The United States Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a motion to proceed to debate on the annual defense authorization bill. Normally, such a step is a routine mechanical one. In this case, though, it is one of the most important national security votes of the year - and will be scored as such by the Center for Security Policy and a number of other organizations in their annual legislative scorecards.
As a proud alumnus of the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, it pains me to say that the Senate should not consider this seriously defective product of that panel's deliberations. No Republican or Democrat who cares about national security should vote for this motion.
The reason why a filibuster mounted by that committee's ranking Republican, Senator John McCain, should be sustained is that the defense bill is being used as a vehicle for several extraneous political agendas. These include": language allowing military hospitals to be used for the first time in decades as abortion clinics; an amendment Majority Leader Harry Reid says he wants to attach that amounts to an amnesty for young illegal immigrants; and repeal of the 1993 statute prohibiting openly homosexual individuals from serving in the U.S. military.
The last of these is of special concern as it would, in the words of 1167 retired generals and admirals "break" the U.S. military. In time of war, do any U.S. Senators - and most especially those like Sens. Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln who are battling for reelection in conservative states - want to be responsible for such an action?
To be sure, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists insist that there will only be upsides for the military if the law adopted nearly two decades ago after extensive hearings and debate - neither of which has happened this time around - is repealed. They claim the armed forces will not have to dismiss LGBT individuals who come out, or are forced out, of the closet, easing the difficult job of filling the ranks with qualified personnel.
A seven-page memorandum prepared by the superb Center for Military Readiness and provided last week to a Pentagon commission studying the impacts of repeal illuminates myriad ways in which this social experiment would prove incredibly complex, distracting and debilitating for the all-volunteer force in the event the Senate votes down the filibuster. This is especially so if, as the homosexual activists demand, the military adopts a "zero-tolerance" policy towards anyone in uniform who deviates from full acceptance of the LGBT agenda.
A few illustrative examples make the point:
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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