By LEO SHANE III Stars and Stripes Published: December 2, 2010
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans continued their opposition to repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” law on Thursday, attacking the Pentagon’s new study as shortsighted and lacking the real views of military personnel.
Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and a former Vietnam prisoner of war, has led the chorus of anti-repeal arguments and implored his colleagues again during the first of two days of hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“I am not saying this law should never change,” he said. “I am simply saying that it may be premature to make such a change at this time and in this manner … without further study of the issue by Congress.”
At the opposite end of the debate was Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recounted having served alongside gays during Vietnam without any detriment to the mission. He said the study only confirmed what he had long suspected, that gays could be allowed to serve openly with minimal disruption.
“And so what was my personal opinion is now my professional opinion,” he said. “I would not recommend a repeal of this law if I did not believe in my soul that it was the right thing to do for our military, for our nation and for our collective honor.”