Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that "the time has come" for the U.S. military to consider changing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
The AP reports: "Gen. David Petraeus stopped short of saying whether he personally believed if the military's policy of 'don't ask, don't tell' is outdated or unfair.
Instead, Petraeus told a Senate panel Tuesday that he wants to see the results of an internal study ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates before any changes are made. He said he wants to know if allowing gays to serve openly might hurt recruiting and retention, or the military's ability to fight."
Adds The Hill: "At Tuesday's hearing, Petraeus cautioned that the change to the Clinton-era law should be done in a “thoughtful manner” and should include assessments on how a change would impact recruiting, retention, morale and cohesion within the military services.
Senator Carl Levin did not allow Petraeus to read an eight-minute statement he said he had prepared: "Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) did not allow Petraeus to deliver his statement after ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) asked the general whether he believed thorough review was necessary before 'Don’t ask, don’t tell' was repealed. Levin’s reason: the committee rule on Tuesday was only a six-minute round of questions and answers for each senator."
Petraeus' testimony was the most he has said on the issue of the military gay ban. On an episode of Meet the Press in February, Petraeus had said that he supports Defense Sec'y Robert Gates plan for a study on the matter but was reserving further discussion for his testimonty before today's committee. Petraeus also said on MTP that he's not sure the sexual orientations of fellow service members matter to troops in the field.
ADDITIONAL NEWS ON 'DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL'
Here's more info on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' rally in D.C. this Thursday at which Kathy Griffin will appear. Americablog: If Griffin wants to make news this week, she'll call out President Obama.
SLDN seeking testimony from servicemembers for hearing this week on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" before Senate Armed Services Committee: "If you are a gay, lesbian, or bisexual service member who is currently serving on active duty or in the Guard or Reserves, and you would like to submit testimony for the record about how DADT impacts you, please submit a statement (one page or less please) via email by 9pm Eastern on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 to Eric Kennedy at email@example.com."
Lt. Dan Choi is "on the market"?
In a New Yorker satire, Paul Rudnick looks at 'DADT' repeal from the perspective of a very gay service member:
"As a gay man, I naturally spend much of my time debating casting issues involving the musical theatre, although, thankfully, I can’t share such thoughts with my unit. Instead, when I spot a potential suicide bomber, I think of him as someone who insists that Tyne Daly was the greatest Mama Rose of all time, even better than Merman. This makes me so enraged, and my aim grows so steady, that I can pick off the bomber with a single well-flung grenade, while shouting to myself, 'Tyne was appealing, but she didn’t have a shred of Angela Lansbury’s esprit, or Patti LuPone’s thwarted fury! Anyone who ranks Tyne over Patti deserves to die!' It’s called valor.