HRC Blog

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Developments

The following post on efforts to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy is from HRC Deputy Legislative Director David Stacy: With Congress convening for the 2nd Session of the 111th Congress this week, efforts to repeal the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law are intensifying.  In the last twenty-four hours, we’ve seen two signs of movement—one from an ally and another from potential opposition. First, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that the committee would hold a hearing on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this month with witnesses including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen.  The exact date has not yet been determined.  This is an important opportunity for our defense leadership to support the administration’s policy determination that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell be repealed. Second, the Associated Press reported on a leaked legal opinion from lawyers at the Pentagon suggesting that any repeal of DADT be delayed until at least 2012.  The AP story did point out that Admiral Mullen has also received conflicting advice and that this opinion did not necessarily reflect his advice to the Secretary or White House.  We’ve always known that we would face at least some opposition from individuals at the Pentagon and this leaked memo reflects that reality.  Leaking information is not unheard of in Washington, but given the internal deliberations that are underway, it seems like Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen would be running a tighter ship.

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