SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As Trump appointees face off with Senators in confirmation hearings, we at O-Blog-Dee-O-Blog-Da will provide opinions and statements, noting the condemnation of these ridiculous Trump choices, many of whom clearly are unqualified and/or unable to perform these duties in the best interests of the American people:
Retired Gen. James Mattis will attend his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee for the position of secretary of defense this Thursday.
In order to take on the role of defense secretary, Mattis needs to overcome a law stipulating that nominees must first spend at least seven years out of the military, as Mattis retired from the military in 2013. In order to bypass the seven-year requirement, the House of Representatives and the Senate must pass a waiver granting him an exception.
Several members of Congress have voiced worries about the waiver or vowed to oppose it. For some, the waiver represents a lack of concern for the principle of civilian rule over the military.
Of great concern is Mattis’ ideas on the service of LGBT members. With great strides made for LGBT equality, within the military, such as the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t tell, during the Obama administration, the regression the likes of Mattis could serve up in the role Secretary of Defense, is of critical concern.
Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, released the following statement in anticipation of the General James Mattis confirmation hearing.
“The military spent years studying LGBT troops and women in combat, and inclusive approaches are now established military policy. According to research by outside scholars as well as the military itself, inclusion strengthens readiness.
General Mattis has expressed views regarding service by LGBT troops and women in combat that are inconsistent with the research, with established military policy and with the attitudes and expectations of a majority of Americans, military and civilian alike.
Service members who have volunteered to risk their lives for our country deserve to know whether they can continue to serve on the basis of existing DoD policies, whether the General supports assessing service members on the basis of merit rather than social judgment, and whether he views combat as an exclusive zone for straight men.”
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About The Palm Center
The Palm Center is an independent research institute committed to sponsoring state-of-the-art scholarship to enhance the quality of public dialogue about critical and controversial public policy issues. Our research on sexual minorities in the military has been published in leading social scientific journals. The Palm Center seeks to be a resource for university-affiliated as well as independent scholars, students, journalists, opinion leaders, and members of the public. For more information, see www.palmcenter.org
By Melanie Nathan