Pentagon Chiefs Tell Senate Panel: Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
WASHINGTON (Dec. 2) -- Senate Republicans, led by Arizona's John McCain, today raised the specter of a mass exodus of offended troops if gays are allowed to serve
openly in the military.
In a preview of a debate McCain hopes to keep from reaching the Senate floor for a vote this month, opponents vehemently rejected a 10-month Pentagon study that found there would be minimal disruption in the ranks if Congress repealed the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
At a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, they told Pentagon leaders they did not take seriously enough resistance from Army and Marine Corps combat and special-operations units. They also questioned whether the Pentagon survey of 115,000 troops was large enough to be representative.
McCain urged against a "rush to repeal." Citing "alarming" statistics in the report, he predicted as many as 265,000 service members, or 12 percent of the military, would leave the service if the policy were changed. And he asked why the 103-question survey of troops did not ask directly whether the policy should be repealed.