DADT Repeal: A 21st Century Civil Rights Victory

By: Tuesday September 20, 2011 7:17 am

At 12:01am, the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was formally repealed. Gays and lesbians can now serve freely in the US Armed Forces. The official notice from the US Army was released last night, in a completely understated document. “The law is repealed,” says the letter from Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler. “It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so, we will help the US Army remain the strength of the Nation.”

Stand with Lt. Dan Choi: Oppose His Punishment at the Hands of the White House and Military.


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Stephen Glain, State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire

By: Sunday September 11, 2011 1:59 pm

As U.S. drones continue to take flight over Pakistani soil and that country’s restive population becomes more and more resentful of what it views as excessive foreign meddling in its affairs by various actors – the West, Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists, and its old rival India – I think the topic of empire is more relevant than ever to the two countries that I consider my own.

The Rise of Secret Wars

By: Sunday August 7, 2011 6:14 pm

There’s a lot of talk about defense budgets, and some internal squabbling between Congressional liberals and Leon Panetta over balancing cuts to the military with cuts to the safety net. But I think some of this misses the larger point, that the budget that needs to be put under control is the largely secretive one, the budget of the intelligence agencies. Because it’s pretty clear that warmaking capabilities are being moved out of the Defense Department and into covert ops.

Defense Cuts in Debt Limit Deal Less Than Meets the Eye

By: Tuesday August 2, 2011 8:00 am

Among the silver linings in this deal, progressives are told, are that it makes real and thoroughgoing cuts to the defense budget. The Pentagon is supposed to be one of the big losers in the deal. This was the President’s unwavering vow, according to the obligatory Politico tick-tock. And yet, right in the middle of that, you find that the White House did actually waver.

Military Leaders Will Certify DADT Repeal Tomorrow

By: Thursday July 21, 2011 4:15 pm

Finding a way out of the unnecessary box created by judicial rulings and Justice Department appeals, military leaders will certify the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy tomorrow afternoon. This includes Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and all of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Only the President’s certification would be needed at that point to start the 60-day legislative review clock that will ultimately lead to repeal of the policy.

DoJ Files Emergency Brief to Reinstate DADT

By: Friday July 15, 2011 6:54 am

The Justice Department will seek a short-term emergency stay to the bar on the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a puzzling twist to a court case that appeared to end the policy outright.

This Is How Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Ends, Not with a Signing Ceremony But a Whimper

By: Friday July 8, 2011 4:30 pm

After the Ninth Circuit lifted the stay on a circuit court ruling that labeled the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy unconstitutional and banned enforcement, the military officially suspended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to comply with the ruling. So regardless of the vote in Congress, the Pentagon study, the long lead time for implementation, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is officially dead.

US Charges KSM, 9/11 Plotters… Again

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 2:15 pm

How many times have we faced this stage already? How many times over could we have prosecuted KSM already if we had just used existing, rather than Kangaroo, courts? How many more years will it take to determine whether KSM can plead guilty so as to martyr himself?

Panetta the “Budget Cutter” Comes to the Pentagon

By: Thursday April 28, 2011 2:25 pm

Senior Administration officials praised Panetta’s ability in running large agencies and managing large budgets, but there wasn’t any hint that he would somehow become this obsessive budget-cutter at Defense. I would ask the question: just how much did the CIA budget decrease over the past couple years?

Obama Shakes Up National Security Team: Panetta to Pentagon, Petraeus to Head CIA

By: Wednesday April 27, 2011 6:21 am

In a series of national security moves, the White House will nominate Leon Panetta to become the first Democratic Secretary of Defense since William Perry in 1996. Panetta will replace Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Current Afghan war commander David Petraeus will replace Panetta at the CIA. And Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who was ambassador to Iraq under President Bush, would move to Afghanistan to become the Ambassador there, replacing Karl Eikenberry. Crocker has also served as Ambassador to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is one of the most experienced diplomats in the foreign service. Marine Lt. Gen. John Allen would replace Petraeus as the commander of the war effort in Afghanistan.

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