John McCain Hedges On Previous Position On Ending “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
Senator John McCain, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, told Chris Matthews in 2006 that he would listen to what military leaders have to say when it comes to ending the policy of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
I understand the opposition to it, and I‘ve had these debates and discussions, but the day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, Senator, we ought to change the policy, then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it because those leaders in the military are the ones we give the responsibility to.
After Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced support of repealing the policy, McCain said he wanted to wait until the results of a Pentagon study were known. Now that the study, due on the president’s desk December 1, has been revealed, McCain says, “We need to look at whether it’s the kind of study we wanted,” adding, “It isn’t, in my view, because I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale.”
However, the study did address those questions, and satisfactorily.
“McCain has said he wanted to hear from rank-and-file troops. He has just heard loud and clear from them through the survey,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “But he doesn’t like their answer — and is stonewalling, trying to run out the clock on repeal by calling for congressional hearings.”
“McCain is telling the Pentagon: Keep working until you produce the outcome I’m looking for,” said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.
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