The Freedom Federation, an alliance of self-described “multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational faith-based and policy organizations” with approximately 40 million constituents, sent a letter to senators Thursday urging them to delay consideration of repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” until the 112th Congress convenes in January.
The group points to the fact that America’s military leaders — with notable exceptions like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen — object to the 1993 policy’s repeal.
“Gen. James Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, has said that he was concerned that the repeal of the law would have a negative effect on unit cohesion and combat readiness of the Marine Corps. Who among the members of the Senate is a better judge of that than is the Commandant?” the letter reads.
With the Defense Department’s report on the effects of DADT repeal only just coming out on November 30, the Freedom Federation further argues that there has not been enough time to fully examine the results of DADT repeal, and that changing a consequential policy in the middle of a multi-front war will cause serious risk to the security of the country.
Not only does the short amount of time allotted to consider the report’s findings give the alliance pause, but also some of the comments and alleged biases of those in charge. They group points specifically to General Thomas Bostick’s charge that those who object to repeal are bigots and the Freedom Federation alleges that Admiral Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have been “cheerleading” for repeal — actions the Freedom Federation writes is cause for investigation.
“Moreover, we are deeply concerned about the methodology of the DOD report and survey….we believe it behooves the next Congress to investigate whether proponents of repeal tried to create a climate of not-so-subtle intimidation in the Pentagon,” letter says.
The group promises negative political repercussions for those who eschew their advice and negative practical consequences for troop moral if DADT is repealed.
“We cannot afford attrition or demoralization of our military in light of the wars we are facing in the Middle East, not to mention the looming threat of North Korea,” the letter argues.
The Freedom Federation concludes their plea by calling on senators to join Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain’s fight to block efforts to use the Defense Authorization Bill to push through a repeal of the law.
“The 1993 law was passed after twelve legislative hearings and field trips – our military deserves the same consideration today…..We urge you to allow sufficient time for hearings on DADT. The only way to give this issue the attention it deserves is to hold off hearings on DADT until 2011,” reads the letter.
The Senate Armed Services committee is holding hearings on DADT Thursday.