Pentagon lawyers advise delay on repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’


LGBTQ Nation

The Pentagon‘s top guy is getting conflicting advice on whether to lift the ban on gays in the military.

The Associated Press reports it has obtained a legal counsel’s memo advising Admiral Mike Mullen, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that now is not the time to lift the ban.

It says the military has more important things to deal with during wartime.

”The importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns, demand that we act with deliberation,” according to the in-house memo.

The legal advisers recommended delaying the start of the repeal process for a year, meaning it wouldn’t be repealed until 2012.

Other advisers at the Pentagon, however, argue that lifting the ban would not cause unmanageable problems or divisions among the uniformed military, according to two U.S. officials. They discussed internal conversations about the ban on condition of anonymity.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he wants to begin work this year on repealing the ban. He said he expects testimony from Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, although no date has been set.

During his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama pledged to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” if elected.

More from AP via The New York Times.

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