Spin and selective leaking! Carter Ham and Jeh Johnson’s year-long study of how repealing the ban on open gay military service isn’t due until December 1. According to Ed O’Keefe and Greg Jaffe’s sources, the military’s already pretty open to getting rid of the ban. With some significant exceptions: 40 percent of Marine Corps respondents to a DOD-wide survey have reservations. But 70 percent of overall respondents said the effect of ending DADT would fall along a spectrum bounded by Inconsequential and Positive.
Or so the spin goes:
One source, who has read the report in full, summarized its findings in a series of conversations this week. The source declined to state his position on whether or not to lift the ban, insisting it did not matter. He said he felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings. The long, detailed and nuanced report will almost certainly be used by opponents and supporters of repeal legislation to bolster their positions in what is likely to be a heated and partisan congressional debate.
Why’d dude feel the need to strike first? Because if DADT is going to end anytime soon, it’s got to end in the congressional lame-duck session, and it’s got to end before the Senate leadership makes a deal to strip the DADT-repeal provision from the defense authorization bill. President Obama could decide not to appeal a judge’s order striking down the existing DADT law, but he’s shown no inclination for reversing course on that one… even as he says he wants the law overturned. (I have no real insight on whether repeal would be acrimonious if it came ordered from the bench, but it certainly would be more durable if it came from an explicit act of Congress.)