Same thing happened this week: earlier this week, Army Secretary McHugh made it seem like DADT was being loosened up and less restrictive. But then today there was this report in Huffingtonpost.com, in which Sec. McHugh walked backwards...as if that were progress, or not? Here's what happened:
WASHINGTON — Reversing course, Army Secretary John McHugh warned soldiers Thursday that they still can be discharged for acknowledging they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier this week when he suggested the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been temporarily suspended.
The public stumble by a senior service official is an indication of the issue's legal complexity. The Pentagon has said it wants to hear from gay troops as it conducts a broad study on how it could lift the ban, as President Barack Obama wants.
But to do that, gay service members would have to break the law, which prohibits them from discussing their sexual orientation.
Defense Department officials say they plan to hire an outside contractor to survey the troops, and that gay troops won't be punished for sharing their views with that third party.
"Until Congress repeals 'don't ask, don't tell,' it remains the law of the land and the Department of the Army and I will fulfill our obligation to uphold it," McHugh said in a statement Thursday.
Earlier this week, a step forward, now a step back.