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Military Leaders Make Their Case to Senate Committee

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The Pentagon’s top four leaders stood their ground Thursday during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the DOD’s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ report, despite considerable pushback from a number of Republican senators.

A lot of important ground was covered Thursday during the Senate’s hearing on the Pentagon’s report. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made clear that he would not provide his signature to “certify” the repeal until “everything has been done” to ensure the troops are ready.

GATES: “Until all the training has been completed, until the service chiefs are comfortable that the risks to unit cohesion and combat effectiveness had been address to their satisfaction, I would not sign the certification.”

But Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen also asserted in strong terms that they believe repeal is the right thing to do and that now is the right time to do it.

MULLEN: “I’m convinced that repeal of the law governing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is the right thing to do. I also said that I believe the men and women of the Armed Forces can accomodate such a change, but I did not know it for a fact. Now I do. And so what was my personal opinion is now my professional opinion.”

But Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee were clearly well-organized and prepared to raise objections that were both concrete and inflammatory.

John McCain, the leader of opponents to repealing ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,’ repeatedly criticized the Pentagon for failing to ask the troops directly whether they support repealing the law. And he twice raised the issue of who was responsible for the massive release of intelligence documents by Wikileaks. McCain did not connect the dots, but the 22-year-old private first-class who has been arrested for enabling the leaks has identified himself as gay.

-Lisa Keen, Keen News Service

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One Response

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  1. I just caught the tail end of a report about DADT repeal, something about wearing a rainbow on the uniform. Is there a link to the quote of what the person said? I’d love to know if that person realizes that in the Army EVERY soldier already wears a rainbow pin. The Army Service ribbon is a rainbow pin.

    carrie

    December 2, 2010 at 5:07 PM


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