By Melissa Quinn
July 25, 2012
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe told The Daily Caller he believes President Barack Obama pressured the military into granting an unprecedented exception to rules that prohibit participation in political activities while in uniform.
The Defense Department authorized a waiver to allow uniformed service members to march in last weekend’s San Diego gay pride parade, overriding a Defense Department directive‘s specific rules against uniformed service members’ participation in political events.
“The Department of Defense isn’t allowing this to go on, it’s the president,” Inhofe said in an interview with TheDC. “The secretary of defense answers to the president, and the military answers to the commander in chief. Clearly this is Barack Obama.”
In a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Inhofe asked for an explanation of the decision.
“This apolitical stance has served our military well and earned the respect of not just Americans but nations around the world as being a professional organization, set aside from policies and agenda,” Inhofe wrote.
The Pentagon officially said military members could march in their dress blues and whites because the parade was garnering “national attention.”
This is the first time in Inhofe’s 25 years in Congress the Department of Defense has issued a waiver to override the directive, he said.