(NOTE: If you are seeing this as a Facebook NOTE, go to my Blog to actually see the video!)
Let's set the record "straight" on the President's power on DADT, and why the Administration position is playing politics, as Lieutenant Choi points out.
To be fair, President Obama can (and does) point to a number of positive accomplishments, but his errors, misssteps, and his continual attempts to compromise with evil has weakened his administration.
The statutory authority to suspend the discharges in found in 10 USC § 12305 - the exact text of this statute is quoted here, so that it might be abundanty clear that President Obama has failed on this issue:
§ 12305. Authority of President to suspend certain laws relating to
promotion, retirement, and separation
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, during any period members of a reserve component are serving on active duty pursuant to an order to active duty under authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title, the President may suspend any provision of law relating to promotion, retirement, or separation applicable to any member of the armed forces who the President determines is essential to the national security of the United States.
(b) A suspension made under the authority of subsection (a) shall terminate
(1) upon release from active duty of members of the reserve component ordered to active duty under the authority of section 12301, 12302, or 12304 of this title, as the case may be, or
(2) at such time as the President determines the circumstances which required the action of ordering members of the reserve component to active duty no longer exist, whichever is earlier.
(c) Upon the termination of a suspension made under the authority of subsection (a)of a provision of law otherwise requiring the separation or retirement of officers on active duty because of age, length of service or length of service in grade, or failure of selection for promotion, the Secretary concerned shall extend by up to 90 days the otherwise required separation or retirement date of any officer covered by the suspended provision whose separation or retirement date, but for the suspension, would have been before the date of the termination of the suspension or within 90 days after the date of such termination.
So, what part of 10 USC § 12305 (a) does Valerie Jarrett or Barack Obama not understand?
DADT should have been addressed with a statutorily-permitted "stop loss" executive order within the first 90 days. The Joint Chiefs should have been told on day 1 to prepare for this, and resignations accepted from those not willing to implement the stop loss. The Congress should have been told on day 1 that repeal was a priority issue just as important as the economy.
The President and his administration claim a desire to repeal DADT through congressional efforts - but Congress has already provided the means for the President to stop the losses - based on a statute passed by Congress before DAY ONE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. The President should have issued such an order within his first 90 days of taking office, so that there would have been no shameful discharges under his administration.
As long as there are members of the reserves serving during a war, national emergency or other circumstances, the suspension of discharges of LGBT persons in military service could be ordered by the President. The question to Valerie and Barry has been and still is:
Why does the administration not make use of existing law to suspend the discharges?
And Lieutenant Choi knows the answer - it's a cold political calculation - and it's one that is an utter failure. On the one hand, the President claims, in his own words, and through his people, that he is committed to the repeal of DADT. But his actions show an opposite commitment. He already has the STATUTORY authority to stop the discharges - but he has failed to do so. He has the authority to recognize the decision of the federal court that sets aside the DADT statute as unconstitutional, but instead, has ordered an emergency appeal to keep the discharges coming.
There is one glimmer of good faith - the Secretary of Defense recently amended DoD policy on how to implement DADT discharges - and this may actually be the closest thing to a "stop loss" order that we are going to see. Authority to decide on discharges under DADT has been stripped from unit commanders and are now in the hands of five senior DoD civilian personnel. This is fairly close to a stop loss order - and could well have kept Arabic language expert Lieutenant Dan Choi in service to the nation, protecting us from harm.
But why hasn't Valerie Jarrett pointed that out?
We've been told that Lieutenant Choi tweeted that his re-enlistment papers, taken during the week during which the discharges were suspended, are apparently being shredded by the Army. I don't think it should be like that - why hasn't Valerie, who knows that Dan Choi re-enlisted the moment he could do so, asked Secretary Gates why this isn't being handled by the five civilians in charge? Don't they still have a shortage of Arabic translators? Or is this a case of "military intelligence" as an oxymoronic statement?