The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today fully endorsed the report of the working group that assessed the impact of a possible repeal of the law that bans gay men and women from serving openly in the military.
[...] “The working group surveyed our troops and their spouses, consulted proponents and opponents of repeal and examined military experience around the world,” Mullen said. “They also spoke with serving gays and lesbians.”
The chairman called the working group’s recommendations “solid, defensible conclusions.”
Mullen said he was gratified that the working group focused their findings and recommendations “rightly on those who would be most affected by a change in the law: our people.”
We’ll now see whether Sen. John McCain will continue to stand against SecDef Gates and Chairman Mullen, who clearly believe the repeal of DADT is an idea whose time has come.
Gates brings up the real dangers of not passing the repeal of DADT in the lame duck session. From the New York Times:
At a news conference on Tuesday announcing the release of the report, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said that repeal “would not be the wrenching, traumatic change that many have feared and predicted.” Nonetheless, he said that there were higher levels of “discomfort” about repealing the law among those in the combat branches of the military, and that “those findings remain a source of concern to the service chiefs and to me.” He said the concerns were not insurmountable, but that implementing any repeal should be done carefully and with more preparation of the military’s combat forces.
At the same time, Mr. Gates said it was a “matter of urgency” that the lame-duck Senate vote in the next weeks to repeal the law. If not, he said there would be a fight in the courts and the possibility that the repeal would be “imposed immediately by judicial fiat.”
Here’s the transcript of the news briefing with Gates and Mullen.
It’s up to the Senate now, with Republicans having to decide whether they want to do what’s right for our service men and women, or get stuck on their determination to make sure Pres. Obama doesn’t preside over this historic moment.