Thursday, May 15, 2008

The tea-leaves shuffle.....

Did ADM Mullen play ball at school, because this is some interesting bob'n and weave'n go'n on.

During Q-n-A in enemy territory, (West Point) on 02 MAY 08;
I’m happy to take a few questions. Go ahead.

Q: Sir, Cadet Brendan from AA3. There has been a lot of talk recently in the media concerning the presidential election that the don’t ask, don’t tell policy will be lifted if the Democratic nominee is elected. And my question to you is, sir, whether you think in your experiences and your interaction with the other service chiefs, if that policy will be difficult to implement or if it will ultimately end up sort of on the line with the Brits and the Australians in that – where it has been ultimately a non-issue?

ADM. MULLEN: What was the last part of the question?

Q: Sir, that the British and the Australians have also lifted their bans and it has ultimately been a non-issue for them.

ADM. MULLEN: Okay. And the question is on – if I understood it right – don’t ask, don’t tell. We have a policy right now that has been in effect since 1992, 93. And that was decided, obviously put in – it is not just a policy; it is the law. And one of the things we do in the military is we follow the law. So we follow that policy diligently since it was put in place. I actually get asked questions fairly frequently about what if our next president does A, B, or C, and this is also one that certainly gets surfaced in terms of questions.

I am the principal military advisor to the president of the United States. I have an opportunity to do that fairly frequently with the current president. And my expectations are – and he is the one, the president is the individual that makes the decisions about what we are going to do. And I, as a member of the military, and you, as well, implement those policies. So since 1992 or 3 when it was passed, that is what we do. So should that policy change and the next president certainly endorse that and it is not unlike the policy that exists right now, we will carry that policy out. And I would say that about this, but I would say that about a broad range of issues.

And what is so important about that – not this particular subject, per se, although it is representative – is we are a military that – I talk about being foundational, but it is also a military that is under the control of our civilian elected leaders. That is our country, and it has served us exceptionally well since we have been founded. And I am very focused on that. That is a very special characteristic of our country. And I would never do anything to jeopardize that.

There is a lot of time between now and next January. And as important as anything we do as a military, is to hold that very strong apolitical position that is what the American people expect, and it is back to the trust and confidence issue and that we carry out the policies of the elected leaders of our country. And so should that come up, and I have been asked this by Congress. And I think that if the American people want to arrange that, and Congress changes the law, and it becomes law, we carry it out.
And that my personal opinion on this, whatever it is, quite frankly is irrelevant.
Just as a reminder, I just don't care. It just doesn't matter. That is just my opinion. Get comfortable with it - you only have about 12 months left of DADT anyway.

If you don't like it, I would say, "Embrace the suck" - but that won't work. I could say, "Take it like a man" - but that doesn't seem right either. I could say, "There is nothing you can do about it, worry about the next INSURV instead."; that seems better.

Hat tip Mike.

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