Pentagon's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Survey Hits Snag

The Defense Department is worried that gay soldiers may not want to participate in a survey that will ask for their thoughts on repealing DADT. Perhaps that's because the law, which bars gays from openly serving, is still in place?

To ease fears, the Pentagon may go to a third-party pollster who could assure anonymity. The officer in charge of the survey, Army General Carter F. Ham, told The Washington Post:

We know that a serving Department of Defense official, especially one in uniform, cannot be the one to [conduct the poll]," he said. If a gay soldier "were to disclose to me their sexuality," he added, "then I'd almost certainly be required to pursue that" by opening a formal investigation that could lead to discharge.

And they really wonder why gay soldiers might not want to open up for the poll?

But some military officers are still fighting a losing battle. In a March 8 letter to Stars and Stripes, Army Gen. Benjamin Mixon wrote:

It is often stated that most servicemembers are in favor of repealing the policy. I do not believe that is accurate. I suspect many servicemembers, their families, veterans and citizens are wondering what to do to stop this ill-advised repeal of a policy that has achieved a balance between a citizen's desire to serve and acceptable conduct."

Mixon asked soldiers to write lawmakers and urge them to keep DADT in place. He later retracted this statement, or as the Post says, he "received a smack-down" from the military.