Following the news these past two weeks, I have been pretty bullish about the Administration’s new-found commitment to repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT). The president sent signals to Congress and directed his top defense officials to develop a strategy to repeal the ban without compromising the military’s effectiveness.
Earlier this week, Adm. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed his intentions to do just that, telling
the Senate Armed Services Committee he believed the “don’t ask” restrictions—which require gay troops to keep their sexual orientation a secret—could be eliminated without harming military morale, recruitment or readiness.
[House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi on Thursday did not commit to a clear legislative timeline on “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“It would be my preference to go first with legislation,” Pelosi told reporters. “But we’ll have to examine and see what the model is for what the review is.”
Now, while she may claim she’s waiting for the Pentagon to review this, we can more readily translate her remarks as, “We’re kicking this can down the road.”
Other Democrats, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) do have some plans to pursue full or partial repeal. While it’s nice to see Mrs. Pelosi so concerned about the Pentagon review, perhaps she should consider legislation for repeal to kick in once the Pentagon has produced plan for its smooth implementation, an implementation that would not compromise morale or readiness.