This Week: Adm Mullen re: Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Another missing post

Lt Choi/Lt Col Fehrenbach/DADT/posts/interviews

May 25, 2009

Admiral Mullen was on This Week with George Stephanopoulos yesterday and they got around to discussing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s perfectly clear from Adm Mullen’s words, demeanor and body language that he is going through the motions and that nothing is happening any time soon. And it appears he, personally, does not want to change anything. He speaks of the stress the force is under and says nothing about discharging a West Point Grad with two combat tours in Iraq who is fluent in Arabic and willing to do a third.

How is his discharge not adding to the stress – especially in his unit?

And if they discharge a decorated fighter pilot with 88 combat missions under his belt?

What he is saying is inherently deceitful. Wonder if he was like that to begin with or barry’s wearing off on him? He reminds me of Rumsfield.

Most telling words: That it’s his intent at some point in time to ask Congress to change this law.

Then he mentions how it would take time to implement once it became law. barry has no intent on doing anything but leaving it to Congress.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me talk about the issues of gays in the military. The president has told you that he wants to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy so that gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military. And the Pentagon said this week that you personally, along with Secretary Gates, are working to address the challenges associated with implementing the president’s commitment. What exactly are you doing? And what exactly are you worried about?

MULLEN: The president has made his strategic intent very clear. That it’s his intent at some point in time to ask Congress to change this law. I think it’s important to also know that this is the law, this isn’t a policy. And for the rules to change, a law has to be changed.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And there’s legislation introduced in the Congress.

MULLEN: And there is. Exactly. And so I’ve had discussions with the Joint Chiefs about this. I’ve done certainly a lot of internal, immediate staff discussions about what the issues would be and how we…

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are they? What are the challenges?

MULLEN: Well, it’s my job as the senior military adviser to provide best advice, best military advice for the president. And what I owe him is an objective assessment of what these changes would be. What they might impact on. And there could be speculation about what that might be, but my goal would be to achieve an objective assessment of the impact, if any, of this kind of change.

How long is that going to take in military time? 3 years?

In addition, you know, I would need some time for a force that’s under a great deal of stress — we’re in our sixth year of fighting two wars — to look at if this change occurs, to look at implementing it in a very deliberate, measured way.

AKA a long time.

And what I also owe the president, and I owe the men and women in uniform, is an implementation plan to achieve this based on a timeline that would be set, obviously, after the law is changed.

barry has no intention of doing anything before the law is changed and he has the intent – but has not done so — to ask Congress “at some point” to change the law. Translation: when it becomes politically expedient – when the damage done by doing nothing is worse than his panderment to Rick Warrens et al. Folks are starting to see barry has no spine and that his words rarely match his actions–if he acts at all.

STEPHANOPOULOS: One of your predecessors, General John Shalikashvili, who was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs back in the early ’90s, has said he has second thoughts on this whole issue now. He was against opening up service to the gays and lesbians then. Now he’s written, “I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.”

Is he right?

MULLEN: He’s certainly entitled to his own personal opinion. And certainly, I have the greatest respect for him. There are also lots of retired generals and admirals on the other side.

STEPHANOPOULOS: What’s your opinion?

MULLEN: And what I would hope to do in this, George, again, given the strategic intent of the president, is to avoid a polarizing debate that puts a force that’s very significantly under stress in the middle. And to get this, get to this, assuming the law is going to change, and, again, a measured, deliberate way. And that, as the senior military leader, is what I consider my principal responsibility.

The good Admiral does not answer the question and says “George” in the same fashion Br Gen Walsh said “Ma’am” to Sen Boxer. Trying to remind “George” of his rank – even though he is in George’s house.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Measured, deliberate way. So it sounds like if the Congress calls you up to testify in this, you’re going to say now is not the time to repeal?

MULLEN: No, I actually — I’m going to talk to the process that we have in this country, which is we follow the law, and if the law changes, we’ll comply. There’s absolutely no question about that.

And what are the chances of it being passed if barry says nothing? He basically says he doesn’t seeing it changing.


STEPHANOPOULOS: We have a couple of minutes left. I want to ask you about working with President Obama as the commander in chief. You’ve been doing it for about four months now, a little bit more than four months. What have you learned about the president as commander in chief? And is he performing as you expected?

MULLEN: It’s very rare with any kind of major issue that the president doesn’t initially ask, OK, where are we going here? What’s our end stake? And then developing a strategic view of how to get there and the major pieces with respect to that. That he is developing policies and policy objectives that the military can support, and the policy and the strategy are very clear.

And I’m not a policy and a strategy guy. I’m — you know, the military basically supports what the president wants, the decisions that he makes. And he has done that, he has done that in Iraq, he has done that in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. And I find that to be — to be a method that gives the military the kind of focus it needs for where we’re going.

By deferring to the people in the room and then deciding.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Has he surprised you in any way?

MULLEN: No, not really. I mean, I met him before the — I think a week or so after he was elected. We had very frank conversations about our positions on various issues, in terms of how we saw things. He was very clear about what he wants to do.

He’s a very bright, focused individual. He takes a diversity of opinion, and then he is — he is as every president is, you know, he knows he has to make decisions. He has made them, he has made hard ones, and I think he will continue to do so.

After listening to people who know what they’re talking about.

Dear Admiral Mullen:

Do you think barry is capable of making a decision of global import in 30 seconds without any advisors nearby?

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