Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 2/22/2010 6:00:00 AM A conservative military watchdog says the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was "way out of line" when he recently asked troops if they supported repealing the ban on homosexuals serving in the military.
During his State of the Union address last month, President Obama urged Congress to repeal the 1993 law known as Section 654, Title 10, which says homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military (see related article). Shortly thereafter, Admiral Mike Mullen (USN) told a stunned Congress that in his personal view, homosexual men and women should be allowed to serve.
Now McClatchy News Service has reported that while recently visiting U.S. troops in Amman, Jordan, Mullen conducted a focus group on the question of lifting the ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, believes the admiral should not have asked the troops their opinion about lifting the ban.
"He was way out of line with that initiative," she states bluntly. "Anyone who disagreed [in the presence of the media] would put his career at risk [by] stating an opinion different than that of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs."
Donnelly believes the admiral was also off-base in another statement he made about the potential lifting of the ban.
"Admiral Mullen said that he never underestimates the ability of the military to adapt. I think that is very condescending of him," says the military watchdog. "He should not expect people to adapt to social agendas [or] political payoffs -- things that make their job more difficult or more dangerous."
Even if some of the troops Mullen talked to actually agree with the admiral, Donnelly argues they are being used as props to make the Joint Chiefs chairman look good -- and that, she argues, is not an appropriate use of military personnel.