The Lieberman sham compromise on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell cedes control of the military from the law-making and law-executing branches of government to the United States military. In effect, this law says open service is legal, but only when the military pleases.
Joe Lieberman, Monday’s progressive hero, has not introduced a repeal of Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell. The legislative language in the much-heralded compromise leaves everything up to our formerly civilian-controlled military and formerly subordinate-to-the-President Secretary of Defense. Sure, there’s a structure for repeal, but there are lots of hoops the military can elect to jump through.
This isn’t repeal. This is repeal with a trigger.
And the trigger is in the hand of the President, along with his Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Who do you think holds the whip hand on military matters there?
Everything remains exactly the same:
Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.
In fact, that clause is entitled "No Immediate Effect on Current Policy." Until the President, the Secretary, and the Chairman complete, certify and accept the idea that the time for open service has arrived. All of these must occur before the policy will change:
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendments made by subsection (f) shall take effect only on the date on which the last of the following occurs:
(1) The Secretary of Defense has received the report required by the memorandum of the Secretary referred to in subsection (a).
(2) The President transmits to the congressional defense committees a written certification, signed by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stating each of the following:
(A) That the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.
(B) That the Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by the amendments made by subsection (f).
(C) That the implementation of necessary policies and regulations pursuant to the discretion provided by the amendments made by sub-section (f) is consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.
Note that all the excuses-language previously justifying this homophobic policy are included in the final paragraph: military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention. Not one of which has been a problem for any of our many allies that have implemented open service.
In other words, the legislative branch has ceded its law-making power to the formerly subordinate-to-the-Executive military. Until the military is ready to implement open service, it won’t happen. (And just in case you weren’t completely satisfied with your purchase, there’s a bonus section to ensure that no benefits are provided to anyone possibly affected by any eventual DADT repeal in violation of the Defense of Marriage Act.)
This is a sham — a sop to the Democrats’ left-of-the-left, as you might expect from anything organized by Joe Lieberman.