WASHINGTON D.C. -- In the context of the recent uproar over remarks by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about gays in the military, the White House reaffirmed its support for the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy despite recent criticism of the policy by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili. On January 2, 2007, in a New York Times opinion piece, Gen. Shalikashvili stated that, based on his conversations with many in the military, he believes that it is now time to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allow gays to openly serve.
During today's press briefing, White House deputy communications director Iva Tight-Sphincter denounced Gen. Shalikashvili's thoughts as "reckless," "ill-conceived" and "not at all the kind of rational decision-making that this adminstration is based on."
Noting that Gen. Shalikashvili is setting a dangerous precedent by basing his conclusion on facts, rather than ignorant prejudice and irrational stereotyping, Ms. Tight-Sphincter said, "If we did that sort of thing here, we'd never be in Iraq."
Gen. Shalikashvili's change of heart was based, in part, on dwindling levels of new recruits and the difficulty in retaining active memebers. The U.S. has responded to these difficulties by increasing the number of "moral waivers," which allow persons with checkered pasts, including felony convictions, to enlist despite those pasts.
Said Ms. Tight-Sphincter, "We closely screen the granting of moral waivers to make sure that only normal perverts, like child molesters and rapists, are recruited. But there's simply no place in our armed forces for people who engage in consensual, loving relationships with those of the same sex."