Mullen and Gates to Marines: Drop dead!
The perversity of President Obama’s priorities was proved again twice last week. First, by our comprehensive failure to use our cyberwar capabilities to disable and disrupt the Wikileaks website’s release of a quarter of a million State Department classified cables. Second, in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s insistence that Congress repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law before the lame duck session ends because he fears the courts will do so more inconveniently than Congress would.
Wikileaks — anarchist Julian Assange’s website — has over the past four months published three huge groups of U.S. secret documents. Since the latest batch of documents was published, Wikileaks has been under intermittent cyber attacks, for which Assange & Co. blame the United States.
But U.S. Cyber Command, according to a Pentagon spokesman, has had no hand in the attacks because it’s legally barred from doing so. The attacks on Wikileaks have reportedly been the work of a “hacktivist” who calls himself “Jester” and is said to be a former U.S. special operations trooper.
But think about that. We’ve had more than four months — probably about nine months — since we learned that Wikileaks had been given hundreds of thousands of classified documents and would publish them. Even four months is an eternity in cyberwar, a period in which new weapons can be developed and employed several times over. Cyber Command — or one of the intelligence agencies that have vastly more flexible mandates — could have used their enormous resources to prevent publication by all sorts of cyberwar attacks. Why didn’t they? Because the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department didn’t ask them to do it.
It was a choice made by the White House that is, itself, a scandal. It’s not only our right to protect our secrets, it’s the Obama administration’s duty which they chose to ignore.
Defense Secretary Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Congress had to act before the end of the lame duck session to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law. Gates claimed that if Congress didn’t act, the courts would overturn the law too quickly and not allow the Defense Department enough time to implement a policy to allow homosexuals to serve openly.
But Gates’s claim of urgency is a strawman that the Obama administration created by failing to defend the law in court.
The September decision in the Log Cabin Republicans case — in which the judge overturned the DADT law declaring it unconstitutional — was the direct result of the Obama Justice Department’s failure to defend the case. In Judge Virginia Phillips’ decision, she notes — not once, but three times — that the Justice Department presented nothing in evidence other than the text of the law and its legislative history. In effect, it mounted no defense.
Where were the affidavits of then-Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway and other military leaders affirming the military necessity of the law? Where were the witnesses to offset the evidence presented by the Log Cabin lawyers, an endless stream of “expert” and lay witnesses, studies, and such?
They were not entered into evidence. And unless the Ninth Circuit reverses and remands to Phillips for further proceedings, the vacant record will be all the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court will be able to consider. Gates, Obama, and Attorney General Holder know this.
The urgency Gates claims is false. First, if the case were defended properly the matter wouldn’t be resolved soon. The appeals would take years. And it clearly isn’t a case the defense would definitely lose.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the duty “to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” The courts must — and will — defer to so clear a constitutional mandate if it is defended properly and skillfully. Which has not been done.
Judge Phillips’ decision says that the government didn’t meet its obligations of proof that the DADT policy “significantly furthers” the government’s interests and that it is necessary to achieve those interests. It’s easy to fail to satisfy that standard if you don’t try. And the Justice Department didn’t.
Phillips made several key findings in the absence of contrary evidence. Consider how puny the defense effort must have been in light of these findings.
She ruled that DADT impedes recruitment and contributes to troop shortages. But Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen testified last week that homosexuals represent only about two or three percent of the military, the same number they represent in the general population. How can that be a major impediment to recruitment and retention?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?