The days of discrimination in the United States military are numbered…
Defense officials’ testimony urges lifting of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy
The nation’s top two defense officials expressed strong support Tuesday for President Obama’s plan to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and announced that a high-level Pentagon working group would immediately begin preparing for a repeal of the controversial law.
But in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said the working group would take the rest of this year to review the various issues involved in a repeal and produce an “implementation plan” containing its findings and recommendations. He said this lead time was necessary “to get this right and minimize disruption to a force that is actively fighting two wars and working through the stress of almost a decade of combat.”
In the meantime, Gates said, he is directing the Defense Department to quickly review regulations implementing “don’t ask, don’t tell” and recommend changes within 45 days on ways, within existing law, to “enforce this policy in a more humane and fair manner.”
Appearing with Gates before the committee, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said repealing the policy, which requires gay service members to keep their sexual orientation secret, is “the right thing to do.” He said he was personally troubled by a policy that forces service members to “lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.” He stressed that in endorsing a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” he was “speaking for myself and myself only.”
Gates told the committee, “I fully support the president’s decision. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief, and we are moving out accordingly.”
I don’t understand why you need a year-long study to determine how to stop discriminating. Seems to me you could just decide to do it and do it.
The Republicans are, of course, opposed. That is to be expected. They’re opposed to everything these days and they have always opposed equal rights for all Americans.