Maybe gay rights advocates aren’t among the ten least powerful people in Washington. Though I don’t think we should remove them from that list until we see a timeline for the introduction of, debate on and congressional vote for repealing the Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy.
Still, there is another sign (following its efforts to recruit Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman spearhead repeal efforts in the Senate) that the Administration may be working toward fulfilling the president’s campaign promise. Over at Politico, Ben Smith reports that the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) has hailed the “appointment of retired Marine General Clifford Stanley as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.”
Smith reports that SLDN spokesman Kevin Nix welcomes the move:
There were indications of seriousness of purpose on DADT repeal today by this White House with its intent to nominate an Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Dr. Stanley is likely to be the President’s key Pentagon player in the DADT debate and will be critical for the President in getting military uniform buy-in. Historically, the position of Under Secretary of Defense provides oversight of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
According to Smith, it would be Stanley’s job to implement — or repeal — DADT. This definitely seems like a step in the right direction, so let’s hope the President makes a public statement indicating he has made repeal a priority.