No sh*t, Bob. This is what the Secretary of Defenses said about the upcoming lame duke session.
“I would like to see the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ but I’m not sure what the prospects for that are. And we’ll just have to see.”
– to reporters aboard a U.S. military aircraft shortly before landing in Australia for annual bilateral talks.
He sure hasn’t been urgent about the matter until the whole political house of cards fell down last week, and of course the remote chance of passage makes it easy to say this now.
Unless the lame-duck Congress acts, the repeal effort is considered dead for now.
The current, Democratic-controlled Congress has not acted to lift the ban, which President Barack Obama promised to eliminate. In his postelection news conference Wednesday, Obama said there would be time to repeal the ban in December or early January, after the military completes a study of the effects of repeal on the front lines and at home.
With Republicans taking control of the House in January, and with larger margins in the Senate, supporters of lifting the ban predict it will be much more difficult.
UPDATE: SLDN’s response–
“We welcome Secretary Gates call for the senate to act on repeal in the lame duck session. Indeed, the senate should call up the defense bill reported out of committee and pass it before it goes home for the year. If the President, Majority leader Reid, Secretary Gates, and a handful of republican senators are committed to passing the comprehensive defense bill, there is ample time to do so. Any talk about a watered down defense bill, whereby the ‘Don’t Ask’ revisions would be stripped out, is unncceptable and offensive to the gay and lesbian service members who risk their lives everyday.”
Within hours of Gates’s comment, newly minted commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, unloaded this:
With U.S. troops – including 20,000 Marines – locked in a “tough fight” in Afghanistan, now is not the time to lift the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military, the new commandant of the Marine Corps said Saturday.
Gen. James Amos told reporters in San Diego that he was concerned about a possible loss of unit cohesion and combat readiness if the ban is overturned.
“There’s risk involved,” Amos said. “I’m trying to determine how to measure that risk. This is not a social thing. This is combat effectiveness.
“We’re talking about our young men – laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers,” he said.
Meanwhile, there wasn’t any comment from the President; he was hard at work abroad…