President Bill Clinton Tries to Re-Write History of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT)

Clinton Blames the Pentagon Instead of Taking Responsibility

January 18, 2008 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans sharply criticize former President Bill Clinton for his latest attempt at re-writing history – this time offering a new explanation for his failed 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) law. "President Clinton should be embarrassed," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "Bill Clinton's political games are insulting to voters. He needs to take responsibility for the legislation he signed, instead of trying to blame others. What will he do next – blame 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' on a 'vast right wing conspiracy'?"

On the campaign trail Thursday for his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former President Clinton said, "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' as articulated as I worked it out with Colin Powell, who was then the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meant literally that... that people would be free to live their lives as long as they didn't go march in gay rights parades or go to gay bars in uniform... in uniform... and talk about it on duty, they would be all right. Now, as soon as he [Colin Powell] left, the anti-gay forces in the military started using it as an excuse to kick people out."

"President Clinton's latest attempt to re-write history and deny the reality of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an insult to the thousands of gay and lesbian service members who have been kicked out of the military because of the failed law he signed in 1993," said Sammon.

"President Clinton either didn't understand the legislation he signed or he's lying," said Sammon. "If he actually thought the military wasn't correctly implementing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' why didn't he do anything about it for the seven years he served as President after signing the legislation? Clinton apparently forgets he was Commander-in-Chief," said Sammon.

A 1993 Department of Defense release announcing the new policy explicitly stated that one of the reasons for separation from the armed forces would be "statements by an individual that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual."

"From the very beginning of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' there was no doubt what the law meant – gay and lesbian Americans could only serve if they lied about their sexual orientation or kept it a secret," said Sammon.

"This is another example of the Clintonian excuses and re-writing history that we've come to expect from this president – a man who gladly took support and money from gays and lesbians and then delivered 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' and the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act,'" said Sammon. "And in 2004, he encouraged then presidential candidate John Kerry to support anti-gay state constitutional amendments. President Clinton's record illustrates how important it is in this election year for LGBT Americans to hold both parties accountable when it comes to fundamental issues of basic fairness."