Vote Tomorrow to Weaken National Defense Could Backfire on Senator Reid

On Tuesday afternoon (tomorrow) a key vote on a defense bill–one that Majority Leader Harry Reid has loaded up with two social issues and one immigration amnesty measure–could be the last pre-election straw that causes control of one or both houses of Congress to change. By tomorrow voters will know which senators are willing to risk the future of our military just to help Reid and President Barack Obama to deliver on their political promises.

Both Democrats are playing to their radical base, expecting them to mobilize in the November midterm elections and again in 2012. Targeted constituencies include LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activists, feminists, and advocates of immigration amnesty–all of whom are being courted with gratuitous and harmful legislation embedded in the 2011 National Defense Authorization bill.

The liberals’ political calculations are mistaken. No matter what the LGBT Left (and Lady Gaga) want, the majority of likely voters are in no mood for another round of steam-rolling tactics forcing the passage of harmful legislation. In this case, the politically-tainted defense bill would complicate and degrade the culture of our military–the only one we have.

Senators normally handle the Defense Authorization bill with bi-partisan comity resulting in legislation that supports military men and women and a strong national defense. This year, Obama and Reid are putting politics above principle, using high-handed pressure tactics to pass controversial legislation that would undermine morale, recruiting, retention, and readiness in the All-Volunteer Force.

Of primary concern is the “Repeal Deal” to revoke the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. This law, Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., usually is confused with Bill Clinton’s inconsistent administrative policy, called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Liberals up to no good often try to disguise their true intent. Witness Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, who claims that a vote to revoke the 1993 law is not a repeal vote at all. Levin’s Orwellian double-speak reflects meaningless “delayed implementation” language in the Obama-engineered “Repeal Deal,” which the full House and the Senate committee voted to include in the Defense Authorization bill on May 27.

The legislation would repeal the law but postpone the consequences for only a short time. President Obama, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are supposed to “certify” with a straight face that the armed forces will experience no significant problems when LGBT theories become official military policy. “Delayed implementation” is meaningless since Obama, Mullen and Gates already are on record favoring repeal of the law.

A few weeks after the certification charade, all military branches and communities would be required to accept and promote LGBT personnel in living conditions offering little or no privacy on a 24/7, retroactive basis. According to simplistic “road map” plans promoted by LGBT activists, hapless field commanders will be expected to tame the powerful and sometimes unruly force of human sexuality. New issues involving male/male and female/female sexual entanglements will complicate and hurt morale, recruiting, and retention–elements that are essential to maintain our All-Volunteer Force.

Guided by civilian LGBT “diversity training” programs, politically correct Defense Department bureaucrats will issue unrealistic directives wrapped in the ill-fitting cloak of “civil rights” and enforced with “zero tolerance” of dissent. As military officials have admitted in unguarded moments and gay activists never deny, corollary “zero tolerance” policies would deny promotions to anyone who dissents for any reason. Intolerance in the name of “tolerance” would end the careers of thousands of chaplains and experienced personnel who are current and future military leaders.

Unlike racial integration that President Truman ordered in 1948, none of this would improve or benefit the armed forces. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates only talks about “mitigating” anticipated problems.

The same defense bill includes language to authorize abortions in all military hospitals, both overseas and in the United States. And under re-election pressure from Hispanic groups, Majority Leader Reid intends to add another non-germane measure to the defense bill, the so-called DREAM act that would extend amnesty and educational benefits to the children of illegal immigrants.

These and any other politically expedient kitchen-sink items that Sen. Reid decides to throw in would threaten national security. Senators asked to vote on Tuesday have no choice but to reject Sen. Reid’s cloture vote and block the entire Defense Authorization bill. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, needs 41 votes to stop it. If McCain prevails and current law is retained, Congress can approve worthwhile sections of the bill separately.

Sen. Reid plans to ram through all three controversial pieces of legislation, disregarding letters from the four military service chiefs to the full House and the Senate Armed Services Committee in May. They asked that Congress take no action on the issue of homosexuals in the military until the Pentagon’s official review is complete, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered for the LGBT Left, putting our military at risk.

LGBT activists insist that political promises made to them by President Barack Obama are more important than the impressive experience and formal advice of military leaders. In 2009, 1,167 retired Flag and General Officers for the Military personally signed a formal statement to the president and Congress stating unequivocally that repeal of the 1993 law would harm recruiting, retention and readiness, and ultimately break the All-Volunteer Force. That unprecedented statement is reprinted in Roll Call today.

Americans who care about national defense need to call their senators without delay. It is wrong to force our men and women in uniform to pay the price for Senator Harry Reid’s irresponsible promises to the LGBT Left.


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