Retired general warns about “rush” to end “don’t ask”

Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon, who retired May 1 after 35 years in the Army and was the commander of Army forces in the Pacific, says the Obama administration’s “rush to repeal” the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the military “is moving way too fast” and risks damaging the armed forces’ fighting ability, reports the Washington Times.

“There’s no questions in my mind that this is driven by politics and not military necessity,” said Mixon. “Pushing this kind of social agenda in the military, especially during a time of war, is not appropriate. We’re taking a great risk.

“The risk is a breakdown in morale and unit cohesion,” he added, referring to the bond that warriors share on the front lines. “Everyone has to have total confidence in each other” in combat, he said.

While still on active duty, Lt. Gen Mixon wrote to the newspaper Stars and Stripes urging those who opposed the repeal to speak out through their chain of command and write their members of Congress. Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly rebuked him, and Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested that he resign. “After folks saw the reaction to my letter, there was no chance of anyone else speaking up,” he said. “It sent a message.”

You can read the full interview and story in the Washington Times.

Today the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) is marking up the 2012 Defense Authorization Bill that contains two amendments dealing with the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. The Military Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty amendment would protect service members who believe that homosexuality is wrong summarized here and the Military Defense of Marriage Amendment mandates that the military obey the Defense of Marriage Act summarized here. PLEASE CALL the HASC at (202) 225-4151 and ask them to approve these two amendments.

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