The extremes to which President Barack Obama went to dismantle the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” ban on homosexuals in the military were revealed recently with the recollections by one of the leaders at a 2010 Oval Office meeting between Obama and the heads of all five military service branches.
According to a report from BuzzFeed.com, Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp revealed that the five commanders were called to the 2010 White House meeting, where “President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do,’” apparently outlining his scheme to do away with the over 200-year prohibition of homosexuals serving in America's military ranks.
Papp's revelation came during a question-and-answer session with cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy following a leadership address the admiral delivered on January 8. In his comments Papp said that he could not divulge all that Obama said during the meeting — “that’s private communications within the Oval Office.” He did emphasize, however, that “if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things.”
Asked how officers should respond to official policies with which they may personally disagree, Papp told the cadets that if he disagreed on moral grounds with a top-down edict, “it’s my obligation to voice that, regardless of the risk it might give my career.” He added that “I’ve been in those situations. I’ve been fortunate to have good leaders that have appreciated that.”
Apparently arguing for the leadership path of least resistance, Papp said that it was okay for a leader to “not be thrilled” with a particular policy (such as, assumedly, homosexuals in the military), but if they didn’t “see anything terribly wrong with it,” they had a duty to support and enforce the policy.
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