In a matter of days, the U.S. military will be embarking on its most difficult mission yet: celebrating homosexuality in its ranks. At least two Congressmen are racing against the clock to stop the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal before the new era of sexual permissiveness starts wreaking havoc on the troops. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) are making one last effort in persuading Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to postpone. In a letter, they call on Panetta to wait. "The department is not ready to implement the repeal, because all the policies and regulations necessary for the transition are not yet final." They urge the DOD to "take immediate action to delay the implementation of repeal." No such luck. In a statement, Pentagon officials insist that it's full-steam ahead. "The repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' (DADT) will occur," officials said, "in accordance with the law and after a rigorous certification process, on September 20."
Apparently not "rigorous" enough. Members of Congress are still waiting for answers to their questions about religious freedom, conscience exemptions, and same-sex partner benefits. And that's not all. Congress doesn't even have copies of the rule changes itself! "We find it unconscionable that the policies and regulations that provide guidelines and procedures to be used by service members and their leaders to implement repeal... remain unpublished." Meanwhile, there are rumblings that this administration twisted the arms of a certain high-ranking military officer to get him to change his congressional testimony. "The episode--confirmed by the Daily Beast--is the latest in a string of incidents that have given Republicans sudden fodder for questions about whether the Obama administration is politically interfering in routine government matters that affect donors or fundraisers." Is this what happened in the DADT debate? Congress should hold hearings to find out.