WASHINGTON -- Family Research Council (FRC) has called upon the Department of Defense (DOD) to publicly disavow and formally investigate leaks to the media regarding the content of a forthcoming report on the issue of homosexuals in the military.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates formed a Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) in February to "identify the impacts to the force of a repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654" (the 1993 law which codified the military's longstanding ban on homosexual conduct, commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell") and to "provide a plan of action to support the implementation of a repeal of the law."
A front-page Washington Post story today cited an anonymous Pentagon source who reportedly "felt compelled to share the information out of concern that groups opposed to ending the ban would mischaracterize the findings."
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins issued the following statement:
"It's laughable to argue that people who anonymously leak one-sided information to a reporter are less likely to 'mischaracterize the findings' of a ten-month study than are people who wait to read that 370-page study in full.
"We have criticized this study from the outset because the CRWG was forbidden to explore the central question before the country—not how to implement a repeal of the current law, but whether doing so is in the best interest of the armed forces. The surveys of servicemembers and their spouses which were conducted as part of this process shared the same flaw, since they never asked, 'Do you believe the current law should be overturned?'
"Despite this critical flaw, Secretary Gates had at least pledged that the effort would be 'carried out in a professional, thorough and dispassionate manner.' That effort is gravely undermined by leaks to the media which are unprofessional, selective and blatantly biased.
"I urge Secretary Gates to have the DOD Inspector General launch an immediate investigation into the source of these leaks, which have seriously damaged the credibility of the CRWG process.
"This is one more reason why Congress will need to have extensive hearings after the scheduled delivery of the CRWG report on December 1, to thoroughly examine both the substance of its findings and the process by which they were arrived at."