The planned June 30 resignation date of Defense Secretary Robert Gates is quickly approaching and ironically falls in the middle of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal process. It was the pro-repeal testimonies of Gates, along with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, before Congress that were instrumental in Congress’ passage of the repeal. In order to ease the fears of activists, the White House released a statement last week that said, “the DADT repeal act was signed into law by the President, and certification and implementation will happen whomever serves as Secretary of Defense.” It was also announced last week that President Obama plans to nominate Leon Panetta, the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to take Gates’ place.
The Associated Press was given access to one of those DADT repeal trainings that we’ve been hearing so much about. The video is below. I thought the segment was a little heavy of the opposition side, as it showed several soldiers who kept bringing up the tired excuse of how the repeal affected their religion. But I loved how the military official running the training quickly shoots down these arguments and makes these statements look silly. As they are. And I’m glad we have some solid proof that these sessions are taking place, which means the full repeal is imminent.
However, the repeal doesn’t seem imminent enough. Especially for former West Point Cadet Katherine Miller, who reapplied to West Point this but was denied re-entry because DADT had not been fully repealed. You may remember, she was in the news last for discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell even though she was at the top of her class at West Point. Miller said she doesn’t plan on reapplying ever agin, but though she’s been unfairly rejected from West Point twice, she still harbors no ill will towards the military and plans to rejoin in some other capacity once DADT is fully repealed. That’s one patient and forgiving woman. Below is a video from the latter half of The Rachel Maddow Show that features a recent interview Miller on the subject. Start the video at around the 06:00 mark.