The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the debate over $6.2 billion in medical compensation for 9/11 first responders:

It’s not a question of cost, it’s a question of the absence of hearings, the absence of oversight, and also the absence of scientific evidence conclusively showing a link between the illnesses and the activity at the 9/11 site.

If America wants to say you are heroes, we want to recognize your service, and we are grateful, and as a result we’re going to generously offer you health care for the rest of your lives, that’s one thing. But this bill is called compensation, which assumes that we have scientific evidence of the relationship between the illness and the activity, which has not been established.

So if you want to do it as a gift, a grateful nation says you can have this as a result of your service, perhaps. But compensation, we don’t know if there is a relationship.

On the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell:

It’s extremely important that we make the large important social changes through the Congress, the president, and not the courts as we learned to our chagrin with the abortion debate which has created instability and discontent for 30 years — longer than that, actually.

This is the way you want to do it. It was inevitable. It was always going to happen. It’s a generational shift. It’s good it happened in Congress not only because it lends legitimacy and authority but because the way the language is written, unlike a court decision which would happen overnight, it will allow a gradual implementation which the military will appreciate.

There will certainly be no insubordinate resistance. They [the military] do what civilians tell them to do, but done in a reasonable way. I think it will be done in a rollout starting with the Pentagon and ending in the outer reaches, the further outposts in Afghanistan where the integration and implementation is most difficult. I see this as exactly the way you want it to happen if it was going to happen — and it was going to happen inevitably. …

Everybody understands there has been a shift in the culture of public opinion. … And now the military will have to adapt, but at least it will have understanding and respect as it does gradually with the deep respect for readiness and the feelings of the troops.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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