Department of Justice: "Obama is Wrong"
Log Cabin Republicans' Case Challenging 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Prompts Justice Department to Rebuke and Deny Obama's Assertions on Major Public Policy Position
(Washington, DC) – In a brief filed this week by the Justice Department, lawyers for the government were forced to admit that President Obama's assertions and statements were not true concerning the impact of the failed 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy.
On June 29, 2009, during his speech in front of an audience attending the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Month Reception, held at the White House, President Obama stated "As I said before – I'll say it again – I believe 'don't ask, don't tell' doesn't contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security." In the lawsuit, Justice Department attorneys admitted that the President made this statement.
Using President Obama's exact words, Log Cabin's lawyers then asked the government to admit that what the President said was true. Justice Department lawyers objected, Log Cabin filed and won a motion to compel the government to answer the questions, the government appealed, and the court rejected the appeal.
Consequently, on Monday, April 12, 2010, the government finally had to answer the questions and, when the Justice Department lawyers answered, they denied the truth of what the President had said.
Specifically, when asked to admit that Don't Ask, Don't Tell "does not contribute to our national security", the government's response was "Deny." When asked to admit that Don't Ask, Don't Tell "weakens our national security", the government's response was again "Deny". And, when asked to admit that discharging service members pursuant to Don't Ask, Don't Tell "weakens our national security," the government's response was "Deny". The government's responses attempt to explain why these denials differ from what the President had said but they candidly admit that the government's position in this case differs from the President's view of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
"This very public dismissal of President Obama's assertions from the Justice Department shows a demonstrated need for our case to move forward," commented Terry W. Hamilton, Chairman of the Board of Log Cabin Republicans. "The admission by President Obama's own Justice Department calls into question the commitment and the importance of anything the President has promised to the LGBT community, let alone other issues of major public policy in America. How can we take the President's commitments seriously if the government will be forced to admit that he is wrong and will not back him up?" concluded Hamilton.
Currently Log Cabin Republicans v. The United States of America is the only direct challenge to the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, filed in the wake the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas. It is also the only contemporary legal challenge to this policy to succeed at the district court level. One of the injured parties named in the case, Alexander Nicholson, is a former US Army Human Intelligence Collector who speaks multiple languages, including Arabic, and who was fired because of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' law just six months after 9/11. Another injured party in the case, listed simply as 'John Doe,' currently serves in the Armed Forces and would face a discharge if his identity were revealed.