Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 6:39 PM ET, 11/21/2010

'Don't ask, don't tell' to be released earlier than planned

By Ed O'Keefe

Signaling the growing seriousness of the Obama administration's commitment to ending the military's ban on gays in the military this year, the Defense Department said Sunday that it will release a long-awaited report on how the military could end the ban earlier than planned in response to senators eager to vote on the matter.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered the report to be released publicly on Nov. 30, one day earlier than planned, "to support Congress' wish to consider repeal before they adjourn," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Sunday evening.

The Senate is slated to vote again on a defense policy bill that includes language repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy after the Thanksgiving recess, after it failed to advance the bill in September. Several senators last week asked Gates to release the report early so the Senate Armed Services Committee could hold hearings on its findings before the full Senate votes. Several moderate senators have said they will not decide how to vote until they read the report.

Gates "has instructed his staff, without cutting any corners, to have everything ready a day sooner because he wants to ensure members of the Armed Services Committee are able to read and consider the complex, lengthy report before holding hearings with its authors and the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Morrell said in a statement.

Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen and the report's co-chairs, Army Gen. Carter Ham and Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson, could testify before the committee, according to aides.

The report is expected to conclude that the military can lift the ban on gays serving openly in uniform with only minimal and isolated incidents of risk to the current war efforts, according to sources who shared details of the report with The Washington Post.

The report will cite a survey of active-duty and reserve troops that found more than 70 percent of respondents said the effect of lifting the gay ban would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, according to sources who shared details.

About 40 percent of the Marine Corps is concerned about lifting the ban, according to one of the sources. Mullen said Sunday he is confident that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos will be able to carry out orders to end the ban if Congress votes to do so despite his public comments of concern on the matter.

"I have great confidence in him that if it gets to the change in the law, that the Marine Corps will implement it as he's described," Mullen said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | November 21, 2010; 6:39 PM ET
Categories:  Military  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Postal Service fails to reach agreements with unions
Next: Pistole the latest official to send mixed messages

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company