DADT Was Repealed, Right? So Why Are Servicemembers Still Being Discharged Under it?
Despite the fact that President Obama signed legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" 187 days ago (and counting), the Advocate reports today that the Pentagon has confirmed servicemembers are still being dismissed under the policy, because the "certification" loophole has allowed the military to drag its feet on implementing the change.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates is leaving office this week, to be replaced by outgoing CIA chief Leon Panetta, who testified during his confirmation hearing earlier this month that he "will work closely with the Joint Chiefs of Staff to assess whether the elements for certification in the law are met before signing it myself." Which is so vague that it's essentially meaningless.
The can just keeps getting kicked down the road, and, per the Advocate, the discharges continue:
The Pentagon confirmed Monday that more service members have been discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" pending certification of the policy's repeal, with one individual's discharge approved as recently as Thursday.
A total of four airmen have been discharged under the policy in the last several weeks, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez confirmed Monday.
...Defense officials had said that the separation approved April 29 was the only such discharge under DADT since late October, when the Defense Department limited authority for discharges to just five senior officials.
But in a statement, Harper confirmed the additional discharges since. "On May 31st, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force approved discharges of two Airmen under the provisions of 10 USC 654 [the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy]," Harper said. "On June 23, 2011, the Secretary of the Air Force accepted the resignation of an Airman who asked to be separated under the provisions of [DADT]."
Harper said that all four individuals discharged had made voluntary statements regarding their sexual orientation and had asked to be "separated expeditiously."
So, basically, the military may not actively askanymore, but if you tell, you're still getting kicked the fuck out.