A group has launched a campaign targeting five senators and a House member over their support of ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule.
The group, Defending the Force, describes itself as “a pro military and national security oriented educational foundation.” They are running radio spots calling on the six lawmakers to disclose any meeting or contact they had with “left-wing pressure groups that were pushing this agenda” prior to their vote in 2010 to end the law that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.
“This is the beginning of what we hope will be total informational awareness of other national security organizations and veterans groups,” C. Edmund Wright, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement.
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“These Senators and this one Congressman knew about a Marine Commandant saying their vote would cost the lives of Marines; they knew about a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saying their ‘yes’ vote could break the military. They knew about three sitting service chiefs saying this was a terrible idea. They had statistics from a Pentagon survey showing almost 40 percent of Marines said they would leave or consider leaving early and 25 percent of the Army saying the same if this policy was changed.”
The 2010 bill held that the law would remain in effect until the President, Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certified the change would not affect military readiness. All three groups agreed and the policy ended in September 2011.
The six members targeted are Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Sens. John Tester, D-Mont., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Bob Casey, D-Penn., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
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