Monday, July 06, 2009

DAY 49: DADT Update

General Colin Powell, who helped craft Don't Ask/Don't Tell in 1993 after thwarting President Bill Clinton in his efforts to open the military to out gay soldiers, said yesterday on CNN's State of the Union, that the policy should be reviewed, but would not say that is should be repealed.

"The policy and the law that came about in 1993 I think was correct for the time. Sixteen years have now gone by, and I think a lot has changed with respect to attitudes within our country. And therefore, I think this is a policy and a law that should be reviewed," said Powell.

He also seemed to dispute the notion (as interpreted from President Obama's recent remarks) that the policy exists only because of a generation gap. The retired general and former Secretary of State said "It is not just a matter of old generals who, you know, are just too high-bound. There are lots of complicated issues with respect to this, and I think all of those issues should be illuminated. And I hope that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders working with the Secretary of Defense will give this the greatest consideration and make their recommendation to the president and to the Congress."

Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was also on that program and he said "It's very clear what President Obama's intent here is. He intends to see this law change." "I've had conversations with him about that. What I've discussed in terms of the future is I think we need to move in a measured way."

Adm. Mullen appeared to be distancing himself from President Obama and the possible repeal of the policy. He used the word change rather than repeal too. It just felt bad. I really cannot describe it. I did not get a very positive feeling from the program.

I never thought it would be easy. I give thanks for the great courage of the many who keep coming out and being honest. Don't Hide! Never give up!

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