Jim Kouri
Leak of Pentagon's gay and lesbian study creates frenzy
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By Jim Kouri
November 16, 2010

The U.S. military officials and commanders on Friday reacted to the reported document leaks as the U.S. prepares to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians openly identifying themselves as homosexual members of the Armed Services.

Also on Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would allow the military's policy on gays in the military to stay in effect while an appeal on it continues.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has condemned the unauthorized release of a rough draft of a working group's study of the impact of the proposed repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays and lesbians serving in the United States military.

As a result of this leak, Secretary Gates has ordered an investigation into the source, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.

Gates is "very concerned and extremely disappointed" that unnamed sources selectively revealed aspects of Comprehensive Review Working Group's draft findings, Morrell said in a statement, "presumably to shape perceptions of the report prior to its release."

For instance, the leaked portions of the study suggest that a majority of military personnel do not believe allowing openly gay in the military will have a negative impact. But the leaked portions covered by news outlets, such as the Washington Post, do not describe how the survey was conducted and the exact phrasing of the questions posed to members of the military.

"It is a known fact in the U.S. military that any negative statements about women and gays in the Armed Services will result in an officer's or non-commissioned officer's personnel file to be 'flagged' for future actions including being passed over for promotion," said a former military intelligence officer and police detective.

The official report is expected to be given to Gates on December 1, 2010.

The secretary launched the review in March to objectively ascertain the impact of repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law on military readiness, effectiveness, recruiting, retention, unit cohesion and families.

"[Gates] made it clear then and throughout this process that it was 'critical that this effort be carried out in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner,'" Morrell said. "He has also stated clearly that 'given the political dimension of this issue, it is equally critical that ... every effort be made to shield our men and women in uniform and their families from those aspects of this debate.'"

Morrell noted that the working group has operated for nearly nine months in strict accordance to Gates' mandate. "Anonymous sources now risk undermining the integrity of this process," he said.

"The secretary strongly condemns the unauthorized release of information related to this report and has directed an investigation to establish who communicated with the Washington Post or any other news organization without authorization and in violation of Department policy and his specific instruction, Morrell said.

The full report will be made public early next month. "Until then, no one at the Pentagon will comment on its contents," he said.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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