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February 03, 2010

John McCain: Hypocritical . . . And Confused
Posted by Michael Cohen

Adam below referenced John McCain's pretty glaring hypocrisy on DADT, but the Washington Post really nails it:

Three years ago, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was pretty clear about his stand on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. A former war hero, McCain said he would support ending the ban once the military's top brass told him that they agreed with the change.

"The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it," McCain said in October 2006 to an audience of Iowa State University students.

That day arrived Tuesday, with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen testifying to senatorsafter President Obama's announcement that he would seek a congressional repeal of the 15-year-old policy. Mullen called repealing the policy, which bans openly gay men and lesbians from serving, "the right thing to do" and said he was personally troubled by effectively forcing service members to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." Gates told the Armed Services Committee, "I fully support the president's decision."

In response, McCain declared himself "disappointed" in the testimony. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective."

As odious and obvious as McCain's hypocrisy clearly is, what is even more troubling - and less commented on - is McCain's back-assward understanding of chain of command. Check out this quote from his spokeswoman:
"There has to be a determination from our military leaders that they think it is a good idea to change the policy; then, of course, Senator McCain will listen to them."

I have made this point before but John McCain seems to be really confused about the chain of command in the United States military. A determination on whether gays should be allowed to serve in the armed force is not made by generals . . . it's made by the civilian leadership (in consultation with the military). And if the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff all say they want to change the policy - the policy gets changed. End of story. Our military is not a democracy; it's a dictatorship (ish). 

Look, if John McCain thinks changing DADT is wrong, fine. That's certainly his right as a US Senator to say so. But the notion that somehow a decision made by the civilian leadership is invalid if the uniformed brass don't sign off . . . well not only is it ridiculous, it undermines the very notion of civilian control of the military. 


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Great information.I would like to share according to McCain he is “deeply disappointed” by Gates’ statement, noting the Senate vigorously debated the issue in 1993. He says Gates’ statement is “clearly biased” because it doesn’t take the input of Congress into effect.IMHO, until congress contains more than a smattering of veterans, their collective opinion should count far less than the results of any survey of current service members.

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