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Pentagon Releases ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Report

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday released the Pentagon’s year-long study on how best to repeal the ban on gays in the military.

Secretary Gates continued to send mixed messages Tuesday on repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ saying that the Pentagon could implement repeal of the military’s ban on gays with little disruption to military readiness and unit cohesion, but only if it is given sufficient time to use “an abundance of care and prepartion.”

Gates’ remarks, and those of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, came during release of a year-long study by the Pentagon on how best to implement repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.’ Their comments, and various details within the report, will likely provide political ammunition to both proponents and opponents of repeal in the Senate.

Gates noted that a “strong majority” of servicemembers believe repeal could be implemented without serious disruption. But 40 to 60 percent of “all-male combat and special operations units,” said Gates, “predicted a negative effect on unit cohesion.”

GATES: “In my view, the concerns of combat troops as expressed in the survey, do not present an  insurmountable barrier to successful repeal. This can be done and should be done without posing a serious risk to military readiness.”

Gates was asked whether he personally believes Congress should repeal the law. And for the first time, he offered a glimpse at his opinion –that it should:

GATES: “We spend a lot of time in the milary talking about integrity and honor and values–telling the truth is a pretty important value. And so for me, a policy that requires people to lie about themselves somehow seems to me fundamentally flawed.”

 -Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

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