostick’s alleged comments call into question his objectivity in his continued role as policy committee co-chair for the CRWG.  An investigation is required in order to protect the integrity of the CRWG report, which is due on December 1.

The office of the Army Inspector General acknowledged receipt of the request for investigation, but no action has been taken to date.

The Donnelly-Gaffney MCC letter of request for a formal investigation to the Army IG, along with its accompanying attachments, can be found at the following links:

Request for Army Inspector General Investigation of Reported Incident Involving Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, USA

Attachment A-Timetable of Events

Attachment B-Participant Observations on CRWG Focus Groups