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Friday, February 25, 2005

Policy vs. Law 

Pet peeve alert. I can't stand it when the press uses language like this:

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers called Thursday for an end to the Pentagon's ban on gays in the military, citing findings in a government report that the prohibition hurts recruiting and retention even as the war in Iraq strains the military's ability to maintain its troop strength.
(Emphasis mine.) I highlighted the phrase "Pentagon's ban" because that's the part the writer got wrong. It's the part the press always gets wrong.

It's not the Pentagon's ban on gays in the military. It's not "the military's policy" as it is often called. It is THE LAW. If lawmakers want the ban to end, all they have to do is make a new law to replace the current one.

Until then, the military is going to obey whatever law is on the books.

And until then, the press needs to stop pinning the ban on the military. Bill Clinton is the one who proposed, and then signed into law, the current incarnation of the gay ban.
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