This afternoon in Washington, DC, a blue ribbon panel, commissioned by the University of California, will release its financial analysis of the cost of the government implementing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for US armed forces. I received an advanced copy last evening to read. It is astounding.
First, let me note that there were two notable members of the panel to me: former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry — the man who first began implementing DADT, and Dr. Lawrence Korb who served under President Reagan as Asst. Defense Secretary to Casper Weinberger. These two names alone give this exhaustive study the legitimacy it deserves.
The panel’s charge was to determine if the 2005 General Accounting Office’s study (called “Financial Costs and Loss of Critical Skills Due to DOD’s Homosexual Conduct Policy Cannot Be Completely Estimated”) was accurate. The Perry-Korb panel says not just no… but Hell, No!
Total cost of implementing DADT found to be $363.8 Million between Fiscal Years 1994 and 2003.
The Commission’s financial determinations were 91 percent higher than 2005 GAO study which determined costs of DADT implementation to be $173.3 Million.
The Commission found several errors in the GAO study.
This is perhaps the first groundbreaking data-driven, not emotional, argument against DADT that will appeal to fiscal conservatives (Republican and Democrat alike) in Congress. In this new season of ending special interest “earmarks” that cost taxpayers billions, there is now a compelling and tax-saving reason to end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Though I have no idea who or whether any of these Commission members are gay or lesbian Americans, there is no doubt that they are true heroes to our community. I guess I didn’t have to wait long