John Aravosis catches a leak from the Pentagon’s Working Group studying Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at the very bottom of this Los Angeles Times article about the recent court ruling overturning the policy:
The Pentagon task force charged with examining the issue is “well along” in formulating recommendations, and the ruling is not expected to affect its work, another senior military officer.
The task force found deep resistance to the idea of repealing the law in some elements of the armed services, especially within the combat units, an officer familiar with the findings said. But the surveys also have found segments of the military who were not overly worried about allowing gays and lesbians to serve, the officer said.
“What else do you expect the Pentagon to do?” he asks. “Their commander in chief is a pushover. They can do whatever they want, and they know he won’t touch them.” Indeed, Obama has been deferential to the military on DADT, agreeing to completely accommodate the review and resisting calls to set a moratorium on additional discharges, which the Pentagon opposes.
Factions within the Pentagon — including the service chiefs — support the ban and have attempted to undermine or delay Obama’s stated policy preference. In a direct response to this story, however, Pentagon officials told me that they were not aware of any leaks out of the Working Group, and say that it has been brought to their attention.
Relatively little is known about the results of the study, which are due out the first week of December. Last month, during Gen. James Amos’ confirmation hearings to become the Marine Corps’ 35th Commandant, Amos said that many Marines were hesitant to change the policy. Similarly, the Working Group has reported that a relatively modest percentage of servicemembers and their spouses responded to surveys about lifting the ban, suggesting that many military members may not be very concerned about the change.
Dan Woods, the lead attorney in the Log Cabin Republicans’ Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell challenge, just sent a letter to lead DOJ attorney Paul Freeborne citing a New York Times story claiming that Omar Lopez, a gay veteran, was prohibited from reinlisting. If the Times story is accurate, Woods says, “the Defense Department would appear to be in violation of the Court’s injunction and subject to citation for contempt.”
,SLDN has learned that “an email was sent to JAG officers in the U.S. Air Force stating that until the Department of Justice makes a decision on the recent ruling by judge Virginia A. Phillips, the Air Force needs to abide by the district court injunction.” From the letter:
On 12 October 2010, a federal district judge of the Central District of California issued an injunction barring the enforcement or application of 10 USC 654, commonly known as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” statute. A copy is attached. At present, the United States Government is contemplating whether to appeal and to seek a stay of the injunction. In the meantime, effective 12 October, the Department of Defense will abide by its terms, as follows…