Anniversary Post: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) End

DADT Repeal

On this day five years ago, the United State officially lifted its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, allowing LGB personnel to serve opening in the military. And as we all know, it was a complete catastrophe. This is why we use so many drones. There is literally no human component left in the US military. Once service members found out there were gay people around them, they refused to take showers, leading to enemies being able to kill them all just based upon the smell. Oh, wait: that didn’t actually happen. Something much more amazing happened: nothing.

I guess to say it is amazing is wrong. There were basically two kinds of people with regard to the repeal of DADT. First, there were people who thought it wouldn’t create any problems at all. Second, there were people who knew it would never work; these people have since adjusted their position to claim that they never said it would be a big deal. This is a common strategy for people who refused to learn from their mistakes. They will continue to “know” all sorts of things that won’t be so. Right now, they “know” that if transgender people were in the military, it would be a catastrophe.

The weird thing is that DADT was never implemented in a way that made sense. A friend of mine published a cartoon at the time that indicated the way the program would work. There was a guy tied up and gagged with “DADT” written on him. One soldier was telling another, “I caught him singing an Ethel Merman tune in the shower!” That was pretty much it. So the policy seems to have been that as long as no one told the military that you were gay, you were safe.

At the same time, DADT systematized the procedures for throwing LGBT service members out of the military. And as a result, there were far more that were thrown out. Half measures are doomed to failure, but often they do exactly the opposite of what thread-the-need politicians like Bill Clinton intend.

3 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) End

  1. I think it shows how hard it is for office holders to keep their promises made during the campaign. On the campaign trail you can promise to do anything. Then when you do take office, you have competing needs and desires and you no longer can solely listen to just one side.

    But when it comes to civil rights though-I just don’t see how you can really do that much compromising and it never made sense to me to have Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. But then we humans are pretty weird about sex anyway…

    • The way DADT was sold was as taking sexual orientation out of the equation. That would have been good. It shouldn’t matter to the military.

      But I think politicians are surprisingly good at their promises. Sanders doesn’t promise universal healthcare; he promises to fight for it. I don’t remember what Clinton promised with regard to this issue. But in this case I hardly blame him. It did not work out the way that he had intended.

      • What I recall from that time is that he promised to let gay people serve as it was considered the big thing at the time. Then he walked back on it because office holder.

        Even a compromise is fulfilling a promise so you are right about that.

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