President Barack Obama responded to the Pentagon’s report on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” yesterday after Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Adm. Mullen presented the report’s findings to reporters.
The 10-month Pentagon study on the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will be released this afternoon, according to multiple media reports. The Associated Press reports that the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, will present the study’s findings to Congress this morning and will address reporters later in the day.
According to a Department of Defense press release, the report will be presented to journalists at 2:00 p.m. EST.
According to early leaked information, as much as 70 percent of respondents to a survey of military spouses and servicemembers concluded that lifting the ban would be positive, have mixed results or no results on the current military.
About a dozen U.S. senators held a press conference yesterday to address a possible repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy during the current lame duck session of Congress.
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have called for the policy to be repealed before mid-January, when Republicans take control of the House.
Though the conference featured mostly Democrats, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) joined the caucus to say that he believed the required number of votes to pass the repeal was in hand. Lieberman said that GOP Sens. Susan Collins (R-Me.) and Richard Lugar (R-In.) could be counted on to vote in favor of repeal if a compromise could be reached between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Efforts to allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military received a serious setback Sept. 21, when the U.S. Senate rejected a motion to break a Republican-led filibuster against an annual defense spending bill that includes language aimed at ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
The vote was 56 to 43 — four votes short of ending the filibuster. Georgia’s two U.S. senators, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, both Republicans, voted in the majority to stymie the repeal.
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, called the vote a “frustrating blow.”
Two national gay GOP groups, Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud, both blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) for today’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” failure.
The Senate voted today on whether to move forward with the 2011 Defense Authorization bill which included language that would have allowed President Barack Obama to repeal DADT after the completion of a Pentagon study on the military’s gay ban.