With my Mom doing much better, I returned to LA as planned today, but feel pretty drained, having chosen to spend more time with my brother (father to an energetic nephew) last night rather than go to bed at a decent hour, especially given my early departure (6 AM LA time) from Cincinnati this morning.
As I was perusing my e-mail and checking the blogs, I chanced on an unusual amount of information on gays in the military. Apparently it its Sunday evening broadcast,Â 60 Minutes included an update on Darren Manzella,Â an out and active duty openly gay Army Sergeant, reporting that since their first story on this soldier,Â he has since been discharged under the â€œDon’t Ask, Don’t Tellâ€ law.
A reader linked me to one news reportÂ of a story I had wanted to blog on when seeing it linked somewhere else. (I’m pretty sure it was an e-mail I received from the Michael D. Palm Center containing this release.) And Glenn ReynoldsÂ linked Ed Morrissey’s piece on the study.
Anyway, the study “conducted by four retired military officers” found that “allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is unlikely to pose any significant risk to morale, good order, discipline or cohesion.” Allowing gay people to serve openly in the armed forces of the United Kingdom and Israel did not undermine “the effectiveness of combat operations.”
Given that the most serious objection raised to lifting the ban on gays in the military is that it would compromise the cohesion of military units (and thus their effectiveness), this report should help erase doubts harbored by those who favor the ban. To be sure, as Ed Morrissey notes, the “Michael Palm Center [which] sponsored this study . . . is not a disinterested party to this issue.”
No wonder that in commissioning the report, the center tooks pains to ensure its accuracy. The officers on the panel “required a written pledge that the Center would publish their recommendations regardless of the political implications, and would not seek to influence conclusions.” Â And if this pledge were not enough, the report is consistent with past studies on allowing gay people to serve openly in the military, including a 1993 Rand Corporation study.
Another piece of evidence that it’s long past time to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. This isn’t really an issue about gay rights, but about increasing the number of qualified citizens to serve in our armed forces.
Let’s hope this latest study gets wider attention.