Gates, Mullen to Testify on DADT Next Week

Posted November 24, 2010 at 10:28am

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen will testify Dec. 2 before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Pentagon’s yearlong review of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s general counsel, and Army Gen. Carter Ham will also appear before the panel. The two men served as co-chairmen of the Pentagon’s study reviewing how best to repeal the policy that bans openly gay service members and how it might affect military morale. The study will be unveiled on Tuesday, one day earlier than its original release date.

The Armed Services Committee will hold another day of hearings on the matter on Dec. 3. Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the chief of staff of the Army, and Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, are expected to testify at that hearing; they have expressed concerns about overturning DADT.

The Pentagon’s DADT study is expected to recommend a repeal of the 1993 policy, which was enacted under President Bill Clinton.

Senate Democrats are hoping Gates and Mullen’s testimony will help influence Members to vote in favor of a repeal. Republicans successfully blocked the annual defense authorization bill from getting to the floor in September, but Democrats are hoping they may have better luck clearing the measure now that the midterm elections are over. At a press conference last week, Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) said at least 60 Members will vote to repeal DADT.