No, General Mattis Didn't Freeze Trump's Transphobic Policy

It's being reported that General Mattis, as Secretary of Defense, has put Trump's transphobic policy on hold pending a study on implementation and readiness of the US military. That might fit a narrative that places Mattis as an "adult" and a "responsible" member of Trump's regime, but it isn't wholly true. While Trump's July tweet may have put a full ban into play, the military actually responded at the time that tweets are not policy. The actual memo outlining implementation was released just this past Friday (nearly a month after the tweet), and it directs Mattis to study the issue. So, effectively and actually, Mattis is just doing what he was told to do and isn't some kind of hero. A good Marine following orders, but this isn't a reprieve as much as it is just the course of process even in the Age of Trump. As some noted on Twitter, the interesting question goes back to the issue of whether statements, tweets, memos or otherwise constitute actual policy, and if so, which do the military have to abide by. Oh, 2017...


Full Memo Text: